Watch, Learn, DO: DIY STEM Summer Camp

Watch, Learn, DO: DIY STEM Summer Camp

“STEM Education Is the Key to the U.S.’s Economic Future” is what you read about all the time. U.S. News and World Report says:

We need to encourage more students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math.

And what about girls and STEM? President Barack Obama has something to say about that (as a father of two girls, he carries some weight!):

“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”

— President Barack Obama, February 2013 Read more…

foster healthy brain development in children.

Free Resources for Brain Building Moments #WhatMakesASuperhero

Did you know that we, as parents and caregivers, are superheroes? It’s true! We are superheroes through the everyday moments we spend with our children.

Research shows that there is no time in life when the brain develops more rapidly than during the first five years. Vroom was developed based on the premise that every child is born with enormous potential, and every parent can help them realize that potential.

Vroom Initiative and easy teachable moments Read more…

You Don't Have To Be Big To Be Strong Floating Hospital

Tufts Floating Hospital for Children & The Toughlings

This post was sponsored by Floating Hospital for Children as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. Thank you for supporting brands that support my blog.

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, has had FOUR concussions from volleyball. Who knew it was such a dangerous sport? After the four concussion, my close friend, Alison Foley, the Boston College Women’s Soccer Head Coach, told me we needed to find a concussion specialist for my daughter. I had no idea that such a doctor even existed!

volleyball injury

My daughter is the libero, a defense specialist. She’s in white.

On the day of my daughter’s appointment for a concussion specialist, we ended up at several of Boston’s hospitals, hopelessly confused, going to wrong location after wrong location. We started off in Longwood which was incorrect. The front desk concierge directed us to the South End. I ended up at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center which was an  amazing facility, but I was only able to admire it briefly because, again, I was in the wrong spot. Had I known about their Pediatric Concussion Care Program, I could have just stayed put.

Strength is contagious.

It’s been a long road to recovery for my daughter who has been quite stoic throughout it all. Many kids with serious illnesses also have this upbeat attitude. Floating Hospital’s “You Don’t Have to Be Big to Be Strong” video makes me emotional, but I can understand it’s why the doctors, nurses and staff work so hard, similar to our experience, in which they go above and beyond on a daily basis. It’s for the kids …

“They love without limit, so we fight without compromise.”

I love The Toughlings at Floating Hospital – a group of animals who are small but mighty, just like Floating Hospital kids. They remind patients that they’re big and strong. They can be found in the elevator banks throughout the hospital and stickers are available for patients in clinics. Their names are Buff – a badger, Elbo – an octopus, Mica – an ant, Cozi – a turtle, and Sage – an owl.

Toughlings, New England Floating Hospital

It’s this kind of child-friendly environment that helps kids feel strong when they might be scared. Floating Hospital has other amazing programs for the kids they serve:

  • Mini-horse visits to the inpatient floors monthly
  • Pet therapy dogs
  • Child Life Services: Helping children deal with the stress of hospitalization through play.
  • Services including tutoring, overnight privileges for parents, support groups, and play.

“Around here, there’s one group that’s tougher than all of us.”

You Don't Have To Be Big To Be Strong Floating Hospital

Cancer is tough. I’m tougher.

To learn more about Floating Hospital’s “You Don’t Have To Be Big To Be Strong,” see their website or follow them on Facebook.

How about you? Do you have a doctor or hospital that has really impressed you? Please share!

 

More parenting advice is shared by great bloggers on my collaborative Pinterest board: Parenting Share and Assist.

Who Dream of Flying

10 Books for Children Who Dream of Flying

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Carole Boston Weatherford! Her novel in verse just came out, a stunning perspective of the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during Jim Crow WWII America. This is a family endeavor, the dramatic scratch board illustrations are by her son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

… before 1940, African Americans could not become pilots in the U.S. military.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s novel in verse tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the pioneering African-American pilots of World War II and of life for blacks during this time. Jim Crow laws permeated the military during this time; the SS Mariposa actually had a rope to separate black soldiers from white. But it also curtailed training and leadership opportunities for African Americans, both male and female. Top brass claimed that blacks for not fit to fly.

