Dr. Michele Borba has a new book out tomorrow and I’m thrilled she’s here today with ideas of how to get your spread kindness. I have some ideas for Random Acts of Kindness and a DIY Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar as well.
Kaila is not yet four, but the San Diego preschooler already has the makings of an empathetic children. When I banged my toe at a party, the three- year-old was the first to my side. I watched her size things up, look carefully at my “injury,” and then empathize. Her face switched from inquisitiveness to concern, and then she looked up with the biggest eyes, and said, “I sorry ’bout your toe. You need Band-Aid for your owie? I help you.”
Kaila may have missed a few words, but her message displayed a charitable spirit even at a young age. And it was because her parents were raising her to care. Research contends that though our kids are hard-wired to empathize and care about others, the traits of humanness must be nurtured. And the best ways to do so are always spontaneous and don’t cost a dime. Here are six science-backed tips to cultivate children’s hearts from my latest book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About-Me World.
Grasshopper and Sensei is now old enough to drive but it scares her. She sometimes gets the gas pedal confused with the brake. That’s scary for both of us!
Her younger sister, PickyPidPix, is always trying to get us to let her drive the car. She’s only 14 years old though and likes to practice by driving a golf cart.
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We are celebrating Ramadan over at Multicultural Children’s Book Day for the month of June. This is my contribution. Join us at our blog with guest posts from authors on how they are celebrating Ramadan, and book giveaways.
I wanted to make a list of Ramadan books to learn more about this holiday. Here’s what I learned after reading a dozen books:
- Ramandan is the ninth month in the calendar used for Muslim holidays. When it is near, they watch for a new crescent moon. (Now I understand why many Ramadan books reference the moon in the title!)
- The calendar for Muslim holidays follows the moon which means Ramadan starts on a different day every year, and can happen in any season. This year Ramadan falls during summer which is the most challenging season to fast during. The days are very long and hot.
- Caring for the poor is important to Muslims which is one reason why they fast. Fasting helps them understand how people feel when they go hungry.
- The festival of Girgian which comes in the middle of Ramadan reminds me of Halloween. Kids get dressed in traditional costumes and collect treats from their neighbors.
- The new crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan and that day is called Eid al-Fitr. Muslims clean and decorate their homes and they have a big feast.
I’m trying to do more science experiments with my son. We made a homopolar motor, learned about electricity with PlayDoh and LED lights, built a gamer remote control, made a 3D hologram projector, created a protective device for a raw egg, learned about the science of Ramune Japanese soda, and wondered why ice cubes crack in drinks.
I’m always looking for fun and easy science experiments so this DIY Phone Microscope got my attention. The video below made it sound easy: Read more…
My husband and I delighted in reading a picture book to our kids about a shy man named Halibut Jackson who made specially crafted outfits designed to blend into his environment.
Halibut Jackson by David Lucas
Halibut Jackson is shy and doesn’t want to be noticed so he makes special outfits designed to blend into the background. He has a flowered suit for the park, a book-patterned suit for the library, and a fruit-adorned suit for the shops. When he gets invited to a party with the king and queen, he’s excited to go. But how was he to know it’s a garden party?! Everyone notices Halibut Jackson. And everyone notices his marvelous suit. They all want one too. Now Halibut Jackson has a new profession, and he’s a little less shy! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
My husband recently was excited to discover a real life Halibut Jackson, Chinese artist Liu Bolin. Can you spot him? Read more…
PickyKidPix is fascinated by child prodigies. Apparently there are a lot of YouTube videos on them. By making me watch them, she illuminated several misconceptions I had about prodigies.
- Prodigies are not just in music and math. I didn’t realize there were rock climbing prodigies.
- Is it nurture or nature? I would have thought the kid, Brooke Raboutou, with rock climbing world champion parents would be the best climber in the world. Not so, PickyKidPix told me. The girl, Ashima Shiraishi, without these champion genes is actually the better climber (as of this moment).
PickyKidPix taught herself to rock climb last year. She went to Central Rock Gym nearby on a Friday night or a weekend with a friend and she’d climb for hours. I had dreams that this is how she’d spend her teenage weekends … in this safe tree-hugging environment rather than at parties out late at night. Not so, alas. After an intense winter of climbing last year, she has not been back. Read more…
Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Kristen Kittcher! We both came up with our favorite diversity mysteries for kids and I’m surprised how there is very little overlap!
I have a feeling that there are more great mysteries written of authors of color or with protagonists of color or with special needs. Can you help us out with your great suggestions? Thanks so much!
There’s little I love more than reading books about smart, curious, and creative kids—especially if those adventures involve solving high-stakes mysteries that elude adults. So, it’s no surprise that I also love writing about them. My seventh grade best friends and wannabe super-sleuths Sophie Young & Grace Yang certainly go on some wild adventures in my own mysteries for young readers, The Wig in the Window and The Tiara on the Terrace.
But what’s even more wonderful than following the adventures of clever sleuths? When those novels’ heroes truly reflect the diverse spectrum of backgrounds and experiences of the real world! Read more…