Friday, July 30, 2021

Free Reading Bingo Challenge for Kids

Need a fun reading incentive for your kids? Try reading bingo and challenge your kids to keep reading all year round or try it is a summer reading challenge.

When you have a hyperlexic child, you own a ridiculous amount of books. It's just par for the course, as they say. I mean hyperlexic kids just can't get enough of books, especially when they're toddlers and preschoolers. Word reading is kind of their thing after all.

However, it's not uncommon for some hyperlexic kids to lose interest in books as they grow older. I know it might seem unusual for a child that was literally born ready to read would one day not enjoy reading. But it's more common than you think. 

The middle school grades in particular are when parents start to notice this decrease in reading interest in their hyperlexic kids. See common hyperlexia milestones for more info. This decrease is often - but not always! - related to the comprehension issues that are common to hyperlexia.

But sometimes these kids just need some extra motivation to read. And other times they just need some extra encouragement to try some new books that will spark that interest for them again. So why not propose a simple, low-key reading challenge?

Now, one thing that I've noticed with my own hyperlexic son is that he'll be motivated to try new things (or at least do the things he usually drags his heels with!) as long as I gamify it. Yep, you turn something into a game or challenge and he's all in.

That's where this free printable reading bingo game comes in! 

It's a great way to help kids maintain their interest in reading or at least get kids excited about reading again. You could also use this challenge to encourage your child to branch out and read something new. Either way, it's tons of fun!

Free book bingo reading challenge for kids

How to Play Reading Bingo

Like regular bingo, you are trying to encourage your child to get a line or maybe even a blackout. All they have to do is a little bit of reading depending on what's found on the free reading bingo printable. Then, after they complete the mini tasks or challenges found on the bingo card, they simply cross it off.

Remember that the goal here is to keep things fun and stress free. So let your child randomly pick which book challenge they want to do next. 

And let them use whatever book they think fits the challenge. Yes, even if it's the same book that they've read a hundred times already. There's plenty to gain from reading the same book over and over.

You can even use this fun reading bingo game as a summer reading challenge. Or use it any time there is a school break. 

Download the Free Reading Bingo Challenge Printable

This printable includes one book bingo card with a variety of fun reading challenges for kids. To get your copy of the reading bingo, enter your name and email in the form below.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Olympic Summer Games Themed I Spy Game {Free Printable for Kids}

If you're looking for a fun Olympic Games activity for kids, then try this free summer games themed I spy printable for kids!

The Olympics are perfect for hyperlexic kids to watch what with all those flags, scores, and timers. So it's not surprising that my kids love to watch the Olympics. I'm glad they do because I've always loved watching the Olympics.

They really like learning about the different sports too. So I thought it would be fun to make an Olympic summer games themed I spy game to showcase some of the different sports.

Free I spy game printable for kids: Olympic summer games themed

The Benefits of I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy printables like this Olympic summer games themed one are great for providing visual sensory input to kids, making them a great choice for visual sensory seekers. They also help develop a child's visual tracking ability and improve visual discrimination. This printable requires kids to visually scan through the objects and find ones that are the same.

Playing I Spy with your kids is also a great way to improve speech, language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. I've discussed how playing I Spy games with kids can improve comprehension in kids with autism and hyperlexia before.

These types of I Spy games also encourage math learning by asking kids to count how many of each object they find.

Download the Free Printable Summer Games Themed I Spy Game

This printable includes one I Spy game sheet and one answer sheet to record the number of objects found. The answer sheet uses the written word as well as an image of the object to search for to help improve comprehension - something kids with hyperlexia struggle with.

*Please note that this I spy game doesn't include every single sport in the summer games.*

To get your copy, enter your name and email in the form below.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Questions to Ask When Doing a Picture Walk

A list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk with your child. Includes a free printable list of questions.

A helpful reading strategy for all readers, including our hyperlexic ones, is to do a picture walk (also known as a book walk). It's a shared activity that you do before reading the actual book. And it works great with all sorts of picture books, even wordless picture books.

It's also a great strategy for boosting comprehension, an area most hyperlexic kids need extra help with. Especially as they approach the late elementary age (see other important hyperlexia milestones here).

Now, an effective picture walk involves asking the right types of questions. You want to use questions that prime and guide your child in a way that will help them better understand the story when it comes time to read it.

It's best to use open-ended questions as you flip through the pages of a picture book together.

And to help you out, I've compiled a list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk for you. There's also a free printable cheat sheet included below.

