Sunday Post: Sentimental Value…Easter Craft for Kids

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is SENTIMENTAL VALUE.

Sentimental value definition: value placed on something because of its emotional associations rather than its monetary worth.

Easter Crafts for Kids

What has the greatest sentimental value for me?

 People!

My family!

My children and grandchildren!

CHILDREN ARE PRICELESS! And pricey!

Did you know that it costs over $200,000 to raise a child to age 18?

But some of the most important things you can give your kids are free!

1.     Give them your time – participate with them in activities that are fun.

2.     Give them your attention – listen to them when they talk to you.

3.     Give them your respect – ask for their opinions and thoughts.

4.     Give them your love – show them and tell them EVERY day.

5.     Give them boundaries – set expectations and consequences.

Your return on investment will be well worth it!

Spending time with kids can be fun for everyone. If you have young children ages 2-8, my book is a great resource. Join hundreds of other parents and teachers who use the ideas in the book every day. It makes a great baby shower gift…the baby will quickly outgrow those little sleepers, but will never outgrow the benefits of positive parental participation!  Click this link to find out more about it!www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

What are some things you do with your kids?

With Easter just around the corner, how about crafting a paper plate bunny? Arts and crafts activities build self-esteem, develop stronger literacy skills, increase coordination and encourage creative expression and imagination.

PAPER PLATE EASTER BUNNY

paper-plate-easter-bunny

photo courtesy all kids network

You will need: Paper plate, cotton balls, glue, construction paper in white and pink, pipe cleaners, scissors.

1.    Young kids will especially love plunking cotton balls all over the bunny’s face…use a glue stick for less mess.

2.    The picture shows pipe cleaners for whiskers and mouth…as well as a pom-pom pink nose…but you can substitute pieces of construction paper.

Step-by-step instructions at: Paper Plate Easter Bunny Craft

 

There’s lots of fun over at Jake’s Sunday Post.

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http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

 

Hello 2013…Turning The Next Page

viviankirkfield,show me how,2013,new year

Happy New Year, Everyone! We say goodbye to 2012…and hello to 2013.

A new year gives us all the opportunity to:

  • Start afresh
  • Create a plan
  • Say sorry
  • Keep a promise
  • Make a vow
  • Get in shape
  • Change direction
  • Share love
  • Connect with nature
  • Eat healthy
  • Take a breath
  • Reach out
  • Stand up
  • Step in
  • Work smart
  • Practice time-management
  • Smile more
  • Move forward

I’m excited to be taking part in several writing challenges for 2013:

Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 (to write 12 picture book drafts in 2013)

Alayne Kay Christian’s Sub Six (to submit 6 picture books in 2013)

Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday (to review a picture book every Friday)

Nancy Hatch 1st ever SLTW Writing Contest

Highlights Fiction Short Story Contest (thank you, Hannah, for the heads-up about this)

I’ll also be doing Emma Walton Hamilton’s Just Write for Kids online picture book writing course that I won as part of Julie’s 12×12 Prize Extravaganza.

And I’ve just found another challenge that will add some balance to this picture book writing/submitting frenzy…No/Low Spend and De-cluttering January Challenge  sponsored by Carla at My 1/2 Daily Dozen

I’ve been wanting some encouragement and support for these tasks…not sure which will be more difficult…budgeting or throwing away stuff we don’t need! I actually think it will be the de-cluttering. But I know that a less cluttered workspace can mean less stress and more efficient use of time…no more hunting for hours for that slip of paper with the important story ideas. If these are areas where you need help, check out Carla’s link above.

So, this is my plan:

  • Stick to our budget by trimming spending to only necessary items.
  • Reevaluate at the end of the month to see if more cutting is necessary.
  • I already cook/bake almost everything myself…I treat myself to take-out Indian once a month.
  • Go through the house…one drawer, cabinet, closet at a time…perhaps there is money to be made (which will help the budget) by selling stuff we no longer need/want/use.

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I’ve connected with the most amazing people…writers, photographers, artists, teachers, librarians, moms, dads and kids…I thank all of you for visiting my blog and commenting on my posts.

We donated 20 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to libraries in 8 states and 3 provinces in Canada.

