Monday, September 6, 2010

Musical Monday..... I'm Proud to be Me!

This is a song/poem that I learned while working at a summer camp in Alaska.
I researched it and as far as I can tell the song to be of unknown origins.
It's a great song for kids about diversity and tolerance.
I wish I could sing it for you but it would work as a sort of up tempo chant. Experiment with it.


I"m Proud to be Me

I'm proud to be me but I also see
You're just as proud to be you.
We might look at things a bit differently
But lots of good people do.

That's just human nature
So why should I hate you
For being as human as I?

We get what we give.
If we live and let live
We'll both get along if we try.

I'm proud to be me, and I also see
You're just as proud to be you.

It's true!

You're just as proud to be you!

Unknown author

Monday, August 9, 2010

3 Back to School Songs for Musical Monday

 School days , school days, good old golden rule days!
No, that's not one of the three songs but it seemed appropriate.

The beginning of the new school year is almost here and it's time for teacher's to jazz up those lesson plans and for parents to get the kids ready for school, especially, the little ones who are just starting school.

I've found three fun songs to help get the little ones excited about school, really.
The first song is really cute and sung to the tune of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah from Disney's Song of the South. This song is just too cute and a great song to teach your child a few weeks before they start school. You can also change the lyrics a little and continue to use the song throughout the year. You could, for instance, change that second line of the first verse to...."I'm going to school and I'll have a great day!" Nothing like starting the day with a positive thought.

My second song is a classic nursery rhyme/song. Most of us know the song Mary Had A Little Lamb, but did you know that according to Wikipedia:
The nursery rhyme was first published (as opposed to written) by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as an original poem by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was inspired by an actual incident.
In the 1830s, Lowell Mason set the nursery rhyme to a melody adding repetition in the verses:

Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
and everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
school one day, school one day,
It followed her to school one day,
which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
laugh and play, laugh and play,
it made the children laugh and play
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
turned it out, turned it out,
And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
patiently about, patiently about,
And waited patiently about
till Mary did appear.

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
"Why does the lamb love Mary so,"
the eager children cry.

"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
The lamb, you know, the lamb, you know,
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
 the teacher did reply.

Follow up activities for Mary Had A Little Lamb:
  1. Have the kids change the rhyme and put in their name and their own pet or favorite animal.
  2. Then have the kids think up rhymes for their name and animal.
  3. Illustrate and write out each child's poem/song.
My third song is On the Way to School. Unfortunately, I can't show you the tune for the song but you can makeup your own simple tune.

On The Way to School 

What a lot of things to see,
On the way to school!
Chipmunks running up a tree,
On the way to school.
Sparrows busy building nests,
Robins smoothing down their vests,
What a lot of things to see,
On the way to school!

What a lot of things to hear,
On the way to school!
Someone whistling loud and clear,
On the way to school.
Workmens' hammers go bang, bang!
Fire engines go clang, clang!
What a lot of things to hear,
On the way to school!

What a lot of things to do,
On the way to school!
Act like monkeys at the zoo,
On the way to school!
Jump in puddles, climb a tree,
Cross the street so carefully,
What a lot of things to do,
On the way to school! 

Follow up activity:
Have the kids make up their own verses for this song. Ask them what they see, hear or do on their way to school or what they would like to see. hear or do.....possibly a loaded question. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here We Go "Round the Mulberry Bush ( a going to school book) ...... Tuesday Book Look

Today's Book Look is Will Hillabrand's Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.

Yesterday's Musical Monday featured the Mulberry Bush song. Today's book takes that same song and expands it into a fun, musically book about a pig's first day in school.

This rhyming story is set to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush". It's the first day of school and little pig is scared. He can't quite get the hang of things at school and ends up making messes. When the other pigs go outside to play, he hides inside a mulberry bush. There he finds another little pig hiding also. Read the book to find out what happens next! (Hint - the two become friends)

 This is a great first day or week of school book to read to kids. After reading the book and learning the tune, the children can have fun playing the game (check the Musical Monday blog).

Other book related activities:

Nature: What is a Mulberry?

Art - I love this Mulberry Bush Rebus. Have your kids can make/draw their own rebus for the song.

