Last night I had the pleasure of presenting a program for the parents and children of Trailblazer Elementary School in Colorado Springs’ District 11.
The president of the El Paso PTA, the head of the PTA at Trailblazer, the principal of Trailblazer and the director of one of the local preschools were also on hand to hear about how a picture book is worth a thousand words.
How is a picture book worth a thousand words? Why should we read picture books to our young children?
- Children love them and children who learn to love books grow up to be good readers.
- Listening to and looking at picture books helps young children develop the skills they will need to be ready to read.
- The messages in picture books can help young children deal with many of the challenges they encounter in their early years.
- Studies show that children who are read to at an early age are more successful in school.
- Reading with your child strengthens the parent-child connection.
After talking a minute or two about the importance of picture books and reading to young children, I read, Yes We Can! by Sam McBratney. The parents and children enjoyed the story about the three animal friends who play together and make a big pile of leaves. However, when they stop to rest, they begin to make fun of each other and they all become sad and grumpy. At the suggestion of one of their moms, they each show what they can do best…and all the friends agree that Little Roo is the best jumper, Country Mouse is the best tail-catcher and Quacker Duck is the best puddle-floater. The little animals end the day happy with themselves and each other.
As I turned the pages for the second time, the children were eager to answer the questions I asked about the story they had just listened to. They agreed that no one likes to be made fun of and that it can make us sad or mad when others laugh at us.
Showing the children the sample craft I had made, I explained that we were going to make double-sided faces on the piece of white cardstock I had cut in the shape of a leaf. On one side, each child drew a happy/glad/excited face and on the other side, a sad/mad/angry one. We punched a hole in the top of each and looped a piece of yarn through the hole, so it could be hung on the doorknob of their room. When they are feeling happy, they will put the smiling side showing. When they are feeling sad, they will turn the frowning side over. What a wonderful opportunity for parents to initiate a discussion about why the child is feeling sad or mad! One of the components of building self-esteem is being able to express one’s feelings, whether positive or negative.
The children were excited to take home their art project and the parents were able to pick up a flyer on helpful hints and simple steps to making reading to children fun for everyone. I also provided a flyer of sample activities from my Show Me How! book. One of the parents recognized the book as one she had taken from the library and she bought two copies…one to use with her own children and one to give to a family member who also has young children.
Developing strong literacy skills is critically important and this program makes it quick and easy!
Reading a picture book only takes about 15 minutes!
Doing a simple craft project only takes about 15 minutes!
Preparing an easy recipe only takes about 15 minutes!
Parents don’t have to do all three in one day.
UNLEASH THE SMILES!
With Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, you have 100 picture books already summarized, 100 simple crafts already planned and 100 easy recipes that will be fun to make and eat! That is an entire year of fun-filled, educational, self-esteem-building activities right at your fingertips. The holidays are coming and the price is right…only $19.95…more than 50% off the cover price. Click here and go to my website where you can purchase a copy of the book safely with PayPal or by check or money order.
SAVE THE DATE
I also want to remind anyone local to Colorado Springs…the Festival of Trees event, sponsored by the Ecumenical Social Ministries, is coming up this weekend. FESTIVE FAMILY FUN DAYS will take place on Saturday, November 19 from 9am to 5pm and on Sunday, November 20 from 10am to 3pm at the DoubleTree Hotel near the World Arena at 1775 E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd in Colorado Springs. There will be entertainment, crafting and other activities for children, Santa will be there and dozens of vendors selling wonderful items (many of them handmade and unique) perfect for holiday gift-giving. Admission is $5 per person…children under 12 get in for FREE!
Show Me How will have a table in the main ballroom, amidst beautifully decorated trees…and there will be a gift for EVERY child who stops by the table as well as free handouts for the adults. I’m also sponsoring a raffle to help raise money for the Ecumenical Social Ministries. Stop by my table, fill out an entry form, put $1 or more in the jar, and you will have a chance to win one of two huge stuffed bears. All raffle proceeds will be donated to the Ecumenical Social Ministries. If you have questions about the event, please call 719-228-6781 (Ecumenical Social Ministries) or contact the DoubleTree Hotel.
I hope you will stop by and say hello if you come to the event!