Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Friday, December 30, 2011

"X" Marks the Spot

Ah, poor letter X...

There are very few words that begin with the letter X that children can prounce (x-ray and xylophone are the only ones that come to mind) so it doesn't get much attention. But the letter X also appears in the middle and at the end many simple words, so it shouldn't be neglected.

The letter makes three different sounds. It can say it's own name like in the word x-ray. It can sound like a Z like in the word xylophone. Ot it can make the sound of KS, like in the word fox.

I've put together a worksheet that will reinforce the three sounds of X. It also reinforces the concepts of beginning, middle, end and rhyming words.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and select Print Picture.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Passing On the Magic

I hope that you are all enjoying the holidays. I'm taken a little break from my blog to spend more time with my family during this special season. 

This time of year is magical when you have little ones around. I can remember when my boys were little. What fun we would have decorating the house and hanging lights outside. We would kick off the season with our trip to the Mall to see Santa Claus. We talked about what special things they hoped Santa would put under the tree. We also looked forward to all the Christmas Specials on TV about Frosty and Rudolph and the Night Before Christmas. For the first few years we opened our presents on Christmas morning.  But my oldest son had such difficulty sleeping through the night on Christmas Eve (which made Christmas Day very challenging indeed) that we started to open our presents on Christmas Eve instead. We told the boys that we were one of Santa's first stops! This worked out very well and we continue to open presents on Christmas Eve to this day.

Even when the kids grew out of the Santa phase, Christmas remained a very special time of the year. Christmas programs at school were always fun. The kids also became more involved in decorating. They had some very definite ideas about what should go where on the tree. And hanging lights outside became a competitive event!  Our biggest problem was keeping the ornaments on the tree. The dogs liked to eat the dough ornaments that the kids made in school and the cats used to steal things off the tree to play with.

After the boys got their driver's licenses things began to change. Although we still decorated and tried to keep up with family holiday traditions, their friends and interests outside the home took them away more and more. And that's OK. That's the way it's supposed to be. But I couldn't help but feel sad that the "magic" had faded.

But now, with three grandchildren, the magic is back! We got to write letters to Santa again and made new ornaments to hang on the tree. We took our trip to the Mall, watched the holiday specials on the TV  (surprisingly they are still playing many of the same programs we watched 30 years ago!) and watched our little angels and shephards in their school play. Life is good!

Now we're getting ready to ring in the New Year... which happens around 7:00 pm New Year's Eve before the kids go to bed. (My husband and I don't make it to midnight any more because our granddaughter will be up at 5:00 am the next morning!) We'll blow our noisemakers and sing Auld Lang Syne to welcome in 2012. Tradition lives on in this next generation. I hope they cherish it as much as I have and will continue these traditions with their families in the years to come.

I wish you all the best in 2012...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gee Whiz Worksheet: The Sounds of "G"

Here's an activity that will help reinforce the two sounds of the letter G

To Print:  Double click on image to open the sheet. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Ask your child to think of other words that begin with the letter G. Write them down as they say them. You can also give them clues like "What grows in the yard?" or "We cover our mouths when we cough so we don't spread ....?"

Here's some G words to start with.

Hard G: giggle   gum   gift   great   green   goose   grow   golf   glass   glove   growl

Soft G:  gentle   giant   George   genie   generous   Gene   germs

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa and the Sounds of "C"

Here's an Activity Sheet that reinforces the sounds of the letter "C".

Santa and his elves need to fill his bag of gifts before Christmas Eve. He's looking for things that begin with the hard and soft sound of the letter "C". Help him fill his bag by drawing a circle around the pictures of things that begin with the letter "C".

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Find it... Color it: Following Directions

Being able to follow directions is one of the most important skills your child will need to develop. A preschoolers' vocabulary grows rapidly, but they need to learn how to pay attention to what they hear.

The following activity sheet reinforces listening and following directions skills. Read one line at a time, stressing the boldface words. Let your child finish that task before moving on to the second, third, fourth, etc.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reinforcing Classification Skills

Classification is defined as "the ability to group objects into sets based on specific characteristics."  Sorting and classifying are skills that a child uses at home and at school.
Recognizing groups of objects requires logical thinking. This abilty will become increasingly more important as your child begins to make decisions.

Children first learn how to sort items (animals, toys, food, etc.)   As they master sorting, encourage them to identify what specific characteristics determined the groups they have sorted. Understanding the relationship between different groups of objects, and then being able to describe that relationship, will help in the development of important analytical skills that will be used throughout their lives.

Here's an Activity Sheet that will help reinforce your child's classification skills.

To Print:  Double click on the picture to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dance Rhymes with Pants

Have you noticed that your preschooler loves to play with words

Youngsters love to listen for rhymes, play with words and make up new words along the way.They even enjoy rhyming nonsense words, like in the Dr. Seuss books. They don't realize it, but when they're rhyming they are practicing their thinking skills.  Rhyming is a way of exploring language and increasing vocabularies. Most children should be able to recognize words that rhyme by the age of three. 

Here's a rhyming activity sheet to help reinforce your child's rhyming skills. You can point out that words don't always have to end in the same letters to rhyme.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Connect the Dots Christmas Tree

Here's a fun Activity Sheet that reinforces the letters of the alphabet. Then encourage your child to get creative and add some decorations to their tree.

To Print:  Double click on the picture to open it, then right click and choose Print Picture.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Activity Sheet #3 - Match the Presents

This is a good activity to sharpen your child's observation skills. Have your child match the presents in the red box with the presents in the green box. They'll need to pay close attention to the color, shape and type of type of ribbon on each package.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click on Print Picture.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Activity Sheet - Alike and Different

This sheet reinforces the concepts of alike and different. Children are asked to choose the picture in each row that is different than the other two. Then they have to describe what makes it different. Reinforce the concept of alike by pointing out what makes the other two the same.

To print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Tree Object Hunt Activity Sheet

Here's a first in our series of printable holiday themed Activity Sheets. Click on the sheet to open it and then right click and choose Print Picture.