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.

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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.

2012-dragon-logo-small 

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

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Building Self-Esteem Through Picture Books: Sofia and the Heartmender

perfect-pic-book-badge-e1325891994293

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

The holiday season is upon us…I know that many bloggers have been reviewing holiday-themed books.  Here’s one that looks like a Christmas-type book, but what it celebrates is a child who learns to speak up for herself and overcome her fears.  This ties in with Universal Children’s Day which was started by the United Nations almost 60 years ago this week.  Millions of children all over the world lack the basic rights they are entitled to…nourishing food, clean water, an education, a safe environment in which to grow up in and parents who believe in them and are able to provide these things.

Building Self-Esteem Through Picftue Books,Show Me How,Positive Parental Participation

Sofia and the Heartmender

Written and illustrated by Marie Olofsdotter

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing (reprinted 2007…original edition 1995)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes:

Speaking up for oneself, self-esteem, overcoming fears, respecting onself, creative expression, night terrors, parental support.

Synopsis:

From Amazon and Book Review:

”Sofia’s heart is broken in two when adults refuse to take her fears seriously. Parents and teacher alike trivialize the shadow monsters that follow her, but a wise dog guides her through a magical world where she meets the Heartmender. During the journey, Sofia confronts her fears, which then disappear, and the Heartmender heals Sofia’s heart with moonlight. Back in the real world, stronger with renewed self-esteem and confidence, Sofia makes her feelings known to the adults and asks that they be respected. Olofsdotter has created a rich and inspiring story by carefully crafting a dynamic between text and illustrations. Richly colored and exquisitely detailed, the illustrations add information and evoke the mythical time and space where the wounded self is healed. A book to be enjoyed at various levels by young and older children alike.”

Why do I like this book:

I love the message in this story…a child learns to overcome her fears and speak up for herself, gaining a positive self-image.  This is a story about a strong capable young girl and would be a wonderful book to help parents understand how important it is to listen to their children and take what they say seriously.   It also points out that teachers often expect children to ‘color within the lines’…instead of encouraging creative expression in every child.  I also love the illustrations and ethnicity of the characters…from the look of the main characters and the surroundings, I get the feeling that the story is placed in Mexico or South America.

Related Activities:

HEARTMENDER ORNAMENT #1

If you are looking for a VERY easy heartmender ornament, try this one.

heart-ornament-tissue

Photo courtesy: http://www.apples4theteacher.com

You will need: 1 piece of red construction paper, 1 piece of red tissue paper, several cotton balls, glue, scissors, piece of ribbon, hole puncher.

  1. Cut the red construction paper into a heart shape.
  2. Pull the cotton balls apart and glue pieces around the heart edge.
  3. Tear the tissue paper into small pieces.  Crumbple each piece and glue inside the heart shape.
  4. Punch a hole in the top middle and thread the ribbon through so the heart can be hung up.  Make sure you put your child’s name and the date on the back of the ornament…in later years you will look back and remember when it was made.

HEARTMENDER ORNAMENT #2

If you want a heartmender ornament that is a little more complicated, please visit: http://www.craftideas.info/html/swedish_paper_heart.html

You will find materials needed and a video tutorial.

Christmas_Paper_Craft_-_Swedish_Heart_Paper_Christmas_Ornament

Photo and instructions courtesy: www.craftideas.info

show me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft (like the diorama above) and cooking activities, you can 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!  My website is still offering free shipping AND a beautiful hand-crafted fabric bookmark…limited time only!  Offer ends December 30th!create a peaceful home,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com,free bookmarks,show me how build your child's self-esteem

Sunday Post: Concept…Are We Teaching Our Children to Gossip?

are we teaching our children to gossip,positive parental participation,show me how build your child's self-esteem

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is CONCEPT, which the dictionary defines as “a guiding general principle that determines how a person behaves.

 

What concepts…or guiding principles…are we teaching our children?

Is gossip one of them?

