Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kids Got the Summer Doldrums? Vivian Kirkfield Has an Answer

We’ve reached that point in the summer when adults are thinking “back to school” and kids are saying, “What can we do now?”  And the younger the children, the more limited their abilities. You may have run out of ideas. Well, worry no more because I have the answer for you! Are you surprised it is a book?

Show Me How by Vivian Kirkfield contains over 200 pages of ideas to help young children learn through stories, crafts, and cooking! This unique combination is aimed at ages 2-5 and the adults who care for them. 

Each chapter contains almost 20 activity sets based on classic children’s books. For example, in Chapter One: “I Can Do It Myself!” Kirkfield uses the book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to encourage the independence and satisfaction  that can come from children’s abilities to work hard by themselves.  The suggested craft is to make a collage of pictures of work vehicles cut from old magazines and paste them onto construction paper or poster board. The cooking complement is Child-Friendly Mini Apple Pies. Yum! I have a hunch that these recipes aren’t just for kids!

Other chapters are “I’m Special!”, “I Love You & You Love Me!”, ‘I Am Really Mad Right Now!”, “I’m Afraid!”, “I Like Myself!” and “Tell Me One More Story, Please!” As you can see, this book covers many aspects of a child’s life and development.

What inspired Vivian to write this book? She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education, taught kindergarten, and ran a daycare.

Vivian says, “I'm passionate about encouraging parents to read with their children...and even spending just 15 minutes a day, reading, or crafting or cooking with them could make such a big difference. Children definitely understand how busy their parents are...and a parent that takes precious time and gives it to a child is doing an important thing...the time we spend with our kids is worth more than the most expensive gadgets we could buy for them. Just a piece of paper and some crayons...a parent can tell a whole story in pictures. Just a piece of paper and some crayons...a child can create a new world.

“These moments spent with our children, especially when they are young, are priceless! Inviting a child into the kitchen to help arrange a fruit salad, squeeze fresh orange juice, shake up some heavy cream in a bottle to make real butter...these activities don't even require cooking...but will encourage vocabulary building, fine motor skills, math and science curiosity, and a stronger bond between parent and child."

Disclaimer: I was a lucky winner of the book on Vivian’s blog, “Picture Books Help Kids Soar” If you live or work with young children, you will want to follow and get more great book and children’s activity ideas! I look forward to trying these out with my granddaughter.  (Photos courtesy of Vivian Kirkfield.)