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Reading Activities for Preschoolers

Reading activities for preschoolers

Got an emerging reader on your hands? There are many easy ways to encourage your little one to love the printed page. © Image: Hero Images

Encourage a Love of Reading
Preschoolers Spotlight10

Celebrating Earth Day with Your Preschooler

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day! How are you planning to mark the day with your preschooler? If you aren't sure, no worries, About.com and the Family and Parenting Channel has got you covered! From crafts to activities for kids, from printables to planning an Earth Day party, there are a ton of great ideas out there.

If you are looking to take a more active role, consider planning a toy swap -- a great way to get rid of some of your child's old toys while getting some "new ones." Honestly, even going outside to play (or run or hike) is a great way to honor our planet.

Think your preschooler is too young to understand such a big concept as taking care of the Earth? You might be  surprised. There are lots of things you can do to teach your little one about being eco-friendly -- and the great thing is, once you start incorporating these lessons into their daily routine, its likely they'll continue to do them over the course of their lifetime.

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Going Green (and Having Fun) With Your Preschooler

Friday April 18, 2014

When my daughter was three, her preschool class did a lesson on recycling. Each child was asked to bring in a piece of garbage and they talked about how their household castoffs -- egg and milk cartons, juice bottles and soda cans -- could be used for something else.

Even now, seven years later, that exercise still resonates with her. She'll spy an egg carton in the trash and ask to use it for a craft or chastise me the way only a child can when she sees that I've accidentally placed a soup can in the kitchen garbage and not our recycling bin.

But recycling and making sure you throw out garbage in the right spot isn't just an indoor lesson. When you take your preschooler outside to play, you can really hammer the importance of caring for the earth home. While you are sliding down the slide or swinging on the swings point out the beauty of where you are, whether it's the park, the beach or even your own backyard. When you see trash on the side of the road, if it's safe and you have gloves or a plastic bag, certainly pick it up and throw it out, explaining to your little one what you are doing and why.

Preschoolers are at the perfect age to learn about recycling and taking care of our environment. They are impressionable and generally eager to find out about new things. By teaching them good earth practices now, it's likely they'll develop habits that will stay with them for their lifetime. The best part is, even if you haven't been as "green" as you would have liked up until now, by teaching your little one, it's likely you'll develop some good habits of your own.

Related: How to Organize a Toy Swap

Image: stockxchng/je1196

Planning the Perfect Easter for Your Preschooler

Thursday April 17, 2014

Can it really be Easter already? I feel like just yesterday I was putting away the Christmas decorations! I love Easter but it is definitely one of those holidays that sneaks up on me. There is a lot to do to prepare for it, something I seem to forget every year.

Easter is especially fun if you have a young child in your life. One of my favorite things to do is to plan out what exactly I'm going to put in the Easter baskets. Sometimes I work around a theme, like reading or arts and crafts, other times I just add in a little bit of everything. I also enjoy planning out an Easter egg hunt. We tend to keep it small in our house, but I do get a kick out of varying it every year. Last year we turned it into a scavenger hunt, this year I think we'll go with something a little bit trickier -- like putting letters on each egg and asking the kids to find their names and other words.

When my now 13-year-old son was a preschooler, one of the highlights of his Easter season was meeting with the Easter Bunny. My daughter, not so much. She would cry and scream and generally protest being handed over to this large white furry creature with big eyes and a dopey-looking smile (OK, maybe she was right to be freaked out). But a photo with the Easter Bunny is cute -- and something I really wanted! Good thing there are ways you can help your little one relax and enjoy the experience!

Take our poll: Is your child scared of the Easter bunny?

Images: Amanda Rock

Save the Chocolate Bunny!

Wednesday April 16, 2014

What do you put in your child's Easter basket? Ever consider giving your little one toys instead of candy? While I try to do a mix of both, I do spend the days (weeks!) after Easter lamenting all the candy that the Easter Bunny left in my kiddies' baskets. This year there is even more incentive thanks to Mattel and Toys R Us, who have partnered up in a new, "important" Easter campaign.

Save the Chocolate Bunny is an all-in-good fun initiative that works to preserve the delicious chocolate treat that appears in baskets worldwide. And with free coupons good for up to $25 in savings on a variety of Mattel brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends, it's a great deal for moms and dads too. To launch the campaign, celebrities including Hayden Panettiere, David Schwimmer, Scott Foley, and Melissa Joan Hart filmed a Easter anthem, "The New Easter Way" sporting their bunny ears to "help."

What do you put in your preschooler's Easter Basket?


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