Taking dictation: crafting stories with young kids

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore and originally appeared in November of 2011.

There is really nothing like the imagination of a young child. Long before they can write their own stories, children are ready and eager to tell their own stories. It is wonderfully empowering for a child to see her words written down as a “real” story. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some paper and get started!

If your child needs a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, here are some fun things to try:

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Cultivating an attitude of gratitude at home

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings….” ~William Arthur Ward

Thanksgiving is just around the corner here in the United States. I love that this holiday serves as a reminder to pause and give thanks for the abundant blessings we have. However, the practice of gratitude should extend beyond November, don’t you agree?

I strive to weave appreciation, thankfulness, and acknowledgement into our family’s day to day life. Here are a few favorite ideas from our home, and I hope you’ll share your gratitude practices in the comments, as well. [Read more…]

5 Playful ways to practice scissor skills

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

Scissors can be a tricky tool for kids to master. Playful, open-ended scissor activities are naturally inviting to kids, and can lessen feelings of frustration for scissor-newbies. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect – the best way to improve scissor skills is lots of scissor practice.

Tips for success:

• Model the correct way to hold scissors, with lots of gentle reminders. Show your child how to hold the scissors with his elbows close to his body, and his hand turned so the thumb is on top.

• A quality pair of kid scissors is important, too. Nothing is more frustrating than scissors that won’t cut!

• Offer a wide variety of inviting materials and activities for scissor work, and let your child play and experiment.

Here are five simple ways to practice scissor skills and have fun, too:

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