Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Fun Friday Cereal Necklace

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What craft can you make and eat at the same time?

Circle cereal necklaces!

Materials: yarn, tape, circle cereal, scissors

1. Cut a generous length of yarn that will fit easily over heads.

2. About 4 inches from end, thread and tie a piece of cereal in place to keep cereal loops from falling off the end. On the opposite end, form a needle by tightly wrapping tape around the yarn and cutting off the tip at an angle.

Tip: For really young crafters, I love to tape the end of the yarn to the table. This keeps the necklace from falling off the table and helps them know which end to use.

3. Fill a bowl with circle cereal loops. Show how to thread cereal on the necklace, pushing it down to the knotted cereal. Let crafters add as many cereal loops as they want. I always tell them they get to eat the broken ones!

4. Tie the ends together and trim off the ends. Ready to wear! Snack on the go.

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For older crafters, use colored cereal circles and challenge them to create a pattern as they make necklaces.

SAFETY: ALWAYS remove necklaces before sleeping or playing on playground equipment.

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Book Report: I Am NOT a Chair!

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I Am NOT A Chair!

By Ross Burach

HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2017

 

I Am NOT A Chair! is hysterical!

I love the simple but hilarious tale of a giraffe who is continuously mistaken for a chair by other jungle animals. He is extremely creative as he tries to educate others about their misdirected assumptions so he can stop being a chair.

Brilliantly colored illustrations add depth and life to the story and will attract young readers as they see life on the wild side (though recognizable as sort of like going to school). Well done, Ross Burach, in story telling through words and images.

This book is great for young and old readers.

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KID KANDY

Make a Chair

Materials: whatever you find in your jungle environment

1. Search your jungle.

2. Find interesting items that look comfy and sturdy.

3. Make a chair. Does it look like Giraffe? Or a different jungle animal, like a pillow monster or box creature? Give your chair a name. Have someone take a picture of you sitting on your chair.

4. Read a book while sitting on your chair. 🙂

 


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DIY Circus Lab for Kids, A Family-Friendly Guide for Juggling, Balancing, Clowning, and Show-Making by Jackie Leigh Davis

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DIY Circus Lab for Kids, A Family-Friendly Guide for Juggling, Balancing, Clowning, and Show-Making

By Jackie Leigh Davis

Photography by Scot Langdon

(Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., 2018)

 

Once upon a time, I did some clowning. Really! Just last week I ran across a picture from my “Bubbles” the clown days. A more thoughtful person would have grabbed it up and used it for this post, but I didn’t put two and two together. Now that photo is nearly 200 miles away lost in a box in a storage unit. Oops!

Circus fun – for kids! How cool is that? Jackie Leigh Davis has penned an informative, easy to read, step-by-step book that helps kids (and families) enjoy many circus activities. Great photographs demonstrate what she is describing and will help the visual learners. There is so much information about learning circus skills and putting together a show, DIY Circus Lab should be a resource – for any circus hobbyist or serious performer. Additional resources at the back of the book provides even more details.

Juggling sticks, hoops, poi, juggling scarves, armpit juggling (LOL), stilts, tight-rope walking, acrobatics, pyramids, clowning, and putting together a show: those are just a few of the various topics covered in DIY Circus Lab. This book makes me want to gather a group of kids and get circusing!

Well done, Jackie Leigh Davis and Scot Langdon.

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P. S. Thanks, Vivian Kirkfield, for introducing me to this great circus book and sending a free copy. Excellent resource!


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Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night by Dee Leone – Picture Book & KID KANDY

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Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night

By Dee Leone

Illustrated by Bali Engel

(Sterling Children’s Books, 2018)

 

I won a copy of Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night from KIDLIT411. Thanks, Sylvia and Elaine!

Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night is the perfect bedtime – or anytime – read aloud! Peaceful rhyme tells the story of nature getting ready to go to sleep. Animals, plants, and other beauties prepare and nestle in for a good nights’ sleep. The illustrations, set in gorgeous deep blues and purples highlighted by nighttime light, perfectly match the winding down of the day.

I’ve totally enjoyed reading Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night. Now, on to share it with the littles in my life. Thanks for the beautiful book, Dee and Bali!

KID KANDY:

Nighttime Painting

Materials: watercolor paints, brushes, water, crayons, heavy paper

1. Read Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night. Notice the colors used in the illustrations. What’s your favorite page (animal, plant, setting)?

2. Use crayons to draw a nature picture. Include the moon and stars.

3. Paint over the drawing with darker colors like purple, blue, and black.

Ta-da! You have your own nighttime illustration!


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Grandmother Thorn – Picture Book & KID KANDY

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GRANDMOTHER THORN

By Katey Howes

Art by Rebecca Hahn

(Ripple Grove Press, 2017)

 

Grandmother Thorn gives new meaning to the words OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). She maintains her gardens with an iron will, daring anything to be out of place, grow where it’s not supposed to, or become mussed by irresponsible footprints.

Only one friend, Ojiisan, the man with a dragging foot and droopy shoulder, was allowed to make tracks in her perfectly groomed gravel paths. For they were best friends and enjoyed hot tea, conversation, and tasty sweets.

