Classical music isn’t for everyone, but it is fairly embedded in our culture. Classical pieces are sampled often in television series and major motion pictures. I remember when my son was tiny, “experts” insisted that babies could get smarter by listening to classical music. And while the “Mozart Effect” seems to have been grossly overstated, the study that generated this line of thinking did find that enjoyment and enrichment positively affect brain development. Rather than drawing the conclusion that classical music could boost IQ, they probably should have concluded that FUN aids in learning. We see this in children’s play every day!
And really, what could be more fun than music? Whether it’s classical, pop, jazz, or children’s tunes I have always been a believer using music to aid in routine establishment, managing the mood of a classroom, and helping kids to remember important things. If you had asked me as a preschool teacher what tool I could not do without, it would have been my music library!
In my online store there are several fun books involving music which would be great additions to your home or classroom library! Check them out below 🙂
One of the hardest things you may ever have to do as a parent is guide your child through the mysterious maze of grief and loss. When I was a child and I lost a pet, the solution was always to go out and get a new pet to love. And having a new pet to love did help, to a point, but as an adult looking back, I realized that I never learned how to process grief that way. I just postponed it.
As a parent, I wanted my son to learn how to process grief. How to feel it, and heal it, and let go. Intellectually that still feels like the right decision, but emotionally it was heart-wrenching to carry out. My son lost a pet who was very dear to him about four years ago, one that he had raised from a tiny, hairless, blind baby, and the loss of her was devastating to him. Only now has he accepted her death and can talk about his “Nugget” without fresh tears. It took a long time to get here, because grief is not a linear process. It’s complicated and messy. Sometimes just when you think you have healed, something will trigger that pain and it will feel like it just happened yesterday.
If you are taking this journey of loss with your child, mourning a friend who has passed over the rainbow bridge, there are some books that may be helpful. These books about feelings can help your child put a name to the swirling emotions they are experiencing so that they can talk about them. We also have a book about death that can help explain what it is and why it happens. I hope you find these titles useful in your grieving journey, and that you will accept my condolences for your loss.
For anyone not in the know, on this day 100 years ago women finally won the right to vote. That’s right, ladies, we have only had the right to vote for 100 years. Crazy to think about, isn’t it? And it took about 100 years of fighting for it to make it happen. A lot of strong women over generations fought for that right, so that each and every one of us would have a voice today.
In the online store we have a book series about strong girls and woman called 6 Chelsea Walk. Each book has two stories in it, and one of the books tells a story about the suffragettes who fought for the vote in 1919. This trilogy is just one example of books in the store which feature strong girls and women and may provide courage and inspiration for young girls today. Who knows what amazing things they may accomplish today, tomorrow, or a hundred years from now?
For more titles featuring strong female leads, click below.
When I was growing up we always had at least one dog. They are called man’s best friend for a reason. Loyal to a fault, your dog will follow you anywhere and love you unconditionally until his last breath. It is no wonder that so many books have been written about dogs!
In my online store I have at least 3 pages worth of books featuring dogs, from classics like White Fang and the Wizard of Oz (Toto IS one of the main characters after all), to fun new series like Fizz and Ludwig Sea Dog, to the My First Puppy book, there are dog books for all readers! Check them out below!
If you have kids and dogs at home, check out this wacky Pinterest board! It has activities for your dog, including games and boredom busters that your kids can help you make! It also has a few dog-themed activities for your kids to do. It’s a weird board, but I think you’ll like it!
I do not know what I would have done when my son was little if not for secondhand clothes! As a single parent making minimum wage, those bags of gently used children’s clothes were like treasure troves. I loved digging into them to see what cute new outfits he would have to wear, many of which were brands I could never have afforded to buy for him. Every one of those bags was like a mini Christmas morning!
He wasn’t the only one who got hand-me-downs. Some of my very favorite wardrobe pieces have been pre-loved by others. Sometimes they were work-wear, sometimes weekend-wear, and occasionally they were the base for a kick-ass home-made Halloween costume! Occasionally they would be pieces that didn’t work for any of those purposes, quirky things that I would take to work and add to my classroom dress-up box for the nuggets to enjoy.
On many rainy afternoons we would drag out the dress-up box, and it wouldn’t matter that we couldn’t go outside to play, because the kids had a blast dressing themselves, and sometimes me!, in all kinds of interesting clothes. Along with storytime, it was one of my favorite activities when I was an Early Childhood teacher!
