Super Bowl Sunday: Including the Kids with Snacks and Stories

Super Bowl Sunday is three days away. What does Super Bowl Sunday mean to you? Are you having a Super Bowl Sunday party at your home? Does your family cluster around the TV, watching all of the action?

If you have young children, you can include them in the festivities. Read this wonderful picture book. Invite them into the kitchen to help prepare some yummy and healthful Super Bowl Sunday snacks.

Super Bowl Sunday,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Dino-Football

Written by Lisa Wheeler

Illustrated by Barry Gott

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (August 2012)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Football, good sportsmanship

Synopsis:

From School Library Journal:  “It’s Mega Bowl Sunday in the Lava Dome, and a crowd of excited dinosaurs are watching the Greenblade Snackers play against the Redscales. The rhyming running commentary contains the terminology and all the play-by-play excitement of a televised game. “Kentro gets the takeaway!/This Snacker rookie saved the day.” After the “Dino Halftime Show,” the score is close, but the last play allows small, young Mussaurus to score the winning touchdown. Gott’s illustrations of the tackles are more humorous than brutal, and he draws examples of good sportsmanship on and off the field. A detailed scoreboard and color-coded naming system in the text (the dinos’ names are in green or red depending on their team) make this game easy to follow”

Why do I like this book:

It’s important for parents to share their passions with their children. If you love football, invite your children to watch for awhile. But please don’t expect them to be able to sit through the entire game. Watching Super Bowl Sunday on TV might make more sense to a kid if he or she had heard this story. The book highlights good sportsmanship…a crucial life skill that extends to every area of our lives. Reading this story might also serve as a launching pad for outdoor family activity. Grab that pigskin and head outside with your kids for a football toss.

There are several other Super Bowl Sunday-related picture books out there:

From England, where football is soccer: http://www.ivillage.co.uk/top-10-football-books-kids/81455

http://www.squidoo.com/picture-books-about-football

Related Activities:

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SNACKS

super bowl sunday snacks,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Why not serve an assortment of fresh veggies with a homemade dip or hummus?

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Fresh-cut fruits are sweet and nutritious!

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A selection of flat breads or crackers teamed up with chunks of cheese make tasty and healthful munchies.

Each of these takes only minutes to prepare…and are so easy, even a child can do it…inviting a child to help in the kitchen is important:

  • Builds self-confidence and self-worth…helps a child feel useful
  • Develops an understanding of good nutrition…start when they are young
  • Encourages ‘picky’ eaters to try new things…kids will often eat what they have helped prepare

Here are a couple of links to posts I’ve done that have perfect foods for Super Bowl Sunday:

Yummy Vegetarian Chili: https://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/new-years-resolution-1-face-your-fears/

Delicious Cock-a-Leekie Soup: https://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/sunday-post-recipe-for-self-esteem/

Some lovely healthful Super Bowl snacks here: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20338949,00.html

On the other side of the world, the conference directors for the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content are putting the finishing touches to their website: http://afcc.com.sg/

Stop by and find out how their National Book Council is working to increase international awareness of quality Asian Content for children around the world and has partnered this year with the National Library Board of Singapore. The event will include authors, illustrators, educators, publishers, literary agents, producers, parents, librarians and anyone who cares about content for kids.

stackofbooks

For great content for kids that will give you 100’s of picture book summaries, easy matching crafts and healthful child-friendly cooking activities, purchase a copy on Amazon (or my website) of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  A PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today!

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday reviews…come and join Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others.perfect-pic-book-badge-e1325891994293

Sunday Post: Focused Attention…Does Your Child Get Yours?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is FOCUSED ATTENTION.

01-ural-owl-670Photo by Sven Zarek for National Geographic

Birds do it!

 bumblebee from Malou

Photo by Malou of the Netherlands

Bees do it!

Jeremy cleaning house with vacuum

Even precious little kids do it!

Have you ever watched young children coloring a picture? Head close to the page, crayon gripped in their fingers, tongue clenched between their lips…they are focusing every fiber of their attention on what they are doing.

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Observe your children next time they are learning a new task or playing ball or dancing…you will see how their entire body is involved.

Do you give your children YOUR focused attention when you are reading a story with them or participating in some activity or just listening to them tell you about something that happened at school?

So often, parents are busy and listen with ‘half an ear’.

320925_10151303564318046_1899968953_n All dressed up in her Easter finery…Carrie at age 3.

I remember, years ago, when our daughter was about 6 years-old. She had come home from school and her father, who was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, asked her how her day had gone. Carrie began telling him what she had done in school. After a minute or so, she stopped. “Daddy” she complained. “Listen to me!” “I am listening to you” replied her father. “No, Daddy!” our pig-tailed poppet responded as she pulled the newspaper away from him. “You have to look me in the eye when I talk to you!”

