Category Archives: children

Sunday Post: Culture…What Do Children Really Need?

Today is Easter Sunday.  It is also the second day of Passover.   Just as with Christmas and Hanukah, these Christian and Jewish holidays are usually celebrated around the same time.  It’s not by chance, of course. 

If you trace most major religious holidays back to their beginnings, you will find they have the same roots and seem to be based on pagan festivals that were held thousands of years before.

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

The word ‘culture’ has many definitions.  Because of the holidays that are upon us, I’ll use this one: the set of shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, practices and social behaviors of a particular nation or group.

And it seems that no matter what the holiday or which religious or ethnic group is celebrating…presents are involved, especially for the children.  Easter baskets filled with candy and stuffed animals, Christmas trees surrounded with gaily wrapped gifts, eight days of presents during Hanukah, gifts given as ransom for returning the afikomen (piece of matzoh) during Passover get-togethers. 

 

Children love presents…but the most important gift we can give them is our time and attention.  This is another similarity that is cross-cultural.  Children need to be treasured no matter whether their parents are Christian or Jewish, Muslim or Hindu, American or French, Canadian or Spanish, rich or poor, highly educated or unable to read. artistic or sports-minded.  If we look at cultures all over the world, we see that this is true…in most societies, parents, and often the entire community, strive to cherish the children.  Of course, in war-ravaged areas or when epidemics of famine rage, it is often the children who suffer the most.

If we want to be in our children’s memories tomorrow, we need to be in their lives today.  Read with your child.  Talk with your child.  Walk with your child.  Play with your child.  Cook with your child.  Paint with your child.  The bond you form now will last a lifetime.

Today is also the first day of National Library Week.  Why not go to your local library with your child this week.  Help your child pick out some books and read at least one every day. Studies show that children who are read to on a daily basis are more likely to succeed in school. 

 

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries across the US and around the world can receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Nominations close the last day of the month…don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers.

 

If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post:

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/sunday-post-culture/

http://wp.me/p2iujW-2J


 

 

I will try to add more as they are posted.

Reflections: Speak To Us Of Children…

 

Today I’m “pressing” a post of one of my favorite bloggers…Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation.   It’s all about children…one of my most favorite topics in the world!

But first I’d like to pass along a couple of awards that came my way this past week.

Uplifting children and helping them develop a positive self-image is one of my missions in life.  I try to provide parents and teachers with resources and activities and encouragement, because the task of raising and educating young children is a difficult one and it is crucial that adults feel good about themselves as well.

But bloggers also need encouragement to continue to carve out those precious moments to write…from a day that may be filled with other responsiblities and obligations.

And so various blogging awards are “born” and one blogger confers them on another to recognize and celebrate a job well done.

This past week, Clar at clarbojahn gave me two lovely ones: The Kreativ Blogger Award and The Sunshine Award.

Clar is a dedicated writer (of children’s picture books and other genres) and human being extraordinaire and I am honored to know her.  I hope you will take the time to go and meet her.

The rules of these awards: List some things of interest about yourself and then pass the awards along to other deserving bloggers.

1. If I love a book, I can reread it dozens of times.  Favorite book: Little Women.  When I was 10, I went shopping with my mom and sister for her junior high school graduation dress.  We lived in NYC at the time and went to a store (Abraham and Strauss) that has eight floors of merchandise.  Instead of dragging me around while she and my sister shopped, my mom brought me to the book department, which encompassed the entire 8th floor of the building.  Leaving me there to enjoy browsing through the books (yes, I know, this is something we would NEVER do these days…but times were different over a half a century ago) she and my sister went shopping for the dress.  I picked a stack of Louisa May Alcott books and sat down on the floor and happily spent the next several hours, reading about the adventures of the March family.

2. If I love a movie, I never get tired of watching it.  Favorite movie: Gone With the Wind.  How many times have I seen it?  Probably 10.

3. My favorite color is yellow…as a child, I shared a room with my older sister.  I was 19 when she got married…the day after the wedding, I painted MY room a bright sunshiny yellow!

I hope you will have the time to visit with the following people whose hard work and wonderful writing motivate me to keep on blogging.  Of course there are dozens and dozens more…but I only get to list 10. 🙂

1. Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation

2. Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way

3. AngelaMarie at One In Creation

4. Pat at Children’s Books Heal

5. Erik at This Kid Reviews Books

6. Judy at Jay Jays Favorites

7. Kirsten at Creating Curious Kids

8. Marcy at Orples

9. Margaret at Pen to Print

10. SP at Spanish Pinay

And now, here is Elizabeth’s post that touched a chord in my heart and soul.  I share this with all of my readers in hopes it will speak to you as well.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for holding children so dear!

Reflections: Speak To Us Of Children….

Autumn is in the Air: Time to Turn on the Oven and Bake a Cake

 

I love the fall…cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons.

Here in Colorado, the aspen leaves will be turning to gold, while back in New England where my daughter and her family live; the maples will be wearing flaming headdresses of scarlet, crimson and purple.

 

Many parents will be helping their children plan their Halloween costumes and decorate the house with pumpkins and sheaves of autumn wheat and Indian corn.  Years ago, our local library had an annual pumpkin-painting contest and all of my children looked forward to choosing the “perfect” pumpkin to decorate and enter…hoping to win the coveted first place prize ribbon.

 

As the weather cools down, many of us start getting out the muffin pans and cookie sheets in preparation for holiday baking.  I encourage parents to include their children in meal preparation…and holiday baking is an especially fun time to have your kids in the kitchen. If you are looking for simple child-friendly recipes, you’ll find dozens of them in my book, Show Me How!

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Carrot Cake that doesn’t appear in the book.  It’s special enough for festive occasions, but simple enough so that young children can help.

 

The best thing about this cake is that it is very nutritious (one pound of carrots in each cake) and easy on the digestive system.  I recommend it for anyone who suffers from IBS or GERD problems.

CARROT CAKE

You will need: 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 egg beaten, ½ cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla, zest of 1 orange, 1 pound baby carrots grated, ¾ cup pineapple chunks with juice (about ½ cup), 2 bowls, 1 Bundt pan lightly greased, blender or food processor.

  1. Mix in large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  2. Mix in another bowl: brown sugar, beaten egg, canola oil, vanilla, orange zest.
  3. Use a blender or food processor to grate the carrots and add the pineapple chunks and juice and blend until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the carrot/pineapple mixture to the brown sugar/egg mixture and stir well till blended.
  5. Add this to the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly..
  6. Pour/spoon into lightly greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.  After 30 minutes or so, turn upside down on a serving plate and allow the cake to continue cooling.
  8. For storage, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator up to one week.

                                                                     For parents who are local to the Colorado Springs area

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

Or email vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.

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