Printable Journal for Kids (Get Your Child to Communicate with You)

Printable Journal 300x426 Printable Journal for Kids (Get Your Child to Communicate with You)

pin it button Printable Journal for Kids (Get Your Child to Communicate with You)
 

I’m not sure if it is a boy thing (or just something unique to my son) but Big Brother literally refuses to tell me about his day when he is apart from me.  I will pick him up from school and he will answer approximately 1.73 questions before he starts to become obviously exasperated with my questioning.  I’m not sure where this wall of communication is coming from…he is pretty much a motor mouth whenever he is home.  For some reason, however, he doesn’t feel the need to recap me on the morning’s events when he is away from me.

After sharing my struggles getting him to communicate, a friend suggested that I encourage him to journal about his day and then talk about it when he is finished.  I recruited my friend Rachel from RV Parties to create some printable journal pages for us and she graciously agreed to let me share them with you!  And by the way, be sure to check out their giveaway in celebration of 1,000 likes!

 

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Big Brother added his name to the cover and then decorated it with watercolors.

 

 

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 We let the cover dry and then put it in the front of a 1/2″ binder.

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 I armed Big Brother with a brand spankin’ new set of colored pencils and let him complete his journal entry for the day during his quiet time in the afternoon.

 

 

 

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 Big Brother was happy today because he got to play with his friend Eric at recess.

 

 

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The best part of his day was going to school.

This little journal has been so helpful so far.  Big Brother writes/colors in it during his rest time and then we discuss it afterwards.  It has paved the way for some more detailed discussion than we’ve had in a while!

 

Download your pages here:

-Cover

-“Today I Felt…”

-“The best part of my day”

 

How do you encourage your child to communicate with you???

Books about the Tough Stuff: Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made

Books about the Tough Stuff 300x444 Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made

pin it button Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made
 

We live in an imperfect world.  At times it even seems cruel and dangerous.  As much as I want to raise my children to believe that every person is good and loving, unfortunately this is not the case.  I want my children to always look for the good in people, but also know just enough that they won’t naively become a victim.

I’m sharing these books because I think they are a great way to open conversations with our kids about some very tough issues…issues we don’t want to discuss, but need to.  It’s our job as parents to protect our children and one way we can do this is by empowering them to help themselves through knowledge and education!

I’m sharing books about stranger safety, good touches, and even where babies come from!  I am a Bible-believing Christian, so the books I recommend come through this lens.  I will include any references to Christianity in the book description so that you will be informed about the content of the book, whether you share the same beliefs that I do or not.  I suggest using these books as a springboard for your own family discussions.  The books themselves will do little good unless there is follow-up afterwards. 

 

 Stranger Safety

I’ve never liked the term “stranger danger”, even as catchy as it is to say and remember.  I don’t want my children to be fearful of strangers because 99.9% of the strangers they meet are actually kind and good.  I want my children to know that it is okay to talk to strangers when they are with Mommy and Daddy.  In fact, my husband and I encourage it.  We want them to be friendly and respectful to the people that they meet.  Since our children are always with one of us (or a trusted adult like a grandparent, teacher, or a very rare babysitter), this isn’t a problem.   As they get older, however, they need to know that talking to strangers without us is not a good idea…just in case.

Big Brother is at the age where this discussion needs to take place.  He is extremely friendly and can carry on a conversation with any person of any age (he takes after his Daddy).  As endearing and adorable as it is, it is time to set some boundaries on the issue of stranger safety.

 

The Berenstain Bears learn about Strangers Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are MadeThe Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan & Jan Berenstain

This book is a great resource for parents who wish to instill a sense of caution into their children regarding the issue of strangers without being scary or intimidating.  Brother Bear and Sister Bear are very different when it comes to strangers–Brother Bear is very shy and cautious and Sister Bear is friendly and will talk to anyone.  Papa Bear talks to Sister Bear about the dangers of talking to strangers and she becomes scared until Mama Bear clarifies with apples as an illustration.  Most apples in the barrel are just fine, but there is sometimes a rotten one in the bunch.  When a stranger has a model airplane that Brother is interested in, he forgets all about his caution with strangers and nearly gets in the car with the owner of the model airplane.  Sister intervenes and the family has another discussion.  The incident is not scary, which I appreciated, especially since was the first time I’ve discussed this topic with my children.  A list of “rules” can be found at the back of the book, which I modified slightly to best fit our family’s needs. This book would be appropriate for children ages three to five and is a good introduction into the discussion of stranger safety.

