Juice Box Robots

Juice BoxesLast month my mom received the cutest Valentine – a little robot made from a juice box and other snacks. We both loved how kid friendly this treat was and how easy it is to recreate. You can also use healthier options, depending on who will be enjoying (aka eating) the robots.This craft is easy for kids to make, and it’s a wonderful project to gift to others. Continue reading

Get Appy: Faces iMake

Faces iMake

I downloaded the app Faces iMake because it was pitched as being creative and entertaining. So, I shelled out three bucks (depending on the Apple device that you use, it can range from $1.99 to $4.99) and took a gander. What I discovered: the app is really fun, the possibilities for play are practically endless and my 5-year-old son and husband love it! These photos are just a few examples of what my family did with this app.

FacesIMake PhotoFaces iMake lets you create fun pictures out of interesting everyday things. There are several categories of objects from which to choose: candy, kitchen utensils, toys, shapes, tools, etc. There is even a favorite category where you can save the items you like to create with most. You choose the color of your background and start the creativity! Continue reading

The Art of Miss Chew by Patricia Polacco

Book cover for The Art of Miss Chew by Patricia PolaccoI’m a big fan of author and illustrator Patricia Polacco, so I was thrilled to see she has a new book, “The Art of Miss Chew.” The story is based on a real person who made an impact on her life: “Violet Chew not only taught me how to see, but how to perceive, evaluate, and appreciate the beauty of art.”

Patricia brings her signature style to another moving autobiographical work. Patricia has a learning disability that she wrote about in an earlier book, “Thank You, Mr. Falker,” and she addresses it in this new work as well. She was fortunate to have been educated by several caring, nurturing teachers who tried to bring out the best in their students. In her tribute to Miss Chew, she expresses how important art was in her life. I recommend this book for ages 5 and up. Continue reading

Show Me a Story

My kid is a hoarder collector. Wherever we go, she is always gathering rocks and stones. She forbids the recycling or throwing away of any scrap, bit or bob, so we are awash in small pieces of fabric, empty egg cartons and paper. I often agonize over the piles and messes, but I feel much better if I can see this stuff as useful. And this is reason number one that I love “Show Me a Story” by Emily K. Neuburger.

As a librarian and parent, I know the importance of early literacy skills to a child’s reading and school success. One of these is narrative skills, or the ability to describe and sequence events, tell stories and predict what will happen next. “Show Me a Story” is a beautifully presented collection of craft projects that create props or kits for storytelling games and activities. In our house we started with story stones, using Modge Podge, construction paper, paint and fabric to create characters and objects affixed to smooth rocks. (We have plenty of smooth rocks.) We made a dragon, sword, castle Continue reading

Guess the Present: A Thinking Game for Kids (and Their Grown-ups)

My four year old buddy Max is a BIG fan of games. BIG FAN!  I found a game that only requires your leftover wrapping supplies and smallish objects from around the house. You wrap the objects in different colored paper and then guess what’s inside based on shape, size and feel. Game on!

As with anything you do with a child, the game quickly took unexpected turns when I played it with Max. Check out the original game, then see our adaptations below. We hope you enjoy them.

Stump the Adult
After Max and I played, we wrapped all of the “gifts” again. He loved picking the color of paper in which we should wrap each item. He hated taping his fingers together. Taping quickly became my job.Then, we let his parents guess the contents of the packages. They did an excellent job of modeling their deductive reasoning: “This one feels very square, so I bet it’s the window.”  Props for the parental units. Continue reading