All was well until one day Ojiisan tasted gorgeous red berries and urged the salesperson to take some to Grandmother Thorn (but DO NOT walk on the path).

As you can imagine, he did not listen and disaster befell the merchant, the garden, and the welfare of Grandmother Thorn.

Or did it?

This beautiful picture book shares the story of letting go and allowing some things to be. And not all weeds are what they appear.

I love this book, both for the story and the tapestry-like illustrations.

KID KANDY:

Berry Hunt

1. Read GRANDMOTHER THORN. Memorize all the details you can of the weed and its fruit.

2. Does anyone in your family go grocery shopping or visit a farmer’s market? It’s time to go with that person. Go shopping.

3. Search the produce section. Can you find the fruit found in GRANDMOTHER THORN? Maybe your adult shopper will buy some!

4. Perhaps you live in an area where this type of fruit grows. Look around your neighborhood and see if you find the vines. If you time it right, you might even be able to pick some of those tasty fruits!


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You Nest Here With Me ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

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by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

 

You Nest Here With Me

Written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

(Boyds Mills Press, An Imprint of Highlights; 2015)

 

I recently was given a copy of You Nest Here With Me. Thanks, Heidi Stemple!

That free gift, however, did not influence the fact that I had already fallen in love with the lyrical story and gorgeous illustrations of this picture book, having borrowed it from the library.

I see You Nest Here With Me as a good night story told by a mother to her daughter. The mother shares the nesting habits of many fascinating and captivating birds. Eggs, nests, habitats, birds, nestlings (is that a real word?) – and a human mama and her little girl. This is a perfect, calming, getting-ready-for-bed book.

While this picture book does not read like a science text, readers will still learn amazing bird facts. Readers can learn even more when they take the time to peruse the final pages where the authors share interesting information about each type of bird.

Readers will love You Nest Here With Me. I love You Nest Here With Me. Birds of a feather flock together. Tweet tweet!

KID KANDY

Look for Nests & Build a Nest

  1. Go on a nest hunting walk with your family. Spy high and peek low to find nests. Trees, shrubs, empty containers, bird houses, grasses…birds are very creative when they build a nest. How many nests can you find?
  2. Pull out some blankets and wrap them around yourself to build a nest. Grab some books, curl up in your snug nest, and read away!

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First Steps in Missions ~ Activity Ideas: Shaving Cream

 

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Welcome October, perhaps one of my absolute favorite months! Ok, I also love November and December. And January. Just give me fall and winter and I’ll be good.

Thailand is the focus for Chapter 2 in First Steps in Missions, Ideas for Preschoolers and Teachers, Volume 22. Each month this year (academic or church), I would like to choose one activity I’ve written for First Steps, and give extension ideas.

Mirror Painting is found on page 14. For this activity, I suggested placing a large mirror flat on a table and inviting preschoolers to paint on it with unscented shaving cream and food coloring to symbolize the beauty found in Thailand. Do you know how much fun it is to paint with shaving cream?

Shaving cream is a favorite creativity ‘tool’ of mine.

Ways to Play and Create with Shaving Cream

About shaving cream:

The cheapest brands work just fine. Avoid those that begin as a gel. They just don’t foam as well. But feel free to experiment. If you don’t have any kids with sensitive noses, use your favorite fragrance to spice up the room. Have a tub of water and plenty of wash cloths available for cleaning up.

1. Shaving cream  is not only for mirrors. Squirt shaving cream directly onto a table and let children draw and write to their hearts’ content. Extra benefit: shaving cream helps loosen stuck on tape, markers, and glue. The table will be much cleaner when you are done with the shaving cream.

2. Paint with shaving cream. Squirt shaving cream mountains on large paper bags or construction paper and let little artists sprinkle on powdered tempera or drops of food coloring. Mix, spread, and create. It would be fun to experiment with water-based markers and shaving cream.

3. Blocks and shaving cream in a big plastic tub? Go ahead, admit it. You’ve always wanted to play in the shaving cream! Who has never squirted shaving cream on the bathroom mirror to write messages? What? No? Me neither.

4. Hot weather fun begins with cans of shaving cream and a swimming pool. Seriously. Let kids paint themselves with shaving cream and then dunk into the pool to rinse it off. I’d avoid using the big in-ground pools as they require chemicals and lots of care. Any small inflatable or plastic pool will work great.

5. Wash outside toys (tricycles, wagons, construction equipment, etc.) with shaving cream. Use a hose to rinse thoroughly and let dry. This is one cleaning project where you’ll have plenty of help.

Safety Tip: Only use shaving cream with preschoolers old enough to not eat it. Older children are fine, though you may be surprised at what they put in their mouths. It’s for playing, not eating, right? Unless you have a beard or hairy legs.

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If you would like to order your own copy of First Steps in Missions, call 1-800-968-7301 or visit www.wmustore.com. Thanks!

 

Thanks for visiting! Have a fabulous time playing with shaving cream!


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First Steps in Missions ~ Activity Ideas: BAR SOAP!

