Change Kid’s Behaviors with Kelly Bear

Today, as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing Kelly Bear – Earth, one of a series of lovely picture books and workbooks that help parents and children talk about important issues and concerns. With Easter coming up this weekend, I’ve included a fun Easter craft at the end.

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Kelly Bear – Earth

Written by Leah Davies

Illustrated by Joy Hallett

Publisher: Bureau for at Risk Youth (2008)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Energy conservation, environmental awareness, caring for the earth, making a difference, behavior

Opening Lines:

“Hi! My name is Kelly Bear and this is a book about me. I live on planet earth. It’s a wonderful place with plants, animals, air, soil and water. There is only ONE earth, so I’m doing all I can to take care of it. I want everyone to enjoy living here.

Synopsis:  

Little Kelly Bear finds many ways to help conserve resources and keep the environment clean. She saves water by taking short showers and turning off the water while she is brushing her teeth. Her family have their own vegetable garden and try to buy foods that have less packaging. Kelly Bear is careful not to open the refrigerator until she knows what she wants so she doesn’t have to keep the refrigerator door open and waste electricity. Her parents help by recycling plastic and glass and paper because “everyone on earth is part of one big family and we must work together to take care of each other and our planet.”

Why  I like this book

Children will love Kelly Bear! The text explains how Kelly Bear and her family contribute to the good health of the planet and the simple illustrations clearly show this as well. The author, Leah Davies, has been dedicated to the well-being of children for more than four decades. Her professional experience includes being a certified teacher, school counselor, instructor in the Family and Child Development Department, Auburn University, and director of educational and prevention services at a mental health agency.

How a parent can use this book:

From an Amazon review: “The Kelly Bear Beginnings Series of books is priceless. In a simple yet powerful way they engage young children and help them understand, verbalize and accept their feelings, improve their behaviors, and learn to care for their bodies. In this fourth book, children learn not to waste water, electricity and food, to recycle, and to keep our air clean. The book empowers the child and makes him aware of his environment. These books are invaluable in the classroom as well as in the home.

For those of you who fondly remember the wonderful Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Leah Davies. The friendly green bear, drawn by the author’s daughter, Joy Hallett, gives children a warm and fuzzy feeling of acceptance and trust.

The series covers feelings, behaviors, health, the environment and saying no to drugs, and it ends with an activity book that reinforces all of these concepts with fun creative activities. The series would also be an excellent vehicle for working with children in a counseling or school situation, as the questions Kelly Bear asks become a springboard for wonderful open discussions.”

You can find out more about this series of books and the author, Leah Davis here: http://www.kellybear.com/index.html

At the end of each book (and the books are short and simple and easy to get through) there is a parent/teacher page with suggestions about what to do after the book is read. This book on ‘Earth’ has various activities such as

  • Joining a group that is interested in managing our resources and that includes children.
  • Drawing pictures and writing letters to send to newspapers and legislators.
  • Planting flower and vegetable seeds
  • Making a compost bin to recycle plant material
  • Go on a treasure hunt to identify various trees, animals and plants

This book brought back very fond memories. When our oldest son was only 3 years old, we took part in a riverside cleanup. I have pictures of this sweet little boy, dragging a huge plastic garbage bag as we all picked up trash that littered the riverbank. This type of activity encourages a young child to be more aware of protecting the environment. Just as importantly, doing things as a family strengthens the parent-child connection.

Related Activities:

Let’s combine a craft activity for Easter with one for this book!

EASTER BEAR BAG

bear-valentine-holder-craft

Photo courtesy http://www.allkidsnetwork.com

You know how much I love using paper bags for kid’s craft projects. Your child can use this bag for collecting jelly beans or Easter eggs.

You will need: 1 paper lunch bag, construction paper, glue, markers, scissors, yarn and a hole punch.

  1. Cut out eyes, ears, nose and bowtie from construction paper…this craft was made for Valentine’s Day originally so there are lots of hearts.
  2. Glue the pieces onto the front of the bag.
  3. Punch holes at the top of the bag and string the yarn through the holes and tie to make handles.
  4. Draw other features with the markers.

