Sunday, October 15, 2017

Halloween Projects to Craft With Your Kids

Let's get crafting for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Here are some published clips I wrote a while back for your viewing. Crafts and instructions are included per article.

  • Decorate your room or use these ideas for make and take projects. The materials are probably in your art closet or easy to find. So let’s get started on these “boo-tiful" crafts.

  • Your children (and students) will love to make these theme projects for Halloween. Ghosts do not have to be scary (especially for young children) – make them a friendly figural part of this holiday season.  Click Here

  • How about some awesome monsters using paint chip pages that you can obtain free at your favorite paint store.  Click Here

Have a great week. I'll be posting more "spook-tacular" projects soon!

Happy Parenting,

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Halloween Craft Via Colortime Crafts & Markers

Hello Friends,
I wanted to introduce you to a company who provides the cutest and fun fabric coloring crafts. For Halloween I was provided a cotton tote, just in time for trick-or-treating. The kit contains a preprinted tote, three fabric markers, and an instruction sheet. If your child can color inside the lines, this craft is for you. My family found it easy to make and a “spook-tacular” addition to our Halloween accessories. 

ColortimeCrafts and Markers has kits for all seasons and reasons. Your child can color tee-shirts, bandanas, head wraps, totes, and pillowcases. The markers are easy to use and the fabrics do not have to be prepped before coloring. They are non-toxic and permanent on the fabric, yet will wash off hands easily. The design doesn’t need to be heat set and the colors are chlorine resistant. Just make sure to let the project dry thoroughly before washing (at least two hours). All of these instructions come with your package.

Clean, easy, and affordable crafts activity that doubles as a unique keepsake! For savings, join our "Birthday Club" and receive 20% off and a free backpack, with your order at

Check out this coupon code for the latest online special offers and promo codes to Colortime Crafts and Markers.

Until next time – Happy Parenting,

I want to thank Colortime for the opportunity to try their product. I was not paid or coached to write this blog post. The information about the product was provided and these are my own opinions.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Puppet Play -- Post Hurricane Irma

Hi Friends,

Sorry this post is late, but I've just recovered from Hurricane Irma. Without power and Internet for a week I couldn't add to my Creative Preschool site. I'm starting with a fun post about making puppets and in a short time, I'll have some fun fall and Halloween projects to think about.

Until then.
Happy Parenting,

Puppet Play

Get out the recycle box and begin to craft puppets with your child. Paper bag puppets can be made and enjoyed by kids—from preschool and up. You decide how much time and artistic effort you want to put into your sack puppet project. They can be quickie puppet play stand-ins or works of art. You can draw facial features with crayons and markers and decorate them with a few “found” objects like fabric scraps, buttons, faux jewels, pipe cleaners, yarn, any variety of miscellany you can gather.  Place your hand inside to manipulate your newly created character.

Think about using old nylon stockings to make adorable puppets young children love. Stretch a leg from panty hose over a bent wire hanger. You can bend the hanger into a diamond or even a circle shape and tape the hook for safety. Knot the stocking leg at the bottom. This is a great puppet for the little ones as they can see through the nylon like a mask and pretend they are the puppet—good vision and a no fear factor. You can go to town decorating this puppet mask with all kinds of materials glued on. Puff and glitter markers work well on the nylon. You can make almost any character you want.

Turn your family snapshots into lifelike puppets. Invite your child to choose several family photographs (use the photo or make a color copy). Cut out the face or figure. Tape this photo figure to a craftstick.  Encourage your youngster to create a scene with a few toys and have these family puppets interact. Use a puppet yourself to ask your child’s puppet questions and to suggest different themes, such as going shopping or taking a family trip. While you are having fun together, this activity helps your child develop language and social skills.

