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. Suess...fun 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.
Craftster.org 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