• Samantha Esteves

All in for April


Welcome to April, where the snow melts, the days get warmer, and spring arrives in full bloom. Things are also blooming here at Telegraph Road Entertainment, as we refresh our Best-Selling educational workbook series - but more on that next month. We are excited to bring back our Spring and Easter colouring and activity books on our website, with fun colouring pages and activities, these books are perfect for those wet spring days when kids are indoors. So, gather your crayons and get egg-cited to colour some spring fun!


April starts off with a day of trickery. April Fool’s Day is a time for harmless pranks and silly shenanigans and allowing your kids to participate can activate their creativity. Remember that pranks should always be temporary, harmless, and not embarrassing – everyone should have a good laugh. Also be on the lookout for prank news stories from big companies or even celebrities. Once everyone’s had some fun, discussing pranks in the news is also a great way to talk to your kids about reading carefully and critically.

Has all that pranking made you hungry? Well, April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jam Day! This classic kids’ snack has been a favourite for over a century. What’s your go-to PB&J combination? Is it raspberry jam and crunchy peanut butter? Grape jelly and smooth peanut butter? If your child has a peanut allergy, try alternatives like sunflower butter or almond butter. You can also make a twist on this classic treat with these peanut butter and jam thumbprint cookies:


PB&J Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

¾ tsp baking powder

Your favourite jam or jelly


Instructions

1. After preheating the oven to 350 F, mix together the flour and baking powder.

2. In another bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar using a mixer or hand mixer.

3. Add the peanut butter to the butter and sugar mixture, stirring thoroughly.

4. Add the egg and vanilla to the peanut butter mixture.

5. Add the flour and baking powder mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Make sure to stir thoroughly so there aren’t any pockets of flour left.

6. Roll dough into small balls, about 1 inch. Place the dough balls on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

7. Press each dough ball down with your thumb to make a divot in each cookie. Fill each divot with your favourite jam. Make sure you don’t overflow it! About ¾ tsp of jam per cookie is plenty. You can briefly heat some jam in a bowl in the microwave to make it easier to scoop into the cookies.

8. Bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges become dark.

9. Cool and enjoy!


For those allergic to peanut butter, substitute peanut butter alternatives or make jam thumbprints in other types of cookies, like sugar cookies.


April 2 marks the beginning of Ramadan. A month of prayer, fasting, and religious observation, Ramadan is an important part of Muslim religion.


National Library Week starts on April 3. Take a trip with your child to your local library branch. Browse the books and talk to your local librarian about what programs and events might be happening. You can also take a trip one day early to celebrate National Children’s Picture Book Day on April 2. Look for some great Canadian-authored picture books and ask your local librarian for recommendations.




While you’re at the library, search for a book on rainbows for National Find a Rainbow Day on April 3. Do this fun experiment to make your own rainbows if you can’t find one outside.

DIY Rainbows

Materials

Flashlight

CD or DVD disk

Prism or crystal

Glass of water

White paper


Instructions

1. Flip the CD or DVD over so the silvery side is face up, then have your child shine the flashlight at the disk. Move it around to see a rainbow of colours across the disk.

2. If the day is sunny, take your prism or crystal near a brightly lit window and move it around until you see rainbows on the ceiling or walls.

3. Fill a glass with water and place it on the white piece of paper. Shine the flashlight through the glass at different angles to make rainbows.


What other ways can you make rainbows? During this experiment, talk to your child about the different colours in the visible light spectrum and explain that each method splits white light into its seven different colours. Shift gears from science to art and have your child colour a rainbow to match each rainbow they created during the experiments. Which method created the most colours?


April 5 is Read a Road Map Day. While today a lot of people rely on Google Maps to navigate, learning how to read a road map is still a good skill to have. Learning how to read a map can help improve directional awareness and increase problem solving skills. If you can, obtain a map of your hometown and work with your child to navigate to places they are familiar with, like school and the park. What other locations can you find?




Take care of your health on back-to-back days with National Walking Day on April 6 and World Health Day on April 7. Walking helps improve vascular health and provides you with plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Since the theme of World Health Day this year is “Our health, our planet”, consider doing a litter pick up during your walk to help improve the health of the planet. Talk to your child about what they can do to make sure they are being mindful of their health, like eating vegetables and brushing their teeth, and of the planet’s health, like recycling and turning off lights when they leave a room. Continue your efforts on Earth Day on April 22 by thinking critically about what you can do to promote environmentalism and improve the planet’s health.


National Dolphin Day on April 14 celebrates these intelligent oceanic mammals. Expand your child’s animal knowledge by doing some research on dolphins. Dolphins are some of the most intelligent mammals and they live all over the world. What are some more dolphin facts you can find?


Sharpen your pencils since April is National Poetry Month and April 17 is International Haiku Poetry Day. Writing poetry will help your child practise their writing and language skills, including rhyming, figurative language, grammar, pronunciation, spelling, and letter formation. Haikus are short, three-line poems that are generally about nature. If you want your child to practise more haikus, check out the poetry sections in our Reading and Writing workbooks. If you want them to practise some rhyming words, check out our Word Families Flash Cards.


Maybe your child will write their haiku about a certain chocolate-leaving bunny since April 17 is also Easter. Have more fun with colours by using food colouring to dye hard-boiled eggs or break out the scissors and construction paper to make Easter decorations.

April is also Mathematics Awareness Months, don’t forget to help your child stay on top of their math skills with the Complete Canadian Math series. For Grade 1 to Grade 3, the Complete Canadian Math series are full-colour workbooks that include parent suggestions, practice quizzes, and instructions that help children build up their foundational math skills. These books cover a variety of math topics including addition, subtraction, patterns, fractions, time, money, and more. Shop Complete Canadian Math series

May is the month for moms, astronauts, limericks, and solitaire. Plus, we’ll be talking more about our workbook refresh.


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