Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Grasshopper and Sensei and I are huge fans of watercolor painting. We are especially fond of travel size watercolor kits, even though we rarely paint en plein air. We have fantasies of painting outside while on vacation or at an art museum; fantasies that never come to pass. It’s probably because we don’t have the right art supplies. That’s right! That’s our reason and we are sticking to it.

If only … if only we had these kits. We’d be painting up a storm! Here’s a sampling of some of the art we’ve produced over the years, sadly indoors, and not with these irresistible travel watercolor kits. But if you want to know what to get us for our birthdays or Christmas — hint, hint to relatives reading — now you know!

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics, $15

This is really good paint because it’s very pigmented. It comes in a metal container which folds out so there’s more mixing room.

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box, $12

This pocket-sized watercolor travel set has 12 half pans of colors in a plastic box with a mixing palette in the lid.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Brush Pen Set, $22

This is a watercolor paint set with 12 half pans PLUS Windor & Newton water brush pen.

Watercolor Kit Gift Guide

Jerry Q Art Water Colors Travel Pocket Set, $18

This kit has 18 water colors pans, with a refillable water brush and sponge.

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National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

I’m thrilled to be giving away three great nonfiction books from National Geographic Kids! My son loves the Weird But True! series, the Almanacs, and weird facts about the natural world, in general.

These are books to flip around in, to marvel at the wondrous creatures in our world, and to go back to again and again. They get reluctant readers reading and both girls and boys equally are drawn to these books. They make great holiday gifts for kids, ages 8-12!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Happy Holidays from National Geographic Kids!
One (1) winner receives copies of:

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Diverse Children's Books

Diverse Children’s Book Linky: LGBTQ #DiverseKidLit & More

Our theme for this month’s Diverse Children’s Books linkups is Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character(s). (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a 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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Books For Kids About Cambodia (ages 4 to 16)

Books For Kids About Cambodia (ages 4 to 16)

I was working on book lists for Hmong, Lao, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but it turns out that there are few fiction books on their countries but quite a few on Cambodia. Like Japanese American books that mostly focus on WWII internment, many fiction books revolve on Khmer Rouge Cambodia, a heartbreaking event in history.

Still, there are other sides of the Cambodian story that emerge from this book list: folk tales that turn on the clever rabbit (the peasant who outwits those in power), the refugee immigrant, and the lives of Cambodians post war.

This list can also be used as part of a discussion on racism, and who is an “American.” I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. You can also use this list as a companion to Holocaust books for kids.

If you have other books to add on Cambodia, Laos, the Hmong or Vietnam, I’d welcome them! Thanks for sharing!

 

Books for Kids About Cambodia

Who Belongs Here?: An American Story by Margy Burns Knight, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien

A refugee’s story of who belongs here in America? After facing the most brutal of regimes, Nary, his grandfather and uncle are able to leave a refugee camp to relocate in America. Far from being the land of opportunity, they face racism. Similarly, Nary is bullied at school. Use this book to help students understand the refugee experience and to build bridges of understanding and compassion. Italicized notes on each page give a deeper view of the immigration experience. This book is also great paired with immigration picture books from other countries. [picture book, ages 8 and up]

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Multicultural Children's Book Day

How to Get Involved with Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Now more than ever…

Now more than ever, children need to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read.

Readers of all ages need to be able to “read their world” to both see themselves, and those are who different, whether by culture, religion, sexual orientation, special needs or ethnicity.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is proud to offer an initiative and holiday that encourages discovery, hope, acceptance and exploration through the pages of diverse children’s literature.

As our fourth Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday approaches on January 27, 2017, we are thrilled to have you as part of our amazing community of supporters!

With enthusiasm, optimism and hope, we are preparing for MCBD 2017 and hope you will, again, join our celebration of diversity through children’s books. Read more…

Our 10 Favorite Math Picture Books

Our 10 Favorite Math Picture Books

My son has always been the math-iest of my three kids but now my middle, PickyKidPix, has proclaimed two years in a row now that math class is her favorite, though her most challenging. I have had a love of mathematics; with a math professor for a father, my childhood was fraught with extra math homework and pop quizzes in the car. I’ve always preferred stories.

But now there are math picture books that bring a story to a math concept, making it friendly and easy to absorb. Some of these books pose as mysteries, others as adventures. All are captivating entertainment that draw kids into math.

I think if I were raised on these kinds of stories, I would have had a different relationship with math. Less adversarial. Less black and white. My son and I have had read dozens of math picture books to bring you our favorites here.

How about you? What are your favorite math picture books? Thanks for sharing!

 

The History of Mathematics: The Story of Zero, Getting Something from Nothing

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Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly: Our Hasbro Kindness Project

Our service project each Thanksgiving is to deliver a meal to the elderly through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and my kids all agree; it’s the best part of our Thanksgiving.

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly

It isn’t always easy to find a service project around Thanksgiving meals that includes your kids. I tried calling homeless shelters and they all said that they don’t allow children to serve meals though my sister in Torrance, CA has a place that she and her family support every year. I guess you just have to call around.

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FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

PickyKidPix is a coxswain at CRI and is highly motivated to improve so that she can cox in college. I was a coxswain at Radcliffe, back in the day when they had a Freshman program, and the minimum weight for women’s coxs was 100 pounds. Now it’s 110 pounds.

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

Things have changed in college women’s rowing since I was in college thirty years ago. With Title 9 as boon, women’s college rowing has grown tremendously, and with it, an industry for rowers and coxswains to help them get recruited.

This is my working list as I learn more about resources for coxswains, rowers, and the college recruiting process (which is so different from soccer). Still, the NCAA rules are the same and I have a post on that: How to Get an Athletic Scholarship, though only 2% of athletes get a full ride scholarship (Full Ride Scholarships are Rare).

 

Free Great Advice for Coxswains

1. Coxswain Nation: advice from Yaz, DVDs for purchase, and downloadable PDFs and links. Lots of great resources, many of it free.

Yasmin “Yaz” Farooq has been involved in coxing and coaching for over 30 years. As the coxswain for the United States National Team from 1989 to 1996, she competed in the 1992 & 1996 Olympic Games. She was captain of the Olympic Women’s Rowing Team at the Atlanta Olympics. She was the head coach at Stanford University from 2006-2016 and won a National Championship in 2009, along with five podium finishes. She was also the on-air rowing analyst for NBC’s telecasts of the Olympic Games from 2000-2012. Yaz was inducted into the National Rowing Foundation Hall of Fame in 2014. Read more…

World Kindness Day ideas for kids

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

The day after the election I was in shock, then angry and finally depressed. And the thought of facing racism made me mad and ready to fight. And it’s not like I don’t spend a few hours punching every week. I was ready to fist fight, and, it turns out,  I wasn’t the only one. Day 1 in Trump’s America is an ugly place to be.

But then I met with Valarie and Becky for Multicultural Children’s Book Day — we meet weekly via Skype for the months leading up to January 27th — and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to fight for acceptance of diversity through compassion. Believe me, this is not an easy leap to make for me!  My first response would be to throw a punch when faced with racism, so I give myself this reminder today, on World Kindness Day, November 13th.

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

And, as I think about kindness, I am reminded of Valerie at Inner Child Fun (different Valerie than Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Multicultural Children’s Book Day) and how she inspired me with her 35 Random Acts of Kindness Birthday Challenge. I knew I wanted to face my own upcoming 48th birthday this way. It wasn’t easy to pull it off; I needed a month, but it was the best birthday present ever!

And just like that … ripples of kindness actually spread. Read more…