The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise Gets a 5-Star Review

 

“Mommieeeeee……..Crystal won’t play with me!!!!!!”

If you have young children, I’m sure you have heard something like this before.

We are always working on interpersonal relationships, even as adults…and children need to learn how to get along with others, whether siblings or friends. 

Do you wonder if your children will ever get along and do you pray for an answer?

Children’s book author, Donalisa Helsley, has obviously been listening! 

Her newest book, The Day No One Played Together: A Lesson About Compromise, is a beautifully illustrated (by the talented Sarah Harkey) story of two sisters who want to play together.  However, each wants the other to play HER game.  When the sisters come to a stalemate, their mom steps in with a suggestion: COMPROMISE.  The girls begin to brainstorm many ideas of how they can incorporate what each wants to do so that they can play together.  They happily solve their problem and the book ends with the sisters spending the rest of the day playing with each other.  Parents: grab a copy of this book…read it with your children…help them apply the concept of compromise next time there is an argument…and enjoy the peace and harmony.

 

On the last page of the book, Ms. Helsley provides a simple definition of some of the words in the story that young children might be hearing for the first time.  I love this feature of the book…we should always encourage children to understand what they are reading or hearing…this helps build their vocabulary…one of the most important components of literacy. 

You can find out more about this great children’s author by visiting her website: www.wildaboutreading.net

You can like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildaboutreading

You can contact her: wildaboutreading@ymail.com

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, B&N.com, Goodreads and the author’s website.  I definitely recommend The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise as a MUST-HAVE for every young child’s bookshelf and the library in every preschool and kindergarten classroom.

I’m grateful to Ms. Helsley for sending me a copy of her book.  It was my pleasure to read it and my honor to review it.  I plan to use the book in my Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian programs in local schools and libraries during the next few months.  I know the children will love hearing about Jadyn and Genesis and will be able to relate what happened to the two sisters in the story to their own struggles with getting along with their playmates.  For 100 other picture book recommendations and activities to go along with them, check out the BIG holiday online special of Show Me How!

Is the Tooth Fairy Leaving Money Under Your Pillow?

Do you remember putting a baby tooth under your pillow at night and waking up in the morning with eager anticipation to see how much money the tooth fairy had left in place of that tooth?

Do your children carry on this tradition?

I remember those loose baby teeth, hanging on by a thread, my tongue pushing them this way and that.

I remember going to sleep wondering what the tooth fairy would leave for me.

I remember the joy when I discovered a quarter under my pillow.

But as adults, losing teeth is not an event that calls for celebration!

How can we keep our teeth in good health?

Dentists recommend that you:

  •        Brush your teeth twice a day
  •        Floss daily
  •        See your dental care professional at least once a year
  •        Limit snacks, especially sugary ones

Do you have a favorite brand of toothpaste or mouthwash?  The shelves in the grocery and drug stores are loaded with many different brands of toothpaste, mouthwashes and other products used for oral hygiene.  How do we know which are good for us and which can actually harm us?

 

Parents have an especially important job when it comes to helping their children make good oral hygiene a habit.  Even before children have teeth, they can be brushing their gums with a very soft brush with a very small head.  Keep toothpaste out of reach, as well as any other oral care products.  If toothpaste is used, the parent should put it on the brush.  Make up a brushing-our-teeth song and sing it while your child brushes.  Before bedtime and also after breakfast are two important times for young children to brush their teeth.  Pediatricians often recommend that parents use a clean soft damp cloth to wipe off a very young child’s gums and teeth.  Check with your pediatrician or dental care professional for more tips that will keep your child’s mouth and teeth healthy.

Brushing teeth should become an established part of your child’s bedtime routines.  Another important part of that routine is the bedtime story.  There are so many books available…which ones should you choose?  For summaries of 100 picture books every young child should hear, you can pick up a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, now at more than 50% off for a limited time only on my website or on Amazon.  Give yourself and your child a gift this holiday season that will build self-esteem, develop literacy skills and strengthen the parent-child connection long after the wrapping and ribbon are thrown away.

Want to read what the Dallas Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has to say about Show Me How? Click here.

Every page you turn will provide a great picture book summary, a simple craft project and a healthful child-friendly cooking activity…IT’S QUICK AND EASY & ONLY $19.95!  This is an ONLINE SPECIAL ONLY…safely purchase on my website through PayPal or on Amazon.

