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.

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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/

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Show Me How! Guest Posts on What Color Is Your Brain?

Sheila Glazov, author and personality guru, invited me to guest post on her Brain Color blog to talk a little about Show Me How!  

She is a fascinating speaker, a lover of children and books and a true friend.  When I was poised to publish “Show Me How!”, Sheila generously shared her knowledge and expertise.

Please click on the link, read my post and check out her wonderful blog site.  Take the Brain Color Quiz!  She also puts out a free monthly newsletter that’s lots of fun.

http://www.sheilaglazov.com/2012/12/11/show-me-how-this-book-is-a-perfect-parent-teacher-holiday-gift/

Helping Kids with Loss: After Charlotte’s Mom Died Review

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, teachers and children.

A couple of quick notes first:

1.      Remember that tomorrow is June 16th – Save The Bookstores Day.  Did you read Tara Lazar’s great post about this: http://taralazar.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/support-save-the-bookstores-day-on-june-16th/Unfortunately, I have to work on Saturday, but on Sunday, I’ll be at one of the Indie bookstores here in Colorado Springs, Poor Richards.  They are one of the local bookstores that has copies of Show Me How for sale…if you haven’t seen the amazing review Kirsten did, please click over to her blog, Creating Curious Kids.  Keeping children occupied with fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities is a wonderful way to spend the summer!  Do you know some parents who would appreciate a book that provides hundreds of quick and easy activities that use stuff they probably have around the house?  Please keep Show Me How in mind.

2.      Sunday is a very special day as well…June 17th is Father’s Day!  There are so many wonderful fathers and father figures out there…this day is for all of you!  I have to make a special shout-out to my son-in-law who is an amazing hands-on dad…not only does he play ball and take walks with his son, he also never misses being part of the daily bedtime routine, reading stories and overseeing the brushing of teeth.  When my daughter has to travel for business, Erik never falters and is mom and dad at those times.  I’m also very proud of my son who has twins who are almost seven.  From the time they were born, he has shared in EVERY moment…feeding, changing diapers, singing them to sleep…now they all ice-skate and play chess together.

My pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday is in honor of those dads who really step up to the plate.

 

 After Charlotte’s Mom Died

Written by Cornelia Spelman

Illustrated by Judith Friedman

Publisher: Albert Whitman Co (1996)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes:

Grief/loss, family, emotions

Synopsis:  

When five-year old Charlotte’s mother dies in a car accident, the little girl has many feelings she is not comfortable expressing to her dad, even though she loves him very much.  She worries about going to sleep because an aunt told her that dying was like going to sleep.  She is angry and sad and scared, although on the outside, she still looks the same.  After an incident at school alerts her father to the fact that Charlotte is not dealing well with the death of her mother, he decides to go with Charlotte to see a therapist.  The therapist helps them to talk about how they feel and they realize that although they will continue to feel sad about the death of Charlotte’s mother, they can find happiness in life.

Why do I like this book

The death of a close loved one is always difficult…to lose one’s mother at a very young age is earthshattering!  This book tenderly addresses this issue…the illustrations are soft, the message of the text is comforting and empowering.  I especially love the caring and practical advice the author gives to parents and other child caregivers in the book’s foreward:

  • listen carefully to the child
  • acknowledge his fears and feelings without judging
  • offer assurances that there will always be people to love him and care for him
  • offer hope for future happiness

Related Activities:

Memories of special people, places and experiences are extremely important for all of us.  Help your child start a box of treasured mementos now!  The boxes in the pictures below were actually made as Valentine’s Day mailboxes by the people I work with, so each of these boxes has a slit for Valentine’s Day cards to be inserted into…your child’s treasure box won’t have the slit.  I was so impressed with the effort and creativity of these adults, I wanted to share some of the boxes with all of you.

 

Treasure Box Shoe Box

You will need: One shoe box with lid, paper to cover the box (construction paper, gift wrap, shelf paper), scissors, and glue or tape.

1.      Cut the paper your child has selected to cover the box.  You will need two pieces, one for the box and one for the lid.  Important tip: if you use painting paper, your child can decorate it with vegetable prints, sponge painting or pictures cut from magazines or greeting cards.

2.      Carefully fit the paper around the outside of the shoebox and glue or tape in place.  Do the same with the lid.

3.      Make a label to put on the box, for example: EMILY’S TREASURED MEMENTOS or JOSH’S BOX OF MEMORIES.

My box had pictures of my family, all around the sides.  That might be a nice idea for a child using pictures of family and friends.

A great  pirate treasure chest here at FreeKidsCrafts.com

Some more treasure chest ideas here.

Great website to help kids dealing with death at kidshealth.org.

Some helpful tips for talking with children about the death of a parent at FamilyHealth.com.

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.

Summer Fun Shortcut: SHOW ME HOW!

Summer Fun Shortcut: SHOW ME HOW!.

Author, educator and mom Kirsten Larson, over at Creating Curious Kids, just posted a review of Show Me How!  What’s really great is that several of the activities recommended in the book were kid-tested by her two sons…way to go, Finley and Cooper!

My sincere thanks to Kirsten…what an amazing review!  Please stop over and read it…you’ll love her blog!

Sunday Post: Water…and Some Summer Water Safety Tips for Parents

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

 

WATER: provides a wonderful intergenerational recreational opportunity.

 

WATER: gives parents a chance to help kids master skills and develop an appreciation for preserving nature and the environment.

 

WATER: Kids and water go together like peanut butter and jelly…it’s cooling, refreshing and so much fun!

With the official start of summer only several days away, kids will be home and enjoying many water-related activities.  Water is one of the most ominous hazards your child will encounter because young children can drown in only a few inches of water, even if they’ve had swimming instruction. 

 Here are few important water safety tips to keep in mind from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Be aware of small bodies of water your child might encounter, such as bathtubs, fishponds, ditches, fountains, rain barrels, even the bucket you use when you wash the car. Empty containers of water when you’re done using them.
  • Children who are swimming—even in a shallow toddler’s pool—always should be watched by an adult, preferably one who knows CPR. The adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision” whenever infants, toddlers, or young children are in or around water. Empty and put away inflatable pools after each play session.
  • Enforce safety rules: No running near the pool and no pushing others underwater.
  • Don’t allow your child to use inflatable toys or mattresses in place of a life jacket. These toys may deflate suddenly, or your child may slip off them into water that is too deep for him.
  • Be sure the deep and shallow ends of any pool your child swims in are clearly marked. Never allow your child to dive into the shallow end.
  • Backyard swimming pools, (including large, inflatable above-ground pools), should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot (1.2 meters) high fence that completely separates the pool from the house. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches high. Check the gate frequently to be sure it is in good working order. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times. Be sure your child cannot manipulate the lock or climb the fence. No opening under the fence or between uprights should be more than 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence.
  • If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before swimming. Also, never allow your child to walk on the pool cover; water may have accumulated on it, making it as dangerous as the pool itself. Your child also could fall through and become trapped underneath. Do not use a pool cover in place of a four-sided fence because it is not likely to be used appropriately and consistently.
  • Keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool at all times. If possible, have a phone in the pool area with emergency numbers clearly marked.
  • Spas and hot tubs are dangerous for young children, who can easily drown or become overheated in them. Don’t allow young children to use these facilities.
  • Your child should always wear a life jacket when he swims or rides in a boat. A life jacket fits properly if you can’t lift it off over your child’s head after he’s been fastened into it. For the child under age five, particularly the non swimmer, it also should have a flotation collar to keep the head upright and the face out of the water.
  • Adults should not drink alcohol when they are swimming. It presents a danger for them as well as for any children they might be supervising.
  • Be sure to eliminate distractions while children are in the water. Talking on the phone, working on the computer, and other tasks need to wait until children are out of the water. 

 

Children love to mimic the behavior of their parents…use this to your benefit and always follow good water safety rules yourself and your children will naturally copy you.

I hope parents (and others who know people with young kids) will check out my book for great summertime activities that the whole family will enjoy!  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a treasure-trove of classic picture book suggestions, quick and easy eco-friendly arts and crafts projects and simple healthful child-friendly recipes that will make planning for the summer a snap!  Check out this recent review from Tom at Your Family Book Club.  His library in Katona, Iowa is receiving a copy of Show Me How!  The book is available on my website or on Amazon.

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/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-sunset-in-water/

http://jmeyersforeman.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/3183/

http://northernnarratives.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water/

http://myphotoyear2012.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/9th-june-2012-sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://alicethroughthemacrolens.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://firstandfabulous.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/weekly-sunday-post-water/

http://catbirdphotography.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://abusymom.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://jayjaysfavorites.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/waterdragon-weekly-sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://justfletcher.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

http://blueberriejournal.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/water/

http://rondomtaliedraai.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://pollysspace.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-h2o/

http://africatoalgarve.blogspot.pt/2012/06/water.html

http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water-h2o/

http://tostir.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/sunday-post-water/

Show Me How!

Show Me How!.

Summer is only a few weeks away.  Kids will be home ALL DAY!  Are you ready?

Nancy at Spirit Lights The Way has done a stellar review of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking!

I hope you will go over and read it…and check out her fantastic blog…her daily posts NEVER disappoint!

Free Copies of Show Me How! Nominate Your Library to Receive One!

This is National Library Week

To help celebrate…and to thank libraries across the country and around the globe for all they do to help children become readers and lovers of books, we are donating 25 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking!

Preschool teachers and homeschooling families  use it as a curriculum tool and love the 100 classic picture book summaries and the quick and easy eco-friendly craft projects and the simple healthful cooking activities that are all geared to build self=esteem in children ages 2-7.

Don’t let your library miss out on a chance to add this must-have resource to their collection!  With reduced revenues and a tight economy, many libraries are severely limited in the new materials they can purchase.  Help out your community by nominating your library today!

The rules are simple…just leave a comment on my blog post, telling which library you are nominating and why you would like them to win a copy of the book.  At the end of April, we will choose 25 winners using Random.org.  If your library wins, you can also receive a copy for youself if you would like to do a review of Show Me How! on your blog, website, magazine or newspaper.  Because postage rates are so high for shipping overseas, if you nominate a library outside of the United States, I ask that you be willing to assist with the shipping costs.

Please help spread the word about this unique opportunity by tweeting and posting this on your Face Book, LinkedIn, Pinterist, Google+ or any other social networking vehicle you may use.