Coloring pages are a great way to help kids stay focused. Often something as simple as a coloring page can help because the child needs to moving in order to focus on the words. Its a trick that teachers in classrooms use all the time. So its easy to see how using coloring pages outside the classroom are just as effective.
Keeping kids engaged is the biggest reason I provide coloring pages for most of my books. Kids need to be engaged to remember the lessons. The best way to do that, is provide opportunities that use as much of their brains as we can.
Other tips, ask your child questions. My books often have built in places where questions fit, don’t hesitate to stop and get your child involved in the story.
How to get the free printables
Just head on over to Teacher’s Pay Teachers, log in and select my free Bubbles and the Big Race Coloring Pages. This site hosts all of the files and makes a safe and secure place to deliver the files to you. I hope you find the site to be as easy and useful as I do.
I host all of my free coloring pages on Teacher’s Pay Teachers. Please take a moment and see what else I have to offer.
You can sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll deliver them right to your inbox. If you want to know more about my book, you can check it out on amazon by clicking the link here. Have fun!
My newest middle grade novel is now available! “Saving Gardenia” is book two in my Gemstone Dragons Series. Its available as a Kindle book and a softcover book. The amazon link is here.
“Saving Gardenia” expands on the idea that keeping secrets causes drama.
In book one, “Escaping Gardenia”, the main characters are both keeping secrets and it makes it difficult to form a friendship. One of them finally opens up, but before the other can do the same, life intervenes and his secret exposed.
Book two, “Saving Gardenia” covers the fall out of having your secret exposed instead of sharing them.
All of this on the background of a fantasy novel, in which two kids are working to help other people, figure out who they are and who they want to be. Oh, and dealing with a magical force that has an agenda all its own.
Middle Grade books are a very misunderstood category. I believe its because different regions have there own names for this age group. Middle Grade does NOT mean Middle School.
Now that I have the cleared up what does middle grade mean? Middle grade is for kids aged 8-12. So upper elementary kids from 2nd grade through early 7th grade. That’s a pretty big range and obviously not every middle grade novel is going to be right for every 8-12 yr old kid.
Encouraging a love of reading
Try exposing your young people to a wide variety of books in order to find the niche that resonates with them. I write fantasy books, as a parent if that’s not your thing then it might be easy to skip those for your kids. I encourage you to reconsider that. Fantasy books encourage a child’s imagination in ways other books do not. I also encourage mysteries and historical books even though I personal don’t read mysteries, and I have a love hate relationship with historical books.
My kids are often drawn to similar books to what I like. Thankfully, early exposure to a wide variety of books means they read a much more varied selection than I ever did. This not only expands their imaginations, like I mentioned before, it gives them a larger vocabulary, and a broader understanding of how other people think and interact with each.
More books by me, Shannon L. Mokry
Gemstone Dragons Book One . “Escaping Gardenia” – Middle Grade Novel (amazon link) 8-12
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘good sportsmanship”? Sports? How about games? If so your not alone, however good sportsmanship is about so much more than being nice on a sports field. It’s about attitude and attitude is important everywhere.
A good attitude helps with our family relationships, friendships, school and work. Think about the attributes of your family and classmates or co-workers. What stands out as making some a joy to be around or a person you avoid? Attitude.
So What IS Good Sportsmanship?
This is what I found when I searched for good sportsmanship in google. Is this really all that is meant by good sportsmanship? I don’t think so but read the quotes and decide for yourself.
“Good sportsmanship is when people who are playing or watching a sport treat each other with respect. This includes players, parents, coaches, and officials.”
“Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. When a basketball player plays by the rules, is fair to his opponent and is gracious when he loses, this is an example of sportsmanship. YourDictionary definition and usage example.” –
I believe that good sportsmanship is so much more.
Attitude is Everything
In competition and in all areas of life, having a good attitude makes the difference between a good day and a bad day. When people are competing this is especially important, but what if you don’t realize your competing? That is where good sportsmanship bleeds into everyday life.
