By Shannon Cannon

      After trying out B week on my daughter, we were playing a game where she was giving me clues to guess words that started with B. For one word, her clue was, "a game that you play with a ball", so being the intelligent soul that I am, I guessed baseball and then basketball. Seeming very frustrated with me, she finally sighed, "Mom, don't you know, it's bolleyball". I should have guessed. Anyway, this is B week, so put up a big picture of the letter B along with several pictures of things that start with B (which may or may not include bolleyball), practice the sound a few times and then dive into these fun activities for "B" week:

      • Make a balance beam by taping a long piece of masking tape to a carpeted floor. Practice walking back and forth on the balance beam without stepping off. Then try making up different gymnastics routines with somersaults, leaps, cartwheels, etc. Maybe add some ballet and some music for fun.

      • Make some pretend instruments and have your own marching band. Try beans inside pie tins or paper plates, taped or stapled together; rice in toilet paper tubes with the ends covered; a comb with wax paper folded over to blow on; a tissue box wrapped with rubber bands to strum. Add a couple of pots and wooden spoons for drums, turn on some marching music (John Philip Sousa is good), warn the neighbors, and have some fun.

      • Take your binoculars (or some pretend ones made of toilet paper tubes taped together) outside to a somewhat secluded spot to do some bird-watching. Try to decide what kinds of birds you see. If you can, take some pictures of the different birds and when you get them developed look at a book about birds and compare your own pictures to find out what species they are. You could do the same thing with different kinds of bugs. I've seen some doozies out here.

      • Gather several objects that start with B, such as buttons, bows, balloons, beans, etc. Cut some bookmarks out of paper and decorate them with the objects. Or braid some blue, black or brown yarn to make a bookmark. Make sure to read a book and use your bookmark to save your place for later.

      • Mix and bake a batch of homemade bread, have fun watching it rise, shape it into fun shapes (maybe butterflies, balloons, bears, braids or blocks), then bake it. While it is baking, pour some cream and a pinch of salt into a baby food jar and shake it until it becomes butter. After you are done playing with your shapes, butter your bread and enjoy! (If you don't do yeast bread, try banana or zucchini bread and cut it into shapes after it bakes).


Few things in life are more fun and rewarding than curling up on the couch with your kids and a good book. If you truly want your kids to learn to read well, then READ TO THEM EVERY DAY! There is no better way to teach your kids that reading is fun and interesting.
Click here to see a list of ALL the books we have read to our children.

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