I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate that you come here to find ideas for fun activities to do with your kids. I love what I do and I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving I asked my friends over at Melissa & Doug if they would help me say thank you by offering one reader $100 in store credit for their online shop. They agreed! I want you to know this isn’t a sponsored post. Yes I work with Melissa & Doug, but I am not being paid to host this sweepstakes. It’s a simple thank you and I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to tell you about it.
Enter Here <— click on this link to fill out the entry form. Please read all the fine print below as well!
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Official RulesThis sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must enter your name and email in the google form embedded in this post. 1 winner will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on December 1st 2013 at 10:00pm PST. The winner will receive $100 USD in store credit valued at $100. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
I am a blog ambassador for Melissa and Doug but have not been compensated for this post. They are providing the $100 store credit at no cost.
My daughter got this Melissa & Doug easel from Santa and she loves it but at our house we share most everything and her brother got a chance to play with the easel with this Fill in the Blank Easel Story. Writing , spelling and reading all come together with creativity and storytelling in this fast to set up activity. If you do not have an easel you can enter for a chance to win one from Melissa & Doug below or use a big sheet of paper on the wall. The reason I am suggesting the wall or an easel is because when kids write on vertical surfaces likes these their arms, wrists and hands naturally go into the proper position for writing. This makes it easier for many kids that struggle and doesn’t hurt those who aren’t either.
- Gather your materials. You will need some dry erase makers, a dry erase board / easel and a big imagination.
- Start by writing out a simple story on the easel with dry erase markers. Here is mine – Once upon a time there was a ________ named _________. He was brave, smart and ____________ . One day he found a magic ____________ and it started to ____________. He thought that is was amazing and ran to show his ___________. when he got home his magic ____________ disappeared! He looked for it everyday but never saw it again.
- Invite your writer to come fill in the blanks. Have them read it out loud.
- Fill in the blanks. My son kept asking me how to spell things. Here is what I do when he asks. I will ask him first to sound it out. If he is struggling I will help. Generally I ask that he uses his 6 year old spelling for everything. Spelling is developmental and if we skip stages in development there can be struggles later on. Invented spellings are a really important step. Kids aren’t misspelling things they are just spelling them at their level of development. As your child progresses feel free to correct them little by little. My son can read well and simple words like dog, hat, car are ones that I would not hesitate to correct his spelling but words like furious, sword or friends I am still encouraging him to sound out and spell at his level. Interestingly he spelled sword correctly later in the lesson.
- He didn’t like my ending so he edited it. ” When he got home his magic sword would shock people.”
- When he was done writing he proudly read it back to me.
Watching my son write this really showed me how hard white boards can be for new and struggling writers. Many need the friction of a chalkboard to help them form letters correctly. This easel has a black board on the other side and if you aren’t lucky enough to win it in our sweepstakes you can make your own dollar store ones like we did.
Enter For A Chance To Win
Fill out the form below. Please only one entry per household. SWEEPSTAKES NOW CLOSED
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must enter your name and email in the google form embedded in this post. 1 winner will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on January 14th 2013 at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive the Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel and Companion Set , valued at approximately $115. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address to ship their easel and companion set to ,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. I am a blog ambassador for Melissa & Doug and am compensated for my work. The sweepstakes prize is provided for the winner free of charge from Melissa & Doug.
When I got a chance to take a sneak peek at the Scholastic Book Club selections for June I was so excited to see this 7 book pack of folk and fairytale books. I know so many of you homeschool and/or are doing summer camp at home this year and use weekly themes. These 7 books would be a good addition to your fairytale theme or any family library. DO NOT forget to enter below for a chance to win all 7 of these books from Scholastic Book Clubs.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn and Mark Buehner was my favorite of all the Goldilocks books we read. I liked the modern text, the pop culture details ( a Smokey the Bear poster on the wall being my favorite) and that it didn’t take itself too seriously. This was my favorite book of this pack. There are hidden images in every picture but I am glad I didn’t notice that note until after I’d read it with my son the first time last year. Now at 5 ( and 35 ) they were still incredibly hard to find and we only found a few throughout the story.
The Three Billy-goats Gruff (Easy-To-Read Folktale) by Ellen Appleby is a simple version of the classic folk tale with cartoon like pictures. My son knows this story well and the easy read format along with his previous knowledge of the plot helped him read along with me with lots of success.
Hansel and Gretel by James Marshall is not a fluffy retelling of Hansel and Gretel at all. My son who is all about weapons play right now was sucked right in to the good versus evil in this scary tale. Now I don’t think I would have read this to my son even 6 months ago because he just wasn’t ready for a scary book but wow did he love it now! It’s the classic tale of a brother and sister who against all odds find a way to survive the evil stepmother , horrible witch and foreboding forest to get back to their father and live happily ever after. I admit I have been on the fence for a long time about a lot of fairy tales but the conversations that came from this and the connections that my son made between the story and real life.
The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall is a great classic telling of The Three Little Pigs . My son loved the illustrations and chanted ” Little pig little pig let me come in!” along with me as we read. Now I know there are some versions of this story where the pigs don’t die, this one is not one of them, but it’s not graphic at all. We both really liked this book.
The Little Red Hen by Lucinda McQueen is another easy to read folktale that you are probably be familiar with. It’s such a great opportunity to talk about helping others, doing your share and not being lazy!As you may remember Little Red Hen worked so hard and her friends didn’t lift a finger ( or paw in this case) and yet were eager to reap the rewards of her hard work. No way you don’t get to be lazy and entitled! My husband and I talk all the time about how we are determined not to raise entitled kids and this story was a great way to talk about these issues at their level.
Chicken Little by Laura Rader was fun read. Even if your child can read this solo , please read it to them at least once because it’s just so fun to read out loud ( funny voices optional). My son giggled at me as I read this in silly voices and at varying speeds as the animals got more and more anxious about the sky falling . I also did not miss the opportunity to talk about making sure your info is correct before spreading it and possibly scaring other people. Although not directly related to tattling I can see how this book could be tied into a great lesson about that too.
The Gingerbread Man (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Karen Schmidt is just such a silly story . What I do like about this tale is that while it still packs the punch of one character eating another like many fairy tales it’s just a gingerbread man so when the fox eats him it doesn’t seem so bad really. My son loved the repetition of the text and sang along with me as we read. It’s a good story to talk about taunting, and showing off. We also played gingerbread man tag later that day, but we skipped the whole cannibalism bit.
To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post answering this question ” Which fairytale was your favorite as a child? “Official Rules This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “Which fairytale was your favorite as a child?”1 winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Sunday June 3rd 2012 at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive the seven books listed , valued at approximately $30. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for Scholastic to ship their books to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.