When you eat a meal you have your favorites right? Do you also have your favorite preparer? It can be a favorite restaurant or an Auntie that makes it better than anyone else. Your kids only like your spaghetti and no else’s. You didn’t know it was a competition, but how you handle these situations is showing good sportsmanship in everyday life.
Do you have a favorite desert, but you never ask for it, because the person who makes it best boasts to much, or it makes your mom feel bad that you don’t like her version? That’s an example of how a negative attitude or bad sportsmanship and affect everyday life as well.
How do I teach my kids Good Sportsmansip?
Its true that you can’t control anyone but yourself. Not even our kids. So if you choose to be kind, to be nice, and to be helpful, then you are teaching the best way possible, by example.
Other ways to teach this concept is through story telling and books. That is why I wrote “Bubbles and the Big Race”. With stories like this, kids can see this concept in action, without feeling lectured or called out. They can see what examples of what bad sportsmanship looks like, and how it makes other people feel. Making the connections between bad attitudes and other peoples feelings increase things like empathy.
Empathy is a big social skill so lets encourage it.
You can get your copy of “Bubbles and the Big Race” by clicking here(amazon link)
As a parent I know how hard it is to let my kids explore the world and have their own adventures. It gets even harder and more complicated when one of them is different. Society has a history of being unkind, and children are the worst. Or are they?
I’m not talking about bullies here…
I’m not saying you should let your child be bullied. Society has been making huge strides in fixing this, its not a perfect world. It is still very broken. Always step in if you suspect bulling.
However, this is the world that our kids have to live in, and we need to let them live. That means working together on solving misunderstandings. It means helping empower them to deal with misunderstandings. They will have their own stories, their own pain and triumph.
Here is the thing, if we don’t ever let them try, then they won’t every have a triumph. Its our job to encourage, to help, and to eventually step back. Kids are amazing at doing so much more than anyone ever thought possible, when given a chance.
Are you letting your child find his or her own triumphs? My book the Little Purple Porcupine is about a mom’s worry for her child. How she steps back and lets him find his adventures.
If mama’s not happy, no one is happy!
The same goes for worry. If mama’s worried, then everyone is worried. Mom is the security blanket and rock that kids turn to.
This is why I wrote a children’s book about a mother’s fear. Kids know when mom is worried about them. Its not a surprise, so it makes since to read a book about this topic. It makes it easier to open up conversation. Communication is always the best way to move forward.
When I first became a mother I had so many ideas on how it would go. We all do, I think. Then , life happens, as any seasoned mother can tell you. Those dreams soon go out the window. They had to, as I got to know each of my unique and precious daughters reality set in. Over the years I have learned so much from them, and been humbled in the process. The enormity of being the right mother for each of them with all of their unique needs was not lost on me.
The Little PInk Elephant
I learned many lessons over the years. The biggest lesson was that each of my girls is very unique, yet, they did have some things in common. For some reason they got the idea in their heads that the world was a musical and would burst into song and dance at every opportunity. This proved challenging as I’m sure you can image.
I’m sure you have seen scenes like this acted out in the grocery store, or some other public place. The first few times it happened to me, I was a little embarrassed. Then, something wonderful happened to my perspective. I challenge you to change your perspective as well. See things from the child’s point of view.
That is what I did. What I saw was my child embracing life, so I embraced it, too. Or, I tried too. It didn’t happen all at once. Oh, how I wish it had.
My daughter was so secure and confident, it was a beautiful thing. I didn’t want to steal that joy, so I made the decision not too. As they each grew out of this phase, I found myself missing it.
That experience, combined with an recent art project with my youngest daughter, was the inspiration for my newest book, “The Little Pink Elephant”.
