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Learning from the Ballet: The Colonial Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Learning from the Ballet: The Colonial Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

We recently enjoyed a performance of The Colonial Nutcracker, Performed by Dance Theatre in Westchester, at The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. It was a magical experience for us–the music, the dancing, and the sets were all stunning! Ballet can potentially be challenging for young children but this performance was very accessible. A narrator told the story, which goes a long way towards keeping children engaged. This Nutcracker makes a number of small changes, primarily … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater, Sound

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

My eldest has a growing interest in photography, especially nature photography. As a National Geographic Kids Insider, I had a chance to listen in on a chat with photographer Kelley Miller talk about how to photograph animals. We also found out how we can be part of setting a Guinness World Record! First, here are some tips for photographing nature from Ms. Miller, illustrated with her photographs and a few of mine: 1. Be patient. 2. Practice … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Featured, Science, Sight

Spider Pretzel Crackers: Halloween Snack

Spider Pretzel Crackers: Halloween Snack

My daughter wanted Halloween-themed snacks for her play date and she wanted at least one option to be “more healthy.” So, we made these spider and pretzel crackers in addition to the chocolate-covered pretzel bats. Ingredients for Spider Pretzel Crackers: two crackers per spider four pretzel sticks per spider spread (can be cheese, cream cheese, hummus, peanut butter…you name it…if you can spread it, you can use it) raisins or craisins Directions: 1. Spread cheese or other spread on your crackers. This … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Home Arts, Taste

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

Blackberry Jammin’

Blackberry Jammin’

Have you been enjoying the summer? I cannot believe it is almost fall! We were able to join the tot cooking classes at Garden of Eve this summer and made blackberry jam. I love the whole fields-to-table experience as it gives the kids an idea of where we get our food. It is also a wonderful insight into the how people lived in a time before supermarkets–or refrigeration. The kids were able to: 1. Pick the blackberries. The kids … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Summer, Taste

Pizza Math Part 1: Fractions for Kids

Pizza Math Part 1: Fractions for Kids

We are making mini pizzas (pizzetas) and dividing them up into fractions. First, we practiced with paper plates! To sweeten the mathematics lesson about fractions, we included M&Ms…a rare treat for the kids. My son (almost 4) participated a little but this is more an activities for kindergarten or early elementary. Materials: 3 Paper Plates 3 color markers or crayons 1 black marker or pen straight edge scissors sticky notes or index cards or paper 24 small treats (goldfish crackers, candies, etc.), all … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Home Arts, Mathematics, Taste

Pasta Pasta- homemade pasta making

Pasta Pasta- homemade pasta making

  I absolutely love when I find the opportunity to turn a chore or fun activity into a science lesson.  I was making some homemade pasta at a cooking class when I the light bulb in my head went off.  This is the perfect lesson for the kids! We had a cooking class, math lesson and science lesson rolled into one. My two older children ages 3 and 6 eagerly went to work on this cooking … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Home Arts, Mathematics, Science, Taste, Touch

Patriotic Ice Pops

Patriotic Ice Pops

Nothing quite cools during hot summer days like an ice pop. We love our Tovolo Star Ice Pop Molds and wanted to try to make red, white, and blue patriotic Popsicles. The challenge is a natural, non-toxic blue food dye and, after much experimenting, came up with this recipe: Ingredients one ripe banana 6-8 large strawberries a quarter cup of blueberries (optional) chilled lemonade 4 oz cup of banana or vanilla yogurt honey or sugar (just for the blue layer) red cabbage Directions: 1. Red … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Home Arts, Summer, Taste

5 Picture Books About Rainbows

5 Picture Books About Rainbows

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? They are colorful, magical, and full of hope! Rainbows are a bridge into other times and cultures, science, color theory, and so much more! Here are a few children’s picture books about rainbows to get you started on your journey! What Makes A Rainbow?, by Betty Ann Schwartz; illustrated by Dona Turner (ages 0-3): In this cute tale, a young bunny asks his colorful friends what makes a rainbow. With each turn … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Sight, Spring, Visual-Spacial, Weather

March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

While we still haven’t seen the kids’ much-wished-for snow, March entered like a lion with a wet, cloudy, chilly day. As in past years, we will be reading In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb, by Marion Dane Bauer, and making some sort of craft, like our lion and lamb masks from last year. Last year we created a March weather bar graph of lions and lambs. This year, my daughter will also create a chart … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Sight, Spring, Weather, Winter