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100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAY

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAY

Have you met Kim Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators’ Spin On It? They are teachers, moms, bloggers (a duo in fact!), and also co-hosts for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

im Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators' Spin On It

I’m proud to know them. They are both wonderfully generous with their time and knowledge. I learned how to improve my Pinterest account from Kim when she did a Google+ Hangout for Multicultural Kid Blogs meet up. I still have my notes from her session.

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAYRead more…

Learn About London for Kids

A Fun Way to Learn About London!

This cut paper animation video of the history of London amazed me … and prompted this list. I’ve been to London for a short trip before I had kids, but it’s on my list to visit again! How about you? Have your kids been to London? If so, would they like these books?

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Kid Lit Blog Hop Now MONTHLY!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I have been busy making very short videos on picture books. Here’s one picture book discovery:

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach

The Ellis kids are excellent at something: soccer, math, ballet, and baking. Ed the dog tries to figure out his special skill: breaking stuff, losing stuff, forgetting stuff. But the kids are better at that too! Is this why he doesn’t get to eat at the table, ride in the van, or sit on the coach? Or are his skills related to that? [picture book, ages 4 and up]

If you like this video and want to see more, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks! Read more…

how to set up a blog or website

How to Set Up a Blog (or Website)

If you are thinking of setting up a blog or even a simple website, it’s becoming the same thing. You can set up a blog to use as a website for your small business. Here’s how in three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform. Spoiler alert: Use Self Hosted WordPress.

Step 2: Secure Your Name and Host. Spoiler alert: Make sure your name is available on Twitter and other social media platforms. Use BlueHost.

Step 3: Configure and Design Your Site. Spoiler alert: Make sure your blog/website theme is Responsive.

Ready? Let’s go! Read more…

5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

My son has picked up the pace reading books this year in 5th grade. His book lists are now in three parts.

5th Grade Books from a 5th Grade Boy has books that he read as a rising 5th grader as well as book he read in the early part of the school year. You’ll notice his reluctance to read by all the graphic novels he read. This was also the turning point for novels in verse for him when he discovered The Crossover which lead to more novels in verse.

Best 5th Grade Books from My 5th Grade Son is part 2 of 3. You’ll notice that he likes FUNNY and ACTION ADVENTURE, preferably combined á la Rick Riordan. His 5th grade teacher has him reading historical fiction for the first time which he’s really enjoying. This set us up for more historical fiction and even historical fiction as a novel in verse!

How about you? What do you think he should add to his reading list? I am planning on having him read at least five books this summer.

5th Grade Chapter Books from a 5th Grade Boy

Brooklyn Bat Boy: the Story of the 1947 Season That Changed Baseball Forever by Geoff Griffin

I really liked learning about Jackie Robinson through the perspective of a Irish American bat boy.

Jackie Robinson’s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers told from the point of view of the new batboy. My son and I loved this historical fiction early chapter book, complete with authentic slang. Pair it with a biography on Jackie Robinson if you  want to learn about this extraordinary man. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Our school year won’t end until June 23rd which makes my kids and I think that we are the last to finish school this year. Hence, my summer learning plans are a little late in the making this year.

My two teen girls are away most of the summer. Grasshopper and Sensei will do a six-week Pre-College summer session at Rhode Island School of Design. She has some assigned books to read for AP English next fall where she will be a Junior in high school, and she will enter some art competitions.

PickyKidPix did not read enough this past school year while in 8th grade. She’s going to try to read five books this summer. Read more…

Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

When I lived near a golf course in our old house a few miles away, I would spot red foxes running at dusk on the sidewalks. My friend Susan told me about her encounter with a coyote one winter afternoon. She and her black labrador were on the snow covered golf course for a walk when they were approached by a lone coyote. Unwilling to turn his back on the coyote, her dog put himself between her and the coyote and walked them backwards for two miles back to the street; eyes on the coyote the entire time. Susan thinks there was a litter of pups and the coyote was being protective.

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

The thing is, I live nine miles west of Boston in a pretty tightly packed suburban area. It’s not farms and huge backyards where I live. Most houses sit on a quarter of an acre.

In this article, Why Wild Animals Are Moving Into Cities, and What To Do About It, by Popular Science, researcher Stan Gertz estimates that more than 2,000 coyotes now make a comfortable living in the Chicago metropolitan area. He notes that “some urban coyotes have even been spotted crossing streets in busy traffic—at the light, looking both ways, just like human Chicagoans.”

 

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How to Play PokemonGo with Kids

How to Play #PokémonGO with Your Kids

My son was obsessed with Pokémon when he was four years old. For two years, I read nothing but Pokémon books to him. The books he liked were Find and Seek or Pokémon directories. Neither types of books have much plot. I also bought him tiny Pokémon plastic figures off eBay that I would carry around in a plastic baggy and whip out at restaurants for him to play with. They had to be ordered from Hong Kong. This is serving me well now, when my kids catch Pokémon because I actually can describe them.

PokémonGO

Jigglypuff? The pinkish one?

Jigglypuff Pokémon

Poliwhirl? Doesn’t that have a swirly thing for eye? Oh, it’s on the stomach.

Poliwhirl Pokémon, Polywhirl Pokémon

Ghastly? Ghost Pokémon!

Ghastly Pokémon

I love Pokémon. I love how kids can wander in this safe world where nothing really bad ever happens. When PokémonGo came out, I knew it would motivate my son to finish his summer math workbook in order to get a cell phone. As a rising 6th grader taking the school bus for the first time, he needs a phone. Read more…

Visiting Quebec City with Kids

Planning a Visit to Quebec City with Kids

My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.

Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.

My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.

 

Quebec City Day 1

aquarium de quebec

image from Wikipedia

1. Aquarium du Quebec

We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Read more…