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5 things I did to make my kid smarter for $15

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henry happened: 5 things I did to make my kid smarter for $15

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5 things I did to make my kid smarter for $15

I recently reviewed several books to help parents navigate their child's education. Ever since, I've been passing around my copy of one book to my mom friends: Testing for Kindergarten.

It was a scary, eye-opening look into IQ testing for preschoolers. But with a silver lining - there are lots of things parents can do to increase the odds of a good test outcome if you are trying to get into a gifted program or a competitive school. Or, like me, just want to sneak more learning into everyday interactions.

Here are 5 things I started doing with Caroline after reading the book:

1. I started reading more interactively. Called dialogic reading, you basically ask questions as you read and then build on your child's answer with additional questions or information. I don't go nuts, and it can actually make the 53rd reading of Curious George fun. Plus, it can vastly improve your child's vocabulary and critical thinking skills. Cost = Free

2. I made a sensory toy - a bucket full of all kinds of beans. Not only is it fun to play with, it teaches math skills (we use measuring cups), spatial and fine motor skills. Plus I made a shaker toy for Henry. Cost = $3

3. I picked up a set of BrainQuest flash cards. This one was a total flop. I could not get Caroline to sit still long enough to get interested in them at all. However, other friends say their kids love them and the workbooks. Cost = about $10

4. I tried out lots of her recommended products from the library. I couldn't get into the videos - we have a hard enough time trying to limit TV - but we found lots of great new books: Richard Scarry, Pancakes for Breakfast, Chicka Chick Boom Boom, Madeline, etc. Cost = Free (not counting fines!)

5. I bought Chutes & Ladders at Goodwill. A great tool for learning numbers. Cost = $2

And I'm still planning to make that homemade memory game....



At March 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM , Blogger Nancy said...

Adorable blog! Great idea using beans!
Hope you can hop by and follow me:

At March 23, 2011 at 2:04 AM , Blogger Valery (CEO Wanna Be) said...

Stopping by to say hi from Wednesday blog hop
I like that post thank you for sharing

At March 23, 2011 at 2:25 AM , Blogger Laura O in AK said...

I'm a new follower from the blog hops.

I love the sensory box and will have to make one later this year for my one year old. It's amazing how much they can learn with simple things around the house.

Hope you can pop by my blog sometime.

At March 23, 2011 at 6:10 AM , Blogger Design It Chic said...

This is such an awesome list of creatively things to do with and for your kids. Thanks for sharing. Oh and btw you have such a cute blog name! I am now following you thanks to Mid Week Mingle and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
And don't forget to check our new Blog Tutorial going on today. It's pretty easy and it would definitely look pretty on your adorable blog:) See you there!
Happy Wednesday

At March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Blogger Hug a tree with me said...

Great post! new follower from the hop, check me out at whenever u can

At March 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM , Blogger Heather Irwin said...

I am a new follower from the Whatever hop. I'm not following you on GFC and Facebook. I would love it if you could do the same for me!!/FeelinCrunchy

At March 23, 2011 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Karen Andrews said...

Hi, I am hopping today, so glad to meet you and Henry. I am your newest follower.

I hope you will visit me at

Karen Andrews

At March 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM , Blogger curlie girlie said...

I'm your newest follower from the Welcome Wednesday blog hop - come follow me too! :)
I love the sensory box - great idea!


At March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Susanna said...

The book also has lots of suggestions for good websites that we've enjoyed doing with Sofia. Did I give this book back to you yet Steph?

At March 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Take It From Me Girls said...

Stephanie- what a great blog!! Love the great advice and tips!

Just wanted to say thank you for joining our Welcome Wednesday blog hop! We hope to see you stop by weekly and even maybe enter some of our giveaways and check out our freebies & deals! We are so happy to be new followers of your blog and can't wait to come back! You are more than welcome to grab our special Welcome Wednesday button which will link you directly to our hop each week & that also helps spread the word about our great event!

Kristin & Jaime
Take It From Me

At March 23, 2011 at 3:22 PM , Blogger SAHMwife said...

Love this post! I am going to have to steal some of these ideas. I am following you on GFC as RambleSAHM. Come see me when you can.

At March 23, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Blogger 1HecticMommy said...

Wow this is a great list of activities. I am a new follower. Hope you can check out my new blog sometime!


At March 23, 2011 at 5:25 PM , Blogger Cindy said...

AWESOME POST .. I am going to have to get that book! Greetings! I am your newest follower from Blog it Forward! Yes, I know that was yesterday, but I’m ran out of day!

I need your help! Please stop by my site .

While you are there, I’d be oh so grateful if you could go and vote for my little booger. I am trying to win a Baby Bullet and I am severely behind Directions are my latest post.

THANK YOU!!!!! Let me know how I can help you!!!

At March 27, 2011 at 9:08 AM , Blogger Julie said...

This is a great post. We just signed my oldest up for Preschool (currently working on a post) and I can't wait to get this book. I had no idea how much kids need to know before Kindergarten. As a parent I feel so uneducated and I'm vowing to learn, learn, learn!

Oh and I'm Julie one of your bloggin buddies!


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