Five Tips for Great Parent-Child Interaction

1.     Give your child your focused attention

2.     Maintain a positive up-beat attitude

3.     Choose an activity that is age-appropriate for your child

4.     Communication is a two-way street…TALK AND LISTEN

5.     Have FUN!

If you need a book that will give you and your young children many positive, age-appropriate quick and easy activities, please buy a copy of my award-winning parent-teacher resource, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

And, if you didn’t see the video of Ray Bethell, grand world-champion multiple kite-flyer, you MUST watch this: http://youtu.be/E69flRylQRo  His performance is a perfect example of FOCUSED ATTENTION.

You will be entertained for five minutes…and inspired for the rest of your life!

time after time, positive parental participation

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

  1. http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/sunday-post-focused-attention/
  2. http://wp.me/p2d9xu-ly
  3. http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/focused-attention/
  4. http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-focus-on-little-yellow-plane/
  5. http://playamart.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/the-rain-stopped-get-outside-now/
  6. http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-focused-attention/
  7. https://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/sunday-post-theme-focused-attention/

PPBF: Be The Kite…Inspiring Kids to Imagine and Soar

Perfect Picture Book Friday…come and join Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

A fellow 12x12er and local critique partner of mine sent me a link to an amazing YouTube video this morning.  Watch this 80 year-old gentleman demonstrate multi-kite flying…he travels all around the world…I promise you will be entertained for five minutes…and inspired for the rest of your life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=nr9KrqN_lIg

Seeing the kite-flying video encouraged me to review Be The Kite!

cover-new

 

Be The Kite

Written and illustrated by Cathi Bosco

Publisher: C & D Publishers (April 2012)

Ages: 2 and up

Themes:

Imagination, friendship, perceiving the world around us, kite-flying

Synopsis:

From Amazon’s book page: “Art – Literature – Imagination! Be the Kite is an inspired, original picture-book by artist Cathi Bosco. Her illustrations and story celebrate the nurturing nature of imaginative thinking. Each illustrated page from this book feature the kite-flying adventure of two great friends and are literally connected. If printed out, each page would fit together making one long continuous picture.”

Why do I like this book:

This is a beautiful book that encourages young children to use their imaginations and take a look at the world. In addition, the author/illustrator invites participation of young readers: ”all young artists are invited to participate in a collective drawing activity. Parents, teachers, librarians and kids can submit their artwork featuring Tilly, George and Pickles and we will proudly include all drawings at our website in The Young Artists Gallery! Details can be found at http://www.CandDStudios.com. Be the Kite is a visually creative picture-book that children from 3 – 10 LOVE! Enjoying creativity and seeing the world in new and different ways are meaningful experiences for people of all ages.”

Related Activities:

MAKING A KITE

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Photo courtesy of eHow. You will find instructions for making many different types of kites with children here: http://www.ehow.com/how_5333244_make-kite-children.html

The author’s website where several activities can be found: http://www.bethekite.com/

If you want a step by step video showing how to make a kite that will really fly: http://www.ehow.com/video_4790375_make-paper-kite.html

I also wanted to share that the Asian Festival of Children’s Content has added to their website the speakers and program for this year’s event. I was thrilled to see my name…my trip to Singapore is definitely becoming more real: http://afcc.com.sg/_2013/speakers

I’m honored to be part of such a distinguished international line-up.

book pic from wordpress blog

If you want a great resource that will give you 100’s of picture book summaries, easy matching crafts (sorry, no kites) and healthful child-friendly cooking activities, purchase a copy on Amazon (or my website) of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At $24.95, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today!

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Music and More

Today is Martin Luther King Day.Martin_Luther_King,_Jr_

The definition of courage is “the quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

Yes, courage is a word that definitely applies to Martin Luther King.

Tributes are taking place across this country and all over the world.

How can we help young children understand and appreciate Martin Luther King?

How do we encourage kids to dream and have the courage to pursue that dream?

I do it through my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking and in my school programs.

Daria, founder of Music to Inspire All the World’s Children, does it through music.

daria and shekere

I’m thrilled that she invited me to share the following post. Here’s Daria!

The “I Have A Dream:” Song Shares A MLK Day Message With Kids

MLK is one of my heroes.

Not only did he do the right thing.  But he did the right thing, under the toughest of circumstances and in the right way.  He overcame hatred with the transforming power of love.  He stared down ignorance with understanding.   And he fought not only for a portion of the population, but for well-being of the entire world, demonstrating his concept of the beloved community.  To me, that’s incredibly inspirational.

