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Friday, January 17, 2014

This Day in History with Benjamin Franklin


On this day in 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born. Anyone who studies science, history, or has frequented a library, has encountered the ideas, the works, and discoveries of Benjamin Franklin.



Whether you find his fascination with electricity equally as fascinating, or his love for books a complete sheer and utter delight; the man accomplished enough in one lifetime to pass on enough material for months of lessons.



Get your kids and students, or you for that matter, involved at a hands-on level with these freebies that will save you time and money. After all, as Benjamin Franklin would say:


Time is money 
Spend your time learning with your children because the legwork of research has already been done for you in gathering this list of information. Following are some links to some awesome sites across the web that deliver free lesson plans and printables to make your job as a parent and/or educator that much easier:

Why Benjamin Franklin Made the History Books
Free Benjamin Franklin Lesson Plans and Printables (There are links to tons of freebies in this one!)
Free infographic memes and quotes to use for handwriting or memorization



Free MLK Day Lesson Plans and Printables



Civil Rights, Black History, Social Studies and Cultural Studies - Whatever you call it, National holidays like Martin Luther King Day are a great time to study about historical leaders.

How much do you know about Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Where was he born?

How old was he when he was assassinated?

What was the name of his most famous speech?

What hotel was he at on the day of his death?

Find the best MLK Day lesson plans and printables from across the web at these links below:

Facts About MLK

Free Lesson Plans/Printables


When you're done learning all there is to learn from the above links, and the links within these links, it's time to write your own narrative about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Begin by writing your own "I Have a Dream" speech.  What is your dream?

Next, make a list of community organizations or people you know who need your volunteer efforts to help out.  Start small, and work up to great things by giving to others.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

'Let There Be Light' Creation Illustrated For Children


I received the book “Let There Be Light” by Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review and was very excited about reading it to my children. When it arrived, I was even more excited as I began to read it to my seven-year-old daughter who absolutely adores elephants, as there were several pages that featured pictures and mentions of elephants.



She was thrilled! There are at least three pages that contain adorable and beautifully illustrations of elephants throughout the book.

The book is a retelling of the Genesis account in the Bible that describes creation. I was equally as thrilled at how, while the book is aimed at children, it stayed true to the biblical text and only changed the wording to appeal to a young audience while leaving the original meaning of scriptures intact.

The hard cover book’s 14 pages of easy-to-read text and 21 pages that have beautiful illustrations work together to bring the Word of God to life for a child. The pictures, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author of “On the Night You Were Born”, Nancy Tillman, are captivating and a perfect complement to the story. At the turn of each new page, you feel as if you have stepped inside the pages and are part of this marvelous creative week.

This child’s book would be a great addition to a child’s learn-to-read or early reader library. It would also make a sweet bedtime story. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself, as a parent, grandparent or any adult, enjoying it as well because the story paired with the beautiful illustrations will leave you in deep awe no matter your age.

It expresses not only God’s omnipotent power but His amazing tender love for each individual, including the child enjoying the “Let There Be Light” book. The author’s intent is spelled out in a quote featured on the back cover that reads, “You are part of something truly amazing.”

Find the book sells for $16.99 from ZonderKidz publishing.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Review: 'Sir Silly: The World Where Words Play'

I was thrilled to receive this book from KSB Promotions in exchange only for my honest review. The book is a thin 44 pages, but packed with fun poems for children.  

The English language is quite complicated.  There are so many exceptions that when teaching English to children, it can make their heads spin.  Sir Silly The World Where Words Play takes these language woes and has a lot of fun.

The author, David Dayan Fisher, is known for his bad-boy roles on television’s hit show, NCIS, as well as a role in the latest Batman movie.  But, in Sir Silly, he let’s loose with playing with words.

Since this blog is elephant-themed, I thought I would share one poem, in particular, that is about an elephant and an ant:

The ant was upset.
He sat, and he wept.
An elephant asked,
WHAT’S WRONG?
I’m small. I am small.
I want to be tall.
The world is so big and so long.
DON’T BE SAD,
WIPE UP YOUR TEARS.
I’VE GOT A LONG NOSE
AND BIG FLOPPY EARS.
But your’e big.
You’re tall.
I just feel like a fool.
It’s not easy being
An ant.
BUT I’M CLUMSY AND SLOW.
I CAN’T HIDE THIS I KNOW.
EVERYONE HEARS ME COMING.
I STEP ON TWIGS.
I CRUSH THE BRUSH.
IT’S NOT EASY BEING THE SIZE OF A BUS.
IF I WERE SMALL AND YOU WERE TALL