We also donated 12 copies of Show Me How to schools in the US and Canada.

new year,vivian kirkfield,2013,show me how

A portion of the proceeds from my book sales went to several children’s organizations:

  • JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
  • Bess the Book Bus (a mobile literacy outreach)
  • STAR (Sit and Read Together…a literacy program funded by CPCD in Colorado Springs)
  • Books of Wonder (for renovation of this NYC indie children’s bookstore)
  • Kids Are Heroes (recognize children all over the world who reach out to help their community)
  • Reach Out and Read (nationwide program that connects books and kids via pediatricians)

As most of you know, there are big changes in my life…I am retired as of January 1st.

What does that mean?

As my son so aptly wrote, “We wish you all the best as you turn the page to the next chapter in your book of life.”

I could not have said it better!

So on this first day of the New Year 2013, I wish all of you the best as you turn the page to the next chapter in your book of life!

Sunday Post: New Year 2013…12 Critical Parenting Goals

As parents, what should our goals be for New Year 2013?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is NEW YEAR 2013.

Here are 12 critical parenting goals for the New Year.

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

1.     Make sure your children get to go outside to play…fresh air and physical activity are so very important to a child’s good health.

DSCN50292.     Encourage family time and activities for your child…participating with your child in a simple craft project takes just a few minutes…,but it builds self-esteem, develops stronger literacy skills and creates a life-long parent-child bond.  

Here’s a wonderful book that gives 100’s of quick and easy activities for young kids: Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking

 

jeremy dancing at Star Island summer 2012 3.     Help your child gain social skills by encouraging interaction with other kids.

filling muffin cups 4.     Promote good eating habits…invite your child to help in the kitchen, provide nutritious foods and set definite times for meals.

Jeremy cleaning house with vacuum5.     Help your child develop a sense of responsibility by assigning chores and expecting your child to carry out age-appropriate tasks.

DSCN3517 jeremy at the zoo 3 6.      Encourage your child to interact with the world and its inhabitants…visit zoos, museums, concerts and other places of interest.

free play, outdoor activities for kids 7.     Help your child develop independence…but always keep your child safe.

DSCN09998.     Encourage your child’s love and appreciation of nature and help him develop an awareness of the need to preserve and protect the environment.

viv reading with jake 9.     Find time every day to read with your child…studies show that children who are read to on a daily basis are more successful in school…and in life.

Here’s a great resource for the perfect picture book: Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Page

jeremy sitting with pumpkins 9_11 10. Establish traditions that are right for your family…for example, hunting for just the right pumpkin for Halloween…the memory of these traditions will make a positive impact on your child throughout his life.

jeremy in bath 11. Help your child to feel good about his body and to learn good hygiene…for example, washing hands often and proper dental care.

Fishing Jeremy looking up at Grammy 12. Show and tell your child every day that you love him and care about him.

What goals do you have for New Year 2013…for yourself…for your children?

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

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http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

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Holiday Shopping Shows Marketplace Gender Shift

holiday shopping shows gender discrimination shift,positive parental participation,show me how build your childs selfesteem,vivian kirkfield

We may be in the 21st century, but many parents will still be making gender discriminating toy purchases this holiday season.

Girls get dolls and baking sets and jewelry-making kits.  Boys get trucks and Lego sets and model kits.

But, according to Dr. Susan Levine, chairwoman of the psychology department at the University of Chicago, “Playing with blocks, puzzles and construction toys helps children with spatial development and children with better spatial thinking are more likely to go into mathematics, engineering, science and technology.”

And playing with dolls encourages boys to develop a nurturing personality that will be crucial in building strong relationships later in life.

My top ten holiday gift recommendations for young children include dolls, blocks and puzzles…with no gender discrimination.  I’ve always believed that block play is important for both boys and girls.

Toy companies are always ready to jump on board if they feel it will result in more sales.

build and play barbie from timetoplaymag,Vivian Kirkfield,Show Me How Build Your Childs Selfesteem,positive parental participation

Photo courtesy of timetoplaymag.com

Mattel, the maker of Barbie…and Lego…have teamed up to produce the “Barbie Build ‘n Style” construction set…in pink, of course!

A recent New York Times article discussed this new Barbie construction set that may encourage dads to interact more with their daughters.  And in my book, anything that promotes positive parental participation is a good thing!

Show Me How Build Your Childs Selfesteem, Vivian Kirkfield,parenting advice,craft activities,child-friendly recipes

Jump into the New Year with an activity plan for your young children.  Use Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking for fifteen minutes every day…read a picture book story or do a quick and easy craft or invite your child to help prepare a simple healthful recipe.  You’ll find story suggestions and craft and cooking directions on every page of this award-winning resource for parents and teachers.  If the book doesn’t make planning activities easier, please contact me to return it for a full refund of your purchase price.

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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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.

Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian Travels to Chicago

Downtown from the lakefront, Chicago, IL, USA

Frank Sinatra sang songs about many of the cities that he loved…New York – San Francisco – Chicago.

After a fantastic long weekend in Chicago, I’ll have to echo some of his words (written by Sammy Kahn and Jimmy Van Heusen):

Chicago is one town

That won’t let you down

It’s my kind of town.

I arrived on Friday morning and spent the day relaxing with my son and daughter-in-law at their home.  Visiting with them is like going to a spa…they LOVE to cook “healthy” and every morning they start the day with a bowl of fresh fruit…mangoes, papayas, bananas, apples, peaches…drizzled with a little honey.  For lunch each day, my son made a huge vegetable salad bowl for each of us…cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms…all topped with some capers and a splash of aged blueberry balsamic   vinegar.

My book event, Starting School Jitters Be Gone, on Saturday at Lollie, a children’s boutique in Evanston, just 20 minutes north of downtown Chicago, was so much fun!  This shop is an amazing place…filled with many handmade and locally designed clothes and accessories, as well as other unique items for infants, toddlers and children.  The owner is knowledgeable, helpful and a really lovely lady…I know if I lived in the Chicago area, I’d stop in there for any new baby gifts I needed, as well as for birthday and Christmas presents for any little ones on my list.

Of course, Mother Nature had her own plans for 11am, the time the first presentation was to start.  The skies over the entire Chicago area darkened, and the heavens poured forth a torrential rainstorm, accompanied by huge claps of thunder and crackling flashes of lightening. 

Inside Lollie, however, everything was bright and cheery.  A group of young children listened attentively as I read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  As the story about Chester unfolded, the children heard how the little raccoon, anxious about his first day of kindergarten, learned a secret from his mother that helped him overcome his fear and go to school with eager anticipation. 

After the story reached its happy conclusion, I showed the children a sample of the craft project and explained how we would all be making “Kissing Handprints”…deciding who we loved and who loved us and then drawing in the features for each person (or pet or stuffed animal) on each finger.

Parents and children clustered around the craft table and we proceeded to draw an outline of each child’s hands.  The hum of happy children, busily engaged in a constructive activity with their parents, is definitely music to my ears.  “This finger is going to be my mommy” said one little girl.  “And those are my dogs” she added.

The storm had ended by the time the second presentation was over.  My son and daughter-in-law, who had brought me and had assisted during the program, helped me pack everything up.  I’m looking forward to my next trip to Chicago…Lollie’s owner has invited me to come back to do another program, whenever I’m in town.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is available at the shop for those of you who are in the Chicago area.

The next few days were filled with family visits, an afternoon at the beach – unbelievable to have a REAL sandy beach with what looks and smells like the ocean (it’s really Lake Michigan) right across the street from the downtown area of a major city – and an architectural river boat cruise.  It was difficult to leave…I’m already looking at my calendar to see when my next jaunt to Chicago will be.

My next post will be a review of a children’s book, A Reel Cool Summer, written by Martha Rodriguez.  We connected online and she loved my book and did a great review of it.  I brought her book on my trip and was able to share it with my great-niece and great-nephew…they absolutely loved it and were totally engaged in the story…so  in my next post, it will be my turn to tell everyone why they need to run out and get a copy of Ms. Rodriguez’ fun-filled book for children ages 6-9.

Photo credit: Thanks to JCrocker for the Chicago skyline pic.