A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Colorado Springs PBS Kids Fun Fest at Acacia Park

Hundreds of happy children and their parents turned out for the Southern Colorado Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest on Saturday, June 11th at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs. 

With music and entertainment on the bandstand and Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George in costume, Acacia Park came alive.  It was also the official opening of the Uncle Wilbur Fountain that many children enjoy during the hot summer days.

I was thrilled to be partnering with PBS and even before the event got underway, early visitors stopped by to check out the SHOW ME HOW table.  Almost 70 parents filled out an entry for the free craft supply kit…and the winner is…Dawn!!!  I’ll be emailing her today to let her know she is the lucky winner!

Many of the participants at the Fun Fest offered activities for the children…at the Show Me How! table, we were crafting Curious George paper plate faces and Clifford the Big Red Dog headbands with doggy ears.  Easy enough for a very young child to do and so much fun…using inexpensive materials that parents already have around the house…paper, crayons or markers, a paper plate, scissors and glue.  Hundreds of happy children walked away proudly wearing their Clifford headbands and waving their Curious George paper plate faces.

It was amazing to see how much the children enjoyed these simple art activities.  Even though my book is geared for children ages 2 to 5, many of the older children sat down and eagerly began decorating their headbands or paper plate faces.  Just because the headband was for Clifford the Big Red Dog didn’t mean that the children had to color it red.  In fact, there were many rainbow headbands and others with detailed designs.  One child decided that his Curious George paper plate face needed to be a frog instead of a monkey and so he used green markers to color it in.  Hurray for the uniqueness of every child!!!!

I was so happy to see the parents participating with their children because that’s what Show Me How!  Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is all about!  The book is a road map for parents and teachers…open it to any page and you will find a picture book suggestion with summary and a simple craft project and an easy recipe.

Are you overwhelmed and tired at the end of the day?  I know I was when my children were small.  I would have loved to have a resource like Show Me How!  In fact, that’s why I wrote the book, because I realized that many parents have so much on their plate these days, they often don’t have the time or the energy to plan fun-filled educational self-esteem-building activities for their little ones.

Please head over to my website where you can purchase a copy of this amazing award-winning book for only $22.50…that’s a 50% saving off the cover price!  You can’t get much for under $25 these days when it comes to gifts and Father’s Day is right around the corner.   Chris Singer @bookdads is doing a tribute to fathers and I did a guest post  on his blog.  You’ll have fresh ideas for the whole summer and beyond!  And here’s a BONUS:  if you purchase a copy from my website during the next 14 days, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free craft supply kit for your preschooler…safety scissors, glue stick, construction paper, and more!

I’d also like to remind anyone who is local to the Colorado Springs/Monument Colorado area that next Saturday, June 18th from 11am to 2pm there will be a town-wide festival for children called the Summer Soul-Stice.  I’ll be at the Covered Treasures Bookstore, crafting with children.  There was an announcement in the Denver Post and other local papers about it…so I’m hoping there will be a big turnout!  Please stop by and say hello.

The Best of the Best: Indie Excellence In Books Awards

They say good things come in threes.

The first good thing: I just had the best four days with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson.  Spending “quality” time with a two and a half year-old is such fun.  We planted flowers, went fishing in one of Colorado’s most beautiful areas, played with puzzles, read stories, made teddy-bear pancakes and crafted a Clifford the Big Red Dog paper plate…one of the crafts I will be doing with the children at the PBS Kids Fun Fest at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.  And that’s the second good thing: I’m really excited to be part of this great PBS event and I hope everyone who is local to Colorado Springs will stop by and say hello at the Show Me How! booth.

The third good thing: I wanted to share a recent press release from the Indie Excellence in Books Awards.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking was a finalist in the Parenting/Family category!

                                                                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.




Vivian Kirkfield Honored by National Indie Excellence Awards

Contest recognizes outstanding independently published books

Show Me How! Captures Parenting/Family Finalist Award

Colorado Springs, CO – SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING by Vivian Kirkfield has been selected as a Finalist of the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in the Parenting category.

The Indie Excellence Awards are reserved for the “best of the best” in books published in various genres. The criteria for recognition are stringent and include overall excellence in presentation. This award celebrates the highest achievements in independent press and self-publishing.

Winners and finalists were announced on Sunday, May 15. For a complete list of the honorees visit: http://www.indieexcellence.com/indie-results-2011.htm.

SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING, a unique resource for busy parents and teachers of preschoolers, pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and provides a story summary, parenting tip, eco-friendly craft project and child-friendly recipe for each recommended title.  Parents gain confidence in their own parenting abilities as they help their children build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a life-long parent-child bond using the simple fun-filled activities.

Kirkfield, a kindergarten and Head Start teacher for many years, developed a program that uses picture books to help young children deal with the many challenges they face.  Her Show-Me-How Story-time presentations entertain and educate local school children and she speaks to mom groups and teacher organizations about building self-esteem with positive parental participation and picture books.  Endorsed by educators and self-esteem experts, Show Me How! has also won the coveted Kidlutions Preferred Product Award.


Why not head over to my website: http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com and buy a copy of this unique resource during the Jump Into Summer Sale.  For only $22.50 which is 50% off the cover price, you will not be wondering what to do with your preschooler this summer…simple fun-filled activities galore…inexpensive and educational entertainment for the entire family!




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.

Free Summer Fun for Families

Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park

Image by Alaskan Dude via Flickr

$50…the cost to fill up my little Hyundai Elantra!

$42…the cost to take a family of four out to popcorn and a movie!

$207…the cost to take a family of four to a Six Flags Amusement Park…and that doesn’t include any food or drinks!

