After the Royal Wedding: What Do William and Kate Really Need?

Wedding ball of the Duke of Joyeuse and Margue...

Image via Wikipedia

The Royal Wedding has been dominating the news in the last few weeks.

The media has featured photos and stories about William and Kate and the wedding preparations on TV, magazines, newspapers and all across the Web.

Did you know that Papa John’s in Great Britain has a special pizza with toppings that look like the royal couple?

Or that Baskin Robbins has a Royal Wedding Ice Cream Cake?

And, not to be outdone, that Dunkin Donuts produced the Royal Wedding donut…available only from April 24th to April 29th?

William and Kate will be receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of gifts from all over the world.  I understand they have asked that if anyone wants to give them a gift, the money should be donated to charity instead.  If you are interested in finding out more about this and which are the 26 charities earmarked by William and Kate to receive these donations, you can go to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110425/wl_uk_afp/britainroyalsmarriagegifts

But honestly, I know exactly what William and Kate will need when their wedding is over.

It’s definitely been a stressful time for them.  So many decisions had to be made and they are so much in the spotlight.

What William and Kate will need is a massage.   Massage is very therapeutic.  It relaxes you.  It releases toxins in your system.  It eases tense muscles.  Perhaps they can have a couples’ massage together, in a room awash with candlelight and with soft soothing music in the background. 

Massage was on my mind because yesterday I had one with the most fantastic massage therapist in Colorado.  Kristie has been giving me and my husband massages for several years now.  She can do hot stone massages, sports’ massages and just plain old feel good relaxing stress-relieving massages…all with expert knowledge about what is connected to what and why it hurts and how to help you make it feel better.  She is also a teacher of massage therapy, so she really knows what she is doing!

I had a week off from my kindergarten story and craft presentations.  But next week, stop in on Friday for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?  I’ll be telling you how my final program of this school year went at Queen Palmer School.

Please come back and visit tomorrow.

What’s in Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday: MIMMY AND SOPHIE: THE VACATION

Sunrise at the Brooklyn Bridge

Image by Francisco Diez via Flickr

Are your children old enough to ask where you are taking them this summer?

Do you watch the television commercials for Disneyworld and feel badly because you can’t afford to take your children to this magical amusement park?

Is your budget already stretched thin with just providing the necessities, but you wish you had extra money so you could plan a vacation?

The parents in today’s recommended picture book story are faced with the same budget problems that many of us are experiencing.  However, even though they have very little money they do have a lot of creativity.

MIMMY AND SOPHIE: THE VACATION

Written by Miriam Cohen

Illustrated by Thomas Yezerski

            Summer is coming and all the children are boasting about where they are going for vacation.   Mimmy and Sophie don’t have anything to contribute to the discussion because their parents are struggling financially.  When Mimmy and Sophie ask their parents if they can take a vacation somewhere, their mother suggests they have a special picnic on the Brooklyn Bridge.

            After helping their mother make egg salad sandwiches, the two little girls accompany their parents to the store where they buy a special treat…cupcakes with filling.  Mimmy and Sophie enjoy the picnic on the bridge and spend the rest of the afternoon watching the boats in the river and the beautiful sunset.  Although they have not traveled far, both girls are satisfied with the wonderful day they have spent with their parents.

            Mimmy and Sophie were fortunate because their parents were sensitive to the needs and concerns of their children.  They used their imagination to plan a wonderful afternoon for their daughters and, with very little money, enabled Mimmy and Sophie to enjoy a very special vacation.  The time their parents spent with them helped Mimmy and Sophie understand how much they were loved.

As parents, we need to listen to our children and spend time with them just like the parents in the story: Positive Parental Participation in action!

If you are looking for activities to do for the summer or anytime, please visit my website and check out my book for parents and teachers of preschoolers.   It’s loaded with easy fun-filled crafts and cooking activities.

What craft activities does your child enjoy most?

Photo credits: Image of the Brooklyn Bridge by Francisco Diez

AND THE WINNER IS……!

For the last five days, I’ve enjoyed reading the comments left by bloggers who have been entering the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop on my site. 

I’ve tried to visit all of their blogs…there are so many wonderful people out there, writing about their experiences and sharing their triumphs and tragedies.  This was a wonderful way to connect.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, left comments and spread the word about this great resource for parents and teachers of preschoolers.

And the winner of the free copy of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING is…

Phrogmom

The winner was chosen by Random.org  True Number Generator and I’ll be emailing her right away to let her know the good news. 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please go to my website.

I’m offering a SPECIAL $10 REBATE for anyone who entered the giveaway and wants to purchase the book.

Please stop by tomorrow for What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday.

Make-A-Meal Mondays: Child-Friendly Traveling Trail Mix

Flatirons with Spring flowers

Image via Wikipedia

 

Green buds are opening up on our Clematis vine.

Iris shoots are about 10 inches tall already.

The wild cacophony of birdsong woke me at 5:30 this morning.

SPRING IS REALLY HERE!!!

Although we may get a little more funky weather here in Colorado – yesterday was Easter Sunday and a dusting of snow covered the grass when I looked out the window in the morning – the signs of spring are evident.

The school year is winding down and families will be planning outings and trips.  Some of them may have to be local…gas prices are on the rise again and it is quite costly to drive long distances.

But there is so much to do and see…even walking to a local park and having a simple picnic can be a wonderful experience for young children.  On Wednesday, I’ll review a classic story by Miriam Cohen about two young girls whose parents provide them with an exceptional vacation…just steps away from their home.

Whether you drive or walk, here is a great recipe for a child-friendly trail mix that will keep little hands and mouths occupied.

CHILD-FRIENDLY TRAVELING TRAIL MIX

 

Great to have on hand – keep several zip-lock bagsful to grab when you have to run out to the store with your child – it’s a much healthier alternative to candy bars and chips!

You will need: 2 cups Corn Chex, 2 cups Wheat Chex, 2 cups Rice Chex, 2 cups pretzels (thin sticks or mini), 1½ cups mixed nuts or peanuts (optional), 1 Tb margarine (use the healthier non-hydrogenated kind or substitute butter), 2 tsp Braggs Aminos or soy sauce and a 13x9x2 inch microwave-safe baking dish.

1.    Melt the margarine (you can do this in the microwave…just make sure you cover the dish), mix with Braggs Aminos or soy sauce and pour into the baking dish.

2.    Add the cereals, pretzels and nuts and mix thoroughly to coat.

3.    Microwave on high for three minutes.

4.    Stir and continue to heat in the microwave, one minute at a time, until evenly toasted.

5.    Makes about 2½ quarts.  Store in an airtight container.

6.    You can substitute the crispy or chex-type cereals you have on hand and eliminate the nuts if your child is too young or has nut allergies.

I often see young children in a shopping cart, fussy and hungry, mother frantically trying to grab the items she needs from the supermarket shelves.  Just think how much happier everyone would be if the child had a little zip-lock bag of this trail mix. 🙂

This is the last day to enter the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop and Giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a copy of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING.  The Traveling Trail Mix recipe is only one of 100 child-friendly cooking activities you’ll find in this great resource for parents and teachers.  Just click on the Hoppy Easter link above, follow my blog, and you might be the winner!  And you can also check out the over 250 other blogs that are participating and offering prizes and giveaways!

Cinema Sunday: My Picks of Great Flicks: The Ten Commandments

Cropped screenshot of Charlton Heston from the...

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Cinema Sunday: My Picks of Great Flicks: The Ten Commandments

This past week was filled with holidays, for people of both the Christian and Jewish faiths.  Today is Easter Sunday and tomorrow will be the last night of Passover.

Have you seen The Ten Commandments lately?

The networks usually air it during these holidays and it was on TV last night…ALL NIGHT…it’s such a long movie, but, in my opinion, well worth the time invested.

Of course, I had to watch it…although I’ve seen it many time before and actually own a copy that my dad had purchased and then had sent it to me as a gift.  My dad LOVED watching movies and had an enormous collection of VCR tapes.  He was very eclectic in his movie viewing and enjoyed comedies, action/adventures, westerns, romances and thrillers.   He’d worked, in an office on the distribution side of the movie industry, for Warner Brothers and other motion picture companies ever since he was a teenager and so movies had always been part of his life.

As a young child, I would watch television on Saturday mornings with my father…this was before Saturday mornings were flooded with cartoons for kids and cooking shows for adults.  There was always a movie…The Thief of Baghdad, a 1940 film starring the Indian child-star Sabu, was one of our favorites.  Perhaps it was the idea of having three wishes or maybe it was the fact that Sabu was such a little boy and the genie was SO HUGE…my dad was only 5’4” tall and quite sensitive about his lack of height.  It must have made him feel better about himself to see this tiny person triumph.  My dad also loved James Cagney movies…perhaps for the same reason, as the famous actor was only about 5’5” tall.

