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I’ve been coveting terrariums for some time now (These ones from Frog, Goose and Bear and Pollyposs are particularly beautiful), but I’ve been far too afraid to try one myself. You see, I am NO green thumb. But I just knew they’d make perfect gifts for my mum and mother-in-law who both love their gardens. [...]

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Constructive Ways to Help Kids Read, Write and Recognise Their Names

It’s hard to believe, but Cammy starts school next year. It feels like only yesterday that she first appeared on My Little Bookcase as a baby- not yet walking.  But the time has come and we are starting to prepare.

I recently received a voucher to purchase labels through Skool Labels, and I began thinking…

Cammy can spell her name. She can read her name too. But, can she read it when I am not there to prompt or help her? When searching the lost property box, will she be able to recognise her name amongst dozens of others?

Constructive Ways to Practise Reading, Writing and Recognising Your Name

Constructive ways to help your child practise reading and writing her name

Like many pre-schoolers,  Cammy has been able to read and write her name for quite some time now, but I’m keen to give her many meaningful opportunities to practise reading, writing and recognising her name independently.

This is a short list of opportunities I’ll be setting up for Cammy as part of our preparations for starting school.

  1. Help Mum and Dad label school items (See below for more info).
  2. Check our letter box daily, sorting through our family’s mail and sifting out anything addressed to her.
  3. Write Christmas cards to friends,  and read aloud any Christmas cards she receives from friends and family.
  4. Write postcards to her new classmates and teacher, signing off each time with her full name.
  5. Stamp her name into clay to create personalised Christmas decorations.
  6. Create her own Christmas placemat or place card.
  7. Use alphabet beads to thread her name onto a bracelet or necklace.
  8. Make her name from alphabet-shaped cookies, decorated in Christmas colours.
  9. Leave her mark (i.e. write your name) on Dad’s dirty car.
  10. Look for her name in books (In Cammy’s case, I’ll be asking her to search for her surname).

Skool Labels

The idea to create these opportunities came about when I logged onto Skool Labels to place an order, and I realised how simple the site was to navigate and use.   I decided to ask Cammy to help me design and order the labels, using it as an opportunity to help her develop confidence in writing and reading her name independently.

On one simple web page she was able to independently type her name and select colours, fonts and symbols for her labels.

Skool Labels

By helping you create and order labels, kids will:

● Practise and develop confidence in reading and writing one’s name

● Recognise and identify letters

● Practise using a keyboard

● Develop mouse control

● Use design skills

Computer Skills

Key features of Skool Labels:

● Because Skool Labels solely focuses on labels, the site is clean, clutter-free and easy to use.

● The order form page is simple to use. Kids can type in their name and see a preview on the screen.

● Kids have the freedom to choose from a range of fonts, background colours and symbols.

I love the use of symbols on a label. I think it helps kids identify their name label but it is also a good chance to pick a symbol that begins with the first sound in your child’s name (e.g. Cammy chose a cupcake as the symbol for her labels).

● The labels are affordable and have many uses (e.g. stationery, lunch box items, clothing, books etc.)

● FREE delivery on all orders Australia wide with no minimum order value

Skool Labels

We received a voucher to purchase labels through Skool Labels. However, ideas and opinions expressed here are our own.

Skool Labels

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Review of The Nights Before Christmas, illustrated by Tony Ross

The Nights Before Christmas is definitely one of those books that every family should have in their home, featuring everyone’s favourite Christmas stories in one place and set out perfectly to help you read one story each night throughout the Christmas season.

Review of The Nights Before Christmas, illustrated by Tony Ross

The Nights Before Christmas is a compilation of 24 stories written by some of the world’s most recognised writers (e.g. Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grimm and Leo Tolstoy). Most of the stories are classic Christmas stories, songs and poems, but included are also newspaper extracts and other stories and fairy tales with themes and messages that relate to the spirit of Christmas. The title, the chapters and the gorgeous pictorial calendar in the opening spread encourage families to read one story each day or night during the 24 days before Christmas.

Some of the stories include A Visit from St. Nicholas, The Fir Tree, The Nativity, Papa Panov’s Special Christmas, A Kidnapped Santa Claus, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Snow Queen, The Little Match- Seller and an extract from A Christmas Carol.

Tony Ross, the illustrator of this collection of stories, begins the compilation with a special message about what Christmas means to him. He talks about his hope that stories are used to create anticipation during the countdown to Christmas.

Personally I’m overjoyed to add The Nights Before Christmas to our family’s little library. Not only are we huge fans of Christmas and Tony Ross (Little Princess a favourite character here), but I can envisage this hardcover book becoming a very important part of our family’s history that will be passed down to children and grandchildren. Discovering new stories is such a wonder and I’m also excited to discover some new European Christmas stories alongside my children.

And if I haven’t yet conveyed how special this book is, a final section is included at the back of the book featuring detailed information and interesting tidbits about the authors and the stories.

Illustrator: Tony Ross

ISBN: 9781742761404

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Koala Books, October 2014

RRP: $29.99

More Book-inspired Advent Calendars

Click on the images below to see how we’ve celebrated Advent in past years:

Christmas Book Advent Tree

Christmas Book Tree and other Advent Ideas from My Little Bookcase

Christmas Cracker Advent Calendar

Christmas Cracker Advent Calendar_ My Little Bookcase

Mini Matchbox Advent Bookcase

Mini Advent Bookcase_ My Little Bookcase

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Be sure to join one of our communities for more literacy-based inspiration, or subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on future posts.

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase