Archive for April, 2015

Recipe to Grow Adventurous Kids

Recipe to Grow Adventurous Kids

I wasn’t the most adventurous kid growing up though I read like crazy and admired from the pages of books, kids who went on marvelous and scary adventures. Nancy Drew and friends tackled bad guys without blinking an eye, even if they were rescued from time to time by their boyfriends or her father. Encyclopedia Brown was never stumped by any crime going on his neighborhood. I also admired the smart aleck kids who got away with mischief like The Great Brain. But I never realized that in my own way, I was adventurous … that is through food.

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Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

I wanted to review this book thinking Grasshopper and Sensei would like it, but instead I found it was perfect for me. I used to take a lot of art classes before I had kids. And while I have tried to paint from time to time, even managing to complete a hand painted set of plates before PickyKidPix was born, it never seemed to be the right time to make art. Either my workspace needed to be cleared off for a meal — I used the dining room table for my art — or I didn’t have a chunk of uninterrupted time, or inspiration, or the right materials …

Art Before Breakfast is a zippy, inspiration with the conviction that we all just need 15 minutes before breakfast to bring out the artist within us all. I am not a morning person, so I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes but I applied the principle and found 15 minutes in my day — sometimes less, sometimes more — to be creative. And I’m really glad I did.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory

Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory Read more…

Read Remotely with Relatives: HomeTeam App

Read Remotely with Relatives: HomeTeam App(TM)

My husband’s and my immediate family are all on the other coast in California. While we all do fly back and forth to visit, it is a challenge to stay connected. We tried different things over the years, all with disastrous results:

Christmas fire

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Recycle Clothes and Help Schools #passthebag

#PasstheBag: Recycle Clothes and Help Schools

April is a time of new beginnings for us. Spring is finally in the air and Earth Day helps us to remember to take care of our environment. It does create more work; I get an itch to clean the house and this is the first year I’ll have a real vegetable garden. But one idea reverberates inside me:
all you need Read more…

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. Today is a good reminder to celebrate Earth Day every day and pass lessons on environmental stewardship to our children. To this end, I wanted to share resources for teaching kids about the environment.

Scholastic and OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) have partnered to create lesson plans and activities that empower students in grades K through 5 and their families to champion best practices in taking care of the green space in their communities. The program sets out to inspire an interest in backyard science, environmental activism, and encourage spending time in the outdoors.

Resources include a teachers section, a parents section, and a free e-Book – a digital storybook about superhero TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers.

I also have a book list of our favorite earth day picture books. What books that you enjoy am I missing? Please share! Read more…

Top 10 Multicultural Picture Books on Bullying

Top 10 Multicultural Picture Books on Bullying

My boxing friend Mark has an idea for a reality tv show that is both of our fantasies-come-true. The show would set up you and your bully in a boxing ring. It would be a real fight with a set date so that you could train, a pre-determined number of rounds and a referee. Of course, your bully opponent might not have been training for a fight for years … and that’s what makes this a fantasy! In reality, it would probably be depressing to fight those middle school bullies thirty plus years later (though putting up a good fight would earn my respect of my bully tormentor).

My kids have each had a few incidences of bullying over their short life. It was nothing too momentous, especially by my childhood standards. It’s no longer politically correct to solve conflict through physical fights (my boxing trainer laments; he’s pretty old school) and anti-bullying training in school with greater awareness by teachers has made bullying less blatant. It still exists though … and the rise of cyberbullying probably is one result of not letting kids solve conflicts through physical fighting. I suspect there is an innate primal drive for humans, much like wolf packs or chickens, to assert pecking order in order to establish an alpha leader and perhaps bullying is one negative outcome of that impulse. Read more…

Swiffer Wet Jet Swiffer Dads

A Dad Who Likes to Clean? #SwifferDad

Am I lucky or what? My husband reminds me frequently that I am. A husband and father that likes to clean. And iron. And cook. Yes, I am a lucky girl!

We moved recently to a house from the 1880’s that my husband spent a year lovingly restoring. Most of the flooring is wood, including the kitchen, and my husband is fanatical about making sure the floor around the sink stays dry. Now, we’ve off-loaded the dish washing duty to our two girls as part of their chores that they earn allowance for. Do you know that it’s impossible to keep the floor dry while unloading and reloading the dishwasher? Try it. It’s true!

Swiffer dad Read more…

Create a Protective Device for an Egg Experiment for Kids

Create a Protective Device for an Egg Experiment for Kids

Here’s an easy and fun experiment to do using simply hard-boiled eggs. Regular chicken eggs will do nicely, but I found these really cool Ostrich and Emu eggs from the Saveur Instragram that are sold at Whole Foods somewhere!

Ostrich and Emu Eggs sold at Whole Foods Market

Ostrich and Emu Eggs Sold at Whole Foods Market (not mine though!)

You can give your child cardboard, paper, clear tape, scissors but my son just ransacked the kitchen drawer and that worked fine too! Read more…

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

It’s been such a great year for those who love both multicultural/diversity/inclusive books for kids AND novels in verse! I picked five amazing favorites that I’ve loved from this past year and hope that the popularity of these books will encourage more diversity books to be published!

What are your favorite novels in verse? Please share! Thanks!

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