I watched an old Andy Griffith Show last night called, “Opie’s Newspaper”.

Young Opie has trouble getting customers for the little newspaper he and his friend have published and his dad advises him to use the daily city paper as a model and write stories that will be of interest to the general public.

Looking through the city paper, Opie realizes that the stories that are of interest to the adults in his town are the ones filled with scandalous gossip…so, in his little newspaper, Opie reports all the tidbits from conversations he has overheard.  Fortunately, his dad reads what he has written before many of the town’s residents get a copy and they destroy the newspapers before anyone’s feeling are hurt.

His dad asks him why he wrote such stuff.   Opie replies, “When I put in the nice stories, nobody wanted to buy it.”

That episode was filmed over fifty years ago…but times certainly haven’t changed.  If anything, they have gotten worse.  Many people LOVE to hear juicy tidbits about famous people.  It seems that hearing horrible things about ANYONE seems to be a national pastime around the world.  That’s why all of those court shows and expose shows like Jerry Springer and Morey Povich are so popular!

As parents, we have to remember what the pencil maker said to the pencil before he put it in the box, “Everything you do will always leave a mark.”   Our children are like a piece of blank paper…and the concepts or principles we teach will have a lasting impact on them and will determine how they behave.

As Opie’s Aunt Bea said, “If we want the boys to behave better, we’d better set them a better example.”

What example are you setting when it comes to gossip?

 

show me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation

Are you done with your holiday shopping?  Do you want to make a positive impact on your young child?

Please remember that Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a super cool book and makes a PERFECT GIFT:

  • For parent, teacher, grandparent or daycare provider of children ages 2-8!
  • Provides 100 classic picture book story suggestions!
  • Gives a summary, age-appropriate craft and simple recipe for each title!
  • A great resource for fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities!
  • No fuss or muss…everything is quick and easy!
  • Buy the book today and help several children’s organizations!
  • We donate a portion of the proceeds to Reach Out and Read, JDRF, KidsAreHeroes, Books for Africa and BesstheBookBus.
  • 45% off the list price!  Check the prices on Amazon, Alibris and ABE Books…everyone (except the publisher, MoneyPenny Press) is charging MORE for USED copies!
  • There is a special PayPal button for Canadian residents!

“A wonderful resource for people who care for their children.” – Norman Bridwell, creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series

“What a lovely book! Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide.” – Katherine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series

I wish Show Me How had existed when my children were young.” – Suzanne Williams, author of the Princess Power series and over 20 other books

Show Me How is an must-have resource for parents and teachers.” – Marilee Gruber, kindergarten teacher and grandmother

“Fun and practical for anyone fostering self-esteem in children.” = Joan Fleischer, co-founder of Creative Arts Therapy Center, New York City

“Invaluable tool for children to become life-long readers and lovers of books.” – Dr. Jodi Harap, clinical psychologist, Chicago, IL

Don’t wait…buy your copy today to make sure you get it in time for the holidays!

Show Me How is also available from the publisher (MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.) on Amazon and Amazon Kindle, for U.S., Canadian and international customers.

time after time, positive parental participation

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

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Three Holiday Gifts From Show Me How!

The Holiday Season is here and we have three holiday gifts for you from Show Me How!

Buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking on my website.

You will receive:

  • Gift #1: FREE SHIPPING!
  • Gift #2: Beautiful HAND-CRAFTED fabric bookmark for you!
  • Gift #3: Shiny new pencil for your child!

Who should buy a copy of Show Me How?

  • Parents and grandparents of children ages 2-8
  • Teachers of children ages 2-8
  • Daycare Providers
  • Children’s Librarians
  • Childcare facilitators, social workers and adoption agencies

How will Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem help your family?

  • Builds your child’s self-esteem…kids with a positive self-image are more willing to accept new challenges and keep trying if they fail at first.
  • Quick and easy activities…cut out the planning time of trying to think up new things to do with your kids.
  • Helps strengthen the parent-child connection and creates a life-long parent-child bond.
  • Encourages kids to become lovers of books and reading…they will have greater success in school and in life.

And don’t forget…THREE HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM SHOW ME HOW!

Who recommends that you buy this book?

DON’T DELAY!!!  When you buy the book, you will receive THREE HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM SHOW ME HOW!  And, did you know that a portion of your purchase is always donated to several children’s organizations…so you are helping others as well.  This coming week, we will be donating to the STAR PROGRAM (Sit Together and Read) sponsored by the Community Partnership for Childhood Development.  Many families cannot afford to buy picture books for their children…Show Me How is going to make sure that some of those children WILL have books this holiday season!

Sunday Post: Natural Resources…The Children of the World

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

Have you ever thought about what are our greatest natural resources?

Are they forests of timber?

Are they pristine rivers flowing freely?

Are they the foods that the earth provides?

I believe that our most important natural resources are the children of the world.

Some people devote their entire lives to helping them.

But, although most of us cannot do that, we can help in other ways:

  • Donate money to a children’s organization.
  • Collect gently used clothing and books for a local family shelter.
  • Volunteer to read to children at hospitals, schools or libraries.
  • A kind word and a smile CAN make a difference.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza are only a few weeks away.

Are you done with your holiday shopping?

Please remember that Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a super cool book and makes a PERFECT GIFT:

  • For parent, teacher, grandparent or daycare provider of children ages 2-8!
  • Provides 100 classic picture book story suggestions!
  • Gives a summary, age-appropriate craft and simple recipe for each title!
  • A great resource for fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities!
  • No fuss or muss…everything is quick and easy!
  • Buy the book today and help several children’s organizations!
  • We donate a portion of the proceeds to Reach Out and Read, JDRF, KidsAreHeroes, Books for Africa and BesstheBookBus.
  • You pay almost 50% less than the cover price!
  • There is a special PayPal button for Canadian residents!

“A wonderful resource for people who care for their children.” – Norman Bridwell, creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series

“What a lovely book! Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide.” – Katherine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series

I wish Show Me How had existed when my children were young.” – Suzanne Williams, author of the Princess Power series and over 20 other books

Show Me How is an must-have resource for parents and teachers.” – Marilee Gruber, kindergarten teacher and grandmother

“Fun and practical for anyone fostering self-esteem in children.” = Joan Fleischer, co-founder of Creative Arts Therapy Center, New York City

“Invaluable tool for children to become life-long readers and lovers of books.” – Dr. Jodi Harap, clinical psychologist, Chicago, IL

Don’t wait…buy your copy today to make sure you get it in time for the holidays!

 

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Universal Children’s Day: A Plea for Children’s Rights

Photo courtesy of: http://www.siteunspecific.com/?p=1936

Today is Universal Children’s Day.

On December 13, 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.

It also recommended that this day be devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world.

Then, on November 20, 1959, the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

And, in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was held.

During the last seventy years, there have been lots of meetings…lots of declarations…lots of conventions…and lots of talk about the rights of children.

So why are there are still millions of children living in poverty, denied the right to a safe home, clean water, adequate nourishment and an education.

Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill often has creative writing prompts and contests to inspire and motivate…last week she encouraged us to choose a special day or holiday to write about.  I choose Universal Children’s Day…and, although the poem is not a bright and sparkly one, it truthfully relays my feelings.

Universal Children’s Day

In a hospital bed, a young girl fights for her life (to get an
education is the right of every child).

Charred wood structures, the remains of homes destroyed by
terrorists (to live in a safe home is the right of every child).

The cries of the little boy whose feet are bruised and
blistered because every day he walks three miles to gather the family’s water from a tainted pond (to drink clean water is the right of every child).

The gall of bitterness (to be brought up in a spirit of tolerance,
friendship, peace and universal brotherhood is the right of every child).

Tenderly touching and soothing every child’s heart…if only I could.
(to grow up in an atmosphere of love and understanding is the right of every child).

Universal Children’s Day

 

There are many worthwhile organizations, working diligently to remedy this situation.  Some give food, others help build homes and wells, and many send volunteers to give medical or other assistance.

As we sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, perhaps we can ponder how each of us can help in this effort.  It doesn’t matter whether you reach out across the ocean and donate money, goods or services to children in other lands, or you concentrate on local children’s issues.  Let’s follow the advice of Nike and “JUST DO IT!”  The children of the world deserve it!

Another thing our children deserve is our time and our positive parental participation.  Family life during the holiday season often assumes a frantic pace.  Here are a couple of tips that may help keep things in balance and harmony:

  • Don’t over-schedule activities…less is more.
  • Do eat healthy…avoid too many sweets or processed foods.
  • Don’t over-spend…no one needs the latest electronic gadget or toy.
  • Do take time out to walk/exercise…it’s a natural mood-enhancer.

 

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  If you haven’t already seen the Thanksgiving related YouTube videos I recently did, here are the links:

http://youtu.be/jMvyNgM2wiM

http://youtu.be/16smIG3Vdoc

http://youtu.be/AkgA-AW5Rl4

I’ll be sharing Christmas/Hanukkah related stories and crafts for the next few weeks of Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids…next Sunday: Gift Bear for the King!  I hope you’ll check it out…and pass the word along.

Sunday Post: Black & White…or Do We Parent in Shades of Gray?

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

 

I always love to connect the Sunday Post theme to an aspect of parenting.

As parents, we have many choices to make.

Should we be strict or lenient?

Do we move to the city or the suburbs.

Will our children go to public or private schools…or should we homeschool?

But there are some things about parenting that are BLACK AND WHITE:

Parenting requires organizational skills…kids need routines.

Parenting requires communication skills….kids need you to listen to them.

Parenting requires compassion…kids need your love.

Parenting requires consistency…kids need rules that are enforced.

But setting rules does not means that everything is black and white.

Is stealing wrong?  What if your children were starving?

Is killing wrong?  What if someone is trying to kill you or your child?

Perhaps parenting is a journey in “Shades of Gray”.

Parenting requires participation…kids need your time.

Practice Positive Parental Participation and your child will have a head-start to a happy and successful life.

Spending quality time with your young children now will have a positive impact on their school performance.  It also helps them build stronger relationships later in life. 

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  Show Me How is the book that makes it easy and fun! 

Giving back is important to me.  Part of the proceeds of each copy sold is donated to several children’s organizations.

Schools are opening all over the country and we’d like to give a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to your favorite school or classroom.  Nominate your child’s school or other childcare facility in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like them to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!  At the end of September, we will be awarding a dozen books to the winning schools.

Last, but certainly not least, I just came back from a local SCBWI meeting…one of the members, children’s author Marty Banks, has a new book out on the market.  The Adventures of Tempest & Serena is a wonderful chapter book for readers ages 7 and up.  I’ll be reviewing the book here in a couple of days, but I wanted to give everyone a heads-up about the free download that is coming up next weekend.  I’ll post the correct URL when I do the review.  I think this is a book parents and grandparents will want to buy for holiday gifting!

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…click on a link and travel around the world:

http://bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/sunday-post-black-white/

http://blueberriejournal.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/bw/

http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/leonard-pitts-jr-s-freeman/

http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/black-white/

http://mariadesuede.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/une-competition-en-noir-et-blanc/

http://jullianeford.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/sunday-post-black-white/

http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/sunday-post-black-white/

http://cobbies69.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-white/

http://nprimopiano.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/bw-stairs/

http://p0nky.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-white/

http://truthaboveallreligions.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://imexcited.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://connieemeraldeyes.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-white/

http://cassiemeetsworld.com/photography/sunday-post-black-white/

http://pollysspace.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/

http://davidrwetzelphotography.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/sunday-post-black-and-white/