Project 365 and the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Challenge

Last year, bloggers on WordPress were given a challenge to write a post every day…it was called Post-a-day-2011.

This year, another daily post challenge has been issued by WordPress…Project 365.  Why not Project 366 since 2012 is a Leap Year with 366 days?  However, I guess if bloggers are able to write 365 posts in 2012, I’m sure they will consider themselves an unqualified success…I know I would.

I took part in the 2011 Post-a-day challenge and started out 2011 writing posts every day…this lasted about three months.  After that I tried to post at least twice a week…sometimes I succeeded, but other times I didn’t.  I take my hat off (or would if I wore one) to those bloggers who completed the task and made it to the end of the year, still posting every day.

For 2012, I am throwing my hat into the ring (even though, as I’ve already stated, I’m not wearing one) and will try to provide a post of value for every day.

In addition, I’m also issuing a challenge to every parent of young children.  Make 2012 a year of engagement with your child!  Read with your child every day!  Be positive and consistent!  Get back to the basics and spend time with your child doing fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities, like arts and crafts or simple cooking experiences.  Keep a journal of the picture books you read and the activities you do.  Share them here with us.

At the end of each month, there will be a prize of a picture book awarded to one family.  During the year, any parent who is participating in the challenge and wishes to buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking will receive an additional $5 off my website price.  I’ll set up a special PayPal button to reflect that discount.  This award-winning book is a unique resource for parents and teachers…it pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and then provides a story summary, parenting tip, simple craft project and easy cooking activity for each of the recommended titles. 

 

Why should parents use Show Me How?  The author of the Angelina Ballerina series says, “Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide to reading and planning activities with young children.”   And the creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series adds, “Show Me How is a wonderful resource for parents who care for their children and hope to better their reading and learning experiences.”

Parents…make this a fun-filled self-esteem building year for your child!

Join the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Challenge!

A small investment of your time will bring a great reward for your child!

The Show Me How program requires no batteries!

The activities are powered by your child’s imagination!

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.

Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest: That’s Where Miss Vivian Will Be!

Mrs. Laura Bush poses with children and Cliffo...

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Last week was my last Show-Me-How Story-time presentation for this school year.

I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to tell you about in the upcoming weeks on Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian.

But I guess I had nothing to be concerned about. 🙂

Yesterday I met with the head of the District 11 Volunteer Program to go over our plans for the Show-Me-How Story-time presentations for the new school year (which will be here before we know it considering how quickly time is passing).

The response from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive…I know I will be even busier come August and September as the flyer with four new stories and crafts is distributed to all of the kindergarten and Pre-K teachers in District 11 schools.  We decided that these picture books will focus on end of summer and fall themes and I am excited to look through Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to choose four classic picture books and appropriate craft projects that will be enjoyed by all of the children.

We also discussed my connecting with the PTA to offer them presentations for parents and teachers…Positive Parental Participation is a powerful approach that builds a child’s self-esteem and creates a life-long parent-child bond.  I hope to be involved in school book fairs this coming year as well.

When I got home from the meeting, I went online and noticed that there is going to be an awesome local event next month, sponsored by Rocky Mountain PBS Kids and Pikes Peak Parent.  The Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest will take place at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday, June 11 from 10am – 2pm.

I called PBS and was able to secure a spot for SHOW ME HOW!  I’ll be reading and crafting with children (WHAT FUN!) and look forward to being a part of this fun-filled day.  Here’s a copy of the information from PBS Kids’ Facebook Page:

Join us for the Southern Colorado Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest – a fantastic FREE festival for kids and families. (Also, the opening day of the Uncle Wilber Fountain)

Meet Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog; splash in Uncle Wilber Fountain; enjoy live entertainment throughout the day under the band shell; and visit over 20 booths to learn, engage and have fun!

Participants include:

Show Me How! Vivian Kirkfield
Falcon Landing Dental Group
Pikes Peak Library District
Pikes Peak YMCA, Downtown Branch
Girl Scouts of Colorado
Care and Share Food Bank
Imagination Celebration
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Manitou Art Theatre
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Chick-fil-A of Colorado Springs
Western Museum of Mining and Industry
Barnes & Noble
Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale
Marmalade at Smokebrush
Sports Climbing Center of Colorado Springs
FutureSelf
Al Kaly Shriners
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region
Phonics Phantasy Tree House
Mr. E and the Magic of Kyle Groves
Wee Bee and the Smilez
Wells Fargo Bank
And more!

Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest is sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center (2340 Vickers Drive), PikesPeakParent.com, Whole Foods Market and the Friends of the Uncle Wilber Fountain.

They are anticipating a wonderful audience for this opening-of-the-summer-season event…I hope parents who are local (Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo and surrounding towns) will come out to participate with their children!  It will be a great place for preschool teachers and daycare providers to get fresh ideas as well.


Also,the week after the Fun Fest, on June 18th, I’ll be in Monument, CO participating in the Summer Soul-stice town-wide crafting event for children.  If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by at the Covered Treasures Bookstore from 11am – 1pm.  I’ll be doing several craft activities with all of the children who come by.  What a lovely way to spend a summer day in Monument.

What’s happening in your local area in the next few months?  With gas prices expanding and budgets shrinking, parents and other caregivers of young children really need to be inventive in order to provide great activities that keep kids busy, happy and constructively engaged.  Simple arts and crafts activities are a low-cost perennial favorite and whipping up child-friendly recipes with your children in the kitchen is fun and costs nothing…you have to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner anyway.  For hundreds of super easy and economical ideas, please check out my book.  New special offer will be posted this weekend!