What other activities can you do as a family? Find hundreds of them in my book. No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination and a parent’s participation!   Click this link to purchase a copyShow Me How Build Your Child's Self-Esteem, Positive Parental Participation

Celebrate World Environment Day: Read The Carrot Seed

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents and others who work with young children.

June 5th is World Environment Day.  The theme for 2012 is Green Economy: Does It Include You?  According to Wikipedia, Green Economy is “growth in income and employment that is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem.”

Does Green Economy include you?  How can parents become involved in lessening the carbon footprints of their family?  How can parents engage young children in environmental activities?

Here is the perfect picture book that can serve as a launching pad for a summer family vegetable garden that will inform, engage and involve kids in what will hopefully become a life-long concern for preserving the environment and living a healthier lifestyle.  The book is one of the hundred classic picture books recommended in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Please check out a stellar review of my book by Nancy Hatch on Spirit Lights the Way.

The Carrot Seed

Written by Ruth Krauss

Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers  (1945…and NEVER out of print since then!)

Ages: 2 and up

Themes:

Determination, perseverance, self-esteem, gardening, self-reliance

Opening Line:

“A little boy planted a seed.  His mother said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Ruth Krauss, author of A Hole Is to Dig, has crafted a story almost Zen-like in its simplicity. A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits patiently, tending to it carefully, while everyone around him insists that “it won’t come up.” His conviction is steadfast, however, and sure enough, a carrot worthy of first prize at any state fair springs forth from the earth. Krauss’s husband, Crockett Johnson (creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon), illustrated The Carrot Seed, and while the little boy is rendered with uncomplicated lines, all of his hope, confidence, and serenity shine through. The image that resonates most strongly in this minimalist tale is the unfaltering faith of the mild-mannered little boy. Young readers learn that standing your ground in the face of opposition and doubt can often result in twice the reward expected (even thrice the reward, if judging by the girth of this carrot).”

Why I like this book:

The illustrations: simplicity in its purest form!

The text: minimalistic and appealing!

The message: POWERFUL…believe in yourself, even when no one else does!

What a wonderful book for every young child…this is a story that encourages kids to stand up for what they believe in.  With World Environment Day coming on June 5th, this book can be a launching pad for starting a home vegetable garden this summer that will decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

Related Activities:

Plant a carrot seed, of course!  With young children, you can also take the butt end of a fresh carrot and plant that in a container of soil.  The carrot will grow profuse greenery that smells just like a carrot and can be cut and used to garnish salads and vegetable dishes.

You can find some great instructions for container gardening here.

There are lots of good tips for growing veggies with kids here.

Investigate your local community to see if there is a community gardening project that your kids can get involved in.

Lesson plan and activity unit for third grade based on the Carrot Seed.

Crockett Johnson’s Homepage has some interesting info on the Carrot Seed song.

Brighttub has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Scholastic has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Curriculum for The Carrot Seed.

Read about World Environment Day 2012 on Mauritius first-ever youth newspaper

Read about the 2012 Theme of Green Economy: Does It Include You on Wikipedia

Connect with world-wide events and celebrations on the United Nations site

San Francisco has been in the forefront of green mandates…Sophie Azouaou is the SF Green Living Examiner.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.  Her page is a perfect resource go-to for summer activities for kids!

The summer is a perfect time to be reading with young children!  Leave a comment on this post any time during June telling what books you are reading with your kids and you will be entered into the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge.  Each month we mail a lovely picture book to one lucky winner!  It could be you!

Sunday Post: Stairway to Self-Esteem

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

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.  Since the dictionary defines “stairway” as a passageway from one level to another by a series of steps, I’ve decided to outline the basic components or “steps” in the stairway to building a strong self-esteem that are found in the introduction to Show Me How!

How can we help our kids navigate the passageway of childhood and achieve a positive self-image?

What steps does a child have to climb to reach a level of high self-esteem?

  1. MASTER TASKS AND SKILLS…Let your child help around the house.

2.  VALUE ONE’S OWN STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES…Encourage your child in different pursuits.

