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!