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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

Picture Books for #STEM Girls

Picture Books for #STEM Girls

I would like to say I was shocked when I heard about the incredibly sexist Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer Book (warning: profanity in the link). Unfortunately, this is the norm rather than the exception. As much as I love a good rant against the pervasive sexism our girls encounter in consumer culture, I thought this time I would offer some alternative picture book ideas for STEM girls, instead. There are tons of … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Mathematics, Science

Pipe Cleaner Doll — Hermione

Pipe Cleaner Doll — Hermione

My daughter has read and re-read the Harry Potter series so many times her paperbacks are falling apart. She is dressing as Hermione Granger this year for Halloween. Her class has an optional assignment to make a mini version of their costumes and my daughter wanted to create a pipe cleaner doll. I love how this came out and we had a lot of fun crafting together. We’ve made pipe cleaner fairies in the past and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Literacy

Wallpops World Map (Review)

Wallpops World Map (Review)

Usually I keep reviews on another site but this is one of the most educational items we use constantly in our household: Kids World Dry Erase Map. In fact, we’ve had this item for over a year and still use it almost every day. I had purchased other world maps for the wall in the past but they often did not stick well to the wall and, when they did actually stick, the poster tape destroyed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Geography, Toys

Walking with Dinosaurs at the Barclay Center

Walking with Dinosaurs at the Barclay Center

My family and I had the opportunity to see Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center for opening night and it was a thrill! The show is like a natural history museum comes alive and explodes with the crushing force of the jaw of a tyrannosaurus rex. Walking with Dinosaurs packs brachiosaurus-sized learning into its entertainment. The show begins back in the Triassic, explaining the vegetation, the geology, and the evolutionary developments that allowed dinosaurs to go on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Science

Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Maybe we were easily impressed in those pre-tablet days of the 1980s but I can still remembering programming a toy robot to follow commands. Robot: walk, forward, 10 steps. My dad, who holds a degree in engineering and has made a career out of computer systems, would patiently guide my efforts. I learned to be precise with the directions because the robot would either spin out of control or, more frustratingly, refuse to budge. Sphero 2.0 is … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Toys

Sugar Cube Pyramids

Sugar Cube Pyramids

My children and I tried two methods to build pyramids as part of our study of Ancient Egypt. The first is the sugar cube pyramid. We’ve been continuing with our World History lessons but I have not had much time to post. We moved on from prehistory to the dawn of civilization: Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia. For those who are also using The Story of the World, I find the strict chronological approach involves a … Read entire article »

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

Why Choose Online Music Lessons? Lessonface Review

Why Choose Online Music Lessons? Lessonface Review

Music is an important part of a complete education. Music stimulates the brain and, more importantly, it feeds the soul. Coming from a musical family and having played two instruments myself, I knew I would encourage my children to learn an instrument. My two eldest study classical piano, my five year old has also started cello, and my seven year old wants to begin learning to play the flute. We received two free lessons at Lessonface to … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Music, Musical

Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center!

Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center!

Walking with Dinosaurs is coming to Barclays Center and I can feel the excitement–or is that a giant tyrannosaurus rex? My eldest son is a junior paleontologist who has memorized every episode of the BBC “Walking with Dinosaurs” series and I know he is going to be thrilled to see these dinosaurs–moving, roaring, practically breathing–live! And when the people at Barclays Center say, “live,” they mean it! Using advanced animatronics, Walking with Dinosaurs Live creates the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Science

Pi Day Printable Magic Hat

Pi Day Printable Magic Hat

Pi is such a magic number and March 14 (3/14) is Pi Day! Coincidentally, it is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Although it is usually represented as 3.14 for basic geometry calculations, Pi has an infinite string of numbers, with no repeating pattern, after the decimal point. Have children color in the symbol for pi on this Pi Day printable magic hat(click for .pdf), cut out the hat, and glue onto a construction paper headband. Measure the circumference … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics