Friday, September 30, 2016

The Best Ways to Improve Your Child's Vocabulary

Helping your child develop an extensive vocabulary will ensure they succeed academically and socially. Not only will a large vocabulary help them sail through standardized tests, but it also enables them to speak to their peers and authority figures with confidence. However, this is one skill that is best taught by surrounding your child with multiple types of support. As you plan ways to improve your child’s vocabulary, use these strategies to give them the best chances for success.

Encourage Them to Read Challenging Books
From the moment you open that very first book with your child, you are exposing them to a world full of words. In the early years, many parents offer books that are simple to read so that their new reader does not become frustrated. However, it is also important to provide reading challenges that inspire your child to look up new words. Talk to your child’s teacher and academic tutor about your child’s current reading level. This way, they can guide you to a selection of books that will challenge your child without being overly frustrating.

Use Rich Vocabulary Around Your Child
As a parent, it is important to model desired behaviors, and using rich vocabulary around your child helps them learn how to use new words in their appropriate contexts. Avoid using baby talk or simplifying your language. Instead, speak carefully, and be willing to provide explanations for the meaning of new words when your child asks.

Enroll in Academic Tutoring
Individualized learning experiences are important for helping your child learn new words and how to use them correctly. Academic tutoring provides targeted instruction that is tailored to your child’s abilities. Whether they play a word game with their teacher or practice speaking with a group of their peers, each tutoring lesson will focus on implementing strategies that makes learning new vocabulary words fun and effective for your child.

Create Opportunities to Practice
Simply memorizing a list of vocabulary words will not help your child remember them in casual conversation. For this reason, social opportunities are critical while your child is strengthening their oral language skills. After school programs, such as tutoring and sports, are great ways to extend your child’s language learning beyond the school day. It is also important to stretch their vocabulary through enrichment opportunities such as science clubs and fine arts lessons.

Provide Supportive Feedback
When a child makes attempts to use new words, it is important to acknowledge their successes while providing supportive correction for mistakes. Make it a point to notice when your child uses a word that is new to their vocabulary. If they use a word incorrectly, give them the correct word or help them see how to make it fit the sentence. This helps to reinforce their learning while also building their confidence to take a risk in casual conversations.

Building your child’s vocabulary is a process that begins early in their academic years. Yet, nurturing a love for learning new words pays off as your child begins searching for the meaning of new words they hear. By implementing multiple strategies that support word acquisition into your child’s daily routine, you will be seeing noticeable results in their conversations and knowledge every time you talk about their day.

Let your kids experience academic tutoring at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Preschool Crafts to Enhance Motor Skills

The picture of a young child covered in paint sums up the joys of childhood perfectly. Yet, children are doing more than just having fun when they participate in arts and crafts activities. Crafts allow children to express their creativity while also building essential motor skills that will impact their entire learning experience. When adults know how to maximize crafting experiences to their full potential every child can benefit from building their motor skills while enjoying creative play.

How Crafting Builds Motor Skills
Preschool crafts are best known for helping to strengthen a child’s fine motor skills. Pinching clay, tearing paper and holding a paintbrush all help a child to develop their pincher grasp, which is necessary for writing. Crafts can also help a child develop their gross motor skills when parents and educators are willing to turn art into a whole body experience. For example, feet painting on long strips of butcher paper helps children develop their walking skills and painting on an easel stimulates a child’s back and shoulder muscles so that they will be better able to throw and catch a ball.

Preschool Crafts for Fine Motor Skills
When adults look back on their favorite summer camp and school experiences, they often recount the art projects they made as a young child. Many of these craft projects are still popular today such as making sculptures out of play dough. Preschoolers also love making jewelry. Pipe cleaners and pony beads make simple bracelets and lacing each bead onto the pipe cleaner is perfect for strengthening fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Weaving construction paper placemats, painting with a small brush and cutting out shapes with scissors for a collage are a few more crafts that are excellent for building fine motor abilities.

Gross Motor Craft Ideas
In preschool, crafts do not have to be sit-down projects. In fact, making art bigger is the ideal way to develop a young child’s ability to run, jump and throw. For example, splatter painting outside encourages a child to use their arms while walking around the canvas. Preschoolers can also make musical instruments, such as paper plate maracas and hold a parade for their friends and family. Murals are another fun project for kids that get them moving. Simply hang a large piece of paper up on a wall, and let the kids use a short step stool to practice their climbing skills while reaching their paintbrush to the top of the mural.

Crafting Tips for Preschoolers
Making art with preschoolers is always fun, yet it is important to carefully choose your projects. Since you never want to ruin the fun by worrying about messes, make sure that you plan your project to take place in a kid-friendly zone. Open-ended craft projects work best so provide a variety of materials from which kids can choose to express their creativity. Finally, have fun. The actual product is never as important as just letting the kids enjoy the process.

Kids and crafts just go together and making beautiful works of art is a great way to encourage preschoolers to move their growing bodies. Whether the child in your life needs to work on their ability to hold a pencil or develop their balance, there is a craft project available to help them build their skills. By taking the time to enjoy a crafting moment with your child, you can simultaneously build motor skills while letting them express their creativity.

Let your kids experience preschool learning fun at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at  to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.