$208…the cost to take a family of four to a Red Sox baseball game…that is just for the cheapest seats and again, no food or drinks!

How about some ideas for Free Summer Fun for your family?

1.    Check out your local paper, either the print copy or online…most have a “GO” section where special events are listed…many of them are free like concerts in the park.  Here in Colorado Springs, we have a great FREE event coming up on June 11 from 10am to 2pm in Acacia Park sponsored by PBS.  The PBS Fun Fest will feature Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George plus lots of entertainment and many booths that will offer a variety of crafts and activities for children.  I’LL BE THERE…CRAFTING WITH KIDS AND HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME!  If you are local to Colorado Springs, please stop by and say hello!

2.    Check out your local library.  Most libraries offer many programs, presentations and activities for children…and they are almost always FREE!  A library card is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your children…another FREEBIE!!!

3.    Check out one of our fabulous National Parks…there are several days during the year when admission is FREE…the first day of summer, June 21, is one of those.  A fellow blogger has some great info in her a recent post.

How do you stay within your budget during the summer while still providing fun-filled activities for your family?  Please share…your ideas might be just perfect for another family.

The next few weeks will be pretty hectic for me.  My daughter, son-in-law and grandson arrive today from New Hampshire and will be spending several days with us.  So far our plans include teaching our 2½ year-old grandson how to fish, spending a day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and hiking in Garden of the Gods.  I’ll be sure to post some photos.

Then on June 11, I’ll be crafting at the PBS Kids Fun Fest at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs.

And, on June 18th from 11am to 1pm, I’ll be crafting with kids at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO as part of a FREE town-wide festival for children called Summer Soul-Stice.

Still wishing you had some great activities that are easy, inexpensive and fun to do with your kids.  Please go to my website where you can buy a copy of my book at 50% off the cover price during the JUMP INTO SUMMER SPECIAL.

Top Ten Books You Were Forced to Read in School: Should You Read Them Again Now?

Steacie Science and Engineering Library at Yor...

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On Sundays, I usually review and recommend (or not) a movie that I think parents would enjoy.

Today, I was online and happened to see some lists of the top ten in many categories.

I was intrigued by the following list: Top Ten Books You Were Forced To Read in School. Top Ten Books You Were Forced to Read in School

Scrolling through the list, it occurred to me that almost every one of them was a depressing tale of the darkest sides of man’s nature.

I’m not surprised that many high school students don’t want to read!

Here’s the list…what do you think?

1.    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2.    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

3.    A Separate Peace by John Knowles

4.    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

5.    Animal Farm by George Orwell

6.    Lord of the Flies by William Golding

7.    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8.    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

9.    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

10.Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Are these great works of fiction?  Yes, they most certainly are.  But they portray the worst of what we can be and only a few also show the better side of human nature.

It’s been so long since I’ve read these books.  Many, if not all, have been made into movies.  I believe it is time for me to revisit these classics in literature.  I plan to start at the top and work my way down the list.  Most of these books are probably available at the local library and I’m sure the film versions are available there as well.  Perhaps next Sunday, I’ll be able to give you a movie review of To Kill a Mockingbird and I’ll let you know if it was true to the story as written in the book. 

I’m not sure I agree that surrounding our junior high and high school students with depressing reading material is the right path.  I think I’d prefer to see some book choices for them with a more positive slant on life and our journey through it.  What are your thoughts?

If you are looking for positive stories and activities for your preschoolers, please check out Show Me How!, my award-winning book.  You can get a copy for 50% off right now on my website.  Summer is just around the corner and this great resource will provide you with story, craft and cooking activities that are easy, inexpensive and fun!

Also, if you are local to the Colorado Springs area (Monument, Woodland Park, Denver, Pueblo, etc.), please come by on June 11 from 10am to 2pm at the PBS Kids Fun Fest in Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs and say hello to Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George and me.  I’ll be doing simple craft projects with children along with many other participants.

And last bur not least, please tune in on Tuesday, May 24 at 10am EST to www.RadioEarNetwork.com.  Lisa Hein, host of Everyday Parenting, will be interviewing me.  We’ll be talking about many topics that are of great interest and importance to all parents.

Simple Crafts for Summer Fun: To-Do Tuesdays

A "whimsy" from a nautical-themed wo...

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Do ducks like the water?

Does the sun rise in the east?

Do kids love crafting?

The answer to all of these questions is YES!

Here’s a simple craft activity from Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  It requires only 5 things…I’m sure you have all five in your home already.  Your child will love making this puzzle and will enjoy putting it together and taking it apart…great pre-reading skills!


You will need: A picture (from an old magazine for example), a piece of heavy weight construction paper approximately the same size as the picture your child has chosen (or one side of a cereal box), a pair of safety scissors, paste or a glue stick and an envelope in which to store the pieces.

1.    Let your child choose a picture from an old magazine.

2.    Paste the picture onto the construction paper or cardboard.

3.    Cut the mounted picture in pieces.  Depending on the age of your child, this could be a two or three or more piece puzzle.

4.    Help your child put the pieces together to form the picture.

5.    Store the pieces in an envelope.

I’ll be doing a similar craft in downtown Colorado Springs on June 11th at the PBS Kids Fun Fest in Acacia Park from 10am to 2pm.  There will be all kinds of entertainment and many tables of craft activities for children.  If you are local, this is a MUST-GO-TO event…lots of fresh ideas for parents and teachers!

KTSC-KFF- Color Flier

Please stop by tomorrow for What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase for a great picture book suggestion for summer reading.   And don’t forget to visit my website to take advantage of the Jump Into Summer Half-off Sale.