Stick puppets are exactly as their name implies—puppets build and manipulated on a stick. These are among some of the quickest to make. For sticks, use dowels, yardsticks, tongue depressors, wooden spoons, and Popsicle sticks. The very simplest stick puppet is a head shape cut from construction paper and features added with paint or markers. Tape a stick to the back and your puppet is complete.  Make several with “faces of emotion” and your child can talk about his feelings through puppet play.  To act out stories, draw the characters, find ones in coloring books, or cut them from an old storybook.  Attach these to sticks and you now have all the characters to act out your favorite tale.

Photo by Tania Cowling, all rights reserved

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links or advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you informative and interesting content. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LeapFrog Academy -- An App for Additional Learning

Hello Readers,

Last March I introduced you to the educational LeapFrog toys. Here is the link to my past post:

Now, I want to tell you about a great learning tool by LeapFrog -- the Academy.

"The Academy is an interactive app learning program for 3-6 year olds that guides children on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that they can play anywhere on a variety of devices.

LeapFrog Academy features a well-rounded curriculum, where children can explore a variety of skills that are important to their development. This exciting, new, subscription-based service offers access to more than 1,000 learning activities for just $7.99 per month.

Additional features of LeapFrog Academy include:

·         No Wi-Fi, no problem! Children have the ability to learn and play on the go, even when Wi-Fi isn’t available. They can play most of their preferred activities by adding up to 24 of them to their “Favorites,” making them accessible to play even without an internet connection.

·         Each LeapFrog Academy subscription includes five free user profiles, so multiple children can each go on their own unique Learning Adventures.

·         There is a wide selection of more than 1,000 learning activities including eBooks, games, puzzles, videos, music and art activities across a variety of Learning Adventures.

·         A Parent Dashboard lets parents choose and change their child’s Learning Adventures. The dashboard also lets them see how their child is progressing, view their account, manage each child’s profile and more.

·         There are no ads or links to take children to other websites, and no in-app purchases, making LeapFrog Academy a safe place for children to play online.

LeapFrog Academy is available now at and in the iOS and Google Play app stores. New users can try LeapFrog Academy free for one month, then continue the learning fun for $7.99 per month."

Check out an assortment of LeapFrog toys here.

Information about the LeapFrog Academy is courtesy of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved

Thursday, August 10, 2017


The school bells rang in my area today, how about you?

Many parents and teachers have been involved with STEM activities in school, now we are talking about STEAM. Do you know what the acronyms stand for?

S -- Science encourages investigation and answering questions, often involving experimentation.

T -- Technology refers to using simple tools like crayons and rulers, as well as more complex ones like microscopes and computers.

E -- Engineering refers to recognizing problems and testing solutions to them.

A --Arts encourages creativity and allows children to illustrate concepts they are learning.

M -- Mathematics deals with numbers, but also patterns, shapes, organizational skills, and much more.

Young children are now introduced to STEAM learning and it's not too young. Through observation and critical thinking, our little learners are grasping skills in math and science early in life. Even if your child is still in preschool, remember that play is learning.

I was reading a magazine article that gave an example how parents can even promote STEAM learning at home. It talked about making a homemade boat from recycled materials (cork, foil, craft sticks, swim noodle, and such). You design the boat with your child!

Then launch your boat in the bathtub, swimming pool, or even a puddle. Does it float? If you blow wind on the sail, how fast does the boat move? How about making several boats from different materials and see which one floats and glides better? Faster? Use a stopwatch to record the time.

Young children can grasp these concepts through experimentation and trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas, new science projects, and ways to use materials as new toys.

Just think, you as the parent may be involved with STEAM concepts without even knowing it. And, if your school-age child comes home from school and talks about learning STEAM, you will have a heads up about this concept in their curriculum.

Until next week!
Happy Parenting,

Photos courtesy of, public domain
Source: What Parents Need to Know About STEAM by Sabrina Boesch, Lake Mary Life Magazine, March/April 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Back to School Crafts Any Kid Can Make

Once again, the summer that seemed to move so slowly is coming to an end and school bells will be ringing soon.  A way to “beat the back to school blues” is to make crafty projects that will be “cool” for the new school year, as well as, a few activities that will preserve the memories of the summer.  The requirements are simple: some creative materials, a little imagination and access to a computer.  No matter what your child’s age, going back to school is a milestone parents and children can enjoy together while making fun projects. Here are two of my favorites I made with my children years ago and will repeat this project with my grandkids.

