These Girls Can Climb: Rock Climbing Prodigies

These Girls Can Climb: Rock Climbing Prodigies

PickyKidPix is fascinated by child prodigies. Apparently there are a lot of YouTube videos on them. By making me watch them, she illuminated several misconceptions I had about prodigies.

rock climbing girls

  1. Prodigies are not just in music and math. I didn’t realize there were rock climbing prodigies.
  2. Is it nurture or nature? I would have thought the kid, Brooke Raboutou, with rock climbing world champion parents would be the best climber in the world. Not so, PickyKidPix told me. The girl, Ashima Shiraishi,  without these champion genes is actually the better climber (as of this moment).

rock climbing prodigies

PickyKidPix taught herself to rock climb last year. She went to Central Rock Gym nearby on a Friday night or a weekend with a friend and she’d climb for hours. I had dreams that this is how she’d spend her teenage weekends … in this safe tree-hugging environment rather than at parties out late at night. Not so, alas. After an intense winter of climbing last year, she has not been back. Read more…

Top 10: Baseball Chapter Books for Kids

Top 10: Baseball Books for Kids & GIVEAWAY

In the spirit of teamwork, Frank Nappi and I came up with our favorite Top 10 Baseball Books for Kids. We are also giving away his book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler.

It’s baseball season in Boston and that can only mean the Red Sox and checking the schedule to see when the home games are because traffic is brutal in the Fenway on game days.

My kids chuckle to see adults pouring off the subway decked out in Red Sox gear, happy and giddy as kids on their way to a game. But that’s the beauty of baseball games. It makes everyone young again.

Win, lose or draw, you can aways count on the food at Fenway Park, Sweet Caroline at the seventh inning stretch, and the history of the stadium to seep in to give you an experience that says a perfect Boston day!

How about you? Who are you rooting for?

p.s. Red Sox fans might like photographs by my friend Sharon Schindler. Her Fenway Park photos are extremely popular around these parts.

Sharon Schindler Photography Red Sox Fenway Park art Read more…

KRISTEN KITTSCHER, Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Kristen Kittcher! We both came up with our favorite diversity mysteries for kids and I’m surprised how there is very little overlap!

I have a feeling that there are more great mysteries written of authors of color or with protagonists of color or with special needs. Can you help us out with your great suggestions? Thanks so much!

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There’s little I love more than reading books about smart, curious, and creative kids—especially if those adventures involve solving high-stakes mysteries that elude adults. So, it’s no surprise that I also love writing about them. My seventh grade best friends and wannabe super-sleuths Sophie Young & Grace Yang certainly go on some wild adventures in my own mysteries for young readers, The Wig in the Window and The Tiara on the Terrace.

But what’s even more wonderful than following the adventures of clever sleuths? When those novels’ heroes truly reflect the diverse spectrum of backgrounds and experiences of the real world! Read more…

povi

Teach Kids Social-Emotional Skills with Povi

A study in the American Journal of Public Health found that early social competence was a consistent, significant predictor of outcomes in education, employment, criminal justice, substance use, and mental health. In fact, for every one-point increase in a child’s social competence score, he or she was:

  • Twice as likely to attain a college degree
  • 54 percent more likely to earn a high school diploma
  • 46 percent more likely to have a full-time job in early adulthood

While we might agree that social-emotional skills are THE key predictor for future success for kids, we parents might scratch our heads and ask how do we make sure our kids are learning these key skills? A new Kickstarter campaign for Povi might help. Read more…

Great New Early Chapter Books

Great New Early Chapter Books

I was a first round judge for The Cybils Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books this past fall which meant that I read about 50 Easy Readers and 80+ Early Chapter Books that were nominated by the general public. Our group then came up with the short list, and then round two judges picked a winner in each category.

To keep track of each book, I kept notes on each book, rating it on a 5 point scale. I share my notes below of the books I liked the most (4.5 or 5/5). Our group then held online discussions via email on books that we liked, culminating in an online discussion to pick the short list. It’s interesting that  that strong reactions to books could go either way. A good example is The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman … I loved the film noir detective story but not everyone agreed with me.  Charlie Bumpers vs. The Perfect Little Turkey is another book that I loved especially for its boy appeal — our list felt girl audience heavy — but our group tried to be gender neutral.


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Newton's 3 Laws of Motion for Kids Using Soccer

Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion for Kids Using Soccer

I remember how much I struggled in physics. It never really made sense to me. I didn’t want my kids to have this same experience so I thought I’d expose them earlier so that they would have a more intuitive feel for Newton’s Laws of Motion, the foundation of physics.

To make physics fun and relatable, I thought I’d use soccer to illustrate Newton’s three laws of motion. My son demonstrates here and there’s another animated cartoon below on Newtonian physics in space.

How about you? Do your kids gravitate towards the sciences?

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Diverse Children’s Book Linky!

Diverse Children’s Books is a brand new book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

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#ChooseReading with Speakaboos GIVEAWAY (3 Winners!)

#ChooseReading with Speakaboos GIVEAWAY (3 Winners!)

I’m excited to share a reading app with you called Speakaboos, and I’m giving away 3 FREE 1-year subscriptions worth $69.99 each (see below)!

Kids will #ChooseReading with the Engaging Speakaboos Reading App

Speakaboos is the reading app for kids 2-6 that turns screen time into reading time. With over 200 stories — both well known picture books and stories that Speakaboos developed — kids can read along with an engaging animated version of the book.

The words light up as the words are read aloud and this helps teach kids to learn how to read! It’s not surprising that this literacy app is well thought out. Speakaboos is developed by renowned educational media experts including Dr. Alice Wilder, Chief Learning Officer for Speakaboos and one of the world’s leading authorities on literacy through media. You might know her through her popular TV shows Blue’s Clues and Super WHY!

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Miracle-Gro Gro-Ables for Keeping Kids Outdoors!

Miracle-Gro Gro-Ables for Keeping Kids Outdoors!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro Gro-ables for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

My 5th grade son and his two buddies are inordinately fond of video gaming. My son can be on two screens simultaneously; playing a game while watching a YouTuber play a different game. That drives me nuts.

We, the moms, took action. We got them programming in Scratch and Java, put them in computer camp to learn Java through Minecraft, and set up a boys book club.

Read more…