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Showing posts from 2012

{Virtual Book Club for Kids} Move, Eat, Draw, Learn with Trolls!

We really loved discovering Jan Brettthrough the Virtual Book Club for Kids in December. While we liked many of her books that we checked out from the library, the one that Wild Thing (3 years old) kept asking me to read over and over was The Trouble with Trolls. He absolutely loves it. So, this is the book we decided to Move, Eat, Draw and Learn with this month! (For each book club post, I try to do four activities for the book we select that involve movement, creative snacks/meals, art and a learning activity unique to the book).

1. Move - In the story, Treva (the lead character) has to trick the trolls she encounters as treks up the mountain. She does this by giving them her mittens, hat, sweater and boots and then reclaims all of her items when she tricks them one last time and flies down the mountain on her skis. Wild Thing had lots of fun reenacting the book with me carrying his stuffed animal dog and then taking on and off different clothing items just like Treva. 
We did this in…

Weekly Kid's Co-Op: Faves from 2012

It would take much too long to give you the best from the Kid's Co-Op in 2012, given that well over 100 activities are linked up each week (often nearly 200 activities will be linked up from great bloggers). So, instead for my last Kid's Co-Op of 2012, I decided to share the most clicked, pinned/re-pinned, favorite/popular of the items I have featured on my blog from the Kid's Co-Op throughout the year -- just in case some of these great ones are things you might have missed! 

The Kid's Co-Op in which I shared some of my favorite Fire Safety Activities, such as the hand print firefighter art piece above, has been a favorite of many, and my most popular post of the year is my Ten for Tuesday: Fire Safety Activities, even though it only posted in October.

This Elephant and Piggie DIY Play Box from Twiddle Twaddle was another favorite Kid's Co-Op post. We discovered Elephant and Piggie through the Virtual Book Club for Kids and also love them -- our Snake Sock Puppet…

Christmas Around the World: Bethlehem

This post can now be found at Multicultural Kid Blogs as part of their Christmas Around the World Series.

Simple Ideas for Baby Play At Home (#5): Winter-themed Just in Time for Winter Solstice

When I wrote my first baby play post a few months back, I did not realize it would be so popular, but since it was, I made it a regular monthly series. Here is #5, and it is all about simple Winter-themed baby play ideas. 

I realize, however, that time is ticking away. I expect to share 2 more baby play posts, since my baby will by then by 18 months old, and I will have to admit that he is a toddler, even though there is a part of me that wants him to stay baby. Everyday he says a new word, illustrating more and more his moves away from baby and into toddler. 

However, when I select items for Baby Play, I share activities that are very similar to things I did with him when he was a much younger baby that I believe will work as baby play ideas for babies in various stages and ages (mostly 9-18 months). 

Today, I am sharing some fun winter-themed baby play we have been doing. Egg cartons seem to often be in use with my baby (and have been since he was 6 months old), and this week I made hi…

Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon

Through my work running and teaching at after-school programs and as an independent filmmaker in the middle of a documentary about a successful low-income public school, I have become all too aware of the unfortunate, challenging reality facing far too many children (16 million) in the U.S. as they struggle with hunger.

As I have learned first hand, many children get their main meals and snacks (and for some their only meals and snacks) while at school through free breakfast, lunch and snack programs, like the snack program that I used to supervise when I ran an after-school program. Many of the 100 students at my program would leave at 6 pm unsure of whether or not they would have anything to eat for dinner that night. Needless to say, extra snacks were a hot commodity.

I believe that no child should be excited about going to school simply because it means they will have food to eat or should grab up an extra snack the second it becomes available so that they can stash it in their b…

{Perspective} When Things Fall Apart

Today, as our family worked its way through the morning routine, which this morning happened to include me reading books to Wild Thing and Caterpillar on the couch after breakfast and then settling them down with a video so Wild Thing, who is sick, would rest, and I could get some last things ready to take to a school party and the post office. My husband was going through his morning work routine in our bedroom (AKA his office), but in the background, instead of listening to the radio, he was listening to President Obama speaking at Newtown. 

When I went into the bedroom to hang up some clothes and get dressed to go out, I paused and listened too - I have still not processed fully the events of Friday and doubt that I ever will. 

What I do know is that yesterday I had 2 nearly complete blog posts, one that I wanted to post yesterday - my Virtual Book Club for Kids post, and the other that I planned to post today, my Ten for Tuesday: Airplanes and Kites post as a continuation of my Ten …

Dollar Store Christmas Sensory Bin

With our Christmas Sensory Bin, Wild Thing explored how Christmas sounds, feels, tastes, smells and looks, and we made it for basically $4 using items we already had as well as few things from the dollar store. 

I rarely introduce food into play in non-edible ways, for various reasons, but did select to use colored pasta in this bin to represent pine needles.

With our Fall Sensory Bins (when I made 3 for $5), I discovered how fun it was to include Wild Thing in the process of making the bin, so I had him help this time, too, particularly with making the colored pasta.

He did not get every piece of pasta turned green, but he did have lots of fun and actually liked seeing the different shades - yellow, light green and a darker green of the pasta. Using soap is not common when dying pasta, but I wanted our bin to have the peppermint smell, so I decided to add it as the binder rather than vinegar or hand sanitizer or some of the other items typically used. Love Play and Learn and Nurture S…

{Family Time} One (Very Special) Week of Christmas Presence

Behind on Christmas Countdown activities?  Wishing you had done an Advent Calendar? Or, perhaps you set these up, but the bustle of school, holiday parties, family photos, and other holiday functions have left them all half done. It is not too late - join us for
One Week of Christmas Presence! 

For our family this year, we are engaged in Operation Christmas Presence (rather than presents), which means focusing on being present with one another as a family and on being present to others through activities like our 12 Days of Christmas Giving and Random Acts of Kindness Adventure. I notice that this has helped us have a stress-free, fulfilling holiday.
Until today, there was only one special present under our tree - a gold box with blank index cards in it. On these cards, I write down those special moments -- in particular moments in which I have been completely present to my children, rather than trying to play with them and do a million other things.

Today I added a special Santa Bag (m…