Last Day of School but Many More Days of Tending to the Garden



Garden for the children: the German meaning of the word kindergarten. This year, my daughter was one of many in that lovely garden. It was the perfect environment to allow her to blossom with a wealth of knowledge, flourish by socializing amongst the other beautiful children while under the tutelage of wonderful teachers who know exactly what it takes to tend to many children burgeoning all at once. 

Quinn has learned and grown much in that magical garden in such a short duration of time. She’s like a little book worm excited to read stacks of books everyday, many on her own. She’s a busy bee, constantly expanding her vocabulary and sharing their meanings. She’s a little scientist exploring the different subjects often eager to share what she’s learned. She’s a caterpillar who went through the metamorphosis process right before my eyes in a multitude of ways. Not only is she a little taller and lost many baby teeth and grew big girl teeth, but she’s matured so much in just just about eight months.

Though her days of kindergarten may be over, I will make sure that I’m doing my part to tend to her growth and development as she continues her education and beyond!

All the best,


Say Word?! Learning Can Be Fun! Lessons with My Little Girl

She paused for a few second and looked up to the ceiling with her head slanted. Then she said with certainty, “Word!” I proudly said, “You got another word right, sweetheart!” Even though my daughter already knew some words here and there, since she started kindergarten, we’ve been making a conscious effort to reinforce what she is learning in school and to even enhance that experience. Last week, in my blog entry, I wrote about the reward system I created to demonstrate positive reinforcement for my five year old’s eagerness to learn. Doing basic flash cards is one of the lessons we do together.

I purchased sight word cards with pictures and some without, and either way Quinn is able to recognize several words after a few sessions. I am impressed that she immediately distinguishes the differences between words with similar spellings such as then and than considering that some adults still mix these two up. Often when I ask her what reading activity she would like to do, if it is not leafing through one of her books, it is doing flash cards.

Yes, technology is wonderful, and we use some of those resources as well. But good old-fashion flash cards are still perfect for helping a child learn how to read. They are a cheap resource that you can purchase at the local dollar store, or you can even create them yourself. Give them a try if you don’t already use them with your child.

All the best,


Terrific Toy Tuesday: Alphabet Marks the Spot

“What did you roll, Quinnie?” I asked my daughter. “An igloo! Igloo starts with the letter I!” she responded and sought out the letter “I” on the mat and jumped on it. One of the first steps to learning how to read is not only recognizing letters but mastering the sounds to identify which words start with certain letters. Even though Quinn has known the alphabet and been able to recite it for a few years now, when she was about three and half, I decided to purchase an interactive game that reinforces what she knows while encouraging her to want to learn how to sound out words and eventually read.

Though the game is marketed to children in kindergarten (five years old) and up, and Quinn just turned four last month, she is still able to have fun with it because there are multiple ways to play based on the level of the child. Also there is a focus on gross motor, language, social and behavioral skills that she can apply not only in an academic setting but simply interacting with people in her everyday life.

There’s so much pressure for children to learn to read at young ages, and even though Quinn is learning how to sound out and spell a few words, I want it to be a fun experience for her where she is excited about learning, and this game is one of the resources that has helped. If you are looking for a way to promote learning the alphabet and transitioning to reading with active play for your child, Alphabet Marks the Spot by Learning Resources may be the perfect choice for you.


All the best,


Terrific Toy Tuesday: Say Word!? There’s a Scrabble Junior for Preschoolers!

Six months ago I posted a blog entry about the game Scrabble and my daughter’s fascination with it. Then, a couple of months ago I stumbled upon Scrabble Junior. Though the game says, “Ages five and up,” I figured I’d still get it for my, now, three and a half year old because it was a good alternative to the version for older children and adults. As soon as she saw the game, she loved it and was excited to play. Sometimes, I modify instructions to games or let Quinn come up with her own way of playing when it is meant for older children, but she was actually able to follow the instructions.

You may be wondering, “Wow, your three and a half year old can spell?!” No, not exactly. This awesome game has a double-sided board. For younger children, the words are already spelled out. It is a matter of the players selecting the tiles to put on top of the words. The player earns points and gets to move across the board as he or she spells the complete word with the tiles selected. Whereas the other side of the board is played in the more traditional Scrabble way for  when Quinn begins learning how to spell and wants more of a challenge.

At first, I figured I’d hold back on spelling the words out to build up Quinn’s confidence, but I soon realized that I did not have to do this because she actually is good at this game and caught on to the concept quickly. She was even able to use some of the pictures to figure out what the words spelled. I just love games that are fun and educational, and Scrabble Junior fits that description. It’s a great way to not only get my daughter even more interested in learning to spell and eager to learn but for us to have a great time together! How did I not know that Scrabble Junior existed? Well, I know now and highly recommend this game, which is about $14 or cheaper if you get it on sale, to anyone with a young child who is interested in spelling or reading or if you are looking for a fun way to get a child interested and eager to spell and read.

All the best,