• 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!).

  • Top 10: Best Beginning Chapter Book Series (ages 6-9)

    Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.

  • Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

    Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!

How Old Should Your Kid Be To Visit A Big Amusement Park?

Taking your kid to an amusement park sounds like a natural idea. It certainly can be fun for the whole family, but you don’t want to bring your kids to any amusement park too early. Regardless of the specific amusement park, if it’s one of the big ones, you’re going to want to exercise some caution. Read more…

Healthy Essentials for the Holidays from Johnson & Johnson

Coupons to Save on Healthy Essentials

It’s the holiday season which means two things for almost all of us: baking and spending lots of money on loved ones. So today, I am sharing coupons to save money at the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®website! You can save up to $35 on Johnson & Johnson products including these that you might already be using.

Healthy Essentials for the Holidays from Johnson & Johnson Read more…

Volunteering at Special Surfer Night in Kennebunk

Special Surfer Night in Maine

When we were first went on a vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, we stumbled upon a surf shop called Aquaholics. I’m from a little beach town in Southern California, so finding a surf shop in New England is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They offered surfing lessons and Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix wanted to give it a try. Thus began their great love of surfing five years ago.

speciall surf night maineRead more…

CWIST Holiday Giving Lets Kids Give Back

CWIST Holiday Giving Lets Kids Give Back

There are precious few giving back opportunities for kids that don’t require someone like a parent to stroke a check. I love how CWIST is allowing kids to give toys to less fortunate children and thus learning how great it feels to give back! It only takes one experience of giving back for kids to realize that it truly is better to give than to receive and in the process, kids learn gratitude and an appreciation for what they have. Read more…

Green Earth Book Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Green Earth Book Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

2014 winners for the Green Earth Book Award, which is a national recognition of authors and illustrators whose books best inspire young readers to appreciate and care for the environment. AIn its 10thyear, the Green Earth Book Award has five categories.

Green Earth Book Award

The 2014 winners are … Read more…

Dealing with Allergies and Reactions

Dealing with Allergies and Reactions

Babies cry because they have no other way to let their parents know of their discomfort. In some cases, the answer is simple: hungry, sleepy, dirty diaper. But with colic, illness, teething, and allergies, the answer may be harder to identify. Allergies themselves can manifest in a number of forms, including insomnia, rashes, broken skin, and overall fussiness. Oftentimes, you may need to visit a pediatrician to identify your infant’s precise allergies, but even before that you can help prevent exacerbation and even eliminate it entirely in certain cases.

Dealing with Allergies and Reactions

Opt for Specifically Labeled Non Toxic Soaps and Lotions

Dry skin, rashes, and baby acne can all be caused by allergic reactions to soap and lotion. Many parents just pick up the nearest bottle of baby lotion without checking the ingredients. But you may inadvertently be causing more problems for your little one’s skin. Chemical components or semi agitating substances like mineral oil can create or worsen an allergy. Even dyes and fragrances can cause problems. Web MD warns  parents that even the term “hypoallergenic” does not mean that the product will be gentle on the skin. It just means that it is “less likely to cause an allergic reaction.” For babies with particularly sensitive skin, hypoallergenic is probably not enough.

Choosing organic products manufactured by a reputed retailer like The Honest Company bath and body products that are specifically developed for children with sensitive skin will help prevent allergies and reduce allergic reactions while keeping your baby’s skin healthy. Oftentimes, the ingredients listed on these products will be names you recognize rather than chemicals.

To soothe your baby’s agitation and pain, you can purchase products intended to soothe allergic reactions and irritations.  You can also prepare a tepid bath with a quarter cup of ground oatmeal or two tablespoons of baking soda can help reduce the itching and agitation. Just make sure to pat your baby’s skin dry after you’re through rather than rubbing. Just remember to apply a liberal amount of chemical free baby lotion to further nourish your baby’s skin.

Be Strictest While the Rash or Symptoms Are Present

You will want to avoid perfumes and dyes while your little one is struggling with a rash. Even if these components are otherwise labeled as safe or even hypoallergenic, they can still cause problems for newborns whose skin is particularly sensitive. “How Safe Are Your Baby’s Diapers” agrees that most of the perfumes and dyes included in these products are not harmful in the long term, but an infant’s rash may be enflamed even by small exposure.

Your baby will always be more sensitive and likely to increased breakouts and reactions while the allergy is in full swing. Just as burned skin is far more sensitive to temperature changes than normal, your baby will be more sensitive to certain products while dealing with an allergic reaction. You shouldn’t overreact by banning all products forever. But while your baby is healing, it’s important to eliminate all but the gentlest of products. A skin irritation can develop during the healing period, which is distinct from an allergy. “Baby Skin Allergies 101” explains that skin irritations can be circumstantial rather than related to a specific allergen.