How are you shining? I’ve written before about choosing to live without fear (you can read more about that here), but have you taken that thought further? Part of choosing to live without fear, means shining my brightest. To be the best mother, wife, artist, author, person, that I can be. It’s what we all want for our kids, right? The only way for that to happen is to model it. Let your joy shine, if you’ve lost it, don’t worry, you can find it again. Start by remembering your dreams, and take steps to follow them, no matter how scary the idea. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” —2 Timothy 1:7
Support One Another
We teach this concept at a young age, intentional or not. Its not about building up our children’s self esteem, its about building up our friends and family. Lets start doing this with intention! Do your kids see you building up those around you? How about yourself? Its important to remember that our kids learn more by what they see us doing than what we tell them to do. With that in mind, try to sing along with them, encourage your friends, and speak positive things. You won’t believe what a difference it will make a difference in their lives as well as yours!
As a homeschooling mom I understand the struggle to find activities that reinforce the books being read. Whether you are doing a unit study approach or not, children remember more when they interact with a character outside of story time.
As I searched for printables to use with my own daughter I found that the majority of things out there are just copies of the same basic worksheets, simply with different clip art. That just doesn’t work, as children continue to learn their skills change.
This means that teacher’s need different things based on where in the school year they are. My activity guide provides a variety of different activities to cover the different skill levels.
What this means for teacher’s in a classroom
For Preschool and Early Elementary Teachers, this means that they can pull the book out and use it when ever they feel like it will benefit that class of students. They can do this and know there is a worksheet to go with it. It also means that they can have some variety while still meeting the needs of that class of students.
What is means for the homeschool teacher
It means that this activity book is uniquely situation for your multiage classroom. A child that has trouble sitting through story time, give them a coloring sheet that works with the book. Young readers, their are some early readers that help the child connect more with the book characters. Older elementary kids in the mix, they can use the writing pages to work on creative writing skills. Something for every level age 3-9.
Just looking for a summer workbook?
Its good for that too. Everyone knows that kids need to practice academic skills through the summer or they lose valuable time and skill. The book can be used as a workbook for child, offering a variety of activities with characters they love.
Available in more than one format.
This book is available as either a printable or a physical book. You choose. The links will take you to either Teacher’s Pay Teachers, for the printable version, or amazon for the physical copy. I am compensated for your purchase.
You may not be aware of doing it, but we start teaching our kids from the time they enter the world. We introduce personal responsibility when we introduce potty training. What I do in my book is take the next step, making children aware of this responsibility.
Once our children start to walk we teach them to not cross the road alone, to hold someone’s hand, etc. As they get older we give them more room to move around this world, its just as important to set boundaries then as it is when they are tiny.
Your child’s boundaries might be the room in school or preschool, the fence, or your yard. It may be stay with your buddy, or stay with your sibling. But what happens when they are outside of the normal boundaries, or their buddy/sibling wants to do something they know you won’t like? That is being personally responsible. They know=not doing it.
At least that is what we as parents would like. So how do we increase the odds of that happening?
Books spark conversation
In my book “Bubbles and the Mermaid Adventure” we delve into personal awareness and personal responsibility. We even introduce real world consequences without, well the real world consequences. By showing kids, hey we know its easy to get distracted, to just go along. Unfortunately, that won’t stop a bad thing from happening.
In my story I give the kids an out from truly facing the negative consequences. I’m hoping it will spark conversation about what could really happen.
Talk while they are willing to listen.
We have just a few short years to have conversations with are kids about important concepts, before we sound like we are lecturing them. Between 3-9 kids are still exploring the world of peer pressure with some adult supervision. This is the time to talk to them! Let them know that just because everyone else is doing it, that is not an excuse for doing something they know is wrong.
How does my book help?
The kids in my book all want to go the beach. You may hear from your kids things like I want to go to the park or just outside with the neighbors. Just like you, they get permission to go, but boundaries are set.
