incorporate language into your child’s experiences

New Orleans is a magical place for children to grow up in, and can offer parents many unique opportunities for fun learning activities. Creating a Mardi Gras storybook, for example, can be a great way to incorporate language into your child’s experience of the parade season. This book would tell the story of each year’s Mardi Gras, with photos of the parades, as well as text describing what happened in each picture or parade.

How to make a Mardi Gras storybook:

  1. Print off all those great pictures of your child enjoying the floats, catching or wearing beads, and the collection of toys from each parade. If you don’t want to waste your printer ink, just email the images directly to Walgreens Photo Shop and pick them up in an hour.
  2. Create the book itself by either stapling construction paper together or using a purchased photo album or scrapbook. You can find some fun materials at Michael’s or National Art and Hobby on Magazine. Or you can download some printable pages from Etsy. We love these from Etsy:
  3. Paste the pictures to the pages. Kids love glue sticks.
  4. Depending on the age of the child, add words. For younger children, have them simply add a word describing the picture. As children get older, they can dictate what they want you to say about the pictures, or eventually even write it themselves.

Not all reading and writing activities have to be purely exercises. In fact, some of the best activities you can do to teach your child to read is to make a game or activity out of it. This scrapbook is a great way to make sure your child is associating a great time with writing, and is also a very good way to remember and revisit those special memories you and your child share during this important time each year.

If Mardi Gras is out of sight, out of mind, this activity can be used for any occasion!

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Written by Marilyn Levin

Founder and director of READ New Orleans, a program for parents and children aged 6 months to 5 years that focuses on fostering a lifelong love of language and books.

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