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Monday, February 29, 2016

Exploring Purim -- Jewish Holiday


Costume parades in the spring? What is going on? Halloween is in October and not in the spring. Well for many Jewish people costume parades and wearing costumes to synagogue in the spring (usually in March) is common. Why? Well they are celebrating a holiday called Purim. Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar. The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar so it changes from our days and months each year. It is a joyous holiday with much celebration. Why do they celebrate? To remember how Queen Esther saved the Jewish people in Persia around 500 B.C. Now Esther's story is a book in the Old Testament of our Bible as well and Queen Esther happens to be Hazel's favorite woman in the Bible. We know her story well and really wish we celebrated Purim as well. In fact she dressed up as Queen Esther for our Christian Halloween Party
http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2015/10/christian-halloween-party.html

 She also wore the costume when we explored Iran and reviewed Queen Esther's story as part of Global Learning for Kids. For this we made a crown and scepter to go with the story as well as peg people to retell the story.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Charm Love Friendship Bracelets -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

I have a confession to make. After a few failures with polymer clay, I'm a bit intimidated by it. However Charm Love Friendship Bracelets by Sherri Haab brought back fond memories of my teenage years so I had to check it out.  I was always making those fancy designed macrame bracelets out of embroidery floss.  (My father still has an IOU from me for one. Oops!! He seems to pull it out every time I visit.) Well Charm Love Friendship Bracelets shows how to make those fun bracelets and add homemade charms!
http://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781631590436/Charm-Love-Friendship-Bracelets.html?direct=1


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Madagascar's Lemurs -- Global Learning for Kids

This month Global Learning for Kids is exploring the African country of Madagascar. Madagascar is an island just east of Africa (the green island in the map below). Being separated from the mainland it has some unique wildlife that exists in the wild only there. This is what I decided to focus on with Hazel since she loves animals and has seen several of the Wild Kratts episodes where they were in Madagascar. In many ways she was teaching me this month!

By Shosholoza (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-9

Reminder: This link party is for child-oriented crafts and activities and parenting/teaching posts!! 
It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And on a new Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop started last week!! Be sure to join us at it!!

 Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!!  I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Some were better suited to our Sunday evening Crafty Weekends party and there some of the more adult-oriented crafts will be featured there this week!! Be sure to check there to see if your post was featured. Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Spring and Holidays, Moms, and Kids

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book -- Parragon Book Buddies Review

Disclosure: Parragon Books sent me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

This month's Parragon Book Buddies book is My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book. I was really excited to see this book since we love fairy tales
http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/p/fairy-tales-from-different-cultures.html

This activity book tells the tales of The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, The Princess and the Pea and Little Red Riding Hood. Throughout the story there are various activities to go with it. Things like coloring, mazes, find hidden pictures as well as counting, pattern finding and more. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Am Albert Einstein -- Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour & Giveaway -- Multicultural Mathematics

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we are sharing the final book in the Ordinary People Change the World Series. We saved I Am Albert Einstein for last. Hazel absolutely loves this series and we have had a lot of fun sharing all eight books. At the end of this post there is a chance to win the entire series from Penguin Kids! We have shared I Am Abraham Lincoln, I Am Lucille Ball, I Am Martin Luther King, Jr., I Am Helen Keller, I Am Rosa Parks, I Am Amelia Earhart, and I Am Jackie Robinson.Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos do an amazing job of making these eight people interesting and fun to children and show that each of us can change the world. 
http://ordinarypeoplechangetheworld.com/albert_einstein.php


Monday, February 22, 2016

I am Jackie Robinson -- Ordinary People Change the World Series Blog Tour & Giveaway

