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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Magic Poof - Finally A Book With a Character Who Looks Like My Kids!!

The lack of diversity in Children's Books has been a bit of a hot topic lately, a recent study shows that only 3% of children's books are about Latinos, even though nearly 25% of children in public school are Latino. Most studies suggest that perhaps 10% of children's books published over the last 18 years have multicultural content and/or characters -- a major disconnect with the population at large. 

As a parent of some absolutely multicultural kids, it is rare for a character in a book to look like them and reflect their family. (My husband's mother was from the Dominican Republic and his father's parents were from Canadian with African and Anglo ancestors. My parents are of English and German descent). The result?  Boys with curly (and often crazy) hair, blue eyes, tan skin. 

Dani Dixon, a talented writer friend of mine (who herself has a comic book series, 13, which is refreshingly diverse) suggested that I needed to check out The Magic Poof written and independ…

Silent Sunday: Photos Celebrating Summer

{Project 101} Weekly Library Challenge: 1 Duck (on a Bike), 2 Lost Souls and 3 Cups of Tea -- What We're Reading Now

What are we reading now? Let me get you caught up as I think we're two weeks behind on sharing -- so I'll have two books for Tots and/or Preschoolers and two books for adults, which loosely connect to the travel theme I shared last time.

As my life gets busier, and I juggle the demands of our production company, our 2 little ones and, lately, hit-and-miss internet, I am finding that Project 101, my Weekly Library Challenge to share one book the boys love from the library for that week and one book I have been reading, really feels like a challenge now. The main challenge is keeping up with a weekly post about it as I write about other things too, along with the challenge of reading 1 book a week. Some weeks it is easy. Other weeks, it is pretty tough. Still, I am enjoying the journey and hope you enjoy it too. One of my favorite things is getting book suggestions from all of you, so always share what you are reading too! 

That being said, I love the library books the boys enjoye…

Sensory Play & Experiential Art From Nature AKA Lavender is for Boys Too

When we moved to our rural home we inherited a gorgeous, large lavender bed, which provides countless sensory possibilities and explorations for my boys who are naturally drawn to it -- the vibrant color (except for right now in the hot, arid summer) and the overpowering scent. Red Ted Art recently did a Lavender Hang-Out and shared amazing Lavender Make and Bakes, which inspired us to do some new lavender explorations and to share those alongside all of our other lavender sensory play experiences and creations.  
The lavender initially attracted Wild Thing about a year ago when his interest in bees was peaked by Winnie the Pooh, some books we were reading and the real bees that buzzed around the lavender bed. We made a wonderfully engaging Bee Sensory Bin with the lavender included. 
Next, The Imagination Tree and Connecting Family and Seoul inspired us to try herbed playdough. Of course, we made ours with lavender, and I learned to embrace playdough play with my boys instead of dreadi…

{Kid's Co-Op} 12 Sensory Play for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

We love sensory play and got inspired to do some sensory play focused on lavender recently by Red Ted Art's Lavender Ideas -- Makes and Bakes. Friday I'll be sharing our favorite sensory experiences using lavender, which we have a huge amount of in our yard. For now, enjoy these fun sensory experiences from The Kid's Co-Op this past week. I'm kicking it off with Ice Play -- perfect for summer! 

Reading Confetti shared 12 Ice Activities shared from The Kid's Co-Op, Learn Play Imagine's Fun in the Sun Watercolor Ice Art would be a great art activity to engage reluctant artists, and Life With Moore Babies has a cool Star Sensory Table featuring sparkly ice stars. We also love painting with ice and sensory ice play as you can see from our Babies through Pre-K Ice Play post from last Fall

Caterpillar loved iced play even as a baby, but if you want to do sensory play with your little one without the mess, School Time Snippets shows how simple it is to make Sensory Ba…

{Kid's Co-Op} Let's Pretend: 5 Play Activities that Encourage Imaginative Play

In April, I started a new monthly series focused on Sibling Play, primarily for Tot/Preschool Children, since I have a 3.5 year-old (Wild Thing) and almost 2 year-old (Caterpillar). The idea is to share simple, sibling play ideas. I kicked it off with a Kid's Co-Op post highlighting Baby School (led by an older Sibling), Bubble Play, a post on Toddler Hitting and my own simple playdough and coloring activities (on the floor!). In May, Mama Smiles shared about Simple Sandbox Play for Siblings (a big hit with us too), and I followed last month with Simple Water and Nature Play

This month, I'm sharing a simple pretend play activity I often set up for the boys (most often at dinnertime when I am cooking). I give them some simple baking/cooking materials, such as flour or cornmeal in a muffin tin or other baking/cooking container with some spoons and, often, water. They love it and I get dinner made! They enjoy pretending to make and serve dinner themselves. If they play without w…

{Kids Get Arty} Discovering Molly Upton, A Painter Who Worked in Cloth

I truly love participating in Kids Get Arty, a bi-monthly project created by Red Ted Art to encourage the exploration of great artists with children. Since my boys are 3.5 and not-quite-2, selecting an artist and art project they can understand and emulate, even a bit, is sometimes a challenge. However, I enjoy the challenge and enjoy that, often, the projects are family art projects that all of us create together. 

This month when I was contemplating our artist for Kids Get Arty, my mother was visiting. My mom is a quilter, and I was thinking about quilting as an art. So, I did some handy internet research and discovered Molly Upton. Scott Ruescher, in an Arts Editor article writes of an Upton show at Wellesley and how it gave him the"..the opportunity to see how the quilts make art of craft, supporting the claim that Upton was a painter who worked in cloth."

As I looked at the quilts, I couldn't help but agree. I also thought of the quilts that fill my own life. You see,…

{Virtual Book Club for Kids} Move, Eat, Draw & Learn with Hit the Ball Duck by Jez Alborough

I really love the Virtual Book Club for Kids. I enjoy seeing all of the creative ways parents and educators explore books with children. I have also discovered many wonderful new authors, like we did this month with Jez Alborough. Each month, we Move, Eat, Draw and Learn with a selected book (or books) from the author for that month. This month, I did not get my library request in earlier enough to get a book copy, but instead found a great reading of one of Jez’s books on Youtube: Hit the Ball, Duck by Richard Step. It was the perfect story for Wild Thing, who really loves baseball, and we had so much fun moving, eating, creating and learning with the book. 
Move - Even with little ones, baseball promotes gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and lots of physical activity. Well before they can make contact and hit the ball consistently (or at all), they can enjoy different elements of baseball. Wild Thing, who is 3 1/2 can hit a plastic ball with his plastic bat now quite well. Ca…