Not Everyone is Nice Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made

Not Everyone is Nice by Frederick Alimonti and Ann Tedesco

This book is much more intimidating than The Berenstain Bears and is probably more appropriate for older children (6+).  A young girl named Kathy has an incident as she is waiting for her mom to pick her up from school.  As she is waiting, a “nice” man pulls up in his car and begins to talk to her.  After chatting with the girl and building her trust, the stranger then tries to lure her into the car with candy, assuring Kathy that he will take her home since he lives on the same street.  Her mom arrives right before the child gets in the car and the stranger zooms away when questioned by the mother.  After the incident, Kathy’s dad talks to her about how some people may seem nice, but they really might be dangerous.  He then introduces her to several ocean animals that appear harmless, yet are extremely deadly.  I have not read this to my children yet, but will keep tucked away until they are slightly more mature (or if an incident happens close to our home).  I think it is a great resource for school-aged children, especially for children who are no longer supervised 100% of the time.

Safe Touches

This is the part of the post where I get a little squeamish.  I don’t like talking about this stuff with adults, let alone children.  It disgusts and even angers me that there is a need to discuss it.  But sadly, there is and it makes me want to cry.  According to Parents for Megan’s Law:

  • “1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday.
  • Children are most vulnerable between the ages of 8-12 .
  • Children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than their non-disabled peers.”

These statistics are scary.  I don’t want my child to become a victim just because his parents are naive and don’t equip our child with this vital information.  Here are some books that I found to be helpful when discussing “safe touches” with your child.

God Made Me The Safe Touch Coloring Book Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made

God Made Me:  The Safe Touch Coloring Book by Dr. Beth Robinson

This coloring book written by Dr. Beth Robinson, who happens to be my Dad’s cousin, was created after she was asked to counsel a church where a 9-year old boy had molested younger children during small group meetings held in homes.  The coloring book is designed to be a non-threatening way for parents to educate their children about sexual safety.  The book starts off telling all the things that God created, “And best of all, God created me.”  The book then goes on to state how God wants us to take care of our bodies (brushing teeth, washing hands, etc) and then begins the discussion of safe touches.  Nearly every aspect of sexual abuse is tackled in this little coloring book, including assuring the child that he/she won’t get in trouble for telling a trusted adult, that it’s not okay to keep secrets when someone touches you, and a place to write the names of the grownups that you can trust.  I think this is the perfect way to introduce sexual safety to your children without it being scary or intimidating.  Even though it is a coloring book and the illustrations are black-and-white, it is the book I recommend ahead of all the others.  If you aren’t religious, there is also a generic Safe Touch Coloring Book that is available that does not include any references to God.

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Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Spelman

Your Body Belongs to You is a great introduction for very young children to the concept of sexual safety.  The book is written in short sentences with colorful illustrations.  The author encourages children not to give or accept hugs if they don’t want to.  I admit that I often encourage my kids to give hugs or show affection to relatives and close friends, even when they might be hesitant at first.  After all, I don’t want them to be rude!  But I think this book helped me see the need to read my child’s body language to assess whether they feel genuinely uncomfortable or are just being strong-willed and noncompliant.  This book does not go in-depth about  unsafe touches, but does tell children that the parts of your body that are covered up with a swimsuit should never be touched, unless a parent or trusted adult is helping you bathe or go to the bathroom OR when you go to the doctor.  Overall, I think this is a helpful book for very young children.  If you’re looking for a more thorough book (for slightly older children), I would suggest the other books shared in this section.

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I Said No!  A kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King

This is a unique book because it is co-authored by a mother-son team.  Kimberly is a kindergarten teacher who decided to write this book, along with her son, as way to help him heal after an incident where inappropriate touching occurred at a sleepover at his best friend’s house.  The book is written in first person from Zack’s perspective and is quite a bit longer than the other two I shared above.  It is more appropriate for school-aged children and it includes specific scenarios that a child should watch out for.  The book is written for a parent to read to a child and includes some discussion thoughts throughout.  The book does not use the names for private parts, but encourages the parent and child to talk about them saying, “There are doctor names and lots of other names for your private parts!  We are sure you have heard of a few of them!  You might want to talk about some of those names now.”  The book teaches a child to identify “red flag” and “green flag” people as a way to know which adults you can feel safe and comfortable with.  The book also talks extensively about treats, bribes, and threats and how they might be used to make a child do something they aren’t comfortable with.  One thing that I DON’T appreciate about this book is the fact that the author uses the word “heck” (i.e. Get the heck out of there!).  Although I understand that this language is meant to convey urgency, this is not a word we use in our house. This isn’t a huge problem right now because I can edit it while reading aloud, but I still would have preferred the author use a different phrase.