Disclosure:  All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we are sharing I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos as part of the Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour. It seems very appropriate to share this fun book about this great man during Black History Month (be sure to enter the MKB Black History Month Giveaway). Penguin Kids is giving away an entire set of the Ordinary People Change the World Series (to enter scroll down). So far there are eight books in the series. We have already shared I Am Abraham Lincoln, I Am Lucille Ball, I Am Martin Luther King, Jr., I Am Helen Keller, I Am Rosa Parks, and I Am Amelia Earhart. Tomorrow we will share the eighth book, and I am very excited to tell you it will be a Multicultural Math post! But today we are focusing on Jackie Robinson!
http://ordinarypeoplechangetheworld.com/jackie_robinson.php


Katherine Johnson -- Multicultural Math Lesson and Black History Month Blog Hop & Giveaway

*Pictures of Katherine Johnson are from NASA.

This year for Black History Month I could not decide what to focus on for my post. Hazel and I read books about Coretta Scott King (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s wife) and inventor Garrett Morgan. I was trying to decide which to focus on and then I discovered Katherine Johnson and knew I found my post subject. First a bit about how I discovered her. Back from my former life as a high school math teacher I have a friend who was a black history teacher (now he is an assistant principal). Every February he posts on his Facebook page about various black people and events. He only posts so his friends can see them so I have not been able to share them. However this year I have been Googling the person or event and pinning them to my Black History Month Board.  Be sure to check it out to learn about even more Black History. Well one of his posts this year was about Katherine Johnson and I knew I had found my post topic and the bonus is she also is a black mathematician!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Adorable Felted Animals -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

One of my favorite crafts from our couple of years at a Waldorf school is needle felting. It was for the holiday fair that I first learned to needle felt. It is an easy craft to learn and has so many options!! I knew I had to check out Adorable Felted Animals from the editors of the Gakken Publishing Company. Just look at the realistic animals on the cover of the book!!

http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/origami-crafts/adorable-felted-animals-paperback-with-flaps

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #36

Sharing Saturday is still going on!! And come back tonight for Crafty Weekends (a place to share all of your crafts, patterns and more!)
Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time! Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
This month our co-hosts are:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-8


It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And on Sunday morning we co-host a new Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop. Be sure to join us at it!!

This week has been full of fun and activities. Hazel has had the week off from school and my 13-year-old nephew is spending his vacation week with us as well. I'm tired out, I must admit, but it has been fun to be with them. And it was fun to check out everything that was shared last week! Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!!  I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Holidays and More, Parenting and More, and Math and Science

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Little Monkey King's Journey & Chinese Lantern Festival

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Did you know the Chinese New Year is still continuing? It ends with the Lantern Festival which is fifteen days after the first day and this year that is Monday, February 22nd. Hazel and I read about it in Celebrating Chinese Festivals by Sanmu Tang. (We reviewed this fabulous book earlier this month.)
http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/authors/tang-sanmu/celebrating-chinese-festivals-hardcover-with-jacket

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Am Amelia Earhart -- Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour & Giveaway

Disclosure:  All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

We had so much fun with I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. This was the second book that we read from the Ordinary People Change the World Series. Hazel fell in love with Amelia Earhart.
http://ordinarypeoplechangetheworld.com/amelia_earhart.php


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Once Upon a Northern Night -- Book Review

Disclosure: Groundwood Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Do you remember the feeling of waking up to a new coat of snow when you were a child? It was always so fun and magical. Or perhaps there were new footprints in the layers of snow and it made you wonder who was there. Perhaps for me the reminder was last night when my 13-year-old nephew came into the room at 10 p.m. to tell me it was snowing. (It had been flurrying when we got home earlier in the day so I was not nearly as excited as he was.) He wanted to go out and enjoy the snowfall, but I did not let him go out in the dark (and in shorts). The magic of snow doesn't seem to go away with age. The first snowfall is always a bit magical. 
Our Backyard This Morning

The book I am sharing with you today captures a bit of that magic. The book is Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. 

http://houseofanansi.com/products/once-upon-a-northern-night-signed-hardcover-edition