Questions o ask when doing the picture walk reading strategy with kids

Types of Questions to Ask During a Book Walk

When walking through new picture books, you want to ask your child questions about each picture that they see, including the front and back covers. You'll want to ask questions that:

  • Introduce new vocabulary words
  • Allow kids to make predictions about what might happen in the story
  • Boost comprehension and understanding of any new book
  • Allow kids to practice making inferences using visual story elements
  • Encourage kids to be active participants in shared reading
  • Encourage kids to practice describing what they see (which will also help them summarize the story later)

Basically, the idea here is to prep your child to better understand the story for when it's time to actually read it. It's all about highlighting important picture clues.

Sample Questions to Ask When Doing a Picture Walk

Remember, the point here is not to read the story yet. You're simply going to look at every page in the book without reading the words. Just point to the picture or to specific details in the pictures and ask questions about that book page such as:

  • What do you think this story will be about based on the cover?
  • What do you think this story will be about based on the title?
  • What other books does this cover remind you of?
  • What do you see on this page?
  • Who is this?
  • Why does the character look (insert emotion)?
  • Where is this story taking place?
  • When is this story taking place?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think the story will end?
  • What does this word mean?
  • What do you think is happening in this picture?
  • What are these called?
  • What is the character doing here?
  • How do you think this character is feeling?
  • What would you do if this was you?
  • Why do you think the character is doing (insert action)?
  • Why do you think the character feels (insert emotion)?
  • What does this remind you of?

Asking Follow-Up Questions During a Book Walk

After your child answers your questions, you will want to respond in some way. Maybe you want to comment. Or maybe you want to ask a follow-up question. Here are some possible follow-up questions to ask:

  • How can you tell?
  • What makes you think that?
  • Why do you think that?
  • Have you ever felt that way?
  • How would you feel if...?
  • Have you ever...?
  • Have you been to a ___ before?
  • How do you know?
  • What else could happen next?
  • What's another possible explanation?
  • What part of the picture makes you think that?
Free printable list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk with kids

Download the Free Printable List of Picture Walk Questions

This one page printable includes all of the sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk listed above. To get your copy, enter your name and email in the form below.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Weather Sensory Bin Activities for Kids

Looking for weather sensory bin ideas for toddlers and preschoolers? Well, these fun weather themed sensory bin activities are great for any preschool weather lesson plans and units.

My son has had a special interest in weather for quite some time, which might be surprising to some given that he also has extreme anxiety about weather. However, it doesn't stop him from wanting to learn about weather and different types of weather systems.

I mean we've signed out more weather themed books from the library than I care to admit. But learning about the weather has been a good way for him to use logic to cope with his anxiety. Sure he might be worried about hurricanes, but he also knows that the chance of one happening where we live is zero.

Anyway, these weather sensory bin activities are also of great help. They give kids the chance to discuss different types of weather, learn vocabulary, roleplay weather scenarios, and more. Plus, they're fun.

Weather sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Weather Sensory Bin Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

1. Counting Rain Sensory Bin from Fantastic Fun and Learning (pictured) - This adorable little sensory bin is perfect for practicing counting. It even comes with free printable counting cards.

2. All Types of Weather Sensory Bin with Dyed Rice from Fun-A-Day (pictured) - This rice based sensory activity includes different types of weather. It covers wind, fog, rain, sun, snow, and more. Super fun!

3. Raindrops in a Cloud Sensory Bin from From ABCs to ACTs - This sensory bin is squishy and messy, but tons of fun!

4. Weather Sensory Tub from Counting Coconuts - I like that this sensory tub starts off with a more unusual sensory material. It uses aquarium rocks as a base.

5. Rainy Day Sensory Bin from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds - This rain inspired sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers looks like a lot of fun.

6. Cloud & Rain Sensory Bin from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten - There are a lot of great weather activities here, but if you scroll down, you'll find a fun cloud and rain sensory bin. I love what they used for the clouds!

7. Weather Theme Sensory Bin from The Stay-at-Home Teacher - Again, lots of great weather themed activities here. But, if you scroll down, you'll find a cute sensory bin activity that uses mini erasers.

8. Sensory Bins to Learn About Weather from Lets Play, Learn, Grow (pictured) - There are a couple of cute weather sensory bin ideas here. I like the one that uses crinkle paper for the sky - so creative!

9. Weather Sensory Play with Dyed Rice from Life Anchored - Here's another rice based sensory bin.

10. Sensory Bins Inspired by the Weather from Turner Tots - There are lots of fun weather activity ideas here, but if you scroll through the list, you'll find some great weather sensory bin ideas. There's a thunderstorm themed sensory bin. A rainy day one. And another that focuses on raindrops and letters.

Which of these awesome weather sensory bin ideas are you going to try first? 

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