Reading, Writing & Math: A Rewarding Experience for My Little Girl

 

“Mommy, may I please do some reading today,” my five year old pleaded. Those words are always music to my ears! Since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been eager to learn. Also, like many children, she loves playing with toys. One of her toys of choice is her doll, Sophia. Whenever we go near the toy section in Target, Quinn’s eyes widen as she sees the many doll accessories: clothing, footwear, little brushes, beds, you name it.

Since the star reward system my husband and I started with Quinn when she was two to reinforce positive behaviors was so successful, I thought why not implement a program like that to encourage and reward her for learning, especially since her school does not issue homework for kindergartners.

Over the summer, I purchased several workbooks and resources to help her with reading, writing and math. Then, I ordered big charts, smiley stickers and punch cards through Amazon. For every three stickers Quinn earns a smiley face. Then, she gets one punch on the card. Once she earns ten punches, she’s able to get some doll accessories for Sophia.

Of course, some parents might argue that learning is a requirement for children, and why should a child be rewarded? While this may be plausible for some, I’ve actually found that my daughter is even more eager to learn. It does not feel like a chore to her, and she does not do it solely to earn stickers or punches on the punch card. Sometimes, I have to let her know that she’s able to earn a sticker since she asked about practicing her writing.

Often, Quinn will ask to write and read instead of watch television or play with her toys.  What I love is that she even does math by counting up how many more smiley faces she needs in the different sections to earn a punch on the card and then how many punches she needs to get to ten.

This reward system also teaches Quinn about value. As she gets the doll accessories, she knows she had to put in a lot of work to earn them. It makes her appreciate them more than me just giving them to her.

Does your child needs a little encouragement to learn? Give the reward punch card system a try. Maybe it will be as successful for your child as it has been for mine!

All the best,

Tanya

What Do You Call a Fairy & and Mermaid? Mommy and Daughter Halloween Fun!

Halloween is such a fun time of year not just for my daughter but for me too. What makes it extra fun is the strengthening of our mommy/daughter bond. Since she was two, she began picking out a costume not just for herself but for me too. She’s been Doc McStuffins, and I’ve been Lambie. When she was three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. Last year, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. This year, she decided to be a fairy and asked me to be a mermaid with a similar color scheme: purple as her favorite color and blue as my favorite color. I thought to myself, what a great idea! She’s already thinking about next year wanting to be a princess so that I can be her unicorn, and I love it!

I feel like dressing up together, going to parties, special events and trick or treating brings out the best in us both and brings us closer together. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic, and work even gets stressful, so I thank my daughter for allowing me to just have fun and enjoy life as different characters. Here’s to a happy fun-filled Halloween. Time with my daughter is the ultimate treat!

The Amusement of Life: My Little Girl Knows How to Enjoy the Ride!

 

With her arms swaying in the air and a smile on her face, my little girl squealed and cheered for more as the ride took her around once again. One of my five year old daughter’s favorite outings this summer has been amusement parks; she lives for the rides. Now, at about 47 inches, which is tall for her age, she’s able to get on the some of the rides she longed for last year but just didn’t measure up.

This summer, she was ready to prove that she’s absolutely fearless while I held on for dear life on roller coasters and other rides whipping us around so quickly that I could barely contain my lunch. Thank goodness for her father because I’m just not able to handle most amusement park rides like used to.

But seeing how happy and excited she is to get on some rides over and over again makes me think about life and how amusing it can be. There was one roller coaster ride that I got on with her just once, but she got on with my husband seven times and was still ready for more. Each time Quinn whizzed by on the roller coaster, I could see that beautiful smile and hear that infectious squeal-like laughter. She’d raise her arms in preparation for the drop and feel so exhilarated upon departing the ride ready to run back in line to board it again.

It is my hope that Quinn treats life this way, ready to enjoy the ride, eager to take on adventure and willing to hop off one ride and get on the next as life dictates.