A Parenting Lesson from Buck, the Horse Whisperer

Last night we watched “Buck”, a documentary about a horse whisperer that is an absolute must-see for every parent and teacher.

“Horse whisperer?” you say.  “I raise (or teach) children, not horses.”

Please let me explain.

Buck Brannaman was raised by a bullying abusive father.  As young boys in the 1960’s, he and his brother performed as trick rope artists.  On the surface, the life of these children looked glamorous…fancy cowboy outfits, cereal commercials on TV, traveling across the country.  But behind closed doors, Buck’s father beat them mercilessly.  When a school coach discovered the situation, he intervened and Buck and his brother were sent to a foster home.

Fortunately for Buck, the Shirley’s were loving nurturing foster parents who understood that he needed to learn to believe in himself before he could trust and believe in others. 

Parenting is a very difficult task, probably the hardest job in the world.  And we often model our parenting on the way our own parents behaved towards us when we were children.  Problems arise when our parents were not good role models…and that’s what is so amazing about this documentary.  It reveals that Buck was able to turn his back on the bad parenting he had experienced as a young child and instead, mirror the skills of his foster parents, not only with his own child, but also with horses.

Buck travels around the country forty weeks out of the year giving four-day horse clinics.  People come with their horses to learn how to improve the connection between horse and rider.

Can we take some of Buck’s horse whisperer advice and apply it to our own situations, raising our children and improving the parent-child connection?

We definitely can and should!

1.    Take Buck’s advice, “live in the moment…you don’t have to live in the past”.  If your parents lacked good parenting skills, find other role models and do a better job with your own children.  There are many resources in your area that you can turn to for help and support.

2.    “Horses (and children) are a mirror of your soul”, as Buck so aptly put it…observe the behavior (or misbehavior) and then see what you are doing (or not doing) that might account for that behavior.  If your child is exhibiting a behavior that is inappropriate, you need to act…be consistent, enforce consequences, and always show compassion.  Again, local agencies are available to offer help and support.

3.    Buck says, “discipline and encourage…don’t discipline and discourage”.  If you feel that you and/or any other adult in the home have anger management issues or you have a concern for the safety of your children or yourself, contact Childhelp immediately or call 1-800-4-A-CHILD

You’ll find similar suggestions in my book for parents and teachers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAY SPECIAL

GET A HEAD START ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING

For a LIMITED TIME (October 23 – November 23), we are offering a brand-new signed and inscribed copy of Show Me How! for $19.95.  This is the lowest priceit has even been…over 50% off the cover price!  You won’t find a new copy cheaper ANYWHERE.  This is a ONE MONTH on-line special only on my website where you can purchase the book securely through PayPal and or on Amazon, if you prefer.

What a great gift this book makes for parents, grandparents, preschool and nursery teachers, nannies, daycare providers, babysitters and early childhood education students!  Are any of those people on your holiday gift list?

“The book is both a tool and a workbook that helps loving adults encourage children to identify and safely communicate their feelings, to develop skills to problem solve and to make healthy choices.” – Ellen Levy, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director, Adoption Choice Center, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Story suggestions help you choose the right book to read with your child.
  • Arts and crafts projects are QUICK AND EASY.
  • Recipes are CHILD-FRIENDLY AND HEALTHY.
  • Empowers parents
  • Engages children

Click here for another great review of Show Me How!  And please don’t put off buying a copy at this great price…for under $20 you will be giving a unique personalized gift to a friend, teacher or family member and the gift of self-esteem to a child.

Fall Festival at First Christian Church

What an awesome autumn it has been so far!

Here in Colorado Springs, the weather has been glorious…Indian Summer has been in full swing for the several weeks.

However, there is briskness in the air that tells us winter is on its way.

The cool crisp mornings give way to warm sunny afternoons.  And, when the sun goes down behind the Front Range, the frost is definitely on the pumpkins.

Speaking of pumpkins, there is a wonderful Fall Festival this Saturday from 10am to 2pm at the First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Avenue.  There will be lots of homemade goodies and preserves for sale, as well as handcrafted items.  Activities for children are also on the agenda in addition to a wonderful silent auction.  You’ll even be able to buy a copy of Show Me How!  I’ve donated several copies and also a book and craft supply package for the silent auction.

