Reading Corner: How to Get Kids to Pursue Their Dreams (with activities!)
Do you sometimes wonder if you will ever survive this stage of parenting to see your kids emerge from childhood as happy, positive, successful adults? There are a couple of things parents can do to help their kids follow their own dreams. Encourage them to pursue their special gifts and talents. Provide them with opportunities to experience different types of music and art. Participate with them in various activities. Most importantly, allow them to express their own voice.
Here’s a wonderful picture book story that encourages parents and children to do just that!
Written and illustrated by Rebecca Bond
Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2000)
Family, valuing one’s own unique qualities and strengths, careers
When Maurice is born, his family members are convinced that he will grow up to be like each of them. His father, who is a baker, is sure that Maurice has the big hands needed to knead bread. His grandmother believes that Maurice has a nose just like hers and is sure he will become a wonderful gardener. As Maurice grows up, the members of his family make sure he has opportunities to try doing the things they love to do. Will Maurice follow in the footsteps of someone in his family, or will Maurice discover a voice of his own.
Why I like this book:
What a beautiful story of a loving extended family! Even though Maurice’s family members wanted him to love what they loved doing, they were thrilled and excited when they discovered Maurice’s special gift. Young children should be encouraged to have all types of experiences. The story shows kids that we each have special talents and strengths and that everyone is unique and wonderful! This is a message parents MUST teach their children!
It’s springtime! Take a walk outside with your little ones and observe the budding trees and bushes and the tulips and daffodils blooming everywhere! Maurice’s grandmother was an exceptional gardener and she encouraged Maurice to learn about planting.
Gardening is a multi-generational activity and kids LOVE it. Why not make a planter and help your children plant some herbs that can be grown indoors or outside and then harvested during the summer and used in your meals.
DECORATE A MILK CARTON PLANTER
1. Cut a clean milk container.
2. Use self-stick shelf paper to cover the outside.
3. Poke several holes in the bottom of the container.
4. Fill ¾ high with gardening soil.
5. Buy herb seedlings at the store or use seeds (parsley, basil, oregano, etc.)
6. Set planter on a waterproof tray or plate.
7. Water, set in a sunny spot and watch it grow!
You can find more milk carton crafts at Artists Helping Kids here. (The picture above comes from that website)
Kids LOVE to help in the kitchen and cooking and baking are two of the best activities you can do with them…builds self-esteem, develops better literacy skills and strengthens the parent-child connection!
Maurice helped his father bake bread. Here’s a wonderful quick and easy herb bread recipe from my book that you and your kids will enjoy.
CHILD-FRIENDLY HERB BREAD
You will need: 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 ½ tsp baking powder, 3 TB sugar, 1 Tb herb blend (oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary…your choice), 12 oz milk, a large bowl, and a 9×5 inch loaf pan greased.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and herb blend.
- Stir in the milk.
- Turn the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees.
- Turn out and cool on rack…delicious toasted or plain.
Congratulations to the winning libraries in the Show Me How Library Project! Twenty libraries will be receiving a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Parents, educators and picture book authors and illustrators in Florida, Texas, Illinois, California, Maine, Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Canada nominated their local libraries and those books will be mailed out next week.
Vivian Kirkfield is a mother of three, an educator and the author of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and is passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, and loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.