Art -  Mulberry Bush Coloring Page

Creative Writing - The author of this book took a simple song and made it into a story while staying true to the song, more or less. Have your kids pick their favorite song or nursery rhyme and either add new lyrics or make up a story around the rhyme.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush......Musical Monday

I love a good circle game! Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush is a very old nursery rhyme/song.

According to Wikipedia:
The rhyme (Mulberry Bush) is first recorded as a children's game by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-nineteenth century.  He also noted that there was a similar game with the lyrics 'Here we go round the bramble bush'. Some commentators believe that the bramble bush was the earlier version, and perhaps changed because of the difficulty of articulating the alliteration, not least because mulberries do not grow on bushes.
Halliwell noted that subsequent verses included: 'This is the way we wash our clothes', 'This is the way we dry our clothes', 'This is the way we mend our shoes', 'This is the way the gentlemen walk' and 'This is the way the ladies walk'.
Today "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" is sung or played in preschools. And , you'll note that there are many books based on the song. (see the books listed at the end of the blog)
If you don't know how the tune for Mulberry Bush goes, click here.

These are the traditional words and activities for Mulberry Bush.  As a circle game the children hold hands and go around in a circle during the chorus. During the different verses they stop and act out the verse.

Here we go round the mulberry bush
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush                               
Here we go round the mulberry bush
So early in the morning

This is the way we wash our clothes
Wash our clothes, wash our clothes
This is the way we wash our clothes
So early Monday morning

This is the way we iron our clothes
Iron our clothes, iron our clothes
This is the way we iron our clothes
So early Tuesday morning

This is the way we mend our clothes
Mend our clothes, mend our clothes
This is the way we mend our clothes
So early Wednesday morning

This is the way we sweep the floor
Sweep the floor, sweep the floor
This is the way we sweep the floor
So early Thursday morning

This is the way we scrub the floor
Scrub the floor, scrub the floor
This is the way we scrub the floor
So early Friday morning

This is the way we bake our bread
Bake our bread, bake our bread
This is the way we bake our bread
So early Saturday morning

This is the way we go to church
Go to church, go to church
This is the way we go to church
So early Sunday morning

There are lots of variations to the song:
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

For a school song you might use the verses:
This is the way we go to school,
Go to school, go to school,
This is the way we go to school,
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we come out of school,
Come out of school, come out of school,
This is the way we come out of school,
On a cold and frosty morning.

The Mulberry Bush song can be used to teach the days of the weeks, good hygiene habits or any other activities that can be explained simply and incorporated into the songs lyrics.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walk on Stilts Day

July 27, 2010 is

Walk on Stilts Day.

 The perfect way to celebrate this holiday is to learn the history of stilts and to make your own recycled cans version of stilts.

You don't see a lot of stilt walkers. Usually they are found in parades and at circuses.
Stilt-walking is an ancient art that only requires a pair of stilts and lots of practice.
Stilt-walking is said to have originated in Landes, France. Shepherds took up stilt-walking, as early as the 1800's,  as a way to not only save time getting to their scattered flocks but also to navigate areas that were sometimes treacherous.

According to Wikipedia:
Stilts are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a distance above the ground. Walking stilts are poles equipped with steps for the feet to stand on, or straps to attach them to the legs, for the purpose of walking while elevated above a normal height. In flood plains, and on beaches or unstable ground, buildings are often constructed on stilts to protect them from damage by water, waves or shifting soil or sand. Stilts have been used for many hundreds of years.

A few fun and amazing Stilt walking records
Most people to simultaneously walk on stilts: 1908. Doug Hunt and the North Park Collegiate HS students organized a mass stilt walk of 625 people walking 100 metres (328 ft) on 12” peg stilts.

Tallest stilts walked on: 56 feet 6 inches. Roy Maloy of Australia, while wearing an overhead safety wire, took five independent steps on 56 ft. 6 inch stilts weighing 50.6 lbs. each.

Longest stilt walk: 24 hours, 76.17 miles (122.58 km). Zdenek Jiruše of Czechoslovakia covered a distance of 76.17 miles (122.58 km) on stilts within 24 hours on 12 June 1992 in Pelhřimov.

 Why try stilt or can walking?

Because walking on Stilts/Cans builds a child's:
  • Balance and Coordination Skills and
  • Their Sense of Achievement and Self-esteem
 You can try you hand at making wooden stilts:
 and has interesting information on stilts and stilt walking.  
But the  easiest way to start "stilt" walking is to make Tin Can Stilts.
 you'll need:
2 - one pound coffee cans or juice cans or even paint cans
String or rope or yarn plaited into a braid
A screwdriver or awl
Colorful electrical or duct tape, stickers (the foam one are fun)

  1. Turn the cans upside down, so that the open end is touching the ground (if using paint cans ,put the lids on them and use the handles to tie the rope onto)
  2. Then, use a screwdriver or awl to make two holes in each can, one on each side. (An adult should do this step.)
  3. String a piece of rope through the holes, and tie off the ends inside the can.This is a "handle" for your child to hold onto. It should be approximately waist high) 
  4. Decorate the cans
  5. Walk on your stilts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! .....Tuesday Book Look

I chose this Tuesday's book because July is National Hot Dog Month and July 19th is National Hot Dog Day.
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! was written and illustrated by Mo Willems.
 Pigeon, the star of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and four other books, finds a yummy looking hot dog which he plans to eat all by himself. But a very cute, curious, annoying and tenacious duckling has other ideas.

While you may not know, author Mo Willems name, you very likely have seen his work. He was a writer and animator for Sesame Street, created two animated series for the Cartoon Network and was the head writer for their Codename: Kids Next Door series. Three of  his books have received Caldecott Honors and Mo Willems is the creator of the Knuffle Bunny Books.

Okay, I worked really hard trying to find interesting craft ideas for this book that were about more than just cooking hot dogs....I kinda succeeded , sorta, cooking is involved in these activities but they involve a lot of creativity, also.

Hot Dog People
To make Hot Dog people you'll need - hot dogs, plastic knives and a microwave
  1. give each child an uncooked hot dog and a knife 
  2. the kids then use the knife to make slices in the hotdog to resemble body parts (slices at the top for hair, a face, a slice on each side for arms and a slice in the middle of the bottom, to make two legs). 
  3. Then cook the hot dog in the microwave for about 25 - 30 seconds.  
  4. As the hot dog cooks, it should begin to look more like a person. 
Read or act out the story of the 3 Pigs and then make Pigs in a Blanket (recipe and story here)
Here's an easy recipe for a Hot Dog and Fries cake using a loaf cake, Twinkies and icing.

Make a Hot Dog Squid

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday Book Look....Blueberries for Sal ( for Blueberry Month)

July is Blueberry Month. So, this Tuesday's Book Look is a classic "blueberry" book. Blueberries for Sal was written by Robert McCloskey in 1948. It was awarded the Caldecott Honor in 1949 for it's illustrations.

"One day,  Little Sal went with her mother to Blueberry Hill to pick blueberries." So starts the timeless story of Sal, her mother, a momma bear and a cub as they all pick or in the case of Sal and the bears, eat blueberries on Blueberry Hill.  I won't ruin the book for you but it's really cute and lots of fun. (A little hint: at some point Sal and the bear cub get mixed up and follow after the wrong mother but it all turns out well.)

The first activity I thought of for this book was, naturally, cooking with blueberries. But I decided to find at least one none eating activity. My crafts for Blueberries for Sal are making Dye from blueberries, making Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles and a really simple 4 ingredient recipe for Blueberry Cobbler.

How to Make Natural Dye from Blueberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 quart water
large enamel or stainless steel (not aluminum) pot
wooden or plastic stirring utensil
container to collect dye
material/items to dye

  1. Combine blueberries and water in the pot.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Crush berries and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Strain mixture and discard the berries.
  5. Add the material to be colored to the dye.
  6. Let the material soak in the dye until the desired color intensity is reached.
  7. Wash dyed item separately in cold water.

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
You'll need:
12 paper or foil baking cups, 2 1/2 inch size
Zest and juices of one small lemon
2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 pint blueberries
12 popsicle sticks

  1. Line twelve muffin pan cups with the paper or foil baking cups.
  2. In a bowl, blend the lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt, and sugar until smooth.
  3. Stir in the blueberries.
  4. Divide the mixture amount the paper-lined muffin pan cups.
  5. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours, or until almost firm. Remove from the freezer, cover with plastic wrap and insert a popsiscle stick in the middle of each popsicle.
  6. Return to the freeze and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
  7. To serve, peel off the paper liners and let the popsicles stand at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly.

Easy Blueberry Cobbler
1 (21 oz.) can blueberry pie filling
1 (8 oz.) can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 (9 oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 c. butter, melted

  1. Spoon pie filling into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. Spoon pineapple over pie filling.
  3. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pineapple.
  4. Drizzle butter over cake mix.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Musical Monday.....Teddy Bear's Picnic Day

"If you go into the woods today, you're in for a big surprise!"

Okay, maybe not today but July 10th is Teddy Bear's Picnic Day, so beware of teddy bears on the 10th. Or why not celebrate the holiday with your own Teddy and a few friends.

According to Wikipedia:
"Teddy Bears' Picnic" is a song consisting of a melody composed by John Walter Bratton in 1907 and lyrics added by British songwriter Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. It remains popular as a children's song, having been recorded by numerous artists over the decades.
In case you don't know the song, here's a really cute version.

If you go down in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Ev'ry teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees
Where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
That's the way the teddy bears have their picnic

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch then, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout
They never have any cares

At six o' clock
Their mummies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
'Cause they're tired little teddy bears

Activities to Celebrate Teddy Bear's Picnic Day

Host a Teddy Bear's Picnic or Tea
Invite the children to bring their Teddy Bears or Significant Stuffed Other to a picnic or tea party
Menu Ideas:
  • Sandwiches:  Peanut Butter and Jelly Triangles (crusts off), Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches, other Tea Sandwich ideas
  • a variety of Miniature Muffins
  • Animal Crackers
  • Gummi Bears
  • Slices of Pound and/or Angel cake that the children can decorate and eat with pieces of fresh fruit and fruit syrups
  • Drinks: Lemonade, Apple Juice, Herbal Sun Tea, Mint Tea Punch (the recipe is at the end of the blog)

Make Teddy Bear Puppets

Read about famous Teddy Bears: Winnie-the-Pooh, Paddington Bear, Corduroy Bear, the Carebears

Learn the History of the Teddy Bear

Mint Tea Punch
8 mint tea bags
2 quarts boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 ½ cups pineapple juice
1 can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 large sprigs fresh mint
  1. In a large glass bowl, steep tea bags and boiling water for 4 minutes. 
  2. Remove tea bags. Discard. 
  3. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool. 
  4. Add pineapple juice, mint leaves and lemonade. 
  5. Serve over ice in a punch bowl.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fabulous Fourth of July Crafts and Books

 The fourth of July is almost here.

Time to fire up the grill, grab some sparklers and , of course, make a few fun, fabulous and fast Fourth of July crafts!

Oh, and read a few books about the Fourth, also.( I've placed links to 9 interesting books about the Fourth of July ,appropriate for a variety of age levels, at the end of this blog.)

Let's get started on those crafts.....

Coffee Filter Fireworks - You need: Washable Markers, Coffee Filters, Spray Bottle (optional), Water - Flatten out the coffee filter; Spritz with water or sprinkle on water; only Dampen the filter DO NOT Soak it! ; Use the markers to draw on the damp filter; the water will cause the colors to spread and give a tie dye or fireworks effect

Sidewalk Water Balloon Firework Paint Splatters

Confetti Launcher

Patriotic Pom Poms

Fireworks Flowers

Make a Fireworks Tshirt - you'll need: a tshirt, glitter fabric paint, newspaper
To make your T-shirt - lay the shirt on a flat surface; place folded newspaper between the t-shirt layers to keep the paint from bleeding through; use the glitter paint to draw, free-hand, bursts of fireworks; follow manufacturers directions to dry and wash the t-shirt

Stars 'n' Stripes Hats

Bigger kids can actually Make Sparklers with adult assistance

Check out these books about the Fourth of July:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Book Look ......The Moon Might Be Milk

This Tuesday's Book Look book is The Moon Might Be Milk written by Lisa Shulman.

The book is full of colorful pictures and the children will be able to relate to the books heroine, Rosie, as she and her friends wonder what the moon is made of.

