I am the biggest fan of Julie Morstad, I have her books and have purchased a few of her prints.
When I first read When I Was Small by Sara O’Leary, my throat got so tight at the end and tears came rolling down. After, I picked up the rest in the series, Where You Came From, and When you were Small. As a mom of boys, I love Henry. Sara and Julie together, capture the heart.
This Is Sadie will not disappoint. I have been following closely, it will be the story book of all storybooks. I saw a mermaid. Eeeep!!!!
With the release of the book just around the corner, Tundra Books has beautiful activities to share. You can find them here.
We had so much fun making ours and we added the little masks to our garland because we liked them so much.
We really cannot wait for this beautiful book, May, come soon.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Since we love Oliver Jeffers, I used Stuck as inspiration for my Valentine’s Day cards.
What you need:
ribbon / embroidery thread
popsicle stick / skewers
Draw out a diamond and cut two pieces, my kite was about 4.5 in long by 4 in wide.
Choose the picture you want for the front and color it in. Cut a ribbon for the kite tail, any size you think will look good. Glue the tail to the inside of the back blank piece of the kite. Place glue around all the corners of the kite, and glue on the front of the backside of the kite to the inside of the kite. (see below)
Cut or break the popsicle stick with one side longer to fit the length and width of the kite. Hot glue the stick on to the back of the kite.
Add washi tape to the end of the kite tale and write a little message on the back.
This is one of my favorite projects, watercolor + straws. I think I love the unconventional use of the straw but even more the uniqueness of each little piece of art.
What you need:
brown watercolor, watered down
gold paint (optional)
What you do:
Take the straw and insert it into the liquid, keeping your finger on the tip of the straw to trap the liquid inside. Pull the straw from the watercolor and let go onto the watercolor paper. (although most paper types would probably work).
Then, the fun part, just blow.
For littler ones, make sure they keep the straw away from the inside of their mouth, because they will possibly try to suck through the straw.
Once they have dried, you can use the oil pastels to draw on eyes and a nose. Although, I often find they can be beautiful on their own.
I thought I would share some visuals of the book activities I have been sharing on Instagram.
After reading Windblown by Edouard Manceau, we cut our colored pieces inspired by the book to create a chicken and a jellyfish.
Drawing inspiration from Michael Hall’s book, Perfect Square, we gathered colored paper and some scissors.
We cut our squares into diagonal pieces and then we used them like puzzle pieces to come up with our own photos.
We came up with a giraffe having a snack and a tray of noodles and soup.
The above books were chosen so that my littlest ones could be involved in the projects. The older ones have ideas of their own (the giraffe having a snack), where my almost 4 year old needs a little help. He sees a bowl, and I help him make a table. He is pretty good with a glue stick. If your picture is more abstract, let it be. In the mind of a child, what they see you might not, but it builds confidence to let them do it on their own.
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston is just beautiful, as well as educational. I have added this book into another series I want to teach my children about. I will share soon.
You have probably seen this project around, it’s pretty common for a kindergartner to make at school. I had never grown a bean in a cup so I was just as excited as my children. These beans are three days in, and once my children saw the sprout, they were so excited. We drew our own pictures to place in the plant so we could tell who’s was who’s.
I chose a navy bean (the smaller one ) and a lima bean for our projects. You just need a clear cup, cotton balls and a bean, so simple. Place the cup in the window and wait for the magic to begin.
I love bringing books to life and teaching and learning along side my children.
I love to read, and I adore Children’s books. So when I came across a Little Free Library in late August via Instagram, I was smitten. I thought on it a few days and by September 4th, I was officially approved for Little Free Library 8963, a month later my official steward plate arrived. My dream for this Little Free Library was to be nestled in the trees on Granville Island.
Granville Island is a charming place to visit, a tourist attraction to many visitors and when the sun comes out, a beautiful place for locals to spend the afternoon. I have been working on the Island for about 7 years, and I love my walk to work, I love the Island , and I knew it would be a great home for a Little Free Library. What I didn’t know, was how to propose that idea to Granville Island. Most people just put one in their front yard, but mine, was going to be in a more unique space, or so I hoped.
I set out to find the contacts, this took time, and lots of redirecting. One night I sat down and made an official proposal, with whys, and maps, and space suggestions. I got an email, and soon I was filling out an event form ( you don’t need a grand opening event, but I thought it would be nice intro to the community), I soon met for location ground reviews, and I was approved. I met some of the nicest people, so helpful and all supportive of a Little Free Library and Literacy.
There have been book donations from The Writers Fest and The Peak responded to my press kit. It has all been a lot of work, a lot, because I haven’t mentioned the posters, buttons, bags and book markers, or the building the library. My father-in-law is an architect, he made these great blueprints and he and my husband built the library with late nights and hard work.
If you are new here, I hope this means your found the Little Free Library 8963 on Granville Island. Please feel free to share the books you chose or any photos on the Facebook page.
Today was Raise-A-Reader Day here in Vancouver, 100% of all funds go to support Literacy in BC. We bought our copy of the Vancouver Sun in support and I read tons of books to the kids. Reading aloud happens everyday in our home, recently, I have added reading in times other than after school, set a times reading time and bedtime, I have been reading at dinner or when preparing dinner, or even when the kids are in the bath. I feel that right now my little sponges are getting so much from reading that if I can I will.
I hope that many children will benefit from the money raised and go on to become great readers and read to their children as well. The gift that keeps on giving.
Who doesn’t love a pop-up book? This book is beautiful and fun. It’s been well loved in our home for years. The rhythm of the book invites the children in to say the words along with you. A great read-aloud book.
This is really one of the best birthday books I have ever read. It really describes a child’s world and thoughts around a birthday. I read this to my children and my students and they get so excited and inspired. It would make a great birthday gift , we read it as someones birthday approaches.
It has a really good lesson in the end, that simplicity really is a the heart of happiness.
A peek into someones personal sketch book, that is what this one feels like. Beautiful, simple, yet detailed in black and white sketches. I love wordless books such as this one, giving your child a chance to describe what they see. This is not only engaging the creative mind but uses linguistics as well. While reading and imagining they are seeing the alphabet and working on phonetics. It’s just lovely. Due to it’s black and white nature, it’s baby friendly, a great starter book.
So many lessons you can use this book for. Audrey Hepburn left a legacy and this book captures it wonderfully. I can only imagine how intimidating the illustrator must have felt to capture someone so well loved. Julia Denos did just that, elegantly and wonderfully.
I think this book would make a great gift to big people as well, I think it would be a great gift for someone :
Brilliant on so many levels. This is one of the best read-aloud books I have read in a while.
I enjoy reading the colors in different voices, and I love seeing my children respond to it. Peach is one of my to read, although not my favorite color in real life. This book has humor, truths and allows your child to think creatively and out side the box. FUN!
Did you know that in most schools you are not fit for first grade if you can’t hold a pencil properly. Holding a pencil is a kindergarten skill, a must for writing.
I find this interesting, yes, I find holding a pencil interesting because it is actually very complex. Not everyone will hold a pencil the same, right handed to left and also right brained to left brained.
Writing is a direct connection to the brain and storing what is written in the brain. Holding a pencil solidifies fine motor control so the brain can shift attention 100% to generating text, ideas and processing. We spend a lot of time in preschool and perhaps before learning to use our fingers and exercising their dexterity. Finger foods, blocks and puzzles are often a good beginning.
Before you work hard at correcting the way a child holds a pencil, you should observe and think about the child themselves. I am a big advocate that not all children learn the same, and I don’t think pencil holding needs to be uniform or will work for every child. It is a necessity, no doubt, and there must be some proper form, or the writing and pressure will not form. If the grip is too far off cramping may occur. If a child is often corrected to hold a pencil “properly” it may feel uncomfortable to them, and they may not enjoy writing and drawing.
While your child is learning to hold a pencil, crayon, marker, take a look at how they hold it. Start with just swirls, lines, and just let them be totally free and abstract, this is how they will become comfortable with the process and then step back and take a look at how they hold their pencil, with what hand, and how important will it be for them to hold it “properly” by school standards.
I know a very smart child who holds his pencil “properly” yet he writes in one full stroke, his pen never leaving the paper until the form is finished. He does this with print, so where one might lift a pen to cross your capital letter E, he does so in one full stroke. He uses this same technique for drawings. He smart and very gifted, he is both right and left brained, so while holding a pencil seems simple, you might rethink it before you conform to what is “proper”.
Who doesn’t love Eric Carle? His beautiful illustrations stand the test of time. We have so many favorites that we could never pick just one. I think what makes his works so well loved is the simplicity shape and colors and children , especially when young love textures. Although the books are lovely with their unique simplicity, the collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images was a fine art.
(click on picture for more information)
Eric Carle first noticed by educator and author Bill Martin Jr., which he collaborated with the widely know Brown Brear, Brown Bear, What do you see? . Eric Carle soon started writing and illustration hos own books to which the beloved story The Very Hungary Caterpillar was born.
My children have grown up looking, exploring and eventually reading on their own the stories illustrated and written by Eric Carle. I think that some illustrators just all great artist will stand the test of time, Eric Carle is one of the greats.
Carle says: “With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?
Handwriting will become extinct some say, with the fast pace of technology. We touch and type and drag and see our children using apps following the same motion. 41 States have opted to teach typing in place of cursive writing. There is such value in handwriting although I do see the need for typing and the value for our new tech savvy world.
Handwriting works the brain in several ways the binocular teaming with focusing of the eyes, eye hand coordination and good motor skills, it also require spatial perception. The value in handwriting, even cursive writing will always be , in my opinion the best way to learn letters, numbers, reading and writing. It will be especially valuable for those with learning challenges. I also enjoy the way it looks.
When I came across this learning tool I found it really exciting. It uses both motion and sensory with the magnetic balls. Once you use the pencil/magnet to trace the letters, you can use your finger to lay them all down, now you have traced it twice. Genius!! Kids will love the feel, sound and tracing effect. It has the arrows to show haw many and what steps to take. It’s green, and great. I don’t mean the color no using paper over and over. The come in upper, lowercase ad cursive.
The only thing that could make it better for me, is I would love to see the letters just themselves, by that I mean not in order. I am a big fan of learning out of order. That is deserving of a post all it’s own.