Crafts, Great books

Instruction books great for literacy

Most of us are motivated by rewards. It’s the theory behind gamification–video games are so addictive because every small step brings some kind of reward, like a coin or a level-up.

In literacy, that theory applies to instruction-type manuals, like recipes. As a child reads, he’s working toward a goal–the meal he’s creating.

Books with simple, fun instructions get kids reading because each step is a kind of reward.

Boredom Busters, by Caroline Fernandez, is a great example of that literacy theory in play. And trust me, it works–it gets kids reading. The book offers a wide range of activities that kids themselves can choose, which is another literacy theory: let them choose what they want, and they’ll be more likely to read.

Boredom Busters has crafts (papier mache), simple science projects (magic milk! green goo!), food (ice cream cone cupcakes) and travel activities (cryptograms) using stuff you probably already have around the house.

Every activity has a list of stuff needed, numbered instructions and often additional “fun facts.” (Did you know that “yogurt can be spelled three ways”? Learned that from Boredom Busters.)

Disclosure: Caroline was on a writing panel with me but, as you know, I only feature books and products I like so her friendship means nothing! Nothing, I tell you! But I digress. Oh, and there’s More Boredom Busters as well, in case your kid runs through all 50 activities in the first book and is still bored. Caroline also has a terrific website, Parent Club, which features tons of great information for… well, parents.

 

 

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