From Booklist:
Awakening before dawn, Rosie looks past the cat on her windowsill to the moon and says, "I wonder what it's made of." Cat replies that the moon is a saucer of milk. Rosie concedes that it might be, but she gets dressed, goes outside, and asks several other animals the same question. Hen thinks that the moon is an egg. Butterfly believes it's made of sugar, Dog says "butter," and Mouse is sure that it's made of flour. Each animal joins Rosie on her quest. Finally, they arrive at Rosie's grandmother's house, where Gran combines milk, egg, sugar, butter, and flour to make moon-shaped sugar cookies, satisfying everyone. The final page offers a recipe for Gran's Sugar Cookie Moons, for those who want to extend the story into the kitchen.

Activities for The Moon Might Be Milk

  • Make Moon Cookies Using the recipe in the back of the book,  have the children make their own moon cookies. The children can help measure and mix ingredients, and flatten the cookies with sugar.  
  • Learn about the phases of the moon. The kids can even make crescent shaped cookies.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Musical Monday......John the Rabbit, a traditional African-American folk song

Oh, John the rabbit  ( Yes, Ma’am)
Ya got a mighty bad habit  ( Yes, Ma’am)
Jumping in my garden  ( Yes Ma’am)

Eating all my cabbage  (Yes Ma’am)
My sweet potatoes  (Yes Ma’am)
My fresh tomatoes  ( Yes Ma’am)
And if I live  (Yes Ma’am)
To see next fall  (Yes, Ma’am)
I ain’t gonna have  (Yes Ma’am)
No garden at all  ( Yes Ma’am)

John the Rabbit is a traditional African-American folk song. It falls in the category of Call and Response songs. Like echo songs, call and response songs requires the song leader and the group to take turns singing. But unlike echo songs, the group/children's sung response is different from the leader/teacher's part of the song. 

 This is a good video of kids singing John the Rabbit although you'll note that they have added their own verse in the beginning. The second verse is more like the original, traditional song.
The girls (and the teacher) are singing the "call" and the little boy is singing the "response". They have also added movements which you are always free to do. It makes the song even more fun.

Activities for John the Rabbit
  1. Make a Song Rebus 
  2. Make a Salad using ingredients mentioned in the song or other vegetables normally found in a garden
  3. Find or draw pictures of the items in the song (rabbit, tomatoes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, garden). You can also label the pictures and use them as flashcards.
  4. Have the kids make up additional lyrics to the song.
  5. Read classic rabbit stories: The Velveteen Rabbit, Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit etc.
  6. Find out more about Rabbits
  7. Learn more rabbit songs. For example: 
    Little Peter Rabbit
    (to the tune of "Battle Hymn of Republic")
    Little Peter Rabbit had a
    fly upon his ear.
    Little Peter Rabbit had a
    fly upon his ear.
    Little Peter Rabbit had a
    fly upon his ear.
    And he flicked it till it flew away!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Arnie the Doughnut.....Tuesday Book Look and National Donut Day

June 4th is National Donut Day.
According to wikipedia:
National Donut Day is on the first Friday of June each year and follows on the Donut Day event created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War. The holiday celebrates the doughnut (a.k.a "donut") — an edible, ring-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened.
In honor of National Donut day, I've naturally chosen a book about a donut. Arnie the Doughnut was written by Laurie Keller. It's a really fun and silly book that the kids will love. Here's the official book description:
Arnie is proud to be chocolate-covered, with bright-colored candy sprinkles. His first day on the planet is a big one. He is 1) cut into a ring 2) deep-fried 3) cooled 4) iced 5) sprinkled and 6) named Arnie. What he doesn't realize is that step 7 is being eaten by a human. So, when a customer, Mr. Bing, starts to put him in his mouth, he screams, "What are you doing?" Arnie is further crushed when he calls the bakery to warn the others only to discover that all the other pastries are "aware of this arrangement."
As you can see, Arnie is just the book to read on doughnut day. The kids will love the idea of a doughnut that doesn't want to be eaten.
The perfect activity to accompany this book is, of course, making doughnuts. The simplest way to make "donuts" with kids is to make Biscuit Donuts. I've made these with kids numerous times and they are always a big hit.
This is a good video about making Biscuit Doughnuts. A recipe follows the video.