My Summer Vacation Shirt

Preserve your kids’ summertime memories on a tee shirt—a great way to “show and tell” everyone at school how you spent your vacation.  First you need some pictures that you took on a digital camera. Download these on a computer; crop and adjust the size you want.  There is a special paper that can be bought at office and craft stores that is fabric on one side and an iron-on material on the back.  This paper can go through your ink-jet printer capturing photos that can be placed onto your shirt.  You and your child can also download clip art on the computer; just type in school, vacation, or summer clip art on any search engine to find the sites.  Download and print these on special paper too.  Now that you have all your materials printed, just cut, place and press them on with an iron (parent supervision needed).  Voila, a special shirt that will let the memories of summer live on!

Buy your fabric transfer paper HERE.

Recycled Jeans Lunch Sack

Cut a 12-16 inch section from the leg of the jeans above. Turn the bag inside out and sew the bottom pieces together with a seam.  Fold over a half-inch strip around the top and sew it down to make a casing. Through an opening left in the casing, thread a 3-foot length of cording or ribbon and knot the two ends together.  Now, turn the bag to the right side. You can download some clip-art on the computer to the special iron-on paper and place these designs on the bag. Have your child write his/her name and make other enhancements using fabric paints. These lunch bags are definitely handy—if they get dirty, just toss them into the washing machine!

Fabric paints can be bought HERE

Get creative during these last few days of summer. Going back to school doesn't have to be dull -- make it bright and happy with these cute projects.

Happy Parenting,

Photos courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved
My projects have been posted on other sites and magazines in the past. 
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links or advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you informative and interesting content. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is Your Tween Ready to Babysit?

Hi all,

I'm trying to expand this blog to cover information that will appeal and offer helpful information to parents with older children, not just preschool. So whether you have an infant, toddler, preschooler, or older child, keep checking my blog for all things parenting. 

Today, I'm focusing on Tweens. Has your child asked you about starting to babysit? Here is a helpful checklist to give to your tween to see if he/she can answer these questions. Is the job right for them? Let's find out!

Happy Parenting,


During the tween years, it’s normal to begin your first paying jobs: mowing lawns, walking dogs, or babysitting.  These activities help to build a sense of independence as well as teach the importance of scheduling, dependability and managing finances.  Babysitting is more than watching small children while their parents are away from home; it’s a real job that demands responsibility and full-time attention.  Can you handle this task? Below is a checklist to see if this job is for you! 

§  Are you comfortable staying alone?  It’s important to be at ease being alone at home, both during daylight and nighttime hours.  If you’re nervous about staying home alone, you may not be ready to be alone in someone else’s home and responsible for other children. Some tweens may be okay during the day, but become apprehensive after dark.  In this case, begin with daytime babysitting only.
§  How do you relate to younger children?  Do you treat children with patience and compassion?  Can you take command of situations that require guidance or supervision?  Do younger children respond to you positively?
§  Can you handle unexpected or emergency situations?  Are you able to stay calm and proceed wisely in a crisis?  Preparing a plan of action and learning basic emergency procedures can be helpful in handling unexpected situations that may arise.
§  Are you skilled in the basics of childcare?  Do you know how to hold, feed, and change baby’s diapers?  Can you soothe a crying child who woke up with a bad dream, misses her parents or has fallen during play?  If you feel apprehensive with very young children, maybe sitting with older children would be wise until you gain more experience.
§  Can you handle the business of babysitting?  Babysitting is a job that requires interaction with parents as well as children.  Be businesslike and explain the days and hours you are available.  What you charge per hour.  Try to arrange a visit prior to babysitting to meet the children.  Make arrangements for transportation to and from the job.