How Babies are Made

The question is inevitable.  At some point during the first several years of your child’s life, he/she will ask how babies are made (or where they come from).  If you’ve never watched this Kia commercial, watch it for a good laugh.  As much as we might want to credit storks or space launches from Baby-landia for the little bundles of joy, it isn’t going to fly  for our kids (even if it is much easier on us).  :)

With sexuality constantly in our faces in one form or another (via billboards, the internet, television, or scantily-clad women), it is important to equip our children with facts and sex and procreation…censored facts for their tender ages, but facts nonetheless.  I am sharing two books for your regarding this issue:  One for younger kids (ages 5 to 6) and one for slightly older children (7 to 8).  Both of these books are part of the God’s Design for Sex series.  Obviously, both of these books are written from a Christian perspective with Biblical teaching on our bodies and sexuality.

The Story of Me Books about the Tough Stuff:  Stranger Safety, Safe Touches, and How Babies Are Made

The Story of Me by Stan and Brenna Jones

This book begins with a small boy asking his Daddy and Mommy to tell him where he came from.  His Mom and Dad begin by telling him that God created both him and his Mommy and Daddy (and their Mommies and Daddies).  God began by having his Mommy and Daddy love each other.  Then after they were married, God took a tiny piece of his Daddy’s body and a tiny piece of his Mommy’s body and made him.  God made a special place in his Mommy’s body for him to grow while he was a tiny baby.  And then when it was time, the baby came out.  The book uses medical words for the body parts, which you may or  may not be comfortable with.  I personally would rather my kids know the actual names of their body parts rather than nicknames.  After this description, the book the proceeds to talk about how God made us to love and obey him.  It also tells how we can show love to each other by hugs and kisses, and taking care of each other.  There is a short page that describes how hugs and kisses aren’t good if you don’t want them.  “God doesn’t want anyone to take love from you that you don’t want to share.”

Overall, I think this is a good book for traditional families who are striving to raise their children to love and honor God in the way that is shared in the Bible.  This book might be confusing for children who were adopted, although there is a short mention  in the book regarding adoption.  This book would also cause more questions for children who are raised in a single-parent family.  The publisher recommends this book for ages 3-5.  I would say that it is more appropriate for ages 5-6 or even older!

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Before I Was Born by Carolyn Nystrom

I’ll be honest:  I nearly had an anxiety attack while reading this book.  It is VERY descriptive in words and pictures, even though the pictures are soft and muted.  The publisher recommends this book for children ages 5 and 8.  I have a five-year old and there is NO WAY that we will be reading this book within the next year or two.  Not because I think it is bad or dirty, but because I don’t think he is ready for it.  I do, however, think it is an important book to read when the time is right (like 22…just kidding, around 7-9).  This important information needs to come from PARENTS first, not peers or schools.  We need to be responsible for ensuring that our children know how God created our bodies.  Again, this book approaches the subject of sex from a Biblical viewpoint, including the fact that God designed sex to take place when two people are married.  It also goes into a lot of detail regarding conception, pregnancy, and birth.  Overall, it is a beneficial book for parents to use a springboard for “the talk”.

 

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Phew…now we’ve tackled a few of the tough subjects in life with books.  Which books do you prefer to use for teaching these subjects?  

Also, be sure to check out these books on another super tough subject:  Death, loss, and grief.  

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*Please note:  The links in this post are my affiliate links.  Please read my full disclosure policy.

14 Ways to Demonstrate Love to Your Child

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As parents, we demonstrate love to our children daily.  We give hugs, kiss boo-boos, wipe noises, clean up messes…and so much more!  Although these day-to-day acts of love are so very important, sometimes it speaks volumes more when we are intentional about the way we show love to our children.

I set out to create a list of 14 ways we can demonstrate love to our child(ren) and intended on focusing on one each day of February (leading up to Valentines Day).  Unfortunately, the sickness and death of our family dog last week along with a home improvement project kept me from sharing this on February 1st (as I originally intended).

