Children learn through play. So why sit down with a squirming child to try to teach when you can play a game and accomplish more. Making learning a game makes reading fun.

Storytime Scavenger Hunt

Make story time interactive and help your preschooler recognize letters. After reading a page in a book, ask your child to find specific letters. Start with capital letters that begin words and move on to lower case letters in words. Younger players will find this game easier with fewer words on each page.

Alphabet Soup

Place five or six foam, wood or magnetic letters in a large mixing bowl. Give the child the bowl and a large serving spoon. Ask the child to “serve” you a specific letter. Encourage the child to scoop out the chosen letter and put it in your bowl. As your child becomes more adept at recognizing letters, add more letters to the bowl until you have the entire alphabet.

Cream Letters

Place a large cookie sheet, preferably a jelly roll pan with a small side around the edge. Spray some whipped cream in the center of the tray. Ask the child to make a letter in the cream. When he makes it correctly, he gets to like his fingers. “Erase” the letter by spreading the cream on the tray and ask your child to write a new letter. Continue until the child learns his letters, or has a full tummy, whichever comes first.

"Keys" to Fine Motor Skills

Print or draw uppercase letters on one side of a three by five card and the lowercase letter on the other side. Take the cards to an office store and have them laminated. Punch a hole in one corner and thread the letters onto a large key ring. Keep the ring of letters and a large crayon in a baggie in your purse. Whenever you are waiting in an office, the school pick-up line or any time your child is bored, hand over the key ring. Name a letter and ask her to find it on the key ring, then give her the crayon and let her trace the letter.

Birthing Plan

Some of the options you have when you are in labour or giving birth


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