Biscuit Doughnuts
2 cans of large buttermilk biscuits
oil for frying doughnuts
cinnamon sugar, sprinkles or icing to decorate

  1. Heat 2 inches peanut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay out the biscuits on a cutting board 
  3. With a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out a hole from the middle of each biscuit. 
  4. Fry the biscuit/donuts in the oil until golden. Use tongs to flip the donuts over.
  5. Don't forget to fry the donut holes. 
  6. Drain the donuts and the holes on paper towels 
  7. Now you can sprinkle the donuts and holes with cinnamon sugar or put icing on them and decorate with sprinkles.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Don't Like Salad! ......Tuesday Book Look for National Salad Month

May is National Salad Month! (yep, we're almost finish with May holidays). This Tuesday's book is "I don't Like Salad!" a book written by Tony Ross. It is also linked with a tv show called Little Princess. No, I have never heard of the show either but the book is cute. It's official synopsis says:
The Little Princess has decided she doesn't like salad - especially tomatoes. But when she is given some seeds of her own and sees the first shoots of her tomato plant appear, she changes her mind!
The little Princess's attitude is one that a lot of kids and some adults will sympathize with. But in the end we all know (sorta) that veggies are good for you. I agree with the premise of the book that planting seeds and watching them grow is a good way to get kids to try a variety of veggies. Cooking is also a good way to get kids involved in what they eat.
I've given a recipe below for a salad, linked to another of my blogs that has a cute salad story and recipe and given a vid on making a salad with a fun name.

The Salad...a tale from the Brothers Grimm and a recipe for Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Easy Waldorf Salad

1 cup granny smith apples, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts

1. Sprinkle chopped apples with lemon juice and mix together..
2. Add celery, raisins and walnuts.Stir together.
3. Add mayonnaise and stir, coating all of the ingredients.
4. Serve chilled.

Simple Tomato Basil Salad Recipe

How to Make a Healthy "Worm" Salad for Kids

Monday, May 24, 2010

Musical Monday.....Bell Horses ..a song, a game, a craft

Bell Horses is a traditional English nursery rhyme often attributed to Mother Goose. This rhyme can be found in The Nursery Rhymes of England (1843) by James Orchard Halliwell. This song/rhyme was also included in Percy Green's History of Nursery Rhymes (published in London in 1899).

This song/game has become a favorite with all of the children I have worked with. The song is sung while the children pretend to be horses, prancing with knees high. When the kids sing the last line, I have them run to a predetermined location in the room. We then chant a random rhyme ( often use the first verse of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) and then we come back to the middle of the floor/room and start again. The game can be extended by adding times or you can change the rhyme.

Because the song/rhyme is called Bell Horses, it's fun to have the kids play bells while they dance.


Bell horses, bell horses,
What's the time of day?
One o'clock, two o'clock,
Three and away.

Bell horses, bell horses,
What's the time of day?
Two o'clock, three o'clock,
Four and away.

Bell horses, bell horses,
What's the time of day?
Five o'clock, six o'clock,
Now it's time to play.

There are many ways to make your own bell bracelets. I have given you the link to two web pages, a set of directions and a very good video.

Jingle Bell Bracelet directions at e-how

Family fun Jingle Bell Bracelets Video and Directions

Bell Bracelet

* • Pipe Cleaners (many colors)
* • Bells
* • Beads
* • Scissors

* 1. Pick out your bells and beads.
* 2. Pick out a pipe cleaner.
* 3. Strand the bells and beads on pipe cleaner.
* 4. Wrap around wrist, ankle
* 5. Take the scissors and cut off the extra pipe cleaner.
* 6. Enjoy!

A good video on Making a Jingle Bracelet using hair scrunchies, ribbons and bells.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Click! ...a Friday Book Look for National Photography Month

May is National Photography or Photo Month. (yes, another holiday) Since the month is fast getting away from me, I'm putting up a ....Tada!...Friday Book Look! Click: A Book About Cameras and Taking Pictures was written by Gail Gibbons.