 

3.      FEEL APPRECIATED, LOVED AND ACCEPTED…Spend loving and positive time with your child.

 

4.      LEARN TO EXPRESS FEELINGS…Allow your child to talk about his joy, anger and sadness.

 

5.      ACKNOWLEDGING AND COPING WITH FEARS…Share things you were afraid of as a child.

 

6.      FEELING GOOD ABOUT ONE’S BODY AND ONESELF…Celebrate the gift of life and dance.

 

I just got back from spending a glorious week in New Hampshire, taking care of my three-year old grandson.  His favorite book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  His favorite game: Soccer/kick ball.  His favorite TV show: Peppa Pig.  His favorite foods: Fresh strawberries and bananas. 

It was hard to leave to come home…I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

Here are a few websites with other resources and info on helping children build healthy self-esteem:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/self_esteem.html

http://life.familyeducation.com/self-esteem/parenting/34401.html

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/child-rearing-and-development/12-ways-help-your-child-build-self-confidence

http://www.livestrong.com/article/246770-self-esteem-building-exercises-for-children/

The SMH Library Project:

 

We are in the final two weeks of the Show-Me-How Library Project, so if you haven’t done it already, please nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries will receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  NOMINATIONS CLOSE April 30!  Don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers and your entire community.  A big thank you to all of those who have already spread the word about out this great opportunity via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterist, Google+ or by mentioning it in your posts!

Want 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://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/sunday-post-stairway/

http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/weekly-sunday-post-stairway/

http://nprimopiano.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/stairs-2/

http://davidrwetzelphotography.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/sunday-post-stairs/

http://catbirdinoman.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/the-sunday-post-stairway/

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/sunday-post-stairway/

http://orples.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/sunday-photo-challenge-stairs/

I also wanted to mention that today is Earth Day 2012…how will you help observe this special day?  Children can get involved in local park and playground cleanups.  Perhaps you can take a walk around your community…bring a big plastic garbage bag so that everyone can help pick up litter.  Maybe there are special events going on in your neighborhood…why not check them out.

http://act.earthday.org/

http://www.earthday.org/2012

Holiday Spirits Seem Positive in the Blogosphere

I follow quite a few bloggers and received a number of lovely posts for Thanksgiving.  If you click on each link, it will take you to their Thanksgiving post.

Mirth and Motivation

Savvy Source

KidCulture

Spirit Lights the Way

Sippy Cup Chronicles

Parenting.com (some ideas for using left-over turkey)

The Mom Writes

Because I’m the Mommy

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all keep this level of positivity and recognition of all the good things that we do have as these bloggers have done.

Here’s a challenge: let’s keep the momentum going through till Christmas…and then can we put ‘keeping a positive attitude’ on our list of goals for the New Year?

 

Children who grow up in a home that is filled with positive vibrations are going to be empowered to master tasks and skills; feel appreciated, loved and valued; and like themselves…all important components of building self-esteem.  That’s what my book is all about…it enables parents and teachers to build self-esteem and better literacy skills with quick and easy activities that are fun for everyone!  I hope everyone will spread the word about the 50% off sale on my website.  The book makes a super cool holiday gift for a parent, grandparent, preschool, nursery or kindergarten teacher, daycare provider, babysitter…and it’s only $19.95!

Tiffany at Home Grown Families, a natural living mom blog says, “This book is amazing!  Homeschoolers…this is perfect for language arts, art class and several other subjects.  What a great book to add to your curriculum!”

 

My husband and I would have loved to spend Thanksgiving Day surrounded by family…but unfortunately, our family is spread out across the country and traveling during the holiday season is difficult and costly and fraught with delays and cancellations.

So we decided to turn this into a positive day and as soon as we spoke to our children this morning on the phone, we packed up our Jeep and headed to our favorite fishing spot.  It was a glorious day here in Colorado…sunny and warm and perfect for outdoor activities.

