• Top 10 Must Read Banned Books for Kids

    Censorship makes me angry (but many things do) and it tends to make me go on the offensive. Instead of my diatribe, I found some words of wisdom by authors on how to handle censorship. Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. Most of the censorship I see is fear-driven. I […]

  • Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

    I was confused on the nomenclature of Hispanic American versus Latino American so I looked it up: Hispanic: a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish. It is primarily used along the Eastern seaboard, and favored by those of Caribbean and South American ancestry or origin.  English or Spanish can be their […]

  • What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

    Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post. ———— Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again […]

  • Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

soul camp

A “Good” Domain Name: The Possibilities Are Now Endless!

Do you remember life before the internet some thirty odd years ago? I do. I remember when email was the “new thing.” Seven years ago, when I met a friend at post MBA graduate function, her classmates were telling me that kids no longer use email. That was news to me! But’s it’s true. Teens and twenty-somethings only use email to communicate with “adults.”

I remember when URLs were limited to .com for companies, .edu for schools, and .gov for government, and .org for non-profits. But then … the internet took off. Blogging took off. Everyone on the planet has a blog or a website for their personal brand. There are simply no “good” names left.

When the folks at Name.Kitchen contacted me about writing a post for them, it was the first time I realized that a whole new world of domain names is now available! If you think in the old way of domain names, you’ve probably have had the frustrating experience of not being able to secure the.com of choice or having to create a ridiculously long and hyphenated name. That’s so hard to remember! Read more…

Domestic Violence Books for Kids

Domestic Violence Books for Kids

Did you know? Domestic violence affects a quarter of American families and accounts for more than a third of visits to emergency rooms by women. From The Second Step

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.

What are the facts about Domestic Violence to be aware of?

  • Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children witness their mothers or female caretakers being abused (American Psychological Association, 1996).
  • Nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood. (American Psychological Association, 1996).
  • Approximately 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States (Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000).
  • Between 12% and 35% of teenagers have experienced some form of violence- from pushing and shoving to hitting- in a dating relationship (Simon and Golden, 1997).

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am doing a round-up of resources for kids. Last year, I created this list: Domestic Violence Books for Kids.

Domestic Violence Books for kids Read more…

International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) AUSTRALIA!

International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) AUSTRALIA!

Grasshopper and Sensei did a five week service trip through her YMCA sleepaway camp to Australia. It was a trip of a lifetime with about a dozen kids both boys and girls and two counselors! The International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) goes to more than a dozen countries and anyone who has done sleepaway camp through the YMCA can apply, though the application process is rigorous and a lot like applying to college.
International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) Australia Chimney Corners Camp Berkshires

Read more…

Making 3D Hologram Projector: STEM for Kids

Making 3D Hologram Projector: STEM for Kids

My son saw this video on The Kid Should See It and wanted to build a 3D Hologram Projector.

Making 3D Hologram Projector: STEM for Kids
Build Hologram Projector Video

It looks simple enough and it certainly caught my 10-year-old son’s attention. The materials are easy to come by too. You just need:

  • CD Case that you can cut up
  • X-Acto Blade
  • A cutting board or something to cut on
  • clear tape
  • scissors

Read more…

Beauty Anxiety and Girls: Dove Change One Thing #SelfEsteemProject

Beauty Anxiety and Girls: Dove Change One Thing #SelfEsteemProject

I have two teen girls and have seen first-hand how they cope with beauty anxiety. My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, refuses to play the beauty game.  It took me years to get her to willingly shop for clothes so that she wouldn’t look like a slob. She still is not one for make up or personal grooming beyond running a brush through her long hair.

Beauty Anxiety and Girls: Dove Change One Thing #SelfEsteemProject Read more…

Viva® Vantage® 7-Day Switch Up Tips

Viva® Vantage® 7-Day Switch Up Tips

Tracking Pixel

Are you like me in that you get in a habit of buying certain products like toilet paper and paper towels that you just stick with? Would you be willing to try something else? What would it take?

Viva® Vantage® 7-Day Switch Up Tips

Would you consider trying a new paper towel? What would it take? Read more…

Cool Inspirational Videos to Watch With Your Kids

Cool Inspirational Videos to Watch With Your Kids

My son and I have been enjoying The Kid Should See This curated videos. We picked out four of our favorites after watching several dozen.

What do we have today?

  • Bach played like you’ve never heard it — by whacking plastic tubes
  • The Guinness World Record for the largest popsicle stick chain reaction
  • Freeline skate tricks on the streets of Taipei
  • A car built of legos that runs on air? Is that possible? Yes!

We hope you enjoy them too!

Boomwhacker Bach

Whacking plastic tubes has never sounded better!  Read more…

Saving and Sharing Memories with Amazon Cloud Drive

Saving and Sharing Memories with Amazon Cloud Drive

Are you an Amazon Prime member? If so, you might not realize that you have access to something new at Amazon called Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos. Amazon Cloud Drive provides unlimited photo storage plus 5 GB of additional storage space for videos, movies, music, and files.


Grasshopper and Sensei is the libero for her high school JV volleyball team.

If you are like me, you are running out of storage space on your hard disk and your iPhone and yet, you want and need to save your videos and photos which make up the majority of your data. Amazon Cloud Drive is a great solution for storing your digital memories because …
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Soccer and A Taste of Tuscany

Soccer and A Taste of Tuscany

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bertolli®. The opinions and text are all mine.

My girls and I went to Italy and San Marino last summer on a whirlwind tour of Como, Milan, Rimini, Florence, Venice, Pisa and Montecantini over ten days so that PickyKidPix could play soccer against Italian girls’ teams. It was an interesting cultural experience as soccer is very popular for boys in Italy but not as much for girls. The Italian girls tended to be very technical players but they didn’t have the same fitness regime that we seem to do in the United States.

Soccer and A Taste of Tuscany

Leaning Tower of Pisa with PickyKidPix’s soccer team on the 4th of July. Read more…