Archive for September, 2014

amazing videos to share with kids

The Kid Should Really See This Part II

My son curated the curated videos made for adults but great for kids at The Kid Should See This. I’m sharing 4 videos that I loved from this great newletter.

The Kid Really Should See This!

The Washington Ballet’s Hardest Dance Moves

If you had doubts that ballet is a sport, watch this video and be convinced! They are amazing athletes! Read more…

non fiction picture book of the day giveaway, plant a pocket of prairie by phyllis root

Non Fiction Picture Book of the Day GIVEWAY

I wanted to share some new non fiction picture books with you today. The thing about non fiction, in my humble opinion, is that it really does need to match the reader’s interest in a very specific way. I’ve picked books that I thought my kids would like and a few others that I like that I hope they, and you, will too.

 

New Non Fiction Picture Books

Non Fiction Picture Book of the Day

non fiction picture book of the day, Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root

This non fiction picture book would work for an Earth Day theme, but I chose it simply because I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations and the hopeful message that it’s possible to save our wild plants and places by simply doing our own small part as best we can.

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen

It’s written in prose that reads like a poem with a compelling “What If?” message that shows the connection of wild things from plants and habitat to animals. [non fiction picture book, ages 4 and up]

Plant foxglove beardtongue.

A ruby-throated hummingbird

might hover and sip and thrum.

If that hummingbird sips and zips

looking for something more to eat …

Plant butterfly weed.

Monarch butterflies might lay their eggs

on the underside of leaves.

Read more…

Ninja family reading with flashlights, free book from scholastic and eveready batteries

Ninja Pajama Family Reading Time: FREE Book From Scholastic

My kids are one-quarter Japanese and my mother’s side is from the Daimyo class, which is to say that they were feudal landowners located one hour from Hiroshima but this system changed starting in 1868 with Meiji restoration. I personally like reading about this ancient time in Japan but Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have never shown any interest in that or anything ninja. My Japanese side has no real connection to ninja, a mercenary, than perhaps to have used them but my son loves all things ninja and we’ve progressed from ninja picture books, to ninja early chapter books, to now this action adventure chapter book:

 

Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja by Simon Higgins

Set in Japan during the time of the Shogun rule, Moonshadow is an orphan adopted into the Grey Light Order, a secret ninja group loyal to the Shogun. He must stop a hungry Daimyo (warlord) from developing a powerful new weapon from the west that would threaten the fragile peace finally established in Japan. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Read more…

Visiting San Marino: Oldest Sovereign State in the World!

Visiting San Marino: Oldest Sovereign State in the World!

PickyKidPix desperately wanted to join her indoor soccer team on  “trip of a lifetime” playing soccer in Italy with USA Premier Soccer so I used my hoarded stash of money from blogging to take her and Grasshopper and Sensei on a 10 day tour that covered:

  • Como (Lake Como where George Clooney has a house. We didn’t see his house)
  • Milan
  • San Marino (oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world)
  • Rimini (beach town near San Marino)
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Pisa
  • Portovenere (Unesco Site on the Ligurian coast)
  • Montecantini (Tuscany)

Visiting San Marino Near Italy with Kids!

Read more…

10 Perfect Read Alouds for 4th Grade

10 Perfect Read Alouds for 4th Grade

Fourth grade at my elementary school marks a really interesting immigration unit that introduced my kids to their first group project experience. They learned, the hard way, about freeloaders but the end result was a “Wax Museum” where each child played a wax statue that, when prompted by dropping in a fake coin in a bucket, recited a speech about life as a new immigrant. Each group chose a different country to emigrate from that included Poland, Ireland, Italy, China, Japan and more.  They also created a Wax Museum display bulletin board that talked about the immigrant experience from their country. What was most noticeable was how every, single group talked about the racism and prejudice they faced upon coming to America.

It seems that in fourth grade, kids are starting to really develop empathy skills so historical fiction about immigration or the mistreatment of dogs moves them deeply. I’ve included the books that my kids remember reading as part of a classroom assignment or as a read aloud in 4th grade and added a few of my favorites. My son just started 4th grade this year, so I will keep track of his classroom read alouds and will add them to this list all year.

Please share your ideas for 4th grade read alouds. Thank you! Read more…

FREE Fun Factoid App: Parent and Child KidQ

FREE Fun Factoid App: Parent and Child KidQ

My 9-year-old son likes factoids and we are often waiting at pick ups for his older sisters or before his soccer game. My son would usually kill the time playing a game on the iPad but I like the FREE Parent&Child KidQ app more. It’s quick. It’s fun. It’s educational!

Scholastic Parent and Child KidQ App

The app is meant as a way to converse with your child by providing questions like:

  • Why do feet smell (my son likes potty humor so this makes him giggle)
  • Why is California named The Golden State (hint: gold rush)
  • Why do you think they freeze hockey pucks before games (hint: friction. fun fact: the first hockey pucks were actually frozen cow poop!)
  • What is the most popular team sport in the United States? (hint: hoop)
  • Why do you think Johnny Appleseed is famous? (hint: apple trees. fun fact: only one tree that he planted remains — it’s more than 180 years old and sits on a farm in Nova, Ohio)

Read more…

Hispanic American Books for Kids: Link Round Up

Hispanic American Books for Kids: Link Round Up

I’m part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage celebration where the MKB bloggers are sharing different ideas to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with kids.

There are now 52 million Hispanic families in the U.S. – making Hispanics the nation’s largest ethnic minority at 16.7% of the entire population.

Almost 50% of Hispanic households have children in the home, which is more than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S.

Hispanics also make up 20% of U.S. families with children under the age of 6. from MediaPost

That’s a great reason to celebrate Hispanic Heritage no matter what your ethnicity, don’t you think?! Read more…

kids caught doing summer reading

Caught in the Act … of READING and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo! Kids caught in the acting reading makes me very, very happy! How is summer reading going for you?

If you send me a photo to pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com, I’ll send you a book! (I’m sorry but I can only send books to the United States due to the high cost of shipping.) I hope it keeps your kids happily reading this summer! Read more…

Jessica Darling #2 giveaway

Jessica Darling’s It List #2 GIVEAWAY

PickyKidPix just started 7th grade this year and this book seems right up her alley. Now that she is assigned to read 40 books this school year from her English teacher, we will be seeking out high interest books like this one! Jessica Darling #2 hits shelves TODAY and I have author Megan McCafferty stopping by with advice for middle school kids.

How is your school year going? I hope you are off to a good start!

Jessica Darling, Middle School Advice from author Megan McCafferty

Read more…