If you answer yes to these questions babysitting can be a rewarding experience. Go on to the Internet for babysitting safety tips.  Babysitting Safety Tips

Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ben 10 Has a Toy Line From Playmates Toys

So, what are your kids doing this summer? Do they watch the Cartoon Network? Have they found interest in Ben 10?

"The new Cartoon Network series is centered on fun loving, 10-year-old, Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max as they travel throughout the country during summer vacation. Once Ben finds the Omnitrix, a mysterious watch that transforms him into 10 different heroic aliens, a world of extraterrestrial superpowers opens up to him."

“Fans of Cartoon Network’s new Ben 10 series will now be able to bring home the action-packed adventures seen in the show,” said Karl Aaronian, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Playmates Toys. “The expansive toy line that we developed includes unique transformations, special features and technology to provide kids with an imaginative play experience where their favorite characters are brought to life.”

The toy line from Playmates Toys features the following:

  • The Basic Action Figure assortment features a variety of 5-inch, highly detailed and articulated figures based on the show, including Ben Tennyson, the 10 different heroic aliens that he transforms into and key villains from Season 1. Other figure assortments include Deluxe Power Up figures, with lights and sounds, and Giant 10-inch figures. See photo above.

  • The Rustbucket Vehicle & Playset, the main vehicle seen in the show, transforms into a 3-level playset that stands over 2 feet tall and is packed with action features including an alien transformation chamber, plasma blaster, alien lab and more. 

  • Rounding out the collection is role play, including both a Basic and Deluxe Omnitrix, allowing kids to transform into any one of Ben’s 10 aliens, and Transform-N-Battle gauntlets and masks.
As a former teacher, parent, grandparent and writer, I truly love interactive play and make-believe. These toys bring the series to life, as your youngster can pretend to be any of the characters in the story. And as the experts say, "Imagination is essential in the learning process and can advance cognitive development. ... Through imaginary games and storytelling children are more likely to adapt learning habits, develop their communication skills and improve their vocabulary."

Drop by any Toys R Us store (or online) to find these fun toys. 

Sources for review:

The Wait Is Over – It’s Hero Time! Press Release, El Segundo, CA, June 6, 2017

Photo by Tania Cowling

I want to thank Playmates Toys for the opportunity to try their product. I was not paid or coached to write this blog post. The information about the product was provided and these are my own opinions.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Are You Visiting the Beach? Capture a Memory!

Summer is beach weather and the perfect place for fun in the sun, sand, and surf. Whether you live near the ocean, vacation there, or attending a home beach party, this craft is a way to hold onto memories. Your children will love to make this time capsule-type craft that will savor the memories of the beach. If you don’t have a beach nearby, fear not! These supplies can easily purchased at craft stores. It’s an easy project that can be saved and displayed in your child’s room as a great decoration and memory maker. 

Supplies Needed for this Beach Craft:

Medium sized plastic jar with lid
Photo of your child 
Sea shells
Beach sand
Netting or raffia
Heavy glue or low-temperature glue gun
Seaside favor or decor

How to Make a Beach Memory Jar:

  1. Find a suitable jar for this craft. With young children it is best to use a plastic jar with a lid. I chose a mayonnaise jar. Wash and dry the jar thoroughly.
  2. Look through your photos and find one of your child at the beach. If you are doing this craft at a beach party, the host/hostess can take photos when the children arrive in bathing suits and then download and make prints before craft time. 
  3. Take the photo or photocopy and place it inside the jar. Tape it in place to the back curve wall of the jar with the picture showing through the front. 
  4. Pour a couple inches of beach sand into the bottom of the jar. 
  5. Add some sea shells and arrange them to your liking. You may want to include some sea coral or a star fish. Just make sure if you are using fresh beach finds that there are no living organisms inside your shells. These need to be returned to their natural habitat. 
  6. When you are finished filling your container, screw on the lid tight. You may want to run a line of glue inside the lid before screwing it on. This will prevent spills of beach sand all over your floors.
  7. Now, it’s time to decorate the lid. Glue on some extra shells; a low-temperature glue gun works best. Wrap the side of the lid with raffia or a netting-type ribbon.
  8. As an extra enhancement I added a paper beach umbrella to the top or think about a plastic palm tree as another option. 
  9. With a black permanent marker, mark the child’s name, date, and location to the top of the lid.

