Singapore's Mom blog - Raising Our Successful Children is where I share about character building and home learning activities to help develop the potential of children. In addition, I am sharing on how I can raise my children up as Singaporeans. As a mother of 3, I have a simple philosophy for raising my children - I want to prepare my children to be ready for the real world and be a successful person.
In this Level 1 Scholastic Reader, Alfie learns that the best way to get a delicious cookie is to say please!
Alfie loves his mommy's cookies, and he wants one more than anything! But grabbing for one, fishing for one, and dressing up as a cookie inspector don't seem to work. His mommy says there is a better way. What is it?
Beginning readers will learn proper manners with Alfie as his mommy teaches him to say the magic words.
What I like about the book
It teaches manners.
I like this book because it serves as a platform to teach the importance of manners. There are only 3 key magic phrases that I want my 4 year old child, Faith to learn - "Please", "May I" and "Thank you". Also, for nearly 2 weeks, we focused on the use of these phrases. I would nod my head and smile at her every time she uses one of these phrases.
There is also an on going discussion about the importance of manners. I keep asking my 3 children:
"What are some other magic words?"
"How would you feel if someone is asking you for something and yet, they do not use these words to ask politely?"
"How would these words affect the outcome of your request?" (I'll refer to the story plot to help them answer this question. E.g. Did Alfie get his cookie by grabbing it? Did he get the cookie by fishing for one or dressing up as a cookie?)
"Why do you think it's important to use words like 'Please', 'May I' or 'Thank you'?
So, this is a perfect opportunity to teach the kids that some times, they just have to ask nicely and politely. It can be as simple as that.
I love the characters.
I'm sure most mothers can identify with the Mum in the story. Like the mum, I will insist that the children say "Please" when making a request. Should the magic word not appear, their request will not be granted. Also, I'm pretty sure all children will have this "Alfie moment" where they try all sorts of ways to get what they want, but simply forget to say "Please". When I first read this book to Faith, she couldn't stop laughing at Alfie. Especially when Alfie dresses up to be a cookie inspector. So, both mother and child can easily identify with the two characters in the story.
It's so simple to read.
Moreover, this level 1 reader is made up of few words and simple sentences. Hence, it is very easy for Faith to learn to read. After reading it for about a month now, Faith can read it on her own too. In addition, the book is filled with sight words.
[ Learning measurement & training fine motor skills ]
Our very first activity for this book is actually baking cookies. We got a really simple recipe from allrecipes.com and we started work.
Baking not only enhances fine motor skills, but she also picks up other skills like how to measure the flour/sugar in terms of cups and also the baking soda/vanilla extract in terms of teaspoons.
Faith enjoys the whisking part, though I didn't enjoy the cleaning up part very much. I had sugar and flour all over the floor by the time she is done. But it's okay, a vacuum cleaner can clean that up easily.
Faith is so satisfied with her product.
After leaving the dough in the fridge for about half a day, it's finally time for the cookies to take shape.
Rolling the dough evenly isn't easy, but she did it after several tries.
Cutting out the shapes.
It's ready to go into the oven.
It is done!!
"May We Please Have a Cookie?" my kids asked.
2) Art & Craft
[Training fine motor skills.]
I cut out some circles ( the size of our 5 cent coin) and Faith was responsible for adding the "dark and white chocolate chips" onto it. We spent a huge amount of time doing this activity as Faith found this task difficult. The "cookies" and the "chocolate chips" kept sticking onto her fingers because of the glue. Hence, this activity really trained her patience too. In the end, she learnt that it would make it easier for her to drop the "chocolate chips" from a height. By using this way, her fingers would not come into contact with the glue on the "cookie".
Faith pretended that she was a cookie monster.
3) Learning the Key Magic Words/Phrases.
We formed words using the little "cookies" we did from activity 2. This activity is for Faith to learn the spelling of these words as well.
I found this laminated set of cookies and decided to test if Faith could count up to 20 accurately. The 11, 12, 13 and 19 to 20 are always the tricky numbers. So, I gave her a marker and asked her to write numbers 1 to 10 on the cookies. To my great surprise, she actually counted and wrote the numbers 1 to 20 all on her own. I knew she could definitely count up to 20, but I seriously didn't know she could write it out as well. I just sat there with my jaws opening wider and wider as she wrote out the numbers one by one.
So, I was reminded once again, "never underestimate a child". I think I must really give credit to her school and her teachers for teaching her so well. I really didn't have much time this year to really sit down and teach Faith at home as I'm too busy with Emmanuel who started primary 1 this year. Faith keeps surprising me everyday with what she can do.
I found this cookie game that allows the child to decorate the cookie by dragging the candies onto it.
This is quite interesting and it's simple enough for young children. Hence, through this activity, Faith learnt how to use a mouse on the computer. She had fun decorating her cookie and seeing it being "eaten up".