Monday, February 15, 2016

I Am Rosa Parks -- Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Disclosure:  All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we continue the Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour. The Ordinary People Change the World Series is by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulous. There is a giveaway from Penguin Kids below for the whole series as well!! Today's book is I Am Rosa Parks



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Outgrown Favorite Sweater Dress to Doll Dress -- Crafty Weekends Link Party

* Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

We had another busy week and weekend!! I mean between Steve's birthday and Valentine's Day the weekend should be one big party, but we had some cleaning and getting ready for our guest. My 13-year-old nephew is arriving tonight (after several delays) for a week long vacation!! Hazel is so excited!! It was hard to calm her down today. After I write this post, I am off to the airport to pick him up. I hope he took all the adults seriously when we told him he had to wear warm clothes to come here this year. Boston is experiencing the coldest day in almost 60 years and I can feel the cold even with the heat on in our house. Anyway, one of our chores this weekend was going through Hazel's clothes and pulling the ones she has outgrown. We had a few piles: pass down to friend, donate to Salvation Army, keep as memories and make crafts or doll clothes. Some of her favorite clothes she does not want to part with and so I make some into doll clothes for her 18-inch dolls. She had this fun sweater dress from Gymboree last year. 



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tiny Prints Sale through February 16th!!


Tiny Prints - Presidents' Day Sale
* Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Did you send out Christmas cards this past season, or did it sneak up on you and then you realized you missed your chance? Check out these adorable Valentine's Day cards at Tiny Prints. I love this option instead of Christmas cards!!

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=364145&U=1132131&M=12808&urllink=


Friday, February 12, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-7


It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! 

Does anyone else feel like February has so much packed into even though it is the shortest month? I mean Black History Month, Chinese New Year, President's Day, Valentine's Day and in our region at least a week long school vacation. Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday Plus add in Steve's birthday and my mother-in-law's birthday plus my parents' anniversary and our month is a bit crazy!! Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!! There were many amazing ideas shared. I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Valentine's Day, Arts & Crafts and Educational

President Lincoln -- BookReview and Happy Birthday, President Lincoln!!

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I get to share a book with you about one of our amazing presidents of the past. Today would have been Abraham Lincoln's 207th birthday. So in honor of his birthday and President's Day on Monday, it is the perfect time to share Demi's new book, President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/president-lincoln-demi/1122274149?ean=9781937786502


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Amon's Adventure -- Lent Book Review

 Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is the time Christians prepare for the most amazing miracle and gift from God, the forgiveness of sins and living with God. Jesus came to the earth as a human to suffer for all the sins of humankind. He died because of people's sins and then on Easter morning was resurrected. During Lent people often give up something to share in the suffering and sacrifice. This past December we enjoyed reading a storybook for Advent called Ishtar's Odyssey (the fourth in a series of Advent books). I noticed that Kregel Publications had a storybook for Lent as well, Amon's Adventure by Arnold Ytreeide.
http://www.kregel.com/childrens-story-books/amons-adventure/


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Am Helen Keller -- Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour and Giveaway

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we are sharing I Am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. It is part of the Ordinary People Change the World Series. We have been having fun with the Blog Tour for this book series this month and have already shared the ones on Abraham Lincoln, Lucille Ball, and Martin Luther King, Jr
http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2016/02/i-am-martin-luther-king-jr-ordinary.html


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Year of the Monkey -- Exploring Chinese New Year with books & Chinese New Year Link Party

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

We have explored the lunar new year and more specifically the Chinese New Year for several years now and have tried many different crafts, recipes and books (see below for a sampling and links). We have looked at the Chinese Zodiac and as of yesterday we have begun the year of the monkey. Last year was the year of the sheep.

A Monkey Valentine Craft from a Kit
 Since we are not Chinese or any of the cultures that celebrate the lunar new year, we do not do too much for our Chinese New Year except try to learn a bit about it. This year since we have an idea of the celebration and the stories behind it we decided to take a look at Chinese stories and especially ones involving the monkey.  We started with Celebrating Chinese Festivals by Sanmu Tung.