All the best,

Tanya

Reading is Within Sight! Learning with My Little Girl

Who hasn’t heard the adage “knowledge is power” or “reading is fundamental?” Now, something that is truly powerful is observing a child obtain knowledge through learning and reading. Since my daughter was one day old, my husband and I have been reading to her. Five years later, her eyes still light up, and she displays a smile as she picks out a book for us to read together. Since she began talking, she’s always been inquisitive and has expressed an interest in learning to read on her own, so when my mother provided me with information about a Reading Program through Temple University, I was eager to enroll Quinn.

The program was five weeks long, and as she learned sight words, like “I, see, can, and,” I learned different techniques to keep her engaged and to help reinforce what she learned in our hour long class. Even though we have ABC Mouse at home, and I could have just used some of the kindergarten preparation books I purchased, I am glad we did the program and am very happy with the progress Quinn made in a short duration of time.

With the first day of kindergarten just a little over a month away, Quinn is not only more than ready but confident.

There’s Something Fun & Magical About Face Paint: Just Ask My Five Year Old!

“It looks beautiful!” my five year old remarked as the make-up artist held up the mirror to let my daughter see her face all made up. This last weekend makes about the sixth or seventh time I watched Quinn’s face transform into something magical. Whether it’s a butterfly, swan, kitty or a unicorn, as she had her heart set on getting this time, she always has a smile on her face afterwards. She is so careful about preserving her look as long as possible by asking if we may have our lunch before she gets her face painted so that she doesn’t mess it up.

In my lifetime, I’ve provably only had my face painted three times, and there are times when I would love to hop in the seat after Quinn gets her face done to have my transformation of the day as a tiger, butterfly or even a peacock. It’s a totally different experience than wearing make-up for a night on the town or to go to work. It’s just about having fun and becoming the masque I wear for just one day. Perhaps that’s why Quinn and I both enjoy Halloween so much.

Who knows, maybe the next time the opportunity presents itself, I’ll allow the kid in me to come out and get my face painted right alongside Quinn. There’s just something so fun and magical about it.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Preparing Patriotic Punch: A Knock-out with My Little Girl

“This is actually tasty,” my five year old exclaimed as she twiddled her straw slurping up some more of the beverage she helped to make.  With July 4th comes barbecues, spending time with family and friends, parades, fireworks, you name it! So I thought a fun project while celebrating America’s independence would be to prepare a patriotic drink (non-alcoholic of course) with my little girl.

After heading to my favorite go-to app, Pinterest, I came across several samples and decided to go with the drink containing, red punch, sprite, and a blue gatorade. Come to find out, it was actually like a science project because after filling the glass with ice, the different color beverages were able to sit on top of each other without blending because of the grams of sugar. Indeed, we would not regularly have a drink with that much sugar, but it was a nice treat and a great way to not only spend time with my daughter but to have her think critically questioning why the colors did not merge.

If you haven’t done anything like this, give it a try with your child(red). It’ll be a big hit, I’m sure!

All the best,

Tanya

The Magical World of Disney with My Little Girl

 

“Are we really going to Disney World?” my daughter asked as she waited to board her first airplane. “Yes, we are!” I told her in my high pitch voice just as excited if not more than she was. Just a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took our five year old to meet Minnie, Mickey, all of the princesses, and many others for the very first time. Actually, it was my first time too, and I was in absolute awe. Though there were times when the rain was relentless, it didn’t put a damper on our bright, fun-filled days, and the sunshine and warm weather was welcomed with open arms.

We spent six days at Disney: three in Magic Kingdom, one in Animal Kingdom, one in Epcot and one in a Hollywood Studios, and we enjoyed every moment. The crowds were not overwhelming. Our longest wait time was twenty minutes, and our fast pass selections were right on target. We all agreed that Pandora: Avatar Flight of Passage was one of our favorites, and with the nearly three hour wait time, I am so glad it was one of our fast pass picks allowing us to wait just about five minutes to board.

The cast members and staff were consistently friendly and extremely helpful which added to our wonderful experience. Meeting all of the princesses and characters with my daughter, and seeing her face light up is something I will hold on to for years to come.

In the words of my daughter, “I’d love to come back to Disney World again and again!”

Here’s to magical, memorable moments with my family!

All the best,

Tanya