In the book, the kids are told to stay out of the deep water and to be careful of sharks. Okay, so their probably aren’t any sharks at your park or in your neighborhood, at least they don’t look like sharks. We don’t want to scare our kids, but they need to know why you have boundaries. Their are people out there that will hurt kids if they get the chance.
Consequences., in my book the kids get in the water and meet up with some mermaids. Insert, the popular kids, and just like most kids they simply followed along paying no attention to anything but the popular kids. At the end, those mermaids took off and left them in deep water and deep trouble.
Do you have a Bubble Blowing Dragon in your back pocket?
Me either. In my book it was the dragon that saved them. Their are tools you can give your kids to help, a whistle, pepper spray(for older kids), but the best thing you can give them is awareness. Talk to them about how they would get out of a bad situation, and why its so important to pay attention and not get into the situations to start with.
At the end of the day. Tell them you love them.
No matter what happens, make sure your kids know you love them. Once way to do that is to listen. Ask questions and listen to what they have to say.
Bullying is a hot topic these days. We all seem to agree that being bullied is a bad thing. It is a bad thing, I’ve been bullied so I don’t take it lightly. What we can not seem to agree on is what bullying is. I’ll try to shed some light on this, so we can have a healthy conversation with our kids about this important topic.
Kids need direction from us to understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not. That means if we, as adults, are confused about a topic, then kids are even more confused by it.
For example, right now it’s common to label any instance of one person being mean to another as bullying behavior. Someone who makes mean or insensitive comments and physically acts out towards others is a bully right? In order to understand that we have to have a solid understanding of the word bully and agree to a definition.
Words have meaning
Webster’s Dictionary puts it this way: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc. : the actions and behavior of a bully.
The US government takes bullying seriously enough that they have a website to help explain it. I think it is does a pretty good job. https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html
Now that we have a working understanding of the definition of the word bully, the hard part starts.
What bullying is NOT becomes the next question. Along with how to stop mean behavior before it is escalates that far.
So far we can see that bullying has to do with power between two people. So what happens when misunderstandings occur? Often hurt feelings arise and kids don’t know how to deal with that. Let’s face it, adults don’t always know how to deal with that. So what happens when a child or person, acts out because they are hurt? It can look an awful lot like bullying.
Let’s be clear though. A single instance of mean behavior is NOT bullying, but it can lead to bullying. Kids, just like adults want some control over themselves, their surrounds, and yes other people. Kids figure out pretty quickly that certain words, and certain actions get them what they want.
What they haven’t figured out is that the world does not in fact revolve around them. This is the real cause of misunderstandings. The combination between wanting control, and not understanding that things happening might have nothing to do with them personally.
So what can I do about it?
Here is what I propose. We need to teach kids how to navigate social situations, this means helping kids figure out how to make sense of their own feelings. Only then can they understand the feelings of those around them.
Let’s teach kids that the power of “WHY” doesn’t just extend to driving mom, dad, and teacher’s crazy. It has a real purpose in figuring out how to interact with each other.
“Why” can help us weed out true bullies, from misunderstandings that got out of hand.
“Why” can help us develop empathy, and connect with the people around us.
First, get in the habit of asking yourself, then your child, “why” someone might behave a certain way. Are they tired? Are they mad? You don’t know then ask them. If your efforts are met with more abuse then you have a bully on your hands. Maybe, just maybe, you will find a misunderstanding is the source of mean behavior. “Why” has just become an olive branch.
Finally, the most important step, talk with your child about these difficult topics. Find out what they think. Modelling healthy relationships, is great, its big, but it doesn’t replace conversation. Kids need to know they matter, and they feel that the most when you talk to them.
How to start
Don’t know how to bring it up without feeling awkward. Well, I wrote a book that helps with that. Check out “Bubbles and the Berry Bush” here on amazon.
I hope this was helpful. Please remember that I don’t know your situation and I don’t think that bullying is ever acceptable. I do believe that misunderstands happen and we need to learn to identify them. Kids need to know that their parents are listening and care about what is happening in their lives.