All posts in 3) Grade K-2

best blocks for kids, toy holiday gift guide, best toys for young kids

Gift Guide: Best Blocks for Creative Play

Best Blocks for Kids

I am partial to these plain heavy-duty wooden blocks from Community Playthings that look like the Amish made them. Our Coop preschool had many, many sets of them in each classroom and the kids had endless fun with them. Come to think of it, I think every preschool we attended had some version of these blocks; they seem like they’d last forever. Read more…

best gifts for arty kids, best gifts for artistic kids, best art presents

Gift Guide: Best Toys for Arty Kids

Best Toys for Artistic Kids (and Adults)

My oldest, nearly 13-years-old, is a creative, arty kid who wants to go to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). She decided this when she turned ten after visiting the RISD museum. I think it was the gift store that did it for her; all the items are created by students, alumni or professors. It really blew her away and we ended up buying a small pile of gifts. Read more…

STEM toys, science toys for kids, math toys for kids, educational toys for kids, best toys for kids,

Gift Guide: Best Math and Science Toys (New Additions!)

Best Science and Math (STEM) Toys

Science oriented kids need two things: to ask questions and to find answers. These toys let kids do both in the guise of games or experiments. Science in school is often too memorization-oriented and I think letting kids get their hands dirty is crucial to making science interesting, particularly for girls. Read more…

How To Teach Kids About Money Management

Financial Literacy Training for Kids

I met the National Center for Family Literacy at BlogHer and enthusiastically support their agenda of teaching kids personal finance skills. If kid don’t learn how to Save/Spend/Donate as a child, I suspect that they will have to learn the hard way about managing money like I did, with credit card debt racked up after college. Read more…

abstract koi fish art project for kids

Abstract Art Project for Kids: Koi Fish

Painting Koi Fish Art Project for Kids

The Koi fish at the Grant Hyatt Resort in Kauai were so beautiful that we surreptitiously fed them as you can see in the videos. I had never seen so many Koi fish swimming together with such gorgeous colors. I was inspired to turn this into an art project after seeing Deep Space Sparkle’s gorgeous 6th grade Koi fish paintings. Read more…

active toys for kids, best outdoor toys fo kids, gift guide of toys for kids

Gift Guide: Best Active Toys

Outdoor Toy Gift Guide

I try to make sure the kids get one hour of active play a day. It’s easier now that they are playing a lot of soccer but the winter is much harder. Not so much the kids, but my husband and I — ex-Californians — had to embrace cold weather, snow and snow sports. Sledding has become a family favorite. Read more…

Memrise, foreign language website, Mandarin Chinese,

Chinese Words Are Easy to Learn. Really!

Chinese Writing and Language Is Fun and Easy

I found this great site, MemRise,  that has language instruction for Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish and Italian. I checked out the online Mandarin Chinese site because my kids are learning it and I had just enough Chinese lessons as a kid to know how difficult it is. Read more…

subtraction games, subtraction math facts, subtraction games and apps, 2nd grade math

Subtraction and Adding to Ten Math Facts Games

Subtraction Math Facts Practice Made FUN!

Now that I’ve attended two school curriculum nights, it’s clear that the teachers want us to practice math facts at home. I am noticing that all three of my kids have the most difficulty with subtraction. Addition is intuitively more obvious and multiplication is really just more addition. My kids less  confused by the idea of division, at least until they hit long division. Division is regrouping and can be reverse engineered through multiplication. Read more…

winning versus having fun, kids sports teams, etiquette on soccer field

How to Be the Perfect Volunteer Parent Coach

Coaching Training for Parent Volunteers

PickyKidPix is lucky to have had great coaches for soccer — 5 years and running now. Living and competing in towns the mimic those in A Race to Nowhere, it’s easy to find parents who are out of control on the sidelines, screaming at their child or a teenage referee. It’s not a pretty sight. How do you create a supportive environment for your child? Our coach has very specific and concrete rules of engagement. Read more…