Author Archives: Jen and Jane
Kids Choose Print over EBooks
Are you as torn as I am about whether you should be encouraging your kids and grandkids to read eBooks vs. print? No Need! The kids have solved that problem for us.
For the record, here are three informative findings.
-2012, 48% of parents (especially parents of young children) preferred their kids read print books.
-2016, the chart below shows that nearly two-thirds of kids now choose to read print over eBooks. EBooks are loosing their appeal.
Kids prefer being read to with a print book.
eBooks are used mainly in school. They are loosing their appeal in the home. Technology isn’t going to disappear. It continues to transform our society and it has its place as a tool to help kids master skills. Reading is a vital skill. The digital format entertains kids as they learn skills like letter recognition or alphabetization. However, if we view reading only as a skill to be mastered, we miss an opportunity, as parents, to connect with our kids.
Reading in print is, “a hands- on- experience” according to Jenny Deam in her article E-Books vs. Print: What Parents Need to Know. Parents and kids interact when they read a print book. They focus and they explore the story together (without the distraction of animation or music). They share thoughts. The rush to know what happens next in the story is driven by its content. The child and parent make an emotional connection when they discuss the story together.
Sadly, without realizing it, parents are emotionally blackmailed when they feel they aren’t doing the best for their children, as they get older, if they don’t put the newest technology gadgets into their hands. Kids still like to be read to even as they grow older. It’s useful to be reminded that “human interaction and nurturing are critical components to learning.” (Vygotsky) Touch is a sense that physically connects us. A parent and a child become deeply involved when they read together. It’s engaged learning.
This is a case where kids know what they need. Parents and children make emotional connections when they read together, and share their thoughts . In fact, the more books that are available to children, the greater their chances to be successful in school, according to a study done over two decades by Dr. Stephen D. Krashen, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Southern California.
This may not be new news but it is validating to see this truth still holds true despite the prevalence of technology in all our lives.
So, here are four ways to fill the need for print in your kids lives.
1.Use your public library at least once a week.
It’s free. Also, more and more libraries are selling at minimal cost, duplicate books they have taken off their shelves.
2. Subscribe to newspapers.
Parents are role models for their children. When your kids see you are curious about the world and read, they will pick up the habit too
3. Limit screen time.
4. Check out Little FreeLibrary (more about this movement in another blog)
If your neighborhood has one, use it. Take a book. Share a book. Picking up a book on your way home from school or on your way to the park, just doesn’t get any better.
When we were kids, we played “in the moment”. We loved playing because of the excitement and the pure thrill it gave us. Today, as parent’s, we know that play is important in the daily life of a child. Time for unstructured play and recess has diminished in our kids school days. School administrators worry about safety, lost instructional time and supervision of kids. They don’t see that recess is a good way for kids to spend their time.
The good news is that awareness about the benefits of self directed play among children is increasing. Parents are demanding changes in their kid’s school days.We are convincing school boards and administrators to put recess back into our kid’s day. We want kids to reap the benefits of self directed play that WE had as kids. AND…. we are coming armed to school administrators with data to make it happen.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics supports play, saying that it is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical and social emotional well being of children and youth.
- Independent research shows that recess improves kid’s attention while they do their academic work.
- Research in public health points to recess as possibly providing activity that reduces childhood obesity.
- Researchers argue that because kids think in a functional way. Kids play is “best suited for the free play settings” that recess provides.
In our heart of hearts, we know that all these reasons don’t touch the truth about the value of playing. The lasting effects of the interactions our kids have during recess are not measured on any paper and pencil test. The play and the activities that kids create themselves during recess, influence their developing characters.
Kids play baseball, hockey, 4 square,soccer etc and discover that being engaged in a team efforts is exhilarating and worth the bleeding knees or bruises that become badges of their courage.
Oh, there are tears. But there is laughter and joy too. The lumps, bumps and challenges of playing develop our kid’s temperament as well as the quality of their character.
Kids discover what they like to do and who they are.They develop a sense of honesty and fair play.They learn to get along with other kids and their accomplishments speak for themselves. They understand the motives and feelings of other kids. They learn how to negotiate with others and diffuse tricky situations. Their future successes depend on how well they learn to play and get along with others in play.
Today is Global School Play Day. But play isn’t just for the schoolyard.As parents, we help our kids when we play with them.
