Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

My son and I watched dozens of videos from The Kid Should See This to find our four favorites:

  • Watch how plants explode their seeds.
  • If you play soccer or basketball, you’ll love this video on backspin called the Magnus Effect.
  • I want a tree liks this: a tree with forty kinds of fruit! It’s an edible artwork!
  • Can you make a cloud in your MOUTH? You can! Just watch!

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5 Great NEW Diversity Easy Readers

5 Great NEW Diversity Easy Readers

I’m thrilled to be judging first round Easy Readers and Early Chapter books for the Cybils! I’m joined by Katie Fitzgerald of Story Time Secrets, Jennifer Wharton of Library Thing and Jean Little Library, Juliana Lee of Juliana Lee: Crafting Stories, Susan Murray of From Tots to Teens.Cybils 2015

The Easy Reader genre was my biggest challenge to find diversity, multicultural and inclusive books for kids when I searched for ten great ones. I literally sat in my public library and read an entire wall of them to create Top 10 Best Multicultural Easy Readers. This year there were 3o Easy Readers nominated for the Cybils and these 5 have diversity themes and characters.

Do you have any favorite diversity Easy Readers? Please share!

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Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade

PickyKidPix is now in 8th grade but only less than half way through. She tells me that her curriculum covers Colonial America, Industrial Revolution in science, American Revolution, Civil War, French and Indian War, Constitution,  and Racism.

I’m creating multicultural picture book lists for middle school in hopes of helping teachers cover their curriculum. I hope that they will participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge. They can earn a FREE hardcover diversity book provided by reading four picture books during the month of January. Sign up here.

What books should I add to this list? Thanks for your help!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

 

Colonial America Picture Book for 8th Grade

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P. J. Lynch

P. J. Lynch’s masterful watercolor paintings and vivid prose told from the perspective of young John Howland bring to life the difficulties of the Mayflower settlers. John is an indentured servant and his master and mistress seek religious freedom in the New World. His adventure begins with certain death should he be caught before boarding the Mayflower. Once aboard, the voyage is plagued with misfortune. John gets cast out to sea when a big wave hits the desk, and survives miraculously because a rope trailed behind the ship. Life in the New World is not easier. Only half of the pilgrims survive the brutal New England winter but the local Native Americans, the Wampanoag, prove to be their saviors. When John Howland’s Mistress and Master die, he is freed of his indentured servitude. Should he stay in this new world or return home? [advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]

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Winter Holiday Picture Books Giveaway

Winter Holiday Picture Books Giveaway & Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Kid Lit Blog Hop is now monthly! To celebrate the holidays in December, I’ve picked out five new picture books to share and I’m giving them away to five different winners.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Can you believe that it’s been thirty years since The Polar Express was published?! This story about the faith that children bring into the world is a classic that reminds young and old alike about the true magic of Christmas. Do you want to spread the magic? Every time you use hashtag #ReadandBelieve, a copy of The Polar Express will be donated to Christmas in the City, a Boston-based non-profit helping families in need. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade

Our 7th grade curriculum includes the rise of civilizations, early humans, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt. The science curriculum is focused on biology.

What multicultural picture books should I add to this list? Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

Lascaux IIImages from Lascaux II

The First Drawing by Mordicai Gerstein

Imagine life more than 30 thousand years ago, before drawing was invented! Using a burnt stick (charcoal), imagine the first human to see shapes on a wall that resemble animals and draw them. It would feel like magic! This is one version speculating why early humans created cave paintings and this story is inspired by cave paintings in Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave in Southern France. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

My son has been trying out new STEM toys recently. This is the second kit Technology Will Save Us sent us: DIY Electro Dough Kit. He also tried out the DIY Gamer Kit , ARCKit, Snap Circuits, and Sphero.

DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

Out of all these kits, I think my son liked the DIY Electro Dough Kit the most. It’s also the least expensive out of the different things he tried, at $30 for the kit.

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Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

I consulted my 8th grader, PickyKidPix, about middle school curriculum. She pays attention to everything going on so she remembers what she studied and notices what other grades are doing. She said that her teachers have generally covered the same curriculum they have always done which seemed to naturally follow Common Core but that different teachers put different emphasis on units based on their preferences.

For example, Grasshopper and Sensei, in 6th grade was delighted to find that 6th Grade English included an extensive Mythology unit with she aced without studying because she loves mythology. She took the National Mythology Examination in 5th grade for fun, for example. For PickyKidPix however, her teacher wasn’t as into mythology so this was a single week unit (which suited her just fine because she never got into the Percy Jackson series).

6th grade curriculum for my kids included Greek and Roman Mythology, World Geography, culture and modern life of different countries around the world, and World Religions (Buddhism, Muslim, Catholic, Judaism, Hinduism). 6th Grade STEM included chemistry, physics and bridges and 6th Grade English included Tuck Everlasting, Beowolf, The Giver, The Odyssey.

What diversity picture books would you add? Thanks for your suggestions!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

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STEM Engineering Toy Car to Build

STEM Engineering Toy Car to Build

Meccano Mountain Rally 25 ModelMy son tried out the Meccano Mountain Rally 25 Model Set. He likes to assemble things but hasn’t really had a lot of opportunity to use tools so I thought that would be fun for him.

mecanno toy

It’s a kit with a lot mechanical pieces and a detailed instruction manual on how to assemble it. My son likes to follow the directions to the letter the first time around, and then he will disassemble the toy and rebuild it free-form.
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The Magic of Kinetic Sand

The Magic of Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand is a three-dimensional building toy made of 98% sand and 2% polydimethylsiloxane that mimics the physical properties of wet sand. Think of it as a concoction of sand + Silly Putty. That’s actually what it is.

The Magic of Kinetic Sand

It has an addicting “feel” quality to it. It looks like brown sugar but you can use it for sculpting, indoor play sand for children. The weird-but-good thing is that sticks to itself but not to most other materials or surfaces, and it does not dry out. Read more…