Monday, February 8, 2016

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today we continue the Ordinary People Change the World Blog Tour. The Ordinary People Change the World Series is by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulous. There is a giveaway from Penguin Kids below for the whole series as well!! Today's book is I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. I had the pleasure of reviewing this book at its release in January

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine Crafts & More -- Crafty Weekends Link Party

Last week's Crafty Weekends Party was huge and there were so many great ideas I was a bit overwhelmed with putting together all the features!! Put that together with a busy week (and Hazel first snow day of the school year and the second is tomorrow) I didn't get much adult crafting done. We did however make some fun Valentine's Day crafts. The crafts I am sharing today involve two kits from the Paper Source which I purchased for us, so this is not really a review per say. I will provide you links when possible. I do not receive any compensation if you click them or purchase from them. They are solely for your convenience.  The first kit is the Ombre Heart kit which is actually in the clearance section and no longer available on-line. I made the teacher Valentine (the large one) and added on some of the words of 1 Corinthians 14.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

All Things Bright and Beautiful -- First Look Book Review

Sharing Saturday is still open!! Stop by to be inspired and share your child-oriented crafts and activities!
Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Ideals. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a beautiful picture book called All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander and illustrated by Katy Hudson. This book makes the song come alive with its gorgeously detailed pictures.
http://www.christianbook.com/all-things-bright-and-beautiful/cecil-alexander/9780824956769/pd/956769?product_redirect=1&Ntt=956769&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP


Friday, February 5, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-6


It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! Thank you to everyone who shared at last week's party!! There were many amazing ideas shared. I had so much fun checking them all out. Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! The features this week are Valentine's Day, Winter, Colors and Learning Letters

Two Great Chapter Book Series for Younger Kids

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of these books free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

 We all want to do what is best for our children and want to bring them up to love learning and reading. It is hard to know what is best to do. I have seen articles about reading chapter books to preschoolers both pros and cons. I feel it is important to do a variety of reading. Chapter books can help kids begin to picture the stories in their own heads, but you need to be careful the story is appropriate for your child. We started reading chapter books by reading Charlotte's Web. I chose to read it to Hazel because we were going to a live production of it and I wanted Hazel to know the story ahead of time so we could discuss the sad part of Charlotte dying before seeing it. Reading this book opened the door to chapter books for Hazel. She loves them!! She also loves picture books and really loves any book. Then we discovered The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Hazel LOVES the Princess in Black and even dressed as her for Halloween. She was so excited when Candlewick sent us second book in the series: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. And now the third book is being released on Tuesday, February 9th and we get to review it early!! Yes, Hazel was ecstatic about getting The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde.  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mathematical Dates & Exponents -- Math Lesson




As I was listening to the radio today I heard the deejay talk about the special date today and I'll admit it had not occurred to me. However I realized it was the perfect time for some math lessons!! Some dates are special mathematically. Many people enjoy the sequential ones like December 13, 2015 (12/13/14). However there are other special dates. February 4, 2016 is a special one. When it is written in numbers it is 2-4-16. Can you find the relationship?


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Am Lucille Ball -- Oridnary People Change the World Blog Tour

Disclosure: Penguin Kids gave me a copy of these books & promotional items free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

On Monday I told you about the Ordinary People Changed the World Blog Tour this month. We shared I Am Abraham Lincoln on Monday. Today we get to share with you the first book in the series that we read, I Am Lucille Ball. We had the pleasure of reviewing this book back over the summer. It is the book that made Hazel fall in love with the series although now that she has read all of the books in the series thus far I do not think it is her favorite. Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos are doing an amazing job of bringing real life heroes to kids. And we are talking about people who deserve to be role models for our kids. 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-am-lucille-ball-brad-meltzer/1120421964?ean=9780525428558