National Play Outside Day is a movement with one simple goal: to get friends and families to play together. Yes..just go outside and do something fun with your friends and family. Being a great parent is as easy as that! Play with your kids. It’s an investment that gives you an outstanding return. You contribute to the healthy self esteem of your kids.
Saturday February 7 2015 is the next National Play Outside Day. Mark it on the calendar. Make playing together a monthly tradition.
I read about LittleFreeLibrary™ (www.littlefreelibrary.org) and identified with the message of sharing experiences, connecting with neighbors and firing up kid’s imaginations. LuvABox (www.luvabox.com) supports the healthy growth and development of kids through imaginative play. We support the LittleFreeLibrary™ movement to bring more of it back into our lives through reading and sharing favorite books.
I’ve put a LittleFreeLibrary™ box in front of our house at 425 Saint Ronan Street. Since putting the box up, with a bright red bow, I’m beginning to see an increase in the level of engagement among passers by and neighbors on the street. “Hellos” are exchanged. Today new books were dropped off and shared. We connect. We find shared interests. The box is encouraging interactions between “lunch- time” walkers, foreign students, children and neighborhood home -owners.
Here is how it works.
The library belongs to everyone! Neighbors, friends, passers by, adults, kids.
Anyone may use it.
Anyone can participate.
Anyone can share.
Pick up a book for your upcoming travels and drop it off at ANY LittleFreeLibrary™ worldwide.
Look for the bright red bow! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hands on learning and craft project have proven to increase student learning. The arts and crafts our kids do and bring home serve another valuable purpose. They bring joy to the eyes of many beholders. Bringing our kids crafts out each year, no matter how battered, are not only nostalgic reminders of time past, they contribute to our family story.
The kids identify with each craft they made. These items become part of our family culture and traditions as much as the turkey and pumpkin pie. The paper plate turkeys and handprints serve a purpose that binds us together. Comments and recognition of the crafts from parents and grandparents translate into feelings of acceptance by the kids. An emotional connection is made. A feeling of security and gratitude is created.
It’s the process that counts in these crafts, not the product. That is what makes them so endearing. Here are 3 suggestions for Thanksgiving crafts.
1. Kids 2-4: Tracing hands and turning the outlines into turkeys is a favorite activity.Here are variations on this common theme. For this age group, the tracing, cutting and gluing develops fine motor skills. The final product, whatever it looks like, is their contribution to the Thanksgiving table décor.
2. Kids 2-6 : Bubble Wrap Indian Corn from Kiwi Crate. (www.kiwicrate) is a craft the kids literally jump on! Let them break the bubbles. Cut out a turkey shape instead of cornhusks. Then apply paint colors and feathers, their choice. The process is as fun as the final product. Put it on your front door for everybody to enjoy.
3. Kids 6+ will find wire sculpture wooden spool birds created by Joel Henriques, imaginatively fun as well as challenging. Look at newpaper or magazine pictures to develop your kids awareness about how a mood or a pose communicates an action or attitude. Then let the kids create a flock of birds with personality.
LuvABox Co Founder
“committed to healthy play and healthy children”
All profits from the sale of our sticker kits goes to support childhood cancer research and childhood cancer play therapy programs.
Feiler, B. (2013, March 16). The Stories That Bind Us. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
Henriques, J. (2011). Play Zoo! In made to play! (p. 33). Boston: Roost Books.
Hallowe’en is just around the corner. Pumpkins on your doorstep are creating a will-o’-the-wisp mood. Kids are excited and planning their costumes. Now is the time for them to have fun with gooey, gushy sensory experience stuff.
Older kids can create fun for the whole family. Blogmemom has more than 15 suggested activities. Be prepared for the mess!
Kids 3-10 will have fun with these FREE printables that add a bit of Hallowe’en fun in their lunch boxes from Crafting Chicks.
And for dinner, if you still have energy, serve witches fingers with this creepy idea for bug juice from Real Simple.
I purchased unfinished brown paper mache coffin boxes online for $6.99 for an added creep factor.
WITCHES FINGER RECIPE
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¾ cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cut whole blanched almonds
1 tube red decorator gel.
Beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour gradually. Add baking powder, salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
1. On a piece of wax paper, roll out a heaping teaspoon of dough into a finger shape
3.Let the kids use a blunt knife to make slashes in several places to form the knuckle
4. Place an almond on one end of “finger”
5.On a lightly greased baking sheet, bake fo 20-25 minutes at 350F.
6.Let cool a few minutes
7.Lift almond and squeeze some red gel into the “nail bed”