100% of the proceeds of this event will be donated to Tennyson Center, one of Rocky Mountain regions leading treatment centers and K-12 schools for emotionally and crisis-affected child and youth, particularly those suffering from abuse and neglect.   This is a child-centered, family-focused, community-based center!

So, if you are local to Colorado Springs, head on over and bring your children to First Christian Church on Saturday, October 22…you’re sure to have a great time…and support a wonderful local cause!

Three Generations Enjoy a Beautiful Autumn Day at the Lake

Are you looking for activities that can be enjoyed by three generations.

Do you want grandparents, parents and children to have fun together?

Several activities come to mind: reading, crafting, cooking, gardening and fishing.

This past week, when I was visiting my daughter and her family, we were able to do several of these and we all had an amazing time.

Encouraging young children to interact with their grandparents (or other older folk) is beneficial for everyone involved.  Positive parental (or grandparental) participation is really an important component in building self-esteem and a positive self-image.

My grandson turned three on a Monday and his dad came home early from work so that we could all go for a lovely ride to see the fall foliage.  Our destination was Wasserman Park, right in their town of Merrimack, NH.

While Jeremy and his dad played in the beautiful playground, my daughter and I put together the fishing rod and reel that had been one of the birthday presents from Jeremy’s Grampy, an avid fly-fisherman.  Parents can purchase fishing rod and reel combos at their local Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart for about $20.  You don’t have to buy the real kiddy ones that are more like toys.  Just make sure the rod is not too long and the reel is easy to operate.  This is a wonderful investment that will provide fun for the entire family and will help build a strong parent-child connection.

Down at the lake, Jeremy settled himself comfortably in my lap and we began to fish.  Holding the rod grip in his left hand, he helped me cast out the little rubber worm.  “Look, look, there’s my bobber!” he shouted excitedly.  As he reeled in the line, the bobber skated across the surface of the water.   When the bobber and worm had been retrieved, Jeremy cried, “Let’s do it again!”

And we did…dozens of times.

I’d like to say we caught lots of fish…but, to tell you the truth, no one cared that we didn’t even get a bite.

We all had the best time, enjoying the beautiful autumn day at a lake surrounded by the reds and yellows and greens and golds of the trees ablaze with their fall finery.

If you are looking for other activities that parents, grandparents and children can participate in together, just buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  It’s the perfect choice if you need EASY arts and crafts or QUICK healthy recipes.   You’ll also find lots of picture book summaries and parenting tips that build self-esteem, develop literacy skills and strengthen the parent-child connection.  Check out the online special on my website…I think you’ll agree that THE PRICE IS RIGHT!  With holiday gift-giving fast approaching, why not take care of some of the people on your list by buying a few…parents, grandparents, daycare providers, nursery and preschool teachers, nannies, babysitters and early childhood education students would all appreciate this award-winning resource.

“This exceptional guide will make learning fun for all involved while creating bonds between parent and child.”  – Dr. Peter Clothier, Family Physician, CO

Click here to read a recent 5-star review of Show Me How! by children’s picture book author, Martha Rodriguez.

Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian Travels to New Hampshire

For me, the greatest joy in the world is to be with those I love doing what I love.

So you can imagine how joyful I was this past week, spending time in New Hampshire with my daughter and her family…and visiting Toll House Preschool in Merrimack, NH where I read a picture book story and did a simple craft with my grandson’s class of three and four-year olds.

The children were seated on the floor in their story circle and as soon as Jeremy caught sight of me, he jumped up and cried, “You came to my school…you really came!”  The teacher welcomed me and ushered me to her story chair.  “What’s your name?” asked one of the children.  “I’m Miss Vivian” I answered, smiling down at their eager faces.  “I traveled here on an airplane so that I could read you a special story.”

The children sat, listening attentively, as I read Yes I Can by Sam McBratney.  They loved hearing about the three animal friends who are having fun in the autumn leaves.  When the three friends begin to argue and make fun of each other, Little Roo’s mother comes over and encourages each one to show what they do best.  Little Roo jumps VERY high, Country Mouse catches his tail and Quacker Duck floats on a puddle.  The friends compliment each other…they are learning to give respect and value their own and others qualities and strengths.