Memory jars are awesome projects for children of all ages and various events. Think about making a miniature time capsule for birthdays, visiting a theme park, or to add mementos for any vacation. 

Happy Crafting With the Kids,
Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved

Monday, June 12, 2017

Recycle and Make New Crayons

Are you wondering what to do with all those broken and worn-out crayons from this past school year? Create a new crayon from all those old ones as a fun summer craft. This is a great recycling lesson and art project all in one. Crayon cookies provide a rainbow effect in this new art medium. The kids can make swirls and designs with one swoop across the paper. This is a great activity to do on a rainy day or when it’s just too hot to play outdoors. Here are the simple instructions.

Materials You Need:

Old crayons
Muffin tin
Aluminum foil
White paper

Instructions to Make Crayon Muffins:

Step 1 - Invite the children to remove all the paper wrappings from each crayon. It’s best to use all the brightly colored crayons you have.

Step 2 - Line several cups of a muffin tin with squares of aluminum foil. Make sure the foil covers the entire muffin cup and overlaps along the top edge. The foil makes it mess-proof to the muffin tray and easy to take out after the melting process.

Step 3 - Have the kids break the crayons into pieces between one-half inch to an inch.

Step 4 - Fill the muffin cup half-way with an assortment of crayon pieces in a variety of colors. Continue with this process according to how many crayon cookies you want to make.

Step 5 - Place the baking tin in a preheated 300-degree oven. Bake the crayons for about five to seven minutes. Ovens vary so watch the melting process carefully. Melt them just enough to blend the colors but not to a total liquid where the colors turn into a muddy mess.

Step 6 - Carefully remove the muffin tin from the oven and set it to cool for at least 30 minutes. Personally, once the liquid started to solidify, I transferred the tin to the refrigerator to finish the task.

Step 7 - When the crayon muffins are completely cool and solid, the children can carefully peel off the aluminum foil. Note that the cookies are more colorful on the foil side.

Step 8 - Now, bring out the paper and challenge the kids to make designs and rainbows with their new art medium.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Who Remembers the Powerpuff Girls?

The Powerpuff Girls, seen on the Cartoon Network, have returned globally with books, toys, and more. Check out this press release about products with this theme. They may be just the items you need for your little girls.

Cartoon Network Enterprises
The Powerpuff Girls Spring 2017 Products

The Powerpuff Girls, one of Cartoon Network’s most popular and enduring brands, returned globally in April 2016 with an all-new animated series from Cartoon Network Studios alongside a full worldwide licensing program. Since their debut in 1998, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have charmed girls and women of all ages as the original ambassadors of girl power, juggling school work, fighting bad guys, and always saving the world by using their Powfactor.

This spring, an assortment of new products will be available for fans of the series, including new toys from global master toy partner Spin Master, new books and more from other licensing partners.


Storymaker System Rainbow Rally Playset
Storymaker System Fashion Frenzy Playset / Dine and Dash Playset
PJ-Themed 8” Basic Plush Assortment
2" Action Dolls

The Powerpuff Girls: Tiara Trouble DVD

Tales from Townsville
Mojo Jojo’s Carnival of Confusion
I Got You! A Friendship Handbook

Party Supplies:

The Powerpuff Girls Party Supply Assortment

More information about Powerpuff products on the Spin Master website.

On your next shopping trip, introduce your children to these famous characters.

Until next time -- Happy Parenting,
Tania :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Celebrating Memorial Day With the Kids

The last Monday in May is a patriotic holiday, and you may have your younger family members ask, "Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?" Along with the solemn history of the day, this long weekend is also a time to bond with families. Because the holiday marks the beginning of the summer, plan some outdoor cooking, games, and a little relaxation with these excellent Memorial Day party ideas.