We fly-fish in the artificial lure only catch-and-release area at Eleven Mile Canyon.  Sad to say, we found an empty Styrofoam container labeled “Night crawlers” in the brush on the bank.  There are 9 miles of beautiful fishable water where you can use bait…and only 2 miles at the top by the dam where you can’t…and that’s where we found the worm container. 😦  We picked it up and added it to the rest of the garbage we would carry out of there, leaving the place clean for the next happy fisherpeople.  There were actually a few people doing a riverside cleanup in a different area…what an awesome way to spend Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful day…my husband caught several rainbows…I had one on…but he got away. 😦  Maybe I’ll net him next time!  We need to think positively, right?

Kids Are Heroes, Too! How Can We Help?

Kids Reach For Confetti

The catastrophic events in Japan occur…and we read about a young child who donates her allowance to help the victims.

A village in Africa is without clean drinking water…and we hear about a child who collects money so that a well can be dug to provide fresh water for children he has never seen.

Children often amaze us with their acts of selflessness.  Sometimes, they seem to see the bigger picture and are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish what needs to be done.

I recently discovered a wonderful organization that focuses on recognizing these wonderful children and encouraging others to become involved in their communities and in causes that they believe in.

According to the Kids Are Heroes founder, Gabe O’Neill:

“Kids Are Heroes is a non-profit that empowers, encourages and inspires children to become leaders through volunteerism and community involvement.  We do this by showcasing and supporting children who are making a difference through their selfless acts of giving.

We teach children to follow their passions at an early age.  This will instinctively stay with them throughout their entire lives.

Kids are indeed heroes and each has the power to change the world.

To see how kids are making a huge impact and to see how YOU can become a hero, click on

Meet the Heroes

and then click on the Meet the Heroes tab.

Our kids are digging wells in Africa, helping orphans in India and building homes in Haiti.

They are recycling and cleaning up their neighborhoods, helping their local animal shelters and making life better for their neighbors.

And guess what?  They are ALL just like YOU!”

Kids Are Heroes is a grassroots effort…if you believe that it is important to encourage young children to contribute to the community and to the world while they reach out and help others, please visit the Kids Are Heroes website, find out more about this fantastic organization and help build the Kids Are Heroes Day Wall.  Show Me How’s brick is already there!  

I already donate a portion of Show Me How book sales to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and to www.Bessthebookbus.org, a family/children’s mobile literacy outreach program.  When I wrote the book, I intended to find three organizations that were child-centered in the areas of health, literacy and the environment.  I’ve been missing the third…and I believe I have found it in Kids Are Heroes!

As parents, we are responsible for helping our children become good citizens of the world.  Encouraging your child to take part in community service events, such as cleaning up a local park or play area, is one way.  Listening to your child’s ideas is another…children often have wonderful suggestions on how to make life better for others.  Kids Are Heroes was founded by Gabe O’Neill because his daughter, MaryMargaret wanted to help animals.

One of the cornerstones of Positive Parental Participation is listening to your children with respectful attention.  All too often when we are busy, we push young ones aside because we feel we have more important things to do.   After you read some of the stories of the child-heroes, you may change your mind.

Spend some quality time with your children today!  If you are looking for great activities to do with them, pick up a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Click on this link to my website and you will be able to purchase a signed copy at 50% off the cover price.  For only $22.50, you will have a tremendous resource of 100’s of easy craft projects and simple recipes and picture book summaries and parenting tips.   And if you want to buy two copies, each is only $20.  This is a value-packed book and a great gift idea for a parent, preschool or kindergarten teacher, nanny, babysitter, grandparent, daycare provider or early childhood education student.

“I wish Show Me How had existed when my children were young.”

–        Suzanne Williams, author of Princess Power series and over 30 other books

“What a lovely book! Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide to planning activities.”

–        Katharine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series

“A valuable, timely and timeless book…it’s sure to be a family favorite.”

–        Sheila Glazov, author of What Color Is Your Brain

“Show Me How offers us a great tool to help our children become people of kindness.”

–        Mary Newquist, Assistant Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, Selma, TX

“This book is an incredible resource for families wishing to foster their children’s sense of self-worth.”

–        Dr. Jodi Harap, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Chicago, IL

“SMH Is a well-planned learning tool full of engaging, educational and family-oriented activities.”

