I was inspired by the fun, lyrical text by Jill Barber and gorgeous illustrations by Sydney Smith in Music is For Everyone to create an activity this month that also combined art and music for our Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club. This activity encourages the children to explore the musical genres in the book further and they end up with a unique piece of art! Bonus, it’s a mess-free activity so kids of all ages (and, yes, you parents will probably want a turn too!) can enjoy it.
Cooking with children from a young age can help them learn basic counting and reading skills, grasp the concept of following directions, develop their fine motor skills, and, the thing most parents are focused on around food at that age, encourage an adventurous palate.
Buuuutt… I KNOW, it’s also a lot of work to cook with a preschooler. Trust me, I get it. I know the idea of allowing them “help” can seem like it will take too much time. I’ve discovered, however, that if you plan ahead a bit and go into it with the right attitude, it can be a wonderful experience for both of you.
Grief is a complex process for adults to go through, and even more so for children . . . and being an adult trying to teach children about how to handle their grief? Well, most of us don’t even know where to begin. For me, this is when I turn to books and local author Angela Campagnoni’s picture book, I Want to See my Papa, deals with this very issue is a sensitive and gentle manner.
The book My Two Grandmothers, published by Nimbus Publishing, tells the tale of two grandmas who are unique from each other in almost every way. One grandmother is Acadian, the other is Scottish; their traditions are different, their grandparenting style is different, even the words they use to describe things are different. One thing about them is exactly the same, however, and that is the love for their grandchildren.
Reading this book will naturally lead to conversations about your child’s grandmother – noticing similarities with one of the grandmothers in the book, or noticing a big difference between them. Use these discussions to set up the book extension activity (and free printable you can download!) that we’ve created for My Two Grandmothers.
We have found that having an Art Gallery dedicated solely to the children’s art work helps them to feel proud of their work and also makes a fun focal point for a family room or play room. I’ve got all the details on how you can make your own living art gallery in our post today.
Holidays are always a wonderful time to take a simple learning activity and turn it into a fun, themed game. We made this literacy game a few years ago and it still gets pulled out with our Valentines decorations each year and ignites new enthusiasm every time. Plus, as is my way, it’s super simple to create and play (and cheap!).
Valentines for Veterans is a special way to help your children show their appreciation for some important members of our community.
The purpose of the program is to have community members send a Valentine to a Veteran to show our appreciation and thanks for their sacrifices, but it’s also a great opportunity to take those conversations we had on Remembrance Day and put them into something more concrete and give some love to others in our community.
The Fox and the Fisherman is a tale of friendship and family, originally written in French . . . and if that level of alliteration doesn’t inspire you to do a craft brought to you by the letter F, well, I don’t know what will!
Sackville filled the talking tree void left by Woody a few years ago with Tinsel. He puts on a fun animatronic twenty minute show with sing-a-longs and storytelling that the children adore. The show is free to all, though food or monetary donations to Beacon House are encouraged. His shows start this weekend and run for just a few days so read on so you don’t miss his visit this year!
If you’re a Maritimer, well, actually, even if you’re NOT a Maritimer, you’ve likely heard of Maud Lewis, especially after that blockbuster movie last year profiling her life. Her distinctive folk art and fascinating life story makes her a memorable artist, and she is particularly appealing to children.
This month’s pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club is Maud Lewis 1 2 3. It’s a board book filled with images of her colourful iconic paintings that encourages children to count items found in each piece of art (ex. 10 roofs, 4 blue tulips). One of the things we loved about this book was it’s a bit of an I Spy style book so my children were both immediately drawn to it. We’ve talked about who Maud Lewis was and her impact on the Nova Scotia art scene and we were inspired to create two reading extension activities from this book to explore their natural interest in her style of painting and her life story – one Christmas card one, and one Christmas cookie one!