The Magic of Reading

The Magic of Reading

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” –Dr. Seuss National Read Across America Day, celebrated today on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, reminds us that reading with your child isn’t just about reading — it accomplishes a number of great things. When parents read with their child on a regular basis—daily is fantastic—not only are they supporting their child’s ability to develop strong reading skills, they’re strengthening the relationship between their child and the world around him. As a parents, some of your most valued moments have been reading aloud with your children. First, the more a young child is exposed to books and reading aloud from birth, the more they move towards an amazing shift in their understanding of the world around them. You see, a younger child may not understand that printed words are actually conveying information. They think a reader is telling stories just by looking at the pictures in the book. So when they start to recognize that words are not mere decoration, but are telling us something, they’re reaching a milestone we call “print awareness.” We may not remember that time ourselves because we were so young. But when a child is read to, they achieve that awareness earlier, and are better prepared for gaining even more information from books as a result. Reading is a loving, reciprocal, nurturing interaction with a caregiver — and those high-quality relationships are the most important thing that helps children develop and thrive. For families that may not have ever had a model for how to interact with young children,...
Everyday Early Math

Everyday Early Math

During the early years when children begin to learn language and social skills, they’re also learning math through playtime and everyday interactions with their parents and caregivers. Simple, everyday activities like counting toes during bath time or stacking blocks can help children develop early math skills which can have a big impact on school readiness. To help support early math skills for young learners, Too Small to Fail partnered with ZERO TO THREE on a series of videos highlighting the foundation of early math skills in the first five years of life, and fun activities parents and caregivers can use to support this learning as part of a regular daily routine. Our latest videos focus on patterns, measurement, addition and subtraction, and are available in both Spanish and English! Here are a few fun and easy ways to help turn everyday moments into opportunities to support children’s early math skills: Everyday Fun with Patterns Creating patterns is the ability to put objects, colors, sounds or actions in a repeated order. It is as easy as lining up leaves and rocks at the park. Learning to notice, create and continue patterns can help children understand more advanced math concepts later on. Activity: You and your child can make patterns together by putting objects in order by size or quantity, or stacking different colored blocks. For example, you might say, “Red block, blue block, red block, blue block. What comes next?” For more tips on patterns, watch this video http://toosmall.org/video/lets-talk-about-math-everyday-fun-with-patterns or download our handout. Everyday Fun with Measurement As early as 12 months old, babies can begin to understand comparison and measurement concepts,...
Developmental Stages of School Age Children

Developmental Stages of School Age Children

The transition into the school-age years coincides with a shift from an egocentric way of thinking – which is not to be confused with selfishness, but rather a child’s inability to put themselves in other people’s shoes – to a more mature, perceptive, and imaginative way of thinking. Throughout this developmental phase, your child will demonstrate a genuine enthusiasm for learning new concepts, make strides in gaining self-confidence, and develop the necessary skills to understand the world and people around them. At age 5, your child will enter kindergarten, their first taste of the world of school. And by age 8, they will be able to properly articulate their feelings, a range of ideas, and effectively solve problems through dialogue. Milestones 5- to 6-year-olds Vocabulary increasing to approximately 2,000 words Can compose sentences with five or more words Can count up to 10 objects at one time Know left and right Begin to reason and argue; uses words like why and because Can categorize objects: “These are toys; these are books.” Understand concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow Can copy complex shapes, such as a diamond Should be sounding out simple words like “hang”, “neat”, “jump” and “sank” Are able to sit at a desk , follow teacher instructions, and independently do simple in-class assignments 7- to 8-year-olds Develop a longer attention span Are willing to take on more responsibility (i.e. chores) Understand fractions and the concept of space Understand money Can tell time Can name months and days of week in order Enjoy reading a book on their own Parenting tips Get your child a library card. Regular visits...