Why We Celebrate

Memorial Day was originally called "Decoration Day," first celebrated on May 30, 1868, as an attempt to heal the bitterness between the North and South following the Civil War. The event honored the dead of both the Union and Confederate armies, and The Grand Army held a celebration at Arlington National Cemetery. Other communities held their own ceremonies across the country.
The term Memorial Day was first used in 1882, but didn't become widespread until after World War II. With the US involved in other conflicts early in the 20th century, the day became an opportunity to remember the country's fallen military personnel. Decoration Day officially became Memorial Day in 1967, with observance switching from May 30 to the last Monday in May in 1971.
Below are four activities you can use to help your family understand the importance of Memorial Day and why we observe it.

Create an Ancestry Scrapbook

Making a scrapbook to remember your family's ancestors is a project that helps answer the question, "Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?" Talk to your kids about the important people in your family history, in particular those who served their country. Work with your kids to recreate the stories of your family, and place these stories in a ring binder. Including pictures is a great way for kids to feel a connection with relatives, especially if there are family resemblances to point out. Bring out this book every year as part of your Memorial Day celebration. It's a project that never ends; you can add new pages each year as you and the kids discover more about your ancestors.

Add a Patriotic Bandanna to Your Memorial Day Wardrobe

If your family is attending a service or parade on Memorial Day, it's a nice touch to wear something patriotic. You can help the kids make star-spangled bandannas to show their support. Gather white fabric cut into large squares, and provide fabric paints in red and blue. With a star-shaped sponge, or even a cookie cutter, show them how to dip the star into the paint and print designs onto the bandanna fabric. When the paint dries, finish it off with some custom flash using a fabric glitter pen.

Poppies Are Symbolic Flowers

Memorial Day is sometimes known as Poppy Day in recognition of the traditional red flower worn to honor those who died during military service. Many veterans create these flowers so they can be distributed, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) works with the American Legion to dispense them at many civic celebrations. Do the same this Memorial Day by crafting paper poppies with your kids to wear and to give out to friends. There are many paper options to choose from for this activity, including tissue paper, cupcake liners, and coffee filters. Just add a green chenille stem to complete your flower.

Ways to Volunteer Your Services on Memorial Day

Volunteering teaches children to give by putting others before themselves, and there are several ways to help them support our veterans on Memorial Day. If your city has a civic event, check with city hall to see how you can pitch in. Make extra paper poppies with the kids and pass them out to veterans at your local VA hospital. Teach your children about the importance of saying "thank you" to a soldier who served or is currently serving in the military. You can also have your family write thank you notes to servicemen and women; kids can make it an art project by drawing pictures on construction paper, folding them, and writing a message inside. The "AMillion Thanks" organization explains how to get these letters to their destination.

These are just four of the numerous Memorial Day celebration ideas kids can use to learn about their country. Does your family have other ways to celebrate? Share your ideas with me below.