When the story was over, we talked about the different talents that each animal had and we all got up and jumped like Little Roo, turned round and round chasing our “tails” like Country Mouse and pretended we were swimming in a puddle like Quaker Duck.  This activity helped the children get a little exercise after sitting so quietly for the story.  It’s important to provide a good balance of activities for young children…if we try to keep them sitting too long, they will get restless.

The next activity for this preschool class was “centers” where the children can choose painting, clay, etc.  This was the perfect time for some of the children to work on the simple leaf family craft project I had planned.  Using leaves of different sizes and shapes, each child picked a few leaves to trace on the page.  Each shape became a member of their family as they added hair and features and colored them in.

As the children worked on their project, they told me about their families and their pets.  I’m always amazed at how verbal young children are…especially when they are relaxed and at ease…which seems to happen all the time when children are engaged in arts and crafts activities.  Parents can use this time as they participate with their children to listen and learn what is on their children’s minds. 

  

I’m sure the next time I return to New Hampshire, I’ll have the opportunity to visit with the children at Toll House Preschool again.  The teacher told me she had never seen them sit so attentively for a story before.  Although I believe in the policy of “No Rules…Just Read”, I also know that there are certain things we can do when we read a picture book to young children that will help make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding for both parent and child. 

1.    Find a comfortable place to read…child on your lap in a comfy chair or sitting side-by-side on the couch.

2.    Make sure your child can see the pictures as you read the story.

3.    Allow your child to point out things on each page and talk about them.

4.    When the story is finished, encourage your child to retell the story as you turn the pages again.

These are some of the tips I give in my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  In addition to lots of story suggestions, you’ll find a matching craft and also a cooking activity for each recommended picture book.

 

PLEASE DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE SIZE OF THE BOOK!  Don’t think of it as a BIG BOOK…IT’S A BOOK WITH BIG IDEAS!  Every parent and teacher who uses it says it makes planning and doing activities QUICK AND EASY!

“Kirkfield lays out a brilliant and simple program with activities that will inspire parents and teachers.”  – Diana Loomans, best-selling author of The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem and many other books

It’s available in the original print version with lots of lined spaces on every other page for recording your child’s memorable moments.

It’s also available on Amazon’s Kindle for those of you who don’t like a bunch of books taking up space in your home.

The gift-giving holidays are quickly approaching…there’s an online special on my website that can’t be beat…it would make the perfect present for any parent, grandparent, daycare provider, nanny, babysitter, nursery or preschool or kindergarten teacher.

To see the latest review of Show Me How by Lea, a homeschooling mom, please click here.

Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian Travels to New Hampshire

What an awesome time to be traveling to New England.

I’ll be flying to New Hampshire tomorrow and I can’t wait to gaze out the window of the plane, down at the magnificient fall folliage…scarlets, magentas, golds…the tree-tops will look like a bejewled crown of a Russian tsarina. 

My grandson will be celebrating his third birthday and I am looking forward to taking long walks with him down to the pond where we love to select the perfect pebbles and toss them in.  Of course, there will be plenty of opportunity to use the Show-Me-How program…I know Jeremy will be thrilled to read lots of picture books, do simple craft projects and work together in the kitchen, preparing easy healthful recipes.

I’m also excited about this trip because I will be bringing the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program to the Tollhouse Preschool in Merrimack, NH.  I’ll be reading Yes We Can by Sam McBratney to the three year old preschool group and doing a leaf tracing craft project with them.  I’m coming prepared with a bag full of leaves…but I’m sure there will be plenty available on the school grounds.

Why is it so important to read to young children?  Reading to young children:

  • Builds self-esteem
  • Develops pre-literacy skills
  • Stengthens the parent-child connection
  • Allows them to relate their experiences to those in the story
  • Provides wonderful opportunities for parent-child discussions

The craft and cooking activities included in my book help extend this learning experience.  What a wonderful gift to give any parent or teacher of young children!  Please visit my website for online specials.

“Looking for a book that creates childhood magic?  This is it!

 – Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD: Clinical Director and Family Therapist

“This is a timely and timeless book that every parent and teacher will love.  It encourages children in an engaging, creative and fun format.”

Sheila Glazov: Author of What Color is Your Brain? and Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift