“Balloons over Broadway” & puppet to print

I know my daughter really likes a book when she goes and grabs it or requests it the very next night.  When I also like the book, I seriously consider buying it!  That is how it happened this week with Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. Continue reading


Spiral shell

We just got through reading Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, a wonderful picture book written by Joyce Sidman with beautiful detailed scratch-board illustrations by Beth Krommes.  The illustrations are bold, colorful, and full of texture.  It is about reoccurring shapes in nature specifically the spiral.  The book show many examples, explains some of the functional benefits (for example an animal might curl up in a spiral to conserve heat), and celebrates the inherent beauty of spirals.  At the end it also explains spirals as mathematical patterns.  Continue reading


Ho, ho, ho, snow-flake

My kids really like potty humor.  I’m not really opposed to it but the problem is they tend to use it when it makes ME look bad like at school or at the park where they take pleasure in corrupting other, more innocent children.  My parenting philosophy is to say no as little as possible.  I don’t want to be a nag.  Of course I say no when it comes to safety or when I am so tired and I can’t think of anything else to do.  But as a general rule I take the redirect-approach.  Instead of don’t say that, say this instead.  Makes sense right?  Of course it doesn’t always work but more-than-sometimes it does! Continue reading

Happy with Half

Happy Arial Text

I like Parade magazine!  While my husband grabs the sports section, the section with the police beat, and the Best Buy circular I grab the funny’s (my favorites are “For Better or For Worse” and Family Circus) and Parade.  Walter Scott’s Personality Parade, Parade Picks, Ask Marilyn, you know you love it too!  Anyway this summer they had a Happiness Quiz (I am also a sucker for quizzes).  If you haven’t taken the quiz and would like to, click on this link and then come back for my wisdomContinue reading


"Playing LeapPad" felt-tip pen on marker paper

My now 6 year old daughter watched the demo video for the LeapFrog LeapPad a few times this past summer and she promptly put it at the top of her birthday wish list.  My husband and I debated a bit about whether it was just an intro into video games which we wanted to avoid (and have avoided so far).  Leapfrog is familiar to us because my daughter has the Tag Reader and several books. Even after a full year she is still reading with them.  In fact my 3 year old son enjoys “reading” with the Tag Reader too.  He likes to point to different pictures and hear the sound effects.  My daughter is also a very early reader and we can’t say Tag didn’t contribute.  So the positive experiences with the Tag reader lead us to consider LeapPad. Continue reading

Giving Thanks

November Cranberry Bog

The original Thanksgiving meal shared between the English colonists and the Wampanoag people looked a little different than our modern day one.  First of all it consisted of several feasts over three days.  The food was of course a little different because of limited cooking methods, available ingredients, and the tastes of the day. Continue reading

Alphabet Books Are Awesome!

cut-out magazine letters

I am a big fan of alphabet books!  I find they are a great way to begin introducing children to the alphabet in an enjoyable non-intimidating way.  Letters and the sounds they make are the basic building blocks for learning to read.  And we all know reading is critical for early success in school.  Also if children learn in a fun, entertaining way the hope is that they will develop a lifelong love of reading!

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Fairy Tale Feud

apple print with tempera on card-stock

I have to admit I was excited to see splashy ads in Entertainment Weekly for two new prime-time series starting this fall both with fairly tale themes ABC’s Once Upon A Time and NBC’s Grimm. I find it strange when this happens and it seems to happen all the time that people or groups of people come up with the same idea separately at the same time. It seems like there is really something to collective unconscious. But back to television, I have always liked fairy tales well before I had kids and well after most young people have moved on to more grown-up content.

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