Boy I’m Bored!
You’ve been indoors for several weeks now with your children. Wait for it! Here come the words that make parents cringe, “I’m bored, and I have nothing to do!” I can only imagine how during this unusual time your eyes are really rolling up in your head. On top of entertaining your children, now you are being asked to teach them also because school’s out! I know, I know, you’re saying to yourself, “That’s why I pay taxes for our schools.”
Let’s look at a brighter side. No, not all parents are cut out to be teachers. That is perfectly fine! But, there are some fun things you can do with your children while sequestered. You may not realize how beneficial to your child’s reading success they can be. Reading is the foundation to all learning!
Here are two I particularly like. You can let your creativity soar with both:
- Coloring. Yes, time to get out the crayon box or color pencils. You may already have coloring books so now is a time to incorporate them every day. There are many free downloadable coloring pages on the internet to print off. You can download my coloring pages for Buckaroo Buckeye at https://www.buckaroobuckeye.com/free-downloads-for-kids-and-parents/ and many other pages at sites such as https://www.enchantedlearning.com/coloring/ for starters.
Did you know the physical act of coloring is beneficial to your child’s reading success? Reading requires many foundational, bilateral, brain skills and are a part of coloring: attention to detail, eye movement, vocabulary development, concepts of large or small or the same, just to name a few. These skills require the use of both sides of the brain or bilaterality. Reading requires the use of both sides of the brain also. There is not just one part of the brain designated as ‘the reading lobe.’ Reading requires the development of pathways all over the brain and the ability to jump back and forth for the various processes of reading, just as your brain must learn to do when coloring. As someone interested in art I would just like to add, that if you don’t have crayons or color pencils you can still benefit by shading with just a pencil. Your child can vary the amount of pressure used with the pencils to create light and dark areas within the picture or ‘perspective.’ Perspective is a very important skill for developing comprehension in reading. I kid you not!
- Puzzles. Don’t have a jigsaw puzzle? Well, make your own. You might start with that page your child has colored above! In order to keep the pieces from curling up, you would be best to glue the picture to a piece of cardboard, either a piece from a carton or even the cardboard from an empty box of cereal. Draw lines through the picture to make pieces out of the picture. Cut the pieces out carefully. For young children let them use scissors and for older children, with parental supervision, a more precise cut can be made with a razor cutter. Once the pieces are cut apart, mix them up and have your child put them back together into a whole picture. Save the pieces in an envelope for future use. They will love pulling them out on a rainy day for sure!
Now, this too, is a fun activity, that contributes to all the brain development listed under coloring! All the while contributing to your child’s reading success. Try a challenge such as making puzzles from words, or sentences. Cut the letters of words apart and have your child put them back together to make that word OR make puzzle pieces out of the alphabet and have your child use them to make words. The same can be done for sentences. Make pieces out of the words and ask your child to put the words together into a proper sentence. You can combine both coloring and puzzle making by having your child draw pictures and cutting them into pieces that they can match up with a word or even a letter of the alphabet. Yippee!
I can just hear some of you now, “can’t I just buy puzzles with words and pictures and sentences? Sure, you can BUT your child will gain so much more through the interactive ‘act’ of creating and making things on their own. Take your creative lead from your child’s teacher. If she/he has sent homework to do to keep the curriculum moving forward during this time, then think creatively using these two activities as ways to achieve this.
Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites© a book by Marcia L. Tate! Dendrites are the pathways our brains create to enable learning. We need many pathways to connect all areas of the brain and these two activities help grow those dendrites!
Stay safe and healthy and do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with ANY questions or concerns about your child’s reading success.
KLAC ENTERPRISES, LLC/Buckaroo Buckeye™/Nuts About Reading™