Browsing Tag parents

Make Monsters with the Kids with PaperToy Monsters Book

By dadsplay at March 5, 2011 | 4:19 pm | 0 Comment

Make Monsters with the Kids with PaperToy Monsters Book

If you haven’t seen the PaperToy Monsters book from Workman yet, you are in for a treat.  It’s a really special book loaded with 50 die-cut templates, in full color, of Monsters that both big and little kids can make.  All you have to do is pop out the Monster pieces, made from heavy cardstock, then use a glue stick to attach where indicated.  We made three fun Monsters last night and they were really fun to create.  Now they’re setting on my desk looking at me while I type.

The Monster graphics are colorful and fun, combining the look of anime with a touch of Uglydolls.  Each character has it’s own little story.  Kids, especially the boys, are going to love this book.  It’s a perfect birthday or Christmas gift, so put it on your list of “must haves.”

This is a very impressive book and the value of hours of play, having 50 fun Monsters to play with when all are put together, is quite amazing.  We recommend this book highly … 5 stars from us!

PaperToy Monsters Book$16.95

By Brian Castleforte, an artist and graphic designer, who has created graphics for Nike, Sony, Warner Brothers and MTV.

A book was provided by the publisher for review purposes only.  All opinions are those of  Dads Playbook staff.

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Vary Exercise for Physical & Mental Development of Your Child

By dadsplay at January 28, 2011 | 3:56 pm | 0 Comment

Vary Exercise for Physical & Mental Development of Your Child

Did you know that the more physical exercise your child gets, the more his brain develops?  Studies have shown that exercise actually helps further develop the areas of the brain that affect learning and memory.  Another good reason to limit time sitting around watching television or computer games.  Exercise also continues to help brain development in adults, so be sure to join in the fun.

For preschoolers, there are many different types of exercises you can encourage:

  • Play hopping games, hopping on one foot, then on both feet.
  • Teach your child to swing.
  • March to music, inside or out.
  • Walk up and down steps. Walk a straight line.
  • Run.  Have races in your backyard.
  • Practice playing with a ball.  Bounce, throw, kick and catch the ball.
  • Play on climbing equipment at the playground.  Go to a rock climbing center.
  • Dig holes in the sand or dirt.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Practice balance.  Walk on the curb.
  • Do a crawling game.
  • Play Hot Potato
  • Dance to music.

There are so many fun types of exercise.  Try to vary them and incorporate some form of exercise on a daily basis.

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Four Fun Activities to Reinforce Money Concepts with Kindergarteners

By dadsplay at October 13, 2010 | 4:43 pm | 0 Comment

Four Fun Activities to Reinforce Money Concepts with Kindergarteners

Sending your child off to kindergarten means they’re growing up and becoming more independent.  It’s an exciting time and the beginning of a wonderful journey where they’ll be introduced to new concepts and experiences.  A great way to stay connected with what happens at school is to be on the lookout for ways to reinforce at home the learning that goes on in the classroom.  A great place to start is with money. Here are four fun activities to do with your child to help her learn the names and values of coins:

Sort and Classify

Using a pile of coins, ask your child how she can sort them into different groups.  You may start her off by saying, “Let’s put all the ones with a smooth edge in this group.  These are called nickels and they’re worth five cents each.”  Don’t worry that she doesn’t quite understand the ‘nickels’ and ‘five cents each’ part.  Over time, and with repeated exposure, the names and values will begin to take on more meaning.

Continue to sort into different groups while discussing the attributes (characteristics) of each coin. Ex: the dime is the smallest, the quarter has the American Bald Eagle on the reverse, etc.

Next level:  Count how many coins are in each group.  Ask her which group has the most number of coins, which has the least.

Challenge:  Skip counting.  Line up all the nickels then skip count by fives:  5, 10, 15, 20, etc.  Do the same with the dimes.

Sock Search

Review the attributes of a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Then “hide” one of each in an old sock. Have your child reach in and, using touch only, see if he can pull out the…penny…dime…etc. Be sure to put the coin back in the sock before asking him to pull out the next one.  If you like, in the beginning you can have a sample of each coin visible with the name written next to it until he becomes more familiar with the different coins. This also helps him practice reading each name.

Next level: Do the same, but this time ask him to pull out the coin that has a value of five cents, etc.

Money Dice

The next time you play a board game with your kindergartener that uses a die, replace it with your own money cube, instead. Click here to print a copy of the template and make your cube.

To play: If your child rolls a ‘nickel’ she moves five spaces, etc.

Challenge:  Use two money dice and have your child add the two values to determine how many spaces to move.  Ex:  one dime + one penny = eleven spaces


Create a 3 x 3 grid for each player and fill each of the nine spaces with a coin, keeping in mind that  kindergarteners love to fill in their own spaces.  On a separate piece of paper write the words, four times each: penny, nickel, dime, quarter.  Cut these out and place in a non-see through container.

To play, draw a coin name from the container. Each player places a lima bean or any other small object on the coin on their grid that matches the name.  If there is more than one coin that matches, choose which one to place the bean on.  Keep playing until someone gets three-in-a-row.

Next level:  Create a 4 x 4 grid or play blackout where all spaces get covered in order to win.

Challenge:  Have your child pull out and read the names of the coins.

by Karyn Hodgens, Kids’ Personal Finance Educator and author of Raised for Richness

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