If you are breastfeeding, you may also want to avoid common allergen related foods like gluten, dairy, peanuts, shellfish, and so on. What you eat may not cause your baby to have a full allergy, but those foods can exacerbate a current allergy or create a temporary food sensitivity, according to Healthy Children.

Visit the Doctor

New parents in particular have reputations for worrying too much. And it’s little wonder given all the new things a parent must learn. But when your baby displays certain symptoms, you shouldn’t discount your concerns. The following symptoms will often require a visit to a pediatrician or family doctor, particularly if they do not disappear within 48 hours:

Bleeding from cracks and sores

Bumpy or oozing rashes

Swelling

Severe scabbing

Blistering or splitting of the skin

Hives

If these are combined with a fever or vomiting, you should book an appointment as soon as possible.  Kids Health warns that if the baby struggles to breathe, then you should take him to the emergency room immediately. Redness of the face when combined with an overly rapid heartbeat are also indications that the baby needs emergency attention.

Milder symptoms may not require immediate medical attention. But if your baby has had a minor rash for more than two weeks, it may be wise to talk to a doctor.

Trying to meet your baby’s needs beyond the basics can be challenging, particularly if the allergy is not readily apparent. Even if you do not identify it specifically, you can sometimes soothe your baby’s symptoms. Opt for soaps, lotions, and products that are specifically made for infants with delicate skin, take extra precautions while your baby recovers, and consider visiting a doctor.

chevy teacher discount program

Educator Discount from Chevrolet

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

Teachers have one of the toughest jobs on the planet and they do it, not for the money, but from the heart. The holiday season is a great time to thank our teachers.

how to thank a teacher with signed chapter books

I’ve been saving this stack of signed books to gift to our teachers; both current ones and previous teachers that I know love these authors!

Does your school have a no gift policy like ours? If so, what can you do?

how to thank a teacher with signed chapter books

Bonus points for spelling this very tricky last name correctly! I hope I got it right! The author is also coming to our elementary school next week! This is to Grasshopper and Sensei’s third grade teacher.

This is how we thank our teachers … with personalized signed chapter books.

how to thank a teacher with signed chapter books

My son’s 4th grade teacher is getting Jarrett Krosoczka‘s latest chapter book. I hope she likes it!

Our no gift policy allows for classroom items and all teachers love books! I think it’s even better when the author writes an inscription to them. Bonus points for spelling their name correctly!

how to thank a teacher with signed chapter books

My son’s 3rd grade teacher loves going to author events but she missed this one. A signed book will make her feel like she was there!

I’m so glad that Chevrolet is taking time to recognize the good work that educators do, day in and day out, and year round (even when schools are not in session!).

Educator Discount from Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox is a SUV with fuel-efficiency at 32 mpg on the highway! Read more…

Predicting the 2015 Newbery, Caldecott

Predicting 2015 Caldecott & Newbery

I have a selfish reason for compiling this list. It’s my Christmas book list for my kids. It’s also because my kids won’t read (probably like yours!) unless they have a really good book and so I search and search and present, like a game show hostess, blog posts of books that I think my kids will like and they unceremoniously, nay or approve each selection. Usually a nay, by the way. This is what I get back:

“No thanks mom.” (Grasshopper and Sensei politely declining)

“That looks boring.” (PickyKidPix; she is the least concerned about my feelings)

“Ummm, can we choose something else?” (My son squirms uncomfortably when he dislikes a book choice)

“I’ll just re-read Percy Jackson. I don’t want you to spend any of your money.” (What my son actually did all summer to avoid reading a “boring” book)

 

And now I need chapter books besides action adventure for my son (his teacher is trying to broaden his horizens); realistic fiction and dystopian for PickyKidPix; dystopian, non-stupid helpless girl romance and realistic fiction YA for Grasshopper and Sensei. And picture books for all of us, but only the “good” ones. Read more…

Raising Money for First Book at Multicultural Children's Book Day

Raising Money for First Book at Multicultural Children’s Book Day

We have some wonderful news about Multicultural Children’s Book Day! We are now a non-profit! This status will help us with our mission to get diversity books into the hands of underserved children.

multicultural children's book day January 27 2015

To help us with this goal, we are partnering with First Book. We will be both helping them to raise money and donating money we raise through our Multicultural Children’s Book Day to donate multicultural books to kids who need them most!

First Book and Multicultural Children's Book Day

 

About First Book

First Book provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 120 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  Read more…