When my firstborn started kindergarten, I had to get super creative with helping him to learn. He is a hands on type of fellow, and would honestly rather be doing anything except school.

Books in themselves bored him. We would work through curriculum and the things on those pages just didn’t seem to click. I think we both learned a lot that first year of home education. (My daughter was the complete opposite type of learner. She just absorbed everything she read.)

So, I decided to incorporate his favorite characters to see if they would keep his attention. This helped so much! Eli didn’t like to read, but if he was helping Mario read, it was a fun activity.

Watch your children and see how they learn best, then get creative to help them! I gathered Mario characters, would let him choose his character that was reading for the day, and would build learning “levels.” When he would accomplish one, he would get a star sticker (“star power”). I would even sing the star power up song from Mario to make it more legit.

Phonics Star Road

I love this one! We already had the supplies, and it is customizable because you simply erase when you’re done to make room for the next level. Each time he read a word, he would move his character along, until he reached the end. You can use it for phonics, sight words, or counting. If they get bored, change the character out. Use what your child loves: hot wheels, Paw Patrol, etc.

Tip: If you don’t have character figures, you can print out the character and cut it out. You could also cut a character out of a coloring book.

Happy Learning!


Rachel is a Postpartum Nurse of 15+ years. She is also a Spinning Babies® CPE, Childbirth Educator, Published Author, and Recipe Creator. Rachel's passion is to encourage and empower women in all things related to motherhood.

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