 

I’m always encouraging parents to spend “quality” time with their young children – reading, crafting and cooking – because participating positively with a child in these activities really does build self-esteem, develops their pre-reading skills, and creates a life-long parent-child bond.  I don’t remember ever reading, crafting or cooking with my dad (my mom was the one who did those things with me)…but the time my dad spent with me, watching old movies on the television, was his way of participating positively…and it certainly worked!

I know this was going to be a review and recommendation of The Ten Commandments…it became a post on how my dad found a way to spend “quality” time with me.  Perhaps The Ten Commandments doesn’t need any help from me.  If you are looking for a movie that kind of explains the Jewish holiday of Passover and you love epic movie productions with a cast of thousands, and you like watching films with Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner and a host of other icons of Hollywood…get a copy and a BIG bowl of popcorn (or maybe two) and enjoy!

Just a reminder – tomorrow is the last day of the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop and Giveaway.  The giveaway of a copy of Show Me How! ends at 11:59pm on Monday night.  Just click on the Blog Hop link above and leave a comment telling me you have subscribed to this blog.  You can get extra entries by grabbing my button, posting the giveaway on your blog or facebook or tweeting about it. 

 

 

Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?

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Image by Amy Bonner via Flickr

The school year is winding down

Thursday was my next-to-the-last Show-Me-How Story-time presentation.

So, I was just a little bit sad as I walked into Trailblazer Elementary School in Colorado Springs.

But, you can’t remain sad long when surrounded by smiling eager kindergarteners!

The children sat on the story rug and I sat in the story rocking chair and I read them Frederick, by Leo Lionni.  This picture book is definitely a favorite with young children.  The simple yet engaging illustrations clearly convey the frustration of Frederick’s family as they assume the young mouse is just trying to get out of collecting food supplies for the winter. 

The story shows that each of us is a unique individual with different qualities and strengths.   As a poet, Frederick used words to create pictures in the minds of his family members.  And this, the story brings out, is equally as important as food…in fact, you might say it is a different type of food.

The teachers and their aides had done a stellar job of preparing the simple materials needed for the craft project.  There were so many different colors and shapes of construction paper flowers; I thought there was a spring garden blooming on the teacher’s desk.

I am always amazed and excited by the comments I hear from the children.  All three kindergartens were able to take part…the teachers split them into two groups for back-to-back story and craft presentations.  After the story, the children were eager to tell me what supplies Frederick brought and what foods his family collected.  They also discussed poetry and were able to come up with many rhyming words.  Each time I would ask a question, almost every hand would wave excitedly as each child wanted to be the one to provide the answer.

Next month I have one more presentation and then the school year will be over.  I look forward with anticipation to reading and crafting with a new group of children in August.

Please don’t forget about the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop and Giveaway of a copy of Show Me How.  All you need to do is click on the link and subscribe to my blog and leave a comment on why you’d like to win the copy of this great resource for parents and teachers.

Healthy Habit Thursday: THE VITAMIN BAND

An Everett piano keyboard.

Image via Wikipedia

THE VITAMIN BAND

Is it a pill?

Is it a collection of musical instruments?

Is it a bracelet?

The answer to the above questions is NO!

The Vitamin Band is actually a unique children’s book by author and PhD. Olena Burda Lassen.

Ms. Lassen has developed a simple yet innovative technique that helps young children learn to play the piano while they learn about healthy eating and have lots of fun at the same time!

What could be better than that!

I met this amazing woman at a book fair and book signing a couple of weeks ago.  Her book cover (a piano keyboard) was so engaging, I had to pick up the book and flip through it.  And, once I had it in my hands, I knew I had to buy a copy to give to my two 5½ year old twin grandchildren.  The book is so appealing and such a great resource, I plan on purchasing another copy to keep on my library shelves for reference.

Her website is a magical place and you will find information about how you can purchase the book, as well as free fun-filled activities for your children.  You’ll also find her schedule of upcoming appearances and events.  Each event is sure to provide an entertaining and educationally enriching time for your children.

The book is perfection itself…printed on eco-friendly paper using soy-based inks, this is a treasure you will cherish and utilize for many years to come.

 

Please stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian.  I visited the children at Trailblazer School this morning and I want to tell you all about it.

Also, don’t forget, the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop and Giveaway is going on right now until April 25th and you can enter and win a FREE copy of my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Just click on the above link and it will take you to the post that explains how to enter!  Good luck, everyone!