First Steps in Missions, Ideas and Activities for Preschoolers and Teachers, Volume 22

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I’m so excited about First Steps in Missions! This resource has 12 months of ideas for activities teachers can do with preschoolers to teach them about missions around the world.

One of my favorite activities in Chapter 1 is Washing Clothes (page 9). Chapter 1 focuses on the Philippines. Some families in remote areas of the Philippines wash clothes in rivers. While I wouldn’t want to wash our laundry in the river because it sounds like a lot of hard work, I am fascinated and admire the many families who must use local resources to wear clean clothes. I also know preschoolers enjoy water play.

The Washing Clothes activity suggests preschoolers wash clothes in two plastic tubs. One tub should have smooth stones for washing and the other have clean water for rinsing. Set up a drying rack for clothes to hang while they dry. My favorite tool for preschoolers from this activity? BAR SOAP!

Do you know how many fun activities you can do with BAR SOAP? Maybe some of the children you come into contact with have never used BAR SOAP. Think about it. We are a culture committed to cleanliness. This often comes in the form of hand sanitizer, liquid soap dispensers, and all sorts of gels, sprays, and goop. BAR SOAP is a great resource for preschool (and other age level) rooms.

Fun with BAR SOAP

1. Car Wash. I just did this with my grandson. Fill a plastic tub with warm water and put it on a thick towel. Use toothbrushes dipped in the water and raked across BAR SOAP to clean the cars. Rinse in water and drive on the towel to help cars dry.

2. Rock Scrub. This is one of my favorite summer activities, but you can do it anytime. Kids will rewash the same rocks for hours at a time. All you need is a tub of water, a variety of rocks (I like to use rocks big enough so little hands can grip them),  BAR SOAP, and toothbrushes. You have a rock washing station. This can later transform into a rock painting station.

3. BAR SOAP Boats. Any old BAR SOAP will float, but experiment to find your favorite brand. Open up BAR SOAP, use a screw driver or butter knife (no sharp tips) to scoop out a center (you can skip this step), and add toothpick flags. Have boat races in the bath tub or sink. Get clean and have fun!

These activities show that one can use just about anything to have fun. Let’s get creative!

If you would like to order your own copy of First Steps in Missions, call 1-800-968-7301 or visit www.wmustore.com. Thanks!

Thanks for visiting. Feel free to share these ideas with your friends.

I hope to see you again soon.


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One Word from Sophia ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Clever and engaging tale of a loquacious young lady

One Word from Sophia

By Jim Averbeck

Illustrations by Yasmeen Ismail

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015)

 

All Sophia wants for her birthday is a pet giraffe.

But she faces four critics to her dream come true. As Sophia tries to convince family members to side with her for a pet giraffe, each tells her she is using too many words. You could say that Sophia is loquacious, much to her detriment in this case.

With each failure (and the discovery of a new word that means too many words), Sophia edits down her responses until her final plea.

One Word from Sophia is a wonderful picture book. The text challenges readers with excellent vocabulary and an engaging story. The illustrations are unique and fabulous.

One Word from Sophia will help readers learn the importance of one very special word.

KID KANDY:

What Do You Want for Your Birthday?

1. Think hard. What is your one true desire of the gift you want to receive for your birthday?

2. Now think of 5 excellent reasons you could use to convince a parent or grandparent to get that present and give it to you.

3. Practice telling your family what you would like and why.

Did you use your manners? Were you successful?

It might not be your birthday yet, but Happy Birthday! Way to use your very own words.


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Woodpecker Wham! ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Nonfiction picture book that delights and informs!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Woodpecker Wham!

By April Pulley Sayre

Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

(Henry Holt and Company, 2015)

Woodpecker Wham! is a delightful book told in rhyme. Readers will enjoy wonderful, bright illustrations about the life cycle and habits of woodpeckers that fill the pages of this picture book. Text written with descriptive words and words of sounds made by woodpeckers imparts information in a simple and clean way.

I loved reading the end notes that gave interesting facts and explanations about woodpecker habits. Why do woodpeckers ‘ant’? Where do woodpeckers nest? How do they secure their homes? Fascinating.

Learning about birds? Woodpecker Wham! is the perfect book to read with children.

KID KANDY:

Bird Hunt

1. Look at the illustrations of Woodpecker Wham! Remember the colors, shapes, and habits so you can use them to help you locate woodpeckers.

2. Find a pair of binoculars and put on sturdy shoes.

3. Ask a parent or older sibling to go with you.

4. Walk around your yard, neighborhood, or in a wooded area and scout for woodpeckers. You may need to listen for their calls or ‘pecking,’ check tree trunks for nesting cavities, or watch for their particular flight patterns. Once you see them, you will figure out how to easily spot them in the future.

5. Take photos with your mind! When you get home, check out the book again and see if you saw one of the featured woodpeckers. Or look in a bird identification book to find the bird you saw.

6. Draw a picture of the bird you saw and where you spotted it. If you didn’t find any, don’t give up. Draw a picture of the birds you want to find.

7. Keep looking.

Birds are amazing! I can always tell when woodpeckers (we have flickers in our neighborhood) are racing around. Both woodpeckers and jays are loud! 

Happy bird hunting.