Until next time -- Happy Parenting,

Photos courtesy of, public domain

Friday, May 12, 2017

What is a Mother? Teach Your Children Through Books

There are so many types of women who love and nurture young children at home. They may be stay-at-home moms, single parents, working moms, foster mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, big sisters… It is so important that children realize that all mothers do not look or act alike. I found the best way to get young children thinking about their moms is to read stories about mother/child relationships and use these stories to talk about their own families. Choose books to read that talk about people that reflect in different family situations. Help children explore the caring relationship of a mother figure in each story.
Suggested books to read:
My Mom Travels A Lot by Caroline Fellen Bauer (Puffin) What is it like to have a mother who travels?
Here I Am, an Only Child by Marlene Fanta Shyer (Aladdin) This story shows the advantages and disadvantages of being an only child - with the pluses winning out.
My Mommy's Special by Jennifer English (Children's Press) A little girl tells about her mom, who uses a wheelchair to get around.
Everett Anderson's 1,2,3 by Lucy Clifton (Owlet Paperbooks) Everett likes being alone with mommy. He's not sure he wants a new man in the family.
Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman (Tricycle Press) A loving story of the nurturing relationship of a lesbian couple and their child.
I Love My Mommy and My Mommy Loves Me by Crystal William (Amazon Kindle Edition) A poem to read at bedtime that explains the love between a mother and child. This poem contains fun rhymes.
Stevie by John Steptoe (Harper & Row) Robert is an only child - until his mom starts foster care for another little boy.
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams (Greenwillow) After her family's house burned down, a little girl, her mother and grandmother rebuild their lives.
I Miss You! A Military Kid's Book About Deployment by Beth Andrews (Prometheus Books) A challenging situation for both child and parent is when a mother (or father) must be sent away from home for military duty. A necessary book for military families who serve our country.
My Grandmother's Cookie Jar by Montzalee Miller (Price/Stern/Sloane) Every time she offers a cookie, a child's grandmother has a story about their Native American heritage. When grandma dies, the child realizes that her cookie jar will always be filled with grandma's love and her Native American spirit.
The Not-So-Wicked Stepmother by Lizi Boyd (Puffin) Hessie is about to meet her new stepmother. Are the stories she's heard about stepmothers really true? Maybe not!
My Mommy's in Heaven and I'm Still Here by Sarah Julian (Tate Publishing) Lillie's mommy has just passed away. The fun things she does on a daily basis isn't as much fun without her mother. The story shows how Lillie copes without her mother and how God has a plan for everyone.
Grandmother by Jeannie Baker (Dutton) This story describes a child's day with her elderly grandmother in her very old house.

I hope you have selected and enjoyed several of these books with your child. Please feel free to list your own favorites about mothers in our comments section below.
Happy Mother’s Day to All~~

Source: personal experience in the classroom and at home
Photos courtesy of 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Goodnight Moon: Enhancing This Classic Book With Activities

Several generations of children have been lulled to sleep by the recitation of Margaret Wise Brown's picture book Goodnight Moon, published in 1947. Picture this: "great green room, a telephone, a red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon." Clement Hurd magically illustrated the book from sunset to darkness as the little bunny says, "Goodnight room, goodnight moon," and slowly nods off to sleep.

Read this classic book to your children and celebrate its literary milestone with some of these activities to enhance the story.

Words That Rhyme -- Reread the story, stressing the rhyming words in the text. As the children learn these combinations, say the first word and have the children supply its rhyming partner. Look for these word combinations in the text.

  Toy house/young mouse
Moon Prints – Take a variety of lids from jars and a crescent-shaped cookie cutter and dip them into yellow poster paint and proceed to make prints on paper. Add adhesive stars to your moon painting.

Another activity is moon watching. This is a great family activity. Have the children observe the moon every night and record their observations on a calendar (or a page you have printed). Children can draw what they see, or for reference you might provide a sheet with small drawings of the eight phases of the moon.

Room Media Art -- Have the children draw a bedroom scene with crayons on construction paper. They can add finishing touches, such as fabric scraps for the bedspread and curtains and wallpaper scraps for the walls. From magazines and catalogs, help them to cut out pictures of dollhouses, kittens, mittens, red balloons, ladies in rocking chairs, and so on. Ask them to find as many items from the story as they can glue onto their scenes.
Bunny Magnet -- Make a magnet to resemble the bunny in the story. Give children a clothespin (not the clip kind), and have them paint it white. Color the two prongs pink for the bunny's ears. Draw a face and other bunny features with a black marker. Affix a piece of magnetic tape to the back to make a cute note holder for the refrigerator.

The Cow Jumps Over the Moon -- In the book, the bunny has a picture of the cow jumping over the moon in the bedroom. Teach your kids the popular nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle." Recite the rhyme daily and encourage children to make up actions to go with the rhyme.

Enhancing books via art, music, movement, and science is a way for children to remember stories and enjoy literature. Make story time an important part of your child’s day and enjoy teachable moments together.

These are activities from my personal experience as an early childhood teacher.
Always enhance children's books with activities to foster comprehension.

Until later -- Happy Parenting,
Tania  :)