But how do you share these huge ideas and big concepts with little ears and young listeners?  As a musician, I felt moved to write a song and try to put some of these concepts into the lyrics.   I hoped the song would be a sing-able way to talk about MLK’s dream as well as a good place to start conversations about these big ideas and what they might mean to our classrooms, families and communities as we move into a new era.

MLK Mini-poster

All month, I have the “I Have a Dream” song (lyrics below) free on my website’s monthly song page along with lyric sheets, and sheet music since the song is frequently used for choruses and in schools.  I hope you’ll visit and enjoy the resources as you plan your activities or reflect on the idea of service and how you make a difference in your community and your world.

The direct link to the download is:
http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php.  For more information, visit

my site or contact me at daria@makemusicwithme.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

http://youtu.be/lBQ36WnekVM
I  HAVE A DREAM

Words and music by  Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

There’s a man I think you’ve heard of
His name is Martin Luther King
He wanted a world of peace and love
He said “I have a dream”

Chorus:
I have a dream
I have a dream
I’ve been to the mountaintop and I’ve seen…
I have a dream

He said: “I know that this is possible
I know that this can be
If each one can learn to live with love
Then we can all be free”

If you share this vision
You know it’s not a difficult thing
We can build a world of peace and love
And we can all be queens and “kings”

I’m very grateful to Daria for sharing this post with me and I hope you will visit Daria’s wonderful website: Making Multicultural Music Blog
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com

When you are there, you can also download the song and coloring pages and help your children celebrate the importance of pursuing one’s dream and doing the right thing.

Here’s a direct link to one of the coloring pages: http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/mlk.pdf

Since it is such a special day, I’d like to share another gift with you.

Here’s an easy-to-make dessert from Chapter Two (I’m Special: Helping Your Child Value His Own Strengths and Qualities) of my book that will have your children dreaming sweet dreams.

DREAMY FRUIT SALAD

Children love to help in the kitchen.  They acquire skills as they measure and mix ingredients and “read” the recipe.  One of the basic components of developing true self-esteem is mastering tasks and skills.  So why not invite your child to assist you when you make this delicious and nutritious dessert.

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

You will need: 1 large package vanilla instant pudding, 1½ cups milk, 1 diced apple, 1 peeled navel orange (sectioned), 2 bananas (sliced), ½ cup sliced strawberries, ½ cup blueberries and a large bowl.

  1. Mix instant pudding and milk in a large bowl.  Chill for 10 minutes.
  2. Add diced apple, orange sections, bananas, strawberries and blueberries and mix together gently.
  3. Makes 4 – 6 servings.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  4. Creative tip: use your imagination and substitute different fruits.

Many other bloggers have paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Here are a few links you might want to visit.

http://childrensbooksheal.com/2013/01/18/i-have-a-dream/

http://clarbojahn.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/perfect-picture-book-friday-climbing-lincolns-steps-the-african-american-story/

http://eof737.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/dr-martin-luther-king-a-legacy-of-courage-hope/

Today is special for another reason…it is Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama…I offer a prayer for him and for his advisors…that they may have a little of the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King…and may their decisions in the next four years have a positive impact on the people, the country and the world.

Sunday Post: Simplicity…Children Need Less Stuff

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…the week’s theme is SIMPLICITY.

DSCN0999

The media would have us believe that our children NEED more stuff…electronic gadgets and expensive toys for example…to make them smarter and happier people.

I disagree!

Our children need more of our time, love and positive participation.

Do you want to help your young children succeed in school?

readingareelcoolsummer2 Read with them.

Do you want to develop their literacy skills?

img_8540 Talk with them.

Do you want to build their self-esteem?

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Spend time with them doing SIMPLE activities like crafting or cooking.

Do you remember the ‘6 items or less’ craze that was popular about two years ago? The theory of ‘less is more’ is not a new one. It can be a wonderful way to start this New Year. Applying an attitude of simplicity to one’s life does help because it:

  • Cuts down on stress
  • Saves money
  • Encourages an appreciation for what one has
  • Strengthens the bond between parent and child
  • Alleviates the disconnect that often takes place in families today

Do you want to have a great time with your young child?

Grab some construction paper (plain white copy paper works just fine) and a couple of markers or crayons.

Sit down with your child at the kitchen table or on the floor.

Each of you can draw a picture or a design.

DSCN5750

If you want to turn it into a simple arts and crafts project, add a pair of scissors (safety ones with blunted tips if you want a young child to be doing some of the cutting) and a glue stick.

Cut shapes out of one paper and glue them onto another paper.

Talk with your child about what you are both creating.

Hang up the completed art work.

WOW! Less than 15 minutes of your time equals a happy young child.

