Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I have been asked by several different people HOW we got Ciarra reading. I thought it might be nice to have things in one place, to refer to as needed. So here goes!!

Nouns & Sounds was one of the earliest CD Rom games we used. It is a FANTASTIC and easily modified program for teaching kids about the world around them. It has the child match the SOUND of something to the onject that makes the sound. You can have a very few objects to choose from, or LOTS of different choices. This program was hands down hugely responsible for teaching Ciarra the NAMES of things.

you can request a demo CD to see if you like it.

STORY BOXES make reading interactive. An old shoebox with various items that are illustarted in the story can help make the story come alive for visual learners:
A story box is a way for young children to experience a story. When selecting a story for you child, choose one that is simple and tells about familiar objects and concepts. Collect corresponding items in a box or bag. As you read the story to your child, allow him/her to hold the item. Examples:

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, National Braille Press, Simon & Schuster, (Print/Braille)
Contents Magnetic Alphabet, Drum, Coconut

Jennifer's Messes, by Suzette Wright, American Printing House for the Blind.
Contents: Cheerios, Barrettes, (2) Coins, Comb, Pencil, Keys, Doll, Pretzel

Giggiy-Wiggly, Snickety Snick, by R. Supraner, Parents' Magazine Press.
Contents Hard, Soft, Bumpy, Smooth, Tickly, Sharp, Sticky, Stretch, Cold, Hot, Crunchy, Squishy, Fluffy, Curly, Straight.

Good Night, Everyone! By H. Ziefert, Little, Brown & Co.
Contents Stuffed Animals (Bear, Monkey, Mouse, Lamb).

Hello Kitty's Bedtime Search, by S. Bright, Random House.
Contents Socks, Necklace, Tee Shirt, Blanket, Teddy Bear.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, By Laura Joffe Numeroff, Harper & Row.
Contents Cookie, Cup, Milk Container, Straw, Mirror, Scissors, Dustbroom, Sponge, Blanket, Pillow, Crayons, Tape, Paper

Suppertime with Frieda Fuzzypaws, by Cyndy Skekeus.
Contents Cookies, Plate, Cup, Pasta, Paper Crayon, Paper Cookie.

Teddy And The Mice, by Brain Ax, Terry's Friend's Series (Board Book).
Contents: Small Wagon or Dump Truck, Blocks, Mice, Nuts, Teddy Bear

The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss, Random House.
Contents Slippers, Towels, Cotton Balls, Toy Clown, Big Shoes/Small Shoes.

The Gingerbread Man, A Pudgy Pals Board Book.
Contents Cookie, Cookie Cutter (Tin), Stuffed Fox, Cat, Cow

The Indoor Noisy Book, by M. W. Brown, Harper & Row.
Contents Household Objects That Make Sound: Broom, Spoons Clinking, Door Slamming, Eating Raw Carrots or Celery, Slurping Pudding, Footsteps, Telephone Ringing.

The Jacket I Wear In The Snow, by Shirely Nellzel, Scholastic Press.
Contents Red Wool Hat and Scarf, Zippered Jacket, Sweater, Boots, Long Underwear, Socks, Jeans.

The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper, Platt & Munk Publishers.
Contents Dolls, Balls, Toy Engine, Sailboats, Toy Animals, Clown

The Longest Noodle, by Suzette Wright, American Printing House for the Blind.
Contents Noodle, Fork, Shoelace, Jump Rope, Ribbon, Yarn.

The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown, Harper & Row.
Contents Toy Fish, Rock, Gardening Tools, Watering Can, Toy Bird, Sailboat, StuffedBunny, Carrot.

The Saucepan Game, by J. Ormerod., Lee & Shepard Books.
Contents Pan with a Lid, Stuffed Toy Cat.

The Sweet Smells of Christmas, by Patricia Scarry, (Scratch and sniff). Golden Press
Contents Cinnamon, Pine Cone, Candy Cane, Spirit of Peppermint, Ginger, Cocoa

The Three Little Kittens, by Kate Gleeson, Golden Books.
Contents (3) Stuffed Kittens, (3) Small Pie Tins, Soap, Mittens; Optional Clothes Line & Clips.

The Three Little Pigs, Golden Sound Story, Golden Press.
Contents Brick, Sticks, Hammer, Hat, Straw.

Underwear, by Mary Elise Monsell, National Braille Press, (Print/Braille)
Contents Different Kinds of Underwear, Slippers.

Scholastic offers some FANTASTIC learning programs based on Clifford the Big Red Dog. Unlike many other kids software, the Clifford CD Roms dont skip around, they work through word families, one by one, until they are really learned. They are very short, engaging activities, and they are VERY user-friendly.

Clifford Phonics CD rom and book set is a GREAT resource!

can be found on EBAY very often

Clifford the Big Red Dog Thinking Adventures is also an Ebay find.

Next, we swear by Cricksofts line of products, expecially Clicker 5 and Clicker paint. They utilize many different kinds of graphics programs such as PECS, etc to help children write using symbols. As the child grows, the program adjusts, less symbols, more words, visual and verbal prompts, spell checking, etc.

Adding Clicker paint to the product enhances it tenfold. Both programs work in concert with the FREE grids at , where you can download and use thousands of pre-made grids that teach VERY specific topics. Your child can write book reports on virtually any subject, use the word processor to talk for them, insert their own drawings into reports and stories, or even capture JPG or BMP files off the home computer to use in their stories.

well, there are some of the suggestions I give when asked. More than anything, though, READ yourself. Show your child that reading is fun. Enjoy it, show them that. Make books available at all times, and dont worry about mess. Just live in the moment.


Tilly Cat & Pip-Squeak said...

Thank you SO much for posting that!

Valerie said...

Awesome Michelle! I have been looking for some good ways to introduce my kids to reading and these are all fantastic ideas! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Cathy said...

Thanks Michelle
would you mind if i linked this to my site?