–        Peggy Hicks, MA, Special Education Teacher, Colorado Springs, CO

 

The summer has just begun…don’t let another day go by without this award-winning book by your side.

Can You Take a Young Child Fishing and Hiking?

Our 2½ year-old grandson has been visiting us.

We’ve had so much fun together…reading, crafting and cooking using the suggestions from my book, of course!

But one of the best activities during the last few days was when we went to Eleven Mile Canyon near Lake George, Colorado

My husband is an avid fly-fisherman…and wanted to give Jeremy his first fishing experience.  Armed with a scaled down size spinning rod and reel, Jeremy was put in the competent hands of his grandfather.  What an awesome time they had together.  Jeremy was excited about everything…except for the worms which wiggled too much!

When Jeremy was ready for a break…so that his mom and dad could have a chance to wet the line…he was more than happy to sit on the grass and make dry grass bouquets.

The outdoors is an amazing place for children.  With a little preparation and care (hat and sunscreen, water to stay hydrated, etc.) they can have a wonderful time while learning how to preserve and protect our precious planet.

For those of you who are local to Colorado Springs, please don’t forget about a great FREE event this coming Saturday…Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs from 10am to 2pm.  There will be entertainment and so many activities for children.  Please stop by the Show Me How! table and say hello!  If you bring your kids, they can craft a Clifford the Big Red Dog or Curious George paper plate.

Earth Day 2011: Preserve, Protect, Promote…How Parents and Their Preschoolers Can Participate

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you noticed how much your preschooler wants to be like you?

Look over at your child while you are engaged in some activity like reading, talking on the phone or even cleaning the house.

More often than not, you will see your preschooler mimicking you…the book may be upside down and the imaginary phone conversation may be on a toy…but emulating parents is what young children love to do.

With Earth Day 2011 quickly approaching (Friday, April 22), here are seven simple steps that parents can take to preserve the planet for future generations, protect our natural resources and promote environmental awareness with their preschoolers.

1.     Buy gently used clothing and toys at consignment shops or places like Goodwill and donate your child’s gently used items as well.  This cycle of recycling really helps.

2.     Use homemade natural solutions to clean your home.  They are better for your family and better for the planet.  Here are a couple of links where you can find great “recipes” and other tips: http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/environment/a/alternateclean.htm, http://www.ehow.com/about_4777601_natural-homemade-cleaning-products.html, http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/pantry-recipes-homemade-cleaning-products.  Happy cleaning!!!  

3.     Walk; don’t drive, to local destinations, if possible, like the store or the library.

4.     Spend the day at a local park…bring a picnic lunch, gloves and a big garbage bag.  Walk around and have your child help you pick up any garbage you find. 

5.     Bring your own bags when you shop…you might want to get smaller reusable bags for your young children so that they can help carry groceries in a more responsible way.

6.     Buy local.  I realize it is not always possible or feasible to buy organic, locally-grown or produced food.  However, this not only benefits your family, but also the planet.  The carbon footprint left by foods that are flown or trucked across the country is huge…and buying locally helps the growers and manufacturers who must compete with the large corporations.  The nutritional benefits to your family include not having to worry about artificial colors, preservatives and genetically modified foods.  If you are looking for healthful recipes, my book for parents of preschoolers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, includes 100 easy child-friendly cooking activities, as well as 100 simple eco-friendly craft projects.

7.     Buy in bulk with as little packaging as possible.   Many stores now have a special section where they offer a wide selection of foods that can be purchased by the pound or less.  The price is usually significantly cheaper than buying the product in a box with a name brand listed on the front.

Seven simple steps…if you only do a few, you will be making an important contribution to the preservation of our planet for future generations. 

Seven simple steps…if you allow your children to participate with you, you will be encouraging them to protect our natural resources.

Seven simple steps…if we all follow them, we promote environmental awareness and the well-being of the world.

You can “like” b-kind-2-earth-day and go here for more information about what lots of other people are doing: http://www.facebook.com/BKind2EarthDay/posts/139097546162617#!/BKind2EarthDay