Of the more than 400,000 pilots trained by the Civilian Pilot Training Program, only 2,000 were black; less than half of a percent. With tremendous pressure to prove their worthiness,The Tuskegee Airmen earned 900 plus medals including Distinguished Crossed, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Their accomplishments paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

She created a list of books for children who dream of taking to the skies … not unlike the pioneering aviators of the Tuskegee Institute. Need more books about flying? I have a list of female aviators: Fabulous Flying Females. What books about flying did we leave out? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

car seat safety

Getting Your Child to Sit in Their Baby Car Seat (and Remain There)

Most kids like to be active, whether they’re a toddler or a baby just kicking, kicking and kicking again. One of the challenges you face as a parent is getting them to stay in those baby car seats when you’re out on a drive. They just won’t have it. Here are some tips to persuade them that baby car seats are a good thing so they’ll want to stay in them.

car seat safety

Let the child prepare for the journey

Tell your child a little before you go that they’ll be getting into the car seat. This allows them to prepare.

Give the child some responsibility

Ask your child if they’d like some help getting into the car seat, or if they can manage by themselves. They’ll feel as if they have more of a say in the matter and resist less. Read more…

Get Kids Gardening with Miracle-Gro® Gro-ables!

Get Kids Gardening with Miracle-Gro® Gro-ables!

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

This year on the first day of spring in Boston, it snowed.

The day after that, it hailed.

Spring comes slowly to Boston. Last year, I started my first vegetable garden with my kids. I waited until Memorial Day in case of frost. My husband built critter proof planters, complete with covers. It was squirrel, bunny, and chipmunk proof!

Gradening with my kidsRead more…

Books for Kids to Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Books for Kids to Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

There’s no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner.

John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is tomorrow, April 30.  This day was created as a way to raise awareness for thousands of pets that are waiting for (and needing) adoption from the shelters.

It isn’t always easy to adopt a pet through a shelter as I found when we were ready for a dog five years ago. Puppies were hard to come by in the pet shelters locally. The breeds there also weren’t recommended for families with small children.

It wasn’t always possible to meet the dog before adopting it. I think it takes patience and perseverance to find the right pet through a shelter, but it seems well worth the effort based on the rescue dogs and owners that I’ve met through the dog park. Pet shelters also turn out to be popular in Early Chapter Books this year.

How about you? Have you ever thought of adopting a pet from an animal shelter? What are you favorite books about adopting pets? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Yoga for Kids: Rachel's Day in the Garden

Yoga for Kids: Rachel’s Day in the Garden

Giselle Kids Yoga Stories

I’m thrilled to be on Rachel’s Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow’s blog tour! I feel fortunate that Giselle moved a few years ago near me so we got to meet in person several times! Giselle is a certified kids’ yoga instructor and her line of books introduces yoga to kids.

I’m a huge proponent of yoga. It helps me from getting injured and it’s a little gift to myself when I practice. It also helped me when I had carpel tunnel from being on the computer too much. I can feel when my life is out whack too, because I will have trouble with balancing poses!

My kids have all tried yoga in various ways. My son likes yoga cards to do poses in bed in a silly way. It’s still yoga though! PickyKidPix says yoga is calming for her. She needs that! Grasshopper and Sensei is prone to injury because she has tight lower body. It’s either physical therapy or yoga, but yoga is for life! She gets the most benefit from yoga, but it’s also the most challenging for her.

yoga pragmaticmom Read more…

Craftwhack's Tangle Art Book GIVEAWAY! 3 Winners!

Craftwhack’s Tangle Art Book GIVEAWAY! 3 Winners!

I think my most of my readers are familiar with Jeanette Nyberg …

We’ve done a holiday shopping guide together for the past few years …

She’s my daughter’s Art and Design School independent college counselor

She blogs at Craftwhack (with previous blogs Artchoo! and Tiny Rotten Peanuts) …

She’s got impeccable taste for the coolest stuff on the planet …

and

She’s really funny and fun!

Now, not surprisingly, she’s the author of a BRAND NEW amazing and fun art book for kids and parents:

Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids: A Silly Book for Creative and Visual Thinking by Jeanette Nyberg Read more…