All posts in Education

12 Books for Kids About Making Things & GIVEAWAY!

12 Books for Kids About Making Things & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest author today, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, with her list about 12 Books About Making Things. We are also giving away her book, With My Hands: Poems About Making Things. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.


It is natural and necessary to make things with our hands, and in these screen-focused-days, celebrating making is more important and joyous than ever.  These books teach and tell stories about the power of using our hands to build, sculpt, and create. Make something! Help children become makers. It is a gift to work with our hands…

12 Books for Kids About Making Things

1. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson

This collection of poems whimsically honors the way our hands create something from nothing. From soap carving to painting to baking cookies, each poem dives into the surprise and joy that comes from the human act of making.  School Library Journal writes, “This is art about art.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]

2. Grow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables by Ben Raskin

This book of growing projects, written and illustrated by a horticulturist, details several simple family gardening projects, from making compost to planting easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables. With bright illustrations and even stickers and gardening games, these pages will bring hands big and small closer to the earth. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

Read more…

Adding to 10 Math Games

Adding to Ten Math Games

I met with an Editorial Director at Charlesbridge Publishing a few weeks ago, and she invited me to submit my picture book manuscripts. I had gone to an author event at Charlesbridge last year with my son to learn about Paul Reynolds’ latest books with his brother, Ish! author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

I have, in fact, have a picture book manuscript with an adding to ten concept and my dream publisher for this book would be, in fact Charlesbridge. My son and I read every single book of their Sir Cumference series. He likes math picture books a lot!

I thought I’d add an Adding to Ten Back Matter page to my book.

Adding to 10 Math Games

What’s In My Hand?

Adding to Ten Math Games
Use ten dried beans, coins, or other small objects that fit in the palm of your hand. Divide them randomly into two piles and hold one in each closed fist. Read more…

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

My girls fell in love with glass blowing after going to Dale Chihuly’s exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. They took glass blowing lessons to learn and now they are able to rent time at a glass studio to create glass art on their own.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

We recently visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle. If you get a chance to go, we highly recommend a visit. Here’s a video of our experience! Read more…

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Weather

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Weather

Teaching kids is not an easy task as you have to ensure that you come up with fun ways to enable them to enjoy your teachings at any time of the day. One area that you must teach your kids about is the weather. They also need to know about the different weather changes that we experience and how to measure them as well. So here are some fun ideas that you can employ to teach your kids about the weather.

• How to read the thermometer.

In most cases this part of the study is not put too much into consideration as the rest of the curriculum but, it is advisable for kids to know how the weather is fairing. A thermometer is a gadget used for measuring the temperatures of space. In the beginning, the kids may not quite understand it, but you can add other features for easy reading. Craft your thermometer at school or even at home and ensure the kids are also involved in the making process to get their attention. Also, ensure to use bright and visible items when making the thermometer for easy reading. Read more…

Year of the Dog craft and game

Year of the Dog Chinese New Year Craft & Game

Need a craft to celebrate Chinese New Year 2018, The Year of the Dog? I made a cute puppy paper bag puppet that is also a game. Feed the puppy candies using chopsticks!

Year of the Dog craft and game

Here’s how to make the puppy paper bag puppet. You will need:

Year of the Dog Chinese New Year Craft & Game Read more…

bilingual books for kids

Bilingual Kids? Use books for more fun with Languages!

Please welcome my guest blogger today, Gabriela Simmons, with her post on using books to teach kids another language.

bilingual picture books

Even though I grew up speaking various languages at home, it has not been an easy ride trying to pass these languages to the kids.  I have gained the utmost respect for parents making the effort to help their kids become bilingual, trilingual, etc.  It is simply hard work. I have felt like giving up many times, taking the easier route of speaking to the kids in the language that is easiest for them. However, no matter what try to keep it up as long as you can, you will not regret it in the long term. Read more…

Design for Kids & My Daughter's Mama Chia Design Idea

Design for Kids & My Daughter’s Mama Chia Design Idea

My oldest daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, loves design, particularly industrial design. I am frequently buying bottles full of unappetizing liquids that I am forced to drink because she loves the shape and design of the bottle.

Mama Chia package design recycling

I think my daughter will apply her artistic skills towards social justice projects. I saw a glimpse of this recently when she wrote to Mama Chia about their eco-unfriendly package design. What really made me happy was how she combined her SIMS math class (real world applications of math through group work) with her industrial design interest: Read more…

Tips for National Portfolio Day

Tips for National Portfolio Day

This was my daughter’s first National Portfolio Day and we wanted to share tips that we learned the hard way:

  • You do not need to pre-register for National Portfolio Day but we highly recommend it because there was a separate line for those who registered upon arrival and this line went after the pre-registered line.
  • NOTE that the website for National Portfolio Day is unclear about the importance of pre-registering!
  • Arrive early! We got there are 9:30am for the event which started at noon. We were not allowed into the convention center until 10am where upon the line started forming. If you get there are noon or later, you risk not being able to show your portfolio to in-demand schools.

National Portfolio Day

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Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Visit to Emily Carr University of Art + Design

We visited Emily Carr University of Art + Design at the weirdest possible time. They had closed their old campus on Grenville Island in preparation for their move to a new campus about a ten minute drive away.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Their new campus, however, wasn’t quite done yet. We walked to the old campus and drove by the new one. Read more…