According to School Library Journal:
Gibbons takes a complex subject and breaks it down into simple, easy to understand terms. She describes different types of cameras and their film, and explains what happens to film inside the camera and at a photo-processing center. At this point, the author states, "First the film is removed from the cartridge in a darkroom, lit only by a red light. Then the latent images on the film are developed by soaking the film in chemicals." In fact, film must be removed in total darkness or it will be ruined; a red light will erase latent images. Explanations of printing, negatives and enlargements, tips on the care of a camera and on taking photos both indoors and outdoors are provided. A very basic chronology on the history of photography completes the presentation.
This book is a perfect lead up to making a Pinhole Camera.
Kids love to take pictures. There are many types of throwaway cameras available for children to experiment with. There are even cameras made especially for children. But a fun and educational way to learn about cameras and picture taking is to make a Pinhole Camera. A pinhole camera is a very simple camera with no lens that lets light in through a small pinhole which is what makes the picture. For the history and some of the science of Pinhole Cameras check with wikipedia.

A pinhole camera can be made with recycled materials that you have at home. If you really want to make a pinhole camera that will take a picture then you will need a few special materials:Resin-coated 5x7 inch black and white photographic paper, developing liquid and fixer. Because of the chemicals this is not a project that small children can do for themselves. For the special photography supplies check your local photography or hobby shop.

While a pinhole camera is basically a box with a tiny hole, there are many ways to make the camera. Here are a number of links showing different ways to assemble the camera.
Highlight Magazine's Pinhole Camera is very simple and best for young children.

Very interesting directions for making a Lego Pinhole Camera.

This site has very good directions and pictures for Making an Oatmeal Box Pinhole Camera and good directions for developing the film.

Science for kids explains how the human eye works like a pinhole camera.

This is a really well done video on How to Make a Pinhole Camera out of a Juice box.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bicycle Man...Tuesday Book Look

May is National Bike Month. So this Tuesday Book Look is about a classic bike book.
The Bicycle Man was written in 1989 by Allen Say.

The books official description says:
The amazing tricks two American soldiers perform on a borrowed bicycle are a fitting finale for the school sports day festivities in a small village in occupied Japan. 

The fact that the story takes place during World War II is important to the story. The book's author, Allen Say,  was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937.

The ideas below are simple and colorful ways to decorate a bicycle.
  • Take colored straws and make a small slit down one side with a sharp scissor. Put the straws on the wheel spokes.
  • Add streamers or colored string to the handlebars using colored duct tape or electrical tape or special handlebar grip tape.

  • Make a Bicycle License Plate
* Poster board in a variety of colors
*  A Paper punch
* Glitter glue, markers, stickers etc
  1. Cut the poster board into 6- by 11-inch rectangles
  2. Use a paper punch to make a hole near each top corner.
  3. The kids can now use the glue, stickers, markers and anything else they can think of to personalize their bicke plates. 
  4. a variation of the bike plate

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scrambled Eggs Super!....Tuesday Book Look (on Thursday) and National Egg Month

 May is National Egg Month (I warned you that May was full of holiday) and I've found the perfect book for the Tuesday Book Look...yes, I know it's Thursday but like I said I have a lot of holidays to get in this month). Scrambled Eggs Super! written by Dr. Suess is classic Dr. Suess, full of nonsense, fun and animals with name we can't pronounce.
The hero of this book is our old friend Peter T. Hooper of the Cat in the Hat fame. Peter decides that his mom's scrambled eggs are too ordinary. He sets out to make the best scrambled eggs and to do that he needs eggs from all kinds of birds from all over the globe. The story is typical Dr. and silly. In the end, Peter makes the best eggs ever.
This book is the perfect set up for kids to learn to cook scrambled eggs. After a fabulous scrambled egg recipe, I've listed a few fun egg activities.

Super Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It just depends on what you add to the mix.
The video below is fabulous! The chef talks waaaay too fast (you may have to watch more than once) but I love what he has to say. Watch the vid then check out my list of add in suggestions.

