Two Multicultural Books Perfect For Children

Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? were given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. Both of these books provided factual information about the Chinese cultural.  They would be great to read in celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day which is on January 27th this year.

Chinese books

Bowls of Happiness

I read Bowls of Happiness to a group of children and they found humor in the child’s nickname of Piggy. Many of them could relate to silly names their parents called them. It even lead to a conversation about the meaning of their given name.

Bowls of Happiness was divided into different sections with the fictional story at the beginning. The story showed how Piggy’s mom decided to make a porcelain bowl and paint it with special symbols that depict happiness.

Towards the back of the book there was a portion of the book that discussed the meaning behind certain items on the bowls. For instance, bats symbolized happiness in the Chinese cultural while the color yellow represented the earth. I found this information interesting but do think it should have been a little shorter and to the point to keep the attention of children.

As a writing and art activity the children were eager to design their own bowls of happiness.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?

Have you ever wondered what life was like in China’s Forbidden City?  Those particuarly interested in Chinese history would find this book fascinating.  Each page contains brief facts about a wide array of topics such as the foods the Emperor ate, schooling, military and lots of other information.

The pictures on each page and speech bubbles add to the appeal of this book.  I think a large factor on determining whether one would like this book or not depends on how interested you are in nonfiction information and the Chinese cultural.  There are many words some children wouldn’t be able to pronounce or understand, so, to get the most of out of the book it would be helpful if an adult clarified the information.

I learned new facts from both Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?.

Educational Bath Time

Who knew that shower/bath time could be so fun and educational? Well, it can!!!  Some of these ideas can be messy but what better place than the shower or bath tub to get dirty?  These activities will surely keep your kiddos occupied for a long time!  Educational bath time is a must!

Bath Learning

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Ninja Bunny Craft

I love that every day I get to read amazing picture books to my students and children. When I heard about Picture Book Month I knew I had to participate.  Each day in November there is assigned an author and theme.  I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers to share with you craft ideas that correspond to each book.  I’ll be showcasing Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Gray Olson.

Ninja Bunny

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Snowmen Clothespin Magnets

Homemade Christmas gifts are the best kinds. My kids can spend hours with their craft supplies making special gifts for all members of our family. We start the process early so we can try to avoid the holiday rush. It is fun to watch their artistic expression as they create each master piece. These Snowmen Clothespin Magnets are super easy to make!

Snowmen Clothespin

Here’s what we did:

Gathered all our craft supplies. (clothespins, paint, paint brush, permanent markers, ribbon, magnet and optional goggly eyes)

craft supplies

 

Paint the clothespins white and let them dry.  (For another project, we also painted blue clothespins and added glitter too them.  The white card stock I placed underneath the project actually turned out to be a nice piece of artwork.)

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After the clothespins are dry we used the permanent markers to add a nose and face.  Then we tied on the ribbon. Cut a piece of magnet to the back and viola the craft is complete!

You’ll find more homemade gift ideas in this Kid-Made Gift Series hosted by Teach-Me-Mommy.

Kid Made Gifts

Christmas gifts made with love make great keepsakes.  I know our relatives will enjoy keeping their Snowmen Clothespin magnets on their refrigerators and thinking of the cute kids that made them!

Book Giveaway and Tour

 

 

PoutPoutTourFans of the New York Times Bestselling picture books series Pout-Pout fish will be excited to know a holiday book called The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish has been released.  The author, Deborah Diesen and the illustrator, Dan Hanna are going on a Book Tour across the United States.  Dan Hanna is coming to Columbus, Ohio (yep, that’s my hometown) on Wednesday, November 18th from 4:30-6:00 pm.  He will be coming to Cover To Cover in Clintonville.  Find the dates and locations of the entire book tour below:

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One lucky reader will receive a FREE copy of the book.  Use the link below to enter for a chance to win.  Deadline for entry is 12:00 EST on November 24, 2015.  Update: Sandra W. was the random winner and she has claimed the prize. Thanks for participating!

You can buy a copy of this adorable book using my affiliate link below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve received a copy of The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish so I will be posting my review soon!

Great Thanksgiving Picture Books

Are you looking for some exciting and kid friendly books to read as we prepare for Thanksgiving? If so, check out some of my favorite Thanksgiving books for children.

Thanksgivingbooks

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by: Dav Pilkey

The classic Christmas poem has been adapted to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit. It’s an entertaining book with humor, great pictures and causes you to think about the turkey’s perspective at Thanksgiving.

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

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Apple Fractions and Tasty Snack

Apples are one food my kids can always agree on eating. Today I decided to put an educational spin on snack time today and talk about fractions with my kids. Keep in mind that my oldest just started kindergarten and my youngest is in preschool. This is a topic they both were eager to learn about because I told them that we’d be making a tasty treat with the apples once we were done using them to learn.

leads to

Apple Fractions

This lesson was easy, easy, easy!!!!

  • First, I showed my kids a whole apple.
  • After that, I cut the apple in half and talked about that two halves make one whole. They thought it was really cool to put both of the halves back together.DSC_3513
  • Next up was fourths. I cut another apple in half and then cut the halves in half again. Here they discovered that two of the fourths were the same size as one half.
  • I used an apple cutter to slice the apple into eight pieces. My kids realized that the pieces of these apples were smaller. I explained that the more pieces the apple is cut into that the smaller the pieces become.DSC_3512

Appleseed Math

Using the center of the apple left over from the pieces cut into eighths, I had my children make a prediction about how many seeds were in an apple. My daughter thought one seed (which seems appropriate because many fruits have one seed) and my son predicted five. I broke open the apple and we counted the seeds. We discovered that the apple we used had six seeds.

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Apple Counting

So simple…. I had my kids count how many apples were in the bowl. I then posed basic subtraction problems like, “If I took two apples away how many would be left?” I had them take away the apples and count how many remained.

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Apple Tasty Treat

We certainly didn’t want to waste the apples so we needed to eat them. My kids were so pumped when I told them they were going to be spreading peanut butter on the apples and placing mini chocolate chips on top. Of course (before I could finish my sentence) they wanted to know if they would be allowed to eat some of the chocolate chips.

I gave each child a bowl of peanut butter, another bowl with mini chocolate chips, a butter knife and some apple slices. After they spread the peanut butter on the apple I gave them a number to count out and then place on top of the apple slices. This not only helped reinforce counting skills but they used fine motor skills to pick up the tiny pieces of chocolate.

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(My kids also suggested using Nutella with white chocolate chips or caramel sauce. Looks like we will be trying that soon!)

This lesson was a hit with my kiddos. I loved that it was inexpensive, quick (I had all of the ingredients and materials in my fridge or pantry), educational and filled their bellies with a nutritious snack.

Fall is the perfect time to head to an apple orchard to go apple picking. If you live in Columbus, Ohio check out my list of local apple orchards by clicking HERE.

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Interested in other apple activities to do with your kids? Look at all of these exciting ideas by fellow bloggers for a apple mini unit perfect for kindergartners:

Apple name printable by P is for Preschooler

Apple Fingerprint Art by Kidz Activities

Fine Motor Color Matching Apple Sensory Bin by The Resourceful Mama

Fun Fall Apple Tree Reading Log by Books and Giggles

Apple Song for ESL Students

Apple Alphabet Match by Adventures of Adam

Kindergarten STEM Apple Activity {with Free Printable} by Something 2 Offer

Apple Picking Field Trip Activities by Rainy Day Mum

My Summer Bucket List

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One more day of work until my summer vacation officially starts! I’ve created my local Summer Bucket List full of exciting activities for my family. Click here: LocalBusyBeesSummerBucket2015.pptx  for a printable version of my list and a blank copy of the template so you can write in your ideas.

I’m thrilled to have been asked to guest blog on The Club Mom.  Check out my blog post at http://theclubmom.com/category/family/ for a ton of ideas for everyone.   I have lists of outdoor activities, craft ideas, rainy day fun and more.

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Leave a comment below about what is on your Summer Bucket List. Whatever it is, I hope it is fun filled! 🙂

Stop “Summer Slide”-Fun Activities to Keep Your Kids Thinking

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I can’t believe summer vacation will begin in just a few days. As a teacher I must give my public service announcement about the importance of maintaining a summer learning routine. By this, I don’t mean skill and drill worksheets that will result in a battle between you and your child, but rather fun activities that keep their brains thinking and charged up. It’s all about disguising the learning because after all learning can and should be FUN!

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You don’t want your child to experience “Summer Slide” because if their brain sits idle for too long it may result in a loss of academic skills. Not only have I witnessed this first hand but there is a ton of research about the loss of learning that occurs over summer break for some students. When it comes to learning, nobody wants to see his or her child slide backwards. Here is a wide range of engaging activities that your kids (and you) will enjoy!

Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for a printable with over 100 high interest ideas.  There are activities for toddler through upper elementary children.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.52.37 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.53.53 AM(Above is just a sample of the pages.  Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for the entire document.)

Read, Read, Read!!!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.45.00 PMThis is the single most important thing your child should do throughout the summer.  Signing up for the summer reading program at your local library is always a motivator for reading.  Read to your children, with your children and encourage them to read as much as they can.

Build background knowledge about places you’ll be visiting.  For example, if you are going on vacation to Washington D.C. read books with your child and have them learn a little history about what they will be seeing. Perhaps they can help you plan the itinerary or keep a journal about their experiences.

Vacations

Here is one of my favorite quotes that emphasis the importance of exposing your child to a wide variety of opportunities.

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Have an entertaining summer and remember to squeeze in some learning time!