If you’d like a great resource book chock-filled with simple craft activities AND lots of picture book suggestions, please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Most of the activities (picture book reading, easy craft project, child-friendly recipe) take less than 15 minutes to do. There are several wonderful new reviews on Amazon…I hope you will check them out.

book pic from wordpress blog

Bring simplicity into your life for the New Year…the reward will be priceless.

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Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Related articles

Whistle for Willie…Building Self-Esteem

Perfect Picture Book Friday…I missed a couple of weeks while I was out of town…I’m happy to be back joining Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

whistle for willie.www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Whistle for Willie

Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

Publisher: The Viking Press (1964) Puffin Press has a newer 1977 edition

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Self-esteem, parental support, growing up, coping with failure

Synopsis:

Little Peter wants to learn how to whistle so he can call his dog, Willie. He keeps trying until, one day, he can do it. His parents support him and encourage him throughout it all.

Why do I like this book:

Classic Ezra Jack Keats…need I say more?

The bold illustrations captivate…the simple text brings home the message of ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’. Every child needs to hear this story at least once…and I guarantee every child will want to hear it again and again.

 

Related Activities:

Kids love making music, whether they are whistling, beating on a drum or shaking maracas. There are many instruments that you can help your child craft…and try these water glass chimes…the tones created by the different glasses will amaze everyone.

Water Chimes

chimes.www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Illustration and instructions courtesy http://www.creativekidsathome.com/activities/activity_6.html

You will need:

8 glasses
teaspoons
water

Directions:

  • Line up eight glasses of about the same size and shape.
  • Fill the first glass about 1/8th full of water for the high note, the second glass should be 1/4 full, the third glass should be 3/8ths full for the next note, and so on.
  • Each glass should sound like a note on the music scale (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do). You may need to tune your music scale (add or remove water with teaspoon) until each note rings true.
  • Have the children use a metal teaspoon to gently tap out the scale and any other melodies they know (Mary had a Little lamb, Twinkle Twinkle).

Hints for Water Chimes

  • Don’t use expensive crystal glasses to make water chimes.
  • Add a bit a food coloring to help children identify which glass is which sound.
  • Changing the amount of water will change the musical note. The amount of water in the glass changes the pitch of the sound wave.

Here are a few more sites that provide music craft-making instructions.

http://www.greatschools.org/students/activities/248-activity-make-music-in-the-kitchen.gs

 

http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/musicalinstrumentsartscraftstideashandmadekids.html

 

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2009/07/how-to-make-a-paper-whistle.html

 

Lesson plans for Whistle for Willie and other sites with additional activities:

http://school.familyeducation.com/reading-instruction/resource/30357.html

http://www.homeschoolshare.com/whistle_for_willie.php

http://westonwoods.scholastic.com/products/westonwoods/study_guides/whistle_for_willie.pdf

Show Me How Build Your Child's Self-Esteem, Positive Parental Participation

If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100’s of picture book summaries, easy matching crafts (even a couple of musical instrument projects) and healthful child-friendly cooking activities, purchase a copy on Amazon of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At $24.95, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today and start the year with educational self-esteem building activities that are quick and easy and lots of fun.

Short and Sweet: Creative Writing Fun

Winter BadgeSS Final

Do you want to stretch your creative writing ability?

Here’s another fun challenge, this one offered by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Short and Sweets is a great way to get your mind thinking outside the box!

This week’s prompt, called “Saying It Without Saying It”, invites you to describe a childhood event or common childhood occurrence…such as a Birthday Party or a Camping Trip. The trick is not to use certain words that are often associated with that particular event or feeling.

If you’d like to take part, click on this link: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2013/01/monday-short-and-sweet-saying-it.html

Here is my entry:

We hold hands…the long windowless hallway seems to go on forever.

“You’re squeezing my fingers!” I try to loosen my grip. “Sorry.”

A cloud covers the faint sliver of the moon as we enter our room and feel our way to the beds. My sister dives into hers…blankets rustle as she covers her head.

At the edge of my bed, I hesitate. “Can I sleep with you?”

“Do you have to?” comes the muffled reply.

“Please!!!”

A sudden rush of air tells me she has flung back the covers. “Alright…but stay on the edge and don’t move around!”

Arms outstretched, I shuffle over to her bed and crawl in silently…warm…safe…waiting for morning to come.

Can you guess what I am describing? Hop over to Susanna’s Short and Sweet post…I’m sure you will know which of the 15 choices I picked.

I hope 2013 has started well for you…I feel like I am digging my way out of a mountain of emails and unread blogs after having been virtually (no pun intended) computer-less for almost two weeks. Visiting with my kids was a fantastic way to start the year…I’ll share some photos in another post.