Thursday, December 29, 2011

January Book and Science Activity

To start the new year off with something different, I chose the theme of birdwatching. Even though the weather might keep your children indoors a bit more, there's no reason not to make use of what's right outside you windows.

Here are some of my favorites:
Birds of North America, by Jo S. Kittinger

Professor Pipsqueak's Guide to Birds, by Cynthia Alvarez

Youth's Guide to the Bird's of  (individual state) by Adele Porter

Backyard Birds by Karen Stray Nolting

Birds (Sounds of the Wild Series) by Maurice Pledger...a pop up book with recorded bird sounds

Remember even if you can't find these titles at your local bookstore or online, don't forget to visit your local library and get some books for free!


Science Activity: Feed the birds
To make a suet cakes, you will need:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
4 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 handfull of birdseed, especially sunflower seeds)

Mix all together and place in holes drilled in a log, smeared onto tree bark or frozen into cakes and placed on flat tray feeders or in wire suet cages. Make sure to locate it near your window for easy viewing. It may take a few days for the birds to find it, but they will come every day for snacking after they do!

You can attract chickadees, titmice, wrens and even bluebirds. Let the kids draw the different birds they see. Older kids can keep a list of each species that feed. You can see which seeds attract which species. It will provide you and the kids with many hours of enjoyment.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Whatever holiday you celebrate and wherever you are for this season, enjoy every minute! The children in your life grow up so fast, as we all know, and they will never be at this age again. Take lots of pictures and record all you memories in you diaries, blogs and scrapbooks. They are treasures!

Friday, December 16, 2011

10 BEST Afternoon School Snacks

Kids have such busy days. No wonder when three or four o'clock rolls around, they need a pick me up. Here are some interesting ideas for healthy but yummy snacks you can provide for your children. The kids can help prepare many of them with you and don't forget to make some your self as well!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giving Your Kids Cold Medication?

It's that time of year when your kids get colds and coughs. If you use OTC medications, do you know which ones have been recalled? Check out the list here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Books And Craft

Here are some holiday books, you may not be familiar with:
1. Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney. Can llama stand the wait until Christmas?
2. Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel. A great rhyming book that tells about a kitty in trouble at Christmas time!
3. Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson. Can Bear's friends keep him awake until the big day arrives?
4. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. What happens when Mr. Willowby cuts off the top of his tree?
5. My Two Holidays by Danielle Novack and Phyllis Harris. How many families celebrate both Hanukkah AND Christmas?
6. Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser and Nancy Cote. Will all the guests come to the celebration?




Holiday Craft:
How about recycling cards? It's a great way to reuse any holiday cards you have received to make new cards for the kids to use. You will need old cards, cardstock, scrap paper(they can use patterned paper scraps or make their own designs on plain paper),double sided tape, crayons or markers. Help the kids pick out the main image to cut out, or perhaps they will find a small design or detail that they like. Tape it to patterned paper, cut to fit the front of a card made out of the cardstock. Decorate with stickers if you have them.


Here I took one card, cut it into three sections and created 3 new cards!




Using just the cut out mittens, I added some designer paper and a fancy holly sticker to make a new card!



Kids will enjoy sending cards to their family members and teachers. If they choose to mail them, envelopes can be purchased at any craft store. Don't forget to save this year's cards for next year's fun project!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Batteries, Battereis, Batteries!

Tis the season to buy batteries. It seems like most toys need them so I stock up. Recently however, I read this information about the dangers lithium batteries pose to small children. I'm passing it along so that no child is in danger from these common household items.

Shopping For Children's Toys?

I just returned from shopping for Christmas toys for my grandchildren. I am so amazed at the wide variety of toys that are available. Finding the right ones for each child can be a daunting task. You want them to be fun, educational AND safe. Here are some things to keep in mind as you are making your choices.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Organic Foods To Buy for Your Children

Ever wonder what are the most pesticide laden foods out there? Well, here's a helpful list to keep in mind when you're shopping.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Packing Your Child's Lunch Every Day?

Here are some great ideas for type of lunchbox they should have and ways to keep food safe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Facts On The Flu

Wondering what are the facts about this year's flu? Follow this link to keep your family healthier.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Study Tips For Kids With ADHD

If you have or work with a child diagnosed with ADHD, you know how difficult doing homework and studying can be. Here is a link I found to some wonderful tips to help you. Try them out and then pass the information on to others.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Reading and Craft 2011

Halloween Books for children 8 and under.

Here are some old and new suggestions-
Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner
Scardy Cat, Splat by Rob Scatteon
Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies





Art craft-Spooky Paper Ghost
You need: white construction paper, scissors, wiggle eyes, thin ribbon or yarn.


To make the ghost's head:

Use a jar or lid to trace a circle from white construction paper or oak tag. Cut out.
Cut off the bottom of the circle to make a straight edge.
Draw a scary mouth toward the straight edge. Glue on two wiggle eyes toward the rounded edge.

For the body:
Cut 5 or 6 think strips of white paper or oak tag.
Flair the strips and tape them to the back of the head.
Use yarn or thin ribbon to make a bow for the top of the head.
This can be the front of a card, name cards for place settings, or even napkin rings (add another paper loop to the back).
Make a bunch with different expressions and different colored bows.These look great as mobiles or string a bunch for a really cute garland.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Product Safety Recalls August 2011

Some new items have been added to the product recall list for 2011. See if any of these are used by your children.

Flu Shots for Your Kids This Year?

Follow this link to get the recommendations for 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 2011 Books and Craft

I just returned from my summer vacation and wanted to give you an one more way to hang onto summer, although Labor Day weekend fast approaches.

Book To Read:
A Day in the Ocean, written by Cathy Drinkwater Better, illustrated by Sue King, published by Flying frog Publishing, Lutherville MD. This delightful pop-up book shows what a group of underwater friends do for fun.

The Tiny Tadpole written by Judith Nicholls, illustrated by Mara Van der Meer, published by Scholastic, NY. This touch-and-feel book is perfect for the littlest reader. It wonderful large illustrations and special places to feel textures is just charming. How delighted they will be when then the tadpole becomes a frog, shown one a huge foldout page!

Ocean Life, written by Cynthia Stierle, photography by Annie Crawley,with DVD written, narrated and filmed by Annie Crawley. This is a great set for the older child, since the DVD gives informative lessons with terrific underwater scenes with amazing images.


Craft:
Porthole Pictures

You need a white paper plate, clear food wrap and construction paper of various colors, scissors and glue or tape.

Cut out colorful coral, seaweed, shell and fish shapes from the paper. Glue of tape them to the paper plate. Cover the plate with clear food wrap, taping the edges on the back. It becomes your porthole to view sea life! Older children can research life in different oceans and make scenes form many different locations. Have fun!



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Water Safety.......Make It a Priority

Watch this short but powerful video. You may save a life!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Reading List 2011

In their most recent issue, The New York State United Teachers offered suggestions for summer reading. They asked school librarians for their favorites titles to motivate kids to read during July and August. Here are titles by age:

Grades K-2 
Baby Brains by Simon James
Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez
How Rocket Learned To Read by Tad Hillis
We Are In a Book by Mo Willems

Grades 3-5
Danger and Diamonds by Elizabeth Levy
Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Grades 6-8
Chains by Laurie Haise Anderson
Kiki Strike:Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
So Hard to Say by Alex Sanchez

Grades 9-12
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

For  reading related games, quizzes, reading lists, book reviews, and other fun events at the 2011 Summer Reading at New York Libraries website here

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fourth of July 2011

Here are two easy ideas to keep the kids entertained during the Fourth of July BBQ. Set up a work area and provide them a sample to look at. Then, let them create!

1-Buy each child a pair of plain white shoe laces. Give them a variety of permanent markers and let them decorate each lace with stripes, stars, flowers or anything they like. They can choose colors that match their sneakers/tennis shoes. Then let them replace the old dull laces with their brand new glam laces!

2- Using a piece of cardstock or oaktag, let children paint a fireworks pattern with plain white glue and a thin paintbrush. Next, give them cake/cookie colored sprinkles to pour on top. Let dry for a while until pieces are set. Gently shake off the excess pieces and admire their work.



1

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Pop for Pop - Father's Day 2011

I got these great recipes for ice pops from my sister-in-law and I thought it might be a fun project for kid's to do for Father's Day. They can easily be made in ice pop molds or in paper cups with popsicle sticks.  THESE RECIPES NEEDS ADULT HELP.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Blueberry Pops:

6 Tbsp. berry blue gelatin
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups boiling water, divided
2 cups cold water, divided
6 Tbsp. strawberry gelatin
18 molds or 3 oz. cups and popsicle sticks

In a small bowl, dissolve berry blue gelatin powder and 1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup boiling water. Stir in 1 cup cold water. In another bowl, dissolve strawberry gelatin powder and remaining sugar in remaining boiling water. Stir in remaining cold water. In a small bowl, combine half of the berry blue gelatin mixture and half of the strawberry mixture, Place all in freezer for 2 hours or until slushy. In a large bowl, swirl the three colors as desired. Fill each mold or cup with 1/4 cup gelatin mixture; top with holders or insert sticks into cups. Freeze.


Grape Fizz Pops

2 cups white grape juice
2 Kool-Aid Gigglin' Grape Fun Fizz drops
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 medium banana
16 molds or cups and sticks

Place grape juice and Fizz drops in a blender; cover and process until drops are dissolved. Add the blueberries and banana. Process until blended. Fill each mold or cup with 1/4 cup of mixture. Top with holders or insert popsicle sticks. Freeze.


Watermelon Pops. (These look so cool).

2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. (3oz) watermelon gelatin
1 envelope unsweetened watermelon cherry Kool-Aid mix
2 cups refrigerated watrmelon juice blend
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups prepared limeaide
2 to 3 tsp. green food coloring
28 molds or 3 oz cups and sticks

In a  large bowl, combine the water, sugar, gelatin, and Kool-Aid mix. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add watermelon juice. Fill each mold or cup with 3 Tbsp. watermelon mixture. Freeze until almost slushy, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Top with holders or insert sticks. Freeze. In another bowl, combine limeaid and food coloring. If using molds remove holders. Pour limeaid mixture over tops. Return holders. Freeze completely.

For more information visit http://www.icypops.com/

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Natural Remedies For Common Summer Troubles

Here are just the tips you need to take care of the family's aches and pains this summer. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Be Prepared for the Holiday Weekend!

Here are some pointers for  basic first aid! Rather be safe than sorry,enjoy the holiday, hoist your American flags and say thank you to a veteran.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Safe Boating Week May 21-27

If you have a boat or you will be going out on the water with relatives or friends this summer, read these safety tips.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 2011 Book and Activity

Since the nice weather is finally here in most parts of the country, it's time to get outside and enjoy it! There is no better time to teach the kids about nature and their surroundings. This month I would like to recommend the book "Fun With Nature"- a take-along guide, published by NorthWood Press, Minnesota. There are 6 chapters in this book, each written by a different author. Illustrations are by Linda Garrow. It covers the topics of Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies, Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards, Frogs, Toads and Turtles, Tracks, Scats and Signs, Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks, and finally Trees, Leaves and Bark. It is a wonderful reference book, specifically written for adults who needs accurate information to answer kid's questions.

Activity:Scavenger Hunt  NOTE: CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER TAKE A NATURE WALK WITHOUT AN ADULT!

When you get this book, choose the next good weather day to go exploring. You can use, your backyard, neighborhood, park, pond, stream or woods. Decide before you go on what things you will look for, based on the child's interest and age. Use some blank paper to create a journal. A good list might be:
a feather
a leaf
3 different plants
a rock with more than one color
moss
an animal sighting
a stick shaped like the letter Y
a seed
hearing a bird's song
something you think is interesting

The items can be brought home for further study or left in place. Each should be drawn or written about in the journal (children can dictate to the adult). Make sure to include date and location where the items were found. Change your list every time you go and try to take a few walks during the summer to see how things change. Get out and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do You Use Clip On Chairs For Your Kids?

Read this newly released product warning if you do!

Ready To Get Outside For a Bybicle Ride?

May is National Bike Safety month. SafeKids USA has some good advice on how to have fun while being safe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Which Breakfast Cereals Are the Best?

Well if you are like me, shopping for healthy food items can be difficult with all the fancy advertising and misleading catch words. I was particularly interested in this article about healthy breakfast cereals for kids. Using the helpful guidelines in this article can make your choices much easier.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Product Recalls For April 2011

Here is the newest list of children's products that have been recalled for safety issues. Check it out to make sure they are not in use in your home.

Helping Children Through Tough Times

Here is a link to a wonderful short video from the American Academy of Pediatrics on helping children cope with difficult times. It's a must see!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day Keepsake Album

Here is a quick project that requires a few supplies but creates a wonderful gift for a Mom, Godmother, or Grandma.
You will need:  a few storage size zipper style plastic bags
                       card stock, any color
                       ribbon, twine, or yarn
                       a hole punch
                       glue
                       old greeting cards,calendars or magazines
                       markers

To begin, choose any number of plastic bags, depending on how many "pages" you want in the album.  Line them up and punch two holes in the sealed end (bottom) of the bag at each end. The bags will be put into the album with the zipper side on the right. Refer to the first photo. I am pointing to where I punched the holes.



Line up the bags so that the holes are in the same place for each bag.


Next,  choose 2 pieces of card stock. Cut them to 71/2 " by 9 1/2 ". You can use markers to decorate the front cover, or you can recycle pictures from old calendars or the fronts of used greeting cards. You can also make a montage of several pictures. Make your decisions based on your Mom's favorite things and colors.
Punch matching holes in the front and back card stock covers. Line up the bags with the bad name/logo/label on the back so that the top of each "page" will be clear. Starting with the back cover, lay each bag with the opening to the right. Top with the front cover. Poke ribbon or twine from the back through the holes toward the front and tie with a knot or bow. Place you name and the date on the front or back cover



Now Mom can put special keepsakes into each bag and zipper it shut. Ideas would be notes, letters, postcards, recipes, garden notes/seed variety packets, business cards, photos or any thing else she would like to keep organized.
Top it all off with a big hug and kiss! Happy Mother's Day to all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

7 Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding Their Kids

Acording to Joy Bauer, there are seven common mistakes that many parents make when it comes to feeding their young children. I have to admit that I was guilty of some of these when my children were young. Follow this link to read the entire list and the healthier alternatives.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

9 Unexpectedly Unhealthy Kid's Foods

I was reading my newest email from Cooking Light Magazine and found this article on unhealthy kid's foods. I was surprised to read what they were since many sound so healthy. To check the list follow this link.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sports Safelty Web Cast

This Safe Kids sponsored web cast event is on May 2 at 12:00 pm. Prepare, Prevent, Play will give you the safety information you need to be able to enjoy your children's sports events this summer, while helping to prevent serious injury. Follow the Safe Kids USA link in the sidebar for more information.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Toxic Cleaning Products?

Wow! There's a lot of good information here for everyone but especially if your children have asthma or allergies.

March 2011 Children's Products Recall List

Follow this link to check the children's products that have been recalled.

April 2011 Reading and Craft Ideas

April books suggestions:

Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond, published by Harper Collins. From the author of the famous If You Give a Mouse a Cookie comes this delightful Easter book. I bought it as a board book to give to my 9 month old grandson. It is a charming story that teaches color names.
The Night Before Easter, by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Kathy Couri, published by Grosset and Dunlap. Following the format of the famous "Twas the Night Before Christmas", this adorable book takes you along with the Easter Bunny as he visits and leaves lovely gifts to a boy and girl. This is the book I am giving to my 3 year old granddaughter.



Cupcake Paper Flowers:

You will need: construction paper, glue, colorful muffin/cupcake papers, colored buttons

Out of green construction paper, cut some stems and leaves. Glue them to blue construction paper. Cut a sun shape out of yellow and add to the blue background. Choose some colorful paper liners and glue them to the top of the stems. Add a colorful button to the center of each "flower." You can add a sentiment if you decide to give your scene as a gift or a card.






NOTE:
Another wonderful craft to make adorable sock bunnies is available at this link

Friday, March 25, 2011

Poison Control

If you would like a magnet with the Poison Control toll free help number, follow this link. They also have other helpful brochures on lots of useful subjects. Check it out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

****NEW GUIDELINES FOR CARSEATS****

Make sure you are up to date on the recommendated guidelines for carseats just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Follow this link to see the new information or follow the link in the sidebar of my blog to AAP.

Unexpected Asthma Triggers

You might be surprised to read what they are. Follow the list here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

St. Patricks Day Pretzel

Here's a quick easy treat to make with kids.
You will need: a can of refrigerated bread stick dough
cinnamon
green decorating sugar

Use a section of bread stick dough to form a heart shape. Repeat with two other sections. Place the three heart shapes together to form a large shamrock. Use the rest of the sections in the same way. Place shamrocks on a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and green sugar. Bake according to bread stick directions. Cool and enjoy.

Cooking With Kids

Looking for some good ideas for cooking with kids? There's a great magazine called "Chop, Chop" to help you. Follow this link to see what it's all about.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

15 Signs Your child May Have ADHD

Ever wonder if ADHD has specific symptoms and behaviors? Well, here's a site that will answer your questions.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can A Diet Cure ADHD?

Follow this link to find out the latest findings.

February 2011 Math Lesson-Graphing

Now that we have covered patterning and sorting in previous lessons, we move this month to graphing. Gathering data and interpreting the results are very important mathematical skills that children need to be comfortable with as they progress through the grades. This is always a fun topic since it can be used with so many different materials. Since we are fast approaching Valentine's Day, I decided to use candy hearts as my hands on material for this graph. This lesson is appropriate for children through first or second grade.

First, give your child an assortment of candy hearts. You may want to choose your colors carefully, as you will see later in this lesson. Have them sort by color.
Next, make a graph on plain paper. Have your child place numbers in the left column starting with 1 and the bottom going upwards until they reach 10. (You can go higher if you have given them more than ten of any one color candy).
Next, have them color the bottom square in each column to match each color candy in their bag. You can refer to my first picture to see how it should look.
Next, using 1 to 1 correspondence, have them color one square for each candy they have.
Then, have them make observations about what their graph shows.
Finally, have them write what those observations are, using words such as most, least, more than, less than, one more than, one less than, equal, plus, minus, difference, and all together. Older children can use the symbols  +, -, =, >, and <
In my sample, the sentences labeled with an "a" are the ones that would be made by younger children, while the "b" would be the comments or equations used by older children. You can prompt them to figure out more.
The reward can be that you get to eat the materials after you have completed the lesson! This can be done again with greater amounts in the spring with jelly beans, or any time of year with M & M's or any candies that come in lots of colors. Remember, Math is fun.




Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

February Books and Art Project

Book Recommendations
Go To Sleep Groundhog by Judy Cox, illustrated by Paul Meisel, published by Scholastic, New York. This is a cute little story to help the kids understand this holiday.
Winter White written by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Carol Lacey, published by Morrow Junior Books, New York. This lovely fable is about two friends, a fox and a lemming, and their adventure with winter in the Arctic.



Art Project-Heart Embellished Frame
Use foam hearts available in most craft stores, or use a heart shaped punch and construction paper to embellish a cardboard or chipboard frame cut to whatever size you need. Let the kids use markers to add their own decorative ideas to each heart. Glitter, stick on gems, or cut outs from paper doilies can be used as well. In additon, this is a great way to add new life to an old unused frame you might pick up at a sale or flea market.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011-The International Year of The Forest

Did you know that the United Nations has named 2011 the International Year of the Forest? I read some information about the world's forests and was so motivated that I wanted to share it with my readers. Here is the link. Learn about how much we might be losing if we don't act quickly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Childproofing Your Home

Follow this link to read the steps to childproof your home for the children in your life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Deliberate Fraud

Read about the "deliberate fraud" committed by the author of the vaccines/autism study here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homemade Fun

Here are two quick and easy recipes to make modeling material for the kids to play with. Each takes about a half hour to make, costs very little and will keep them entertained for several days.

Goop- You will need 2 cups of liquid white glue (such as Elmers) and 1 cup of liquid starch (found in the laundry section of your supermarket-usually blue in color)

Directions:
Mix the two ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until a soft dough forms. Food coloring can be added if desired. Remove from heat and let cool until it is comfortable enough to handle. Knead in a zipper plastic bag until it is smooth and elastic, similar to puddy. Store in air tight container or zipper plastic bag.

Kid's Dough- You will need 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 1/2 cup of salt, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons canola oil and food coloring.

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in a saucepan. Add the water and oil, cooking and stirring until a ball forms. Cool until comfortable enough to handle. Divide dough and knead in plastic bag with desired food coloring. Store in air tight container or zipper plastic bag.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dec. 2010 Safety Recalls

Follow this link and check to see if you own any of these recalled products.