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The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

One of my favorite monthly rituals is opening our boxes of seasonal and holiday books and bringing out these classic stories. December is the time for Christmas decorations and our collection of Christmas picture books. Each year we add new treasures to our library and get reacquainted with old friends. It is always fun to see which books capture the children’s interest the most this year and to share our favorites with the baby.   The Twelve … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

Our Gratitude Tree

Our Gratitude Tree

We made a gratitude tree out of a cardboard paper towel tube, a paper bowl, and construction paper to express our thanks for all of our blessings this Thanksgiving. This was such a simple craft and it really engaged the kids’ attention. Materials: cardboard tube (either a paper towel tube, 2-3 toilet paper tubes taped together, or a wrapping paper tube cut in half) construction paper (brown, green, red, orange, yellow) glue scissors marker craft knife Directions: 1. Wrap and glue brown construction paper … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Crafts and Books

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Crafts and Books

While Hurricane Sandy and the power outage and projects to try to help in my region have kept posting light, we still have a lot for which to be thankful. And at the tops of my list is the time we spend together as a family. My kids love to make crafts and read together, especially preparing for a holiday. Here are some of my favorite posts about our Thanksgiving crafts and picture books from … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

9 Picture Books About Election Day for Kids

9 Picture Books About Election Day for Kids

At Lifetime Moms, I posted 6 Ways to Talk About the Election with Kids. Picture Books are a great way to introduce complex topics like elections. Here are 9 children’s books that examine our democracy in action:   Vote!, by Eileen Christelow: My kids really like this book that follows one woman’s local election from the perspective of her two dogs. They enjoy the real-life applications of the principles of democracy and the running canine commentary. This … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Fall, Featured, History and Culture

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bats: Halloween Snack

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bats: Halloween Snack

My daughter is very into “themes.” We were discussing a play date and I mentioned that we would have some Halloween crafts for her friends. “What about snacks?” I had been thinking fruit salad and cheese puffs. “Can’t we make Halloween snacks?” So, we decided on chocolate-covered pretzel bats and spider cracker sandwiches, despite last year’s banana ghost debacle. Chocolate-covered pretzels are a favorite treat around here. We also enjoy learning about bats–the kids are fascinated … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Taste

Yarn Art Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Yarn Art Pumpkin Halloween Craft

We have some favorite Halloween crafts we do almost every year and we also try to add some new ones in. In the past, we made a a yarn pumpkin molded around a balloon. This year, we tried a flatter version of the craft, a Yarn Jack O’ Lantern you can hang on a wall or window. Materials orange yarn black paper glue green chenille stem (pipe cleaner) wax paper permanent marker Directions: 1. Trace a pumpkin on a piece of wax paper. 2. Soak … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Fall, Featured, History and Culture

Picture Books for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot

Picture Books for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot

We enjoy exploring traditions from a number of cultures. Although we are a Christian family, I try to introduce my family’s Jewish heritage to my children, as well. We made a Sephardic apple compote, Mansanada, with our orchard-picked apples. And we have also been enjoying these picture books about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Each of these books explore ethical questions in the spirit of Jewish self-reflection and questioning. They are perfect springboards for discussions … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Fall, Featured, History and Culture

To the Victor Goes the Olive Wreath

To the Victor Goes the Olive Wreath

One of the joys of having children is that I get to learn along with them! I had always thought that Olympic champions received laurel wreaths. Not so! The victors of the Apollo’s Pan-Hellenic Pythian Games at Delphi received the laurel but Olympians earned olive wreaths for their efforts. This makes sense given the importance of the olive to the Ancient Greeks. The olive tree was a gift from Athena to her city of Athens. Olive … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

Olympic Rings Flag Stamp Craft for Kids

Olympic Rings Flag Stamp Craft for Kids

One of the enduring symbols of the Modern Olympics is the five interlocking rings. I showed my children the flag and my daughter guessed that the rings represented countries. I asked her if she could name more than five countries. Once she did, I told her she was close but since there are more than five countries, it had to be something else. What could it be? She responded “maybe continents?” We named the continents and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, History and Culture

Olympic Torch Craft for the Openning Ceremony

Olympic Torch Craft for the Openning Ceremony

We’re in full Olympics-mode here. My kids first learned about the Olympics through D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and were thrilled to find out that there is a modern Olympic Games! Plus there will be mommy crafts! AND they get to stay up and watch part of the opening ceremonies! We made a torch craft to get ready. My son actually got to carry the torch at his Gymnastics Expo, which was just about the cutest … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture