#50PreciousWordsforKids – Where Kids Become the Storytellers


Last month, I hosted a challenge for writers. I invited them to create a story for children in 50 words or less. #50PreciousWords drew hundreds of participants. What amazed me was the incredible creativity that was unleashed by the restrictive word limit.


One of the participants told me that she and her six-year old daughter had an amazing bonding experience. Seeing her mom writing, the little girl wanted to write a story also. And she did. And her mom shared it with me.

DINOSAUR SNOW by Bethany (age 6)

It snowed a lot through the day. Pteranodon and her sister Teethless were bored. Pteranodon said, “I planned to go outside and it’s almost time for lunch. Oh it’s 11:00. Let’s go wake Mom and Dad.” “You’re right,” said Teethless. So they did. And then they ate lunch.

Then my eight-year old grandson spent a day with me and he wanted to write one, too.

LOCKED OUT by Jeremy (age 8)

One evening, when me and my mom got home from school, we tried to unlock our door. We heard a snap. Our house key broke! We went to our neighbors for help. They said, “Get a ladder and climb into a window.” We followed their advice. Unlocked the door. Home!

Those two stories got me excited! I’m a retired kindergarten teacher. My debut picture book will launch next year. My book for parents and teachers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, recommends 100 picture books and provides hundered of activities to extend the reading experience. I’ve always been on a mission to help kids become lovers of books and reading. What a thrill if I could encourage them to become their own storytellers!

I decided to create a writing challenge for children!


#50PreciousWordsforKids will coincide with Children’s Book Week, May 1-7. Every child in grades K-6 is invited to participate. Teachers will have each child write a story of 50 words or less…then the teacher and/or class will choose one story to submit. Parents who homeschool their children can submit one story per child.

Here are the guidelines.

final jpeg of flyer

I’m asking all of you who have connections with elementary schools or homeschooling families in any state and any country to please spread the word. Last month, I contacted the Children’s Book Council and they agree – it’s a perfect activity for Children’s Book Week.

The challenge runs May 1-7 and the stories need to be emailed to me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, May 7th. I’ll post those stories on Thursday, May 11th. Teachers and parents will receive a certificate that can be copied and personalized with the name of each child who participated. And there will be seven mini-Skype author classroom visits randomly awarded—one per grade.

I’m grateful to talented artist Vicky Fang who designed the perfect logo. And to Deborah Weed, Jennifer Petersen, and my daughter, Caroline, who all helped put the flyer together. It takes a village.

And it takes a village to help kids stretch and grow their imaginations.

I’m excited to read all of their precious words.

Holiday Confessions of a Grateful Blogger


I love to write.

I love to talk.

Ergo, I love to blog!

My blogging journey began a little over a year ago when my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, was published.

The blog began as an extension of the book so that I could connect with parents:

  • To share my passion for picture books and the messages they contain.
  • To provide information about using positive parental participation to build self-esteem and strengthen the parent-child connection.
  •  To offer crafting and cooking activities along with picture book summaries and reviews to help parents develop better literacy skills in young children.

Accomplishing the above goals are very important to me, but I must confess that my blogging journey has been an educational, enjoyable and uplifting experience for me as well.

I’ve connected with over a thousand wonderful people…through blogging and Twitter and Facebook.  The only downside…with all of the amazing posts, stories and articles available to read and comment on, I barely have time to write my own blog and work on my next book project!

Here are the guest author posts and reviews I did of several new and exciting children’s books.

Rebecca Dunning: Real Life Princess

Olena Burda-Lasen: The Vitamin Band

Donalisa Helsley: The Day No One Played Together: A Story About Compromise

Martha Rodriguez: A Reel Cool Summer

Anthony Majewski: Read With Max

Here are just a few of the blogs I follow that inspire, educate and entertain.

Mirth and Motivation

Spirit Lights the Way

Piglet in Portugal

Stacey S. Jensen: Writing My Way Through Life

Plate Spinning 101

Because I’m the Mommy

The Mom Writes

Here are some of the sites I post on.

voiceBoks: The Voice of Motherhood

Social Moms

Bloggy Moms

Mom Bloggers Club

She Writes


Pikes Peak Parent



Here are a bunch of the 5-star reviews and recommendations of Show Me How that were done this year.

Home Grown Families: A Natural Living Blog

My Little Me

Virtuous Foundations

Dallas Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

Chic Galleria Magazine

A Reel Cool Summer

The Children’s Book Review

Makobi Scribe

The Mom Writes

Jamie’s Precious Peas

The Mama Loves Her Bargains

Kidlutions Preferred Product Awards

Book Dads


Frugal Military Wife

I’m so very grateful to all of the bloggers and tweeters I’ve connected with this past year.  I confess, though, that with blogging, book writing, working, and taking care of home and hearth, I am constantly juggling the need for sleep with the desire to do everything else.  So, when the other day, my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I replied that I had EVERYTHING and needed NOTHING, I must confess that I wasn’t being totally honest.

If someone invents a time machine that can enable me to fit thirty-six hours of activity into a twenty-four hour day…please contact me immediately at vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com!

Happy Holidays to all who have read my posts, followed me on Twitter, recommended and/or bought my book and supported and encouraged me on this amazing journey during 2011.

Parenting Tips on Reading Revealed in Radio Interview


A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak about reading with children and the impact it has on young children. The hosts of Bookmark Radio, Michael Scott and Wendy Duncan, are avid readers and lovers of books.

We talked about how important it is to read with young children on a daily basis.  I hope you will click on this link to hear the radio interview:

November 21, 2011 http://castlerockradio.com/media_player.asp?messageID=107557

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation: 

  • Reading with young children develops their literacy skills.
  • Children aren’t born knowing how to hold a book or turn the pages.
  • Parents need to be good role models and be seen reading by their children.
  • Reading with children is fun for everyone.
  • Children who are read to are more successful in school.
  • Adding cooking and crafting activities related to the story is a plus.
  • The messages in picture books can help children deal with many problems.
  • Cooking and crafting encourage children to master tasks and skills.
  • Self-esteem grows when parents engage positively with their children.
  • Parents are the first and most influential teachers for their children.


For more information about using picture books to help your child develop a positive self-image and better literacy skills, please visit my website.  With your own copy of Show Me How, you will have 100 summaries of some of the best picture books ever written with an easy craft activity AND a simple recipe for each recommended title…right at your fingertips to use with your child.  Each activity takes only about 15 minutes.

Why not start the New Year with a great resolution for 2012?

Get back to basics!

Read 15 minutes every day with your child!