 

Nevertheless, here are 14 Tangible Ways to Demonstrate Love to Your Child…

 

1.  Tell him…all the time!  I am convinced that there is no such thing as telling our kids we love them too much!  Our children need to hear the words “I love you” throughout the day in a variety of different situations (especially after disciplining).  If you have a child with “Words of Affirmation” as their primary love language, this is especially important.

say I love you 14 Ways to Demonstrate Love to Your Child

 

2.  Take each child out on a special date.  If you have multiple children in your home, spending occasional one-on-one time with each child is crucial to developing a strong bond.  There are conversations that can happen between the two of you that might not otherwise happen with the entire family.  Unfortunately, this simply won’t happen unless we schedule it.  Make an effort to take each child out on a special date once a month.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or costly–this could be going to the park, browsing the book store, or getting an ice cream cone.

 

3.  Give lots of hugs and kisses.  This comes naturally for me because I am a very affectionate person…but I know it doesn’t always come easily for others.  Studies have shown that children who are hugged, kissed, and nurtured are far more confident later in life than their un-cuddled peers.  Even if you have adult children, be sure to hug them regularly!

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4.  Smile.  Sometimes a simple smile can mean so much more than words.  A warm smile conveys love, acceptance, affection, and contentment.  When I smile into the faces of my sons, they beam.  There is no greater feeling than seeing their beaming faces smile back at me.

 

5.  Write love notes.  If your child goes to school and packs a lunch, slip a love note in there every now and then just to show him you are thinking of him.  If you homeschool or your child isn’t yet in school, leave a note for him on his bed and read it aloud to him when he finds it.

 

 

6.  Fix his favorite meal or snack.  After all, the quickest way to a child’s heart is through his stomach, right?!?! Oh wait, that’s a man.  Surely the same principle applies!   Preparing a meal or snack for someone is an intentional way of showing love.

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All the “men” in my house love these cherry tarts!

 

 

7.  Esteem him in front of others.  My children are getting to the ages where they pay attention to the things I say to others while in conversation, whether it is in person or over the phone.  Telling a friend or family member (or even a stranger) how much I love and appreciate my children while they’re in earshot is a great way to make them feel loved and esteemed.  Parents of teenagers, take this idea with a grain of salt…you don’t want to go over the top and embarrass your child.  :)

 

 

8.  Pray for him.  Bringing your child before the Father in prayer is a crucial part of parenting.  Although you might not always pray for your child in front of him, make a conscious effort to do this every now and then.  I have found that praying each child’s scripture I have selected for the year is a great way to do this aloud (and also a great way for him to learn the verse).

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9.  Take time to play.  Our kids don’t need to be wildly entertained…they just need our undivided attention every now and then.  Although I don’t think it is my job to entertain my kids 24/7, one way that I can show my child how much I love him is to get down on the floor and PLAY with him!  Nothing fancy…just uninterrupted time together playing a board game or building towers with blocks!

 

 

10.  Read to him.  Just like to taking time to play with your child, taking time to read to him shows that you desire to spend time with him.  Reading aloud to my boys is typically my favorite activity of the day (and it’s not just because it’s one of the only times they sit still)!   :)  Curling up on a chair and immersing yourself in a story together is a great time to bond…and it’s also super important for their language development and reading abilities!

 

 

11.  Keep a journal to give him as an adult.  When I first found out I was pregnant with each of my boys, I began writing letters to them in a journal.  At birthdays, major milestones, and holidays, I still write in their journals rather than giving individual cards.  I hope this will be a treasured record for each child in years to come, showing just how much their mother loved and prayed for them!

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12.  Give him responsibility.  This one might seem a little backwards, but it is my belief that young children crave responsibility and independence.  Giving your child jobs to do around the house tells him that you think he is capable of being a contributing member of the family.  Setting expectations high, even for younger children, is a great way to demonstrate love (and teach a little responsibility to boot)!

 

 

 

13.  Don’t rush the bedtime routine.  By the time bedtime rolls around, I am usually done for the day.  I am tired.  I am ready to relax.  I just need a little down time.  But I’ve found when I rush the bedtime routine, I miss out on precious time with each of my boys.  As children wind down for the night, they seem to be more open about discussing their day and much more affectionate…or perhaps they just want to delay going to bed!  Either way, I’ve found that when I embrace bedtime and do not try to rush it, I end up having some amazing bonding time with each child.  Cuddling for an extra few minutes is totally worth it!

dont rush the bedtime routine 14 Ways to Demonstrate Love to Your Child

 

14.  Give a thoughtful gift every now and then…just because!  Giving gifts just because (and not when it is a birthday or holiday) speaks volumes of love to the receiver.  The gift being given is out of pure thoughtfulness of the receiver (not out of obligation).  Although we try to keep Christmas and birthdays relatively low-key in our house in terms of gifts, I love being able to pick up something for each member of my family every now and then just because I love them.  They are never extravagant or excessive…just something I think my child or husband might enjoy.  I want to acknowledge that gift-giving (and receiving) is a way I can speak my child’s love language without a sense of entitlement or expectation.

