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Do you often ask, “How can I make my child pay attention when I try to teach the alphabet?” 

Well, there are two main reasons why young children fail to pay attention when adults try to teach them about the alphabet. For some children, the task seems abstract — why learn all those letter names anyway? Other children appreciate that learning the alphabet is very important and this can make them anxious about their ability to succeed. There are other reasons a child won’t pay attention, but fortunately they all have one very easy solution: make learning time playful, easy, and short!

Devote just a few minutes to alphabet learning time, 5 minutes is plenty. Pick a good game to play that focuses on just one or two letters. Don’t worry about any mistakes your child makes. Rest assured that the more you play, the less mistakes a child will make.

Here are some simple letter games you can play anywhere:

  • Write the letter A on three Post-its and the letter B on another set of three Post-its. Tape them securely to a wooden or linoleum floor. Have your child stand on one of the As. He has to jump from an A to a B and then back to an A and then to a B. If this is fun and easy, try adding the letter C. You can take a turn, too. If you miss a letter, it just adds to the fun.

 

  • Challenge your child to go find three letter As in the supermarket! You can also do this in other places, like the waiting room at the doctor’s office or on the bus.

 

  • Write the letter A on six index cards or Post-its. Hide the cards in a room and let your child go on a find-the-letter hunt.

Instead of A or B, you might begin with the letters in your child’s name. This will give extra meaning to the games. Stop playing before your child is bored. It is far better for a child to complain that a game is ending than want to stop because it has become boring.

 

Let us know how this works for you and feel free to share any videos or pictures on Instagram, of your little ones enjoying these letter game. We can’t wait to see!

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We know kids are amazing and have the most amazing ideas, so we wanted to tap into that imagination to create amazing content for kids, by kids.

Our friends at Kidpass joined us at The Tribeca Craft Studio to watch the exciting creation process unfold. Our team of kiddos rolled up their sleeves and shared their creative, outside-the-box ideas to help us create a new ice-cream store full of imaginative and amazing characters!

We kicked things off with a very serious brainstorming session with HOMER’s panel of fun experts to come up with the next “Make Your Own Story” activity in the HOMER App. If you don’t already know, we have a section in our HOMER Reading app called “Make Your Own Story” where kids place pictures of characters and props onto a background scene to tell a story. This makes storytelling accessible for young children even as they are just beginning to learn to read.

“Even if they’re not saying any words out loud, internally, they’re deciding what a character is going to do and they’re doing it while having a tremendous amount of fun.”

-Peggy,  Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER.

These amazing kids helped us create a magical ice cream shop with all new characters to manage the shop and customers to visit it. Peggy, helped guide the team’s creativity and Chris Gelles, our Senior Director of Art & Media Production, brought the kids ideas to life.

Want to see their amazing and inspiring ideas? Check out the cool footage we captured right here:

..And don’t worry, that was just the beginning. NOW it’s YOUR TURN!

We need kids everywhere to get involved, so we can continue building this ice cream shop in our HOMER Reading app. Can your kiddo could come up with HOMER’s new, craziest ice cream flavor before it opens on April 20th?

Follow @learnwithhomer on Instagram to learn more about how you and your little ones can get involved. Their ideas could be selected and brought to life in the HOMER Reading app!

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What are Sight Words?

What’s the most common word in the English language?  It’s the. Imagine if every time you saw this word, you had to stop and figure out what it was. It would make reading even the simplest text very slow and painful. Being able to read the at first sight makes things a lot easier: no sounding out, no trying to remember. You recognize it just like your own name. Sight words are words like the. These words occur so frequently that readers, including very young readers, need to know them instantly.  

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Music is an essential and important part of a child’s life. What’s great is that music also has a positive impact on your child’s development. Read about some of the learning benefits below. Then check out this amazing playlist Rockabye Baby put together for us, raise the volume a little higher than you usually would, and have some fun listening to your favorite tunes (lullaby edition) with your kids!

1. Vocabulary and language development. Music can introduce kids to new vocabulary words and understand that song lyrics have meaning. Even songs without lyrics help a child develop listening skills, an instrumental (see what I did there) part of language development.

2. Patterns and predictable sequences. Songs follow a pattern, and children’s songs are often designed so kids can easily learn that pattern and follow along. Through repetition, kids also begin to learn the sequence of songs, a skill important for reading, math, and coding.

3. Mindfulness. Young children are still learning how to navigate their emotions. Kids can learn to use music as an outlet to express even negative emotions in a positive way, or as a strategy to calm down. Maybe there’s a particular song your child wants to listen to when they’re sad or upset. Maybe calming music paired with a few deep breaths can help a child move on from these emotions.

4. Movement and rhythm. It’s no surprise that movement made the list! Movement helps kids develop gross motor skills like coordination, improves our mood, can even help us sleep better. What better way to reap those benefits than through an epic dance party?

ROCKABYE BABY! x HOMER HAPPY PLAYLIST

 

Head to our Instagram for a chance to win $100 worth of Rockabye Baby product and a FREE YEAR of HOMER!

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