Try some of these suggestions or let the kids make up their own Super Scrambled Eggs recipe.
  • cooked, crumbled sausage, diced sweet peppers and sage
  • Cooked, crumbled bacon, sliced mushrooms and sauteed chopped onions
  • chopped tomatoes and fresh leaf spinach torn into bite size pieces
  • sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese
  • scallions, sharp cheddar, sea salt & ground pepper
  • black forest ham and baby swiss cheese
  • nova lox, capers, sauteed red onions & cream cheese
  • chorizo sausage, green peppers, tomatoes and onions
  • crab meat and green onions
  • roast turkey, tomatoes, bacon and gruyere cheese
  • chopped black olives, roasted red peppers and feta cheese

Additional Egg Activities:
String Egg Art:  Wrap colored yarn or thread around a balloon to make these giant eggs or eggs of a variety of sizes depending on the size of the balloon. You can use all one color of yarn or a different color for each layer. All this craft requires is yarn, balloons and liquid starch or watered down white glue.

A chicken's egg is enclosed by a shell that has a high calcium content. The classic Rubber Egg Experiment requires taking a raw egg (shell still intact) placing it in a glass jar full of vinegar for 1 to 2 weeks and waiting for a reaction to take place. The acetic acid in the vinegar will dissolve the eggshell and the egg will bounce. The reaction will begin immediately when the egg is placed in the vinegar but will not be complete until at least 3 days but it works best if you wait longer.If you add food color to the vinegar the effect is really pretty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Burger Boy.....Tuesday Book Look and National Hamburger Month

The month of may is full of holidays.
May is National Hamburger Month (you'll notice that there are a lot of food holidays this month). So I decided to look for a good book about hamburgers...not an easy thing to do in picture books.
But then I found Burger Boy by Alan Durant. What a wonderful book!

The Booklist review say:
Burgers are the only thing Benny will eat. His mom warns him, "If you don't watch out, you'll turn into a burger!" One day he does. Dogs hound him, cows threaten him, and hungry kids chase him--despite his insistence that he is really a boy. When the owner of Bigga Burger picks him up in his van, Benny thinks he is safe--until he is put on display as a "giant, talking burger." Then it's Mom to the rescue; she takes him home and feeds him veggies, which, it turns out, Benny loves.
The pictures in this book are fun and colorful. The story is silly enough for the kids but with a lesson that adults will appreciate.

Great book! Interesting holiday....but not so easy to find activities for, well, other than cooking.
 But I kept at it and found a Hamburger Craft where you make an artificial hamburger using styrofoam ball, craft foam and a few other simple materials...this site has good directions and a few pictures. has a wonderful tutorial for making a cake that looks like a hamburger. The pictures and the directions are very detailed.
Of course, the most obvious activity for this books is to cook up a few hamburgers. The video below was made by the Junior Chefs of America. It's very well done and easy for the kids to follow and understand.

Junior Chefs of America make Hearty Hamburgers

Kids Can Cook! Hearty Hamburger - Click here for more amazing videos

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicks and Salsa.....the Tuesday Book Look and National Salsa Month

May is National Salsa Month, really, so I thought a book about salsa would be appropriate this Tuesday.
Chicks and Salsa written by Aaron Reynolds is a fun, colorful book that makes you laugh and makes you hungry.
According to the School Journal:
"Farmer Nuthatcher's chickens are tired of their regular feed, and it just so happens that the rooster has been watching cooking shows over the farmer's wife's shoulder. He has some ideas, beginning with chips and salsa. Soon the ducks are inspired and give up fish for guacamole, and the pigs go for beans and chiles. With all of this southwestern cuisine, it's time for a fiesta. It turns out, though, that Mrs. Nuthatcher is making tamales, and all of the ingredients the animals need are gone, so it's time for a new cuisine–from a French cookbook."

The book is even more fun than it sounds and the pictures are wonderful. There are also three recipes at the end of the book...Hog Wild Nachos, Quackamole and Rooster's Roasted Salsa. All three sound delicious.

Here's a Super Simple Salsa Recipe for you to start cooking right now:
you'll need...
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained (reserve 1 Tbsp of the juice)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or squeeze 1/2 a fresh lemon)
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves (the amount depends on you taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mince together by hand or in a food processor , the garlic and the onions.
  2. Add the tomatoes, the  Tbsp of tomato juice, the Tbsp  of  fresh lemon juice,  the cilantro leaves and the salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Mix together or pulse lightly in the food processor. Do not over process.
  4. Serve cold