 

FYI: I used the male pronoun to keep from constantly writing he/she, his/her…but each of these applies to daughters as well.  :)

 

What are some tangible ways that you demonstrate love to your child???

The 5 Best Board Games for Young Children…and why you should play them!

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There are so many great reasons to play board games with your child(ren)!  First of all, board games allows you to spend quality, intentional, and uninterrupted time with your children.  In this world filled with constant distractions and Facebook beckoning our every waking moment, it’s easy to try to multitask while spending time with our kids.  Chances are that by diving into a board game, you are committing to playing until that game is finished.  If you’re playing Chutes and Ladders, which is a game that never. seems. to. end., finishing a game might not be doable…which is precisely why it wasn’t including on our list!  :)

Second to quality time together as a family, children learn how to take turns and be graceful losers when playing board games.  Playing together offers the perfect time to demonstrate to your child(ren) how to be a good sport.  It is easy as parents to want to let our children win every single time we play because we don’t want to harm their fragile self-esteem.  That is the absolute worst thing we can do for our kids.  There is a time for winning and a time for losing…children should frequently experience both to learn how to handle the triumphs and disappointments that will inevitably come later in life.

Big Brother (4 years) is extremely competitive.  He gets angry when he loses at anything…or at least he used to.  Playing together as a family has offered us a perfect opportunity to teach him how to handle his feelings of disappointment in a positive way.  Now, he will usually (though not always) shake hands after he has lost or say, “good job” because we have coached him during the times of playing together as a family.

Finally, board games are excellent for your child’s cognitive development.  Even the simplest of board games includes some type of strategy as well as counting, color recognition, matching, and more!   Children learn best when they are engaged and having fun.  Board games offer exactly that!

 

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Here are just a few of our favorite board games for young children.  Please note, this is not a sponsored review.  We are simply sharing our experience with our favorite board games in age order.

 

Roll and Play Board Game  :: For Children Ages 18 months and Up

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Think your toddler is too young to play board games?  Think again!  This simple board game specifically geared towards toddlers is a wonderful way to introduce games to your little one.

There is a large plush die with a different color on each side is tossed.  The child then chooses the corresponding color of card and must perform the action on that card.

My favorite part of this game is the cards.  There are six colors:

  • Red:  Action Cards.  Example:  Do a silly dance.
  • Yellow:  Emotions.  Example:  Make a sleep face.
  • Purple:  Body Parts.  Example:  Rub your belly.
  • Green:  Animal Sounds.  Example:  Roar like a lion.
  • Orange:  Counting.  Example:  Clap your hands eight times.
  • Blue:  Colors.  Example:  Find something blue.
You can play this in a group and take turns or you can just let your toddler play again and again…either way, it’s an excellent first board game for kids!
The only downside?  Older kids might get bored after a while.
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Zingo ::  For Children Ages 3 and Up
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Our game has been well-loved…so much so that there is a hole in the box!

Zingo is, by far, Big Brother’s favorite game to play.  It is simple to understand and tons of fun for the whole family!  Rather than winning by having a certain number in-a-row like regular Bingo, in Zingo you have to fill the entire board to call out “ZINGO!”
The game comes with durable cardboard Zingo cards as well as plastic chips that are housed in an equally impressive “chip distributor”.
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It is also great for matching pictures to text, even though your child will do it subconsciously.  Children younger than 3 can usually pick it up (especially if they have older siblings), but they’ll need lots of guidance.
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We have a winner! He’s calling out “ZINGO!”

