All posts in 2) Preschool

Warning Bad Parent 9 Things You Shouldn't Say to Your Child Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom best parenting advice

9 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Child

Things You Should Never Say to a Child

I found this great article on CNN.com and I’m afraid that while I don’t say all of these 9 things, the two I do say (#1 and #8), I say frequently.

So, as penance, I am posting on this to remind myself to stop it! If you need to know the rationale of why these 9 Things are no-nos, the full article is here and there is extensive explanation for each one. Actually, I say #9 too.  Read more…

Our Favorite ABC Books for Kids

Learning ABCs with ABC Picture Books

I found that a great way to learn letters was to play games with magnetic letters.  I deconstructed various toys to create an “alphabet game” using squishy magnetic letters (but any magnetic letters in the shape of the letters will do) and a magnetic fishing pole.  My son (about 12 months old at the time) would fish letters out of a bucket and stick them on a magnetic board.  If he got them wrong, I’d find the correct letter and put up next to the letter.  We’d talk about how is it the same and how is it different.  Read more…

children and personality, child's personality set by first grade,

Personality Traits Set by First Grade!

Personality: Nurture or Nature?

My Mom Friend sent me this story today.  I had heard that a child’s personality locks down around 3 so I was glad to see that this study gave me a few more years to mold my kids.   Well, actually, it’s too late for my older two but I have another year for my youngest. That reminds me to wrestle away my iPhone/iPad/DSi/TV/computer from his hands.  I’m running out of “influence” time! Read more…

multicultural books for kids, multicultural picture books, middle eastern books for kids, kids books, Ramadan

Top 10: Best Middle Eastern American Children’s Books

Best Multicultural Books for Kids on the Middle East

In honor of Ramadan, I wanted to offer a book list to help bridge an understanding between Muslins and people of other faiths. It’s actually taken me more than a year to assemble this book list as I am not familiar with this topic. I hope that you will share your favorite books and I will add to this list.

Read more…

surfer picture book, picture books, best picture books, multicultural picture books, pictures books

New Picture Books Reviews

New Picture Book Reviews by Mom and 3 Kids

I’m been asking for and getting a small pile of books these days and haven’t been posting on them. I was at a loss about how to present them … individual book reviews? But there are lots of bloggers who do that. Do you readers really need or want more? I had been putting them on [wacky] themed lists but not all the books fit on an existing list and creating a new list per book is crazy time-consuming. But I like the idea of putting a new book in the context of other well-known and really great books. A review by itself is difficult to decipher into “my kid likes X so he or she will love Y.” Sorry, no more math. Read more…

books for arty kids, books for artistic children,

Top 10: Best Books for Young Artists (ages 2-18)

My oldest is a budding artist and while I have failed to support this interest with extra curricular activities to improve her skills, I have finally seen the light and enrolled her in a week of real art camp.  Not the arts and crafts variety.  She draws daily such that I tend to push activities that are opposite to art to round her out:  math, reading, music, languages, and sports.
My mom friends are more on top of things.

One mom friend suggested an excellent art book from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as a birthday present.  Hey, I did buy her the book (and it’s excellent).  And I took her to the Eric Carle Museum.  But now I am trying to be more supportive.  We bought a family pass to the Museum of Fine Arts to increase our trips from annual to quarterly.  I put her in camps that have more interesting and in depth art offerings.  And I keep these books around the house.  Most of them at least.

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Books for Kids Honorable Mention

Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans

I got this book for my 16 year old, Grasshopper and Sensei, who is arty and just completed the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program this past summer. She and I are both drooling over this book. Beautifully illustrated on every page, this book brings the artists and major paintings that they created alive! Each story covers the artist’s life but in a way that draws the reader in because it’s a story and not a straight up (boring) biography. You can flip from chapter to chapter to read about particular artists or periods of art as you choose, or read it from start to finish in historical order. The beauty of this book is that it works for a wide range of ages. It also works beautifully as a read aloud for art history, either at home or in an art class. My daughter and I have read a lot of art history books for kids and this one is by far the best one we’ve ever run across. This is worth the investment! [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]


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Madegascar, movies for a desert island,

3 Movies to Bring if Stranded on an Desert Island With Your 3 Kids and Husband

Best Movies to Rent for Families

I am doing a BlogFrog summer sweepstakes blog tour on behalf of RedBox and it’s made me think about movies which has been fun because I haven’t watched a movie in a while. On long car trips, we let our kids play a DVD in the SUV so my husband and I THINK we’ve watched a movie when, in actuality, we’ve only listened to it about 9 times without any visuals. Strangely satisfying though. Read more…

best picture books for kids, best picture books, best picture books you've never heard of

Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Best Picture Books for Kids EVER!

I love picture books; it’s a complete story in 24ish pages with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It’s a visit to an art gallery or a museum with beautiful artwork in all kinds of media — drawings, paintings, collages, and more.  It can transport you to another time and place, a different culture, or a different person’s point of view.  Picture books are NOT just for young children; I insist they are for everyone, adult and child alike.  My 4th grader’s teacher is reading Patricia Polacco’s picture books to the class and the kids are thoroughly enjoying them.  Picture books also make bedtime stories a pleasure because one reader can satisfy a wide audience. Read more…

Top 10: Best Children’s Books about Best Friend Issues (ages 2-16)

Best Books For Girls on Complicated Best Friendships

Why are best friendships between girls so complicated?  Can best friendships morph and survive as one grows up or do best friendships that have begun at a young age get stuck in a pattern of behavior that keeps the relationship in a dysfunctional time warp?  I wish that I knew the answer to that.  I have polled my mom friends and some have best friendships that have lasted a few decades.  Others, myself included, not so much.  One lovely mom friend who is incredible on every front (gorgeous!  funny!  nice!  intelligent!) said that she never had a best friend growing up, only a circle of very, very good friends (just like what men do!).  It blew my mind that this was a girl option!  But it makes so much sense to not have all your eggs in one basket.  Oh, if I knew then what I know now… Read more…