I was thinking about those memories this morning when I saw what day it was, and I thought about the Dolly Dress-up books in the online store. Not quite the same as outfitting a preschooler in a sunhat, pearl necklace, and tutu, but still a creative way for kids to express their fashion creativity. So if you have a budding fashionista at home who LOVES dress-up, try browsing these books!
Ahh the Tooth Fairy! What a strange myth that is. A fairy who comes secretly in the night and buys your child’s tooth from under their pillow. But…. why? I mean… anybody ever pick this one apart? It goes from cute to creepy pretty quick. I think my favorite portrayal of the Tooth Fairy comes from the movie “Rise of the Guardians.” If you haven’t seen that one, you should. It manages to work both the creepy and the cute of the Tooth Fairy and come down solidly on the cute side 🙂
But, even when we are just considering the cuteness of the Tooth Fairy tradition, it can be problematic. There is no national standard for the value of teeth. One kid may get a quarter for a tooth while another gets $5, it’s kind of a recipe for hurt feelings if they start doing playground comparisons. However, I did find it a useful tool in the war to get my son to brush his teeth. The Tooth Fairy paid him more for a clean tooth than a dirty one!
If you are looking for some books to help your child be a better brusher, I’ve got some great ones in the eStore!
You’re welcome, ladies. Now you have an excuse to give your man a gift certificate to fix whatever grossness he’s got going on, whether it’s that scraggly beard, those terrifying toenails, or who knows what else!
But, all kidding aside, this got me thinking about hygeine and how difficult a topic it can be for kids to learn. Some kids seem naturally fastidious, they hate to be dirty or sticky, and freak out if they’re not clean. Other kids though… like nobody I know personally… struggle to grasp WHY it’s important to wash their hands well, brush their teeth, shower, and change their clothes daily! It can be SO frustrating as a parent to try and get a kid to appreciate cleanliness and personal hygeine. It’s a topic you will likely be revisiting many times over the years as their bodies grow and change, and it doesn’t get easier as they get bigger and stinkier, believe me!
Luckily UBAM offers a great selection of books about the body and how to care for it, spanning several age groups! I’ve compiled a list of them for you, and you can view them by clicking the button below.
Men’s Grooming Day also got me thinking about one of my favorite activities to do with kids: Shaving cream play! I can’t tell you how much of my petty cash money was spent on Barbasol when I was an Early Head Start Home Visitor! This is a great way for your mess-loving kids to both make a mess AND get clean! Check out my Sensory Activities For Kids Pinterest board for some inspiration on how to use shaving cream play with your kiddos!
And I can already hear some of you asking what on earth that has to do with science activities. I didn’t clickbait you, I promise! Lemons are great for learning about chemical reactions. Lemon juice can be used to clean the tarnish from a penny, or it can be combined with baking soda inside a papier mache volcano to make it erupt, or inside a bottle with a balloon to blow the balloon up! You can even write secret messages in lemon juice and reveal them by applying heat!
However, my favorite experiment involving lemonade uses chemical reactions to create color changes! Combine butterfly pea tea or hibiscus tea and lemonade to create amazing galaxy effects! Learn more about this yummy science experiment on my Science Activities for Kids Pinterest board below!
For more fun science activities, I highly recommend you check out these books in my eStore! UBAM has so many books about science! These can keep your kiddos busy for a while having fun while they learn!
Happy National Aviation Day! Several months ago I got on a plane for the first time in years. I was amazed by the new features: wifi, personal in-flight movies, USB chargers for every seat, and a system that tells you at any given moment how fast you’re rocketing towards your destination in an airborne metal tube… Okay, so I have…
I find this very amusing because I think all poetry could be considered bad poetry or good poetry depending on how the listener defines it! I wrote a lot of poetry when I was in middle and high school. Some of it even got published. I’m still not sure that means it was GOOD poetry, but some folks liked it, which is all that matters.
Writing poetry, even very bad poetry, can be very healing. It helps to get all those pent up emotions out of our overflowing hearts and onto a page. I really didn’t enjoy writing poetry at first, it was my seventh grade english teacher that made it enjoyable. And I still jot down a few lines now and then.
Anyway, in honor of Bad Poetry Day, I’m going to share one of those seventh grade poems with you, and I hope you will share your poetry with me in the comments below, no matter how bad you think it is!
“Winds charged with electricity
Cause the trees to sway.
The clouds lie close unto the ground,
Pewter and steely gray.
As premature darkness settles,
Holding the world in thrall,
The storm clouds finally open,
And the rain begins to fall.”
– Bonnie E Fitzgerald, 1993
If you are looking for ways to encourage a love of poetry writing in your kids, check out this awesome book in the eStore!