We only have the original Zingo game, but they also make Zingo 1-2-3 (that teaches number recognition and one-to-one correspondence) and Bilingual Zingo (which is in both English and Spanish).
Hi Ho Cherry-O ::  For Children Ages 3 and Up
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Hi Ho Cherry-O has been one of our go-to games for a while now.  An entire game can be played in about 5-10 minutes.  I love how this game teaches color recognition and one-to-one correspondence while simultaneously encouraging fine motor development as your child has to carefully place the small pieces of fruit onto the game board.  This game is also perfect for introducing turn-taking to your young child.
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This game comes with the game board, baskets that are inserted into the game board, a spinner, and the individual pieces plastic of fruit.  Each person will take turns spinning the spinner and adding the specified number of cherries (or other fruit) to their basket
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The downside?  The tiny pieces that go with Hi Ho Cherry-O get lost easily (which is why you’ll want to put them in a baggie ASAP) and can be dangerous to children who still put small objects in their mouths.  The quality of the game board could be better as well.
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The Ladybug Game ::  For Children Ages 4 and Up 
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The Ladybug Game is near and dear to my heart because it was actually invented by a first grader (the grade that I taught before staying home with my two boys)!  I love how this game blends fun with learning about ladybugs (what they eat and who preys on them) as well as lots of counting practice.  The box says it is appropriate for ages 3 and up…but I would suggest it for kids 4 or older as there is quite a bit of components to this game that could get confusing.
It is a typical board game with various colors of ladybugs for the markers.  Each player must draw a ladybug card and then follow the directions on that card (either move a certain number forward or a certain number back).  Some cards even have a little ladybug at the bottom that means you get another turn, which you have to be paying close attention to notice (oops).  Then there is another component of collecting aphid cards to use just in case you land on a certain spot.
IMG 1674 500x333 The 5 Best Board Games for Young Children...and why you should play them!
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The only downside?  The Ladybug Game can take a while to finish (still not anywhere near as bad as Chutes and Ladders) and can get confusing if you don’t pay close attention to each of the components.
Bug Trails ::  For Children Ages 5 and Up (or modified for younger children)
IMG 1629 Version 2 300x419 The 5 Best Board Games for Young Children...and why you should play them!
Bug Trails is a domino game with a twist!  We really enjoyed playing this game and I think it is one that will easily grow with our family!  We modified the game slightly to make it simple enough for Big Brother to play.  As the boys get older, however, we’ll be able to modify it to make it more challenging.  This would also be a fun game to play with another family!
IMG 1718 500x333 The 5 Best Board Games for Young Children...and why you should play them!
What I really like about Bug Trails (rather than just plain old dominoes) is the fact that there is more strategy involved.  Each bug has six legs.  You have to try to match the color of at least one of the legs of your bug to one of the bug pieces already played (if you have older children, there will be “flag” that you’ll use so that the next player can only play on that particular bug…we skipped that to simplify the game).  If you only match one leg, you have to draw another bug from the bag.  If you match two legs, you don’t have to draw another.  If you match three legs, you get to put one of your bug pieces back into the bug bag.  The first player to run out of bugs wins!
IMG 1717 500x333 The 5 Best Board Games for Young Children...and why you should play them!

 

 

 

What are your family’s favorite board games any why???

 

 

 

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Cup Telephone

IMG 5127 Cup Telephone

Do you remember making these as a child???  Talk about some girl scout camp nostalgia!

I love this activity because it is fun for all ages!  Young children will enjoy playing with the cups while older children will enjoy learning and experimenting!

Here’s what you’ll need: 2 cups (8 oz. or larger), string, a pen/pencil, and tape.

 Cup Telephone
1.  If you have cups without a design, let your child decorate them.  This is what I wanted, but  I couldn’t find them at Target.
IMG 5118 Cup Telephone
2.  Poke a hole through the bottom of each cup using the pen/pencil.
 Cup Telephone
3.  Put one end of the string through the hole and tape to the inside of the cup.
IMG 5122 Cup Telephone
4.  Repeat with the other side of the string, making sure to leave enough string to stretch several feet.
IMG 5125 Cup Telephone
5.  Give one end to one child and stretch out the string until it is pulled tight. 
IMG 5130 Cup Telephone
Give the other end to the other child (or use yourself) and have fun speaking and listening into your very own cup telephone!  
IMG 5128 Cup Telephone
For older children, encourage them to think!  Have them make predictions about whether or not they will be able to hear using this telephone and justify their predictions with reasoning.  Test out the cup telephones and then have them confirm or deny their predictions.  Talk about how the sound travels down the length of the string.  Ask questions:  will it work when the string is loose or only when it’s tight?  Why?  Test out different lengths of string to see whether this makes a difference in the volume and/or ability to hear.
In a classroom or play group, spread out into a large circle outside and try playing the game “telephone”.
What games or extensions do you recommend for using these cup telephones???