Are your kids Fancy Nancys?

Some parents may be very familiar with Fancy Nancy (http://www.fancynancyworld.com/) – a fictional children’s book character who loves anything ‘fancy’. The books encourages kids to use sophisticated vocabulary like scrumptious (instead of yummy), exquisite (instead of pretty), gigantic (instead of big). While it is exciting for kids to delve into Nancy’s fancy world of delectable cupcakes, aspiring artistry and spectacular soccer games, there is merit in what the author is trying to do. Continue reading “Are your kids Fancy Nancys?”

Little Sponges

This morning my two year old daughter demanded “Beet-bic (Weet-bix)! Beet-bic here!” as she tapped on her highchair tray.  Before I could respond with my usual line “Be patient please.  Your Weetbix is coming.”  She yelled “Patient…patient!” nodding furiously in the hope this new word would make her Weetbix come faster.  Shocked at such sophisticated language use (and quietly beaming with pride), I placed the Weetbix in front of my little genius.  Well OK, genius?  Slight exaggeration but she is certainly a little sponge soaking up every word she hears!

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Tripping in the car with kids?

‘I spy with my little eye’ another parent resorting to screen time to avoid the overplayed car games or backseat arguments between siblings on long car trips.  Guilty! As a child, I remember playing “punch buggy” which involved hitting your sibling when you spotted a VW, this was before devices of course. This generations’ version of ‘punch buggy’ is known as ‘Spotto’ and involves counting yellow cars (with no punching involved).   While many car games like ‘Spotto’, ‘Punch buggy’ or ‘I spy’ are observation games, these car trips are also an opportune time for your children to practice their vocabulary and word finding skills.  So when you have the energy these holidays, here are three easy and fun word games to play with your little people in the car that will build their vocabulary skills (plus you can rest assured that you will be setting your child up for literacy and life!)
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‘Pet parenting’ your kids?

I am ashamed to admit it but at times my toddler reminds me of the dog I never had. A rather uncouth comparison, there are an uncanny number of similarities between the way we parent canines and our offspring.

Recent studies suggest that the average dog is as smart as the average two year old child so perhaps my observations aren’t all a coincidence.

So here are 5 times my toddler has reminded me of a dog…so far (yes you read that correctly… lol)!

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WordPLAY: Do your kids play with trucks, dolls AND words?

According to Einstein, “Play is the highest form of research” but does this just refer to water play or pretend play?
No! WordPLAY, the ability to understand, use and play with language, more specifically vocabulary, will have a significant impact on your child’s success in school and in life.

In fact, as Stahl and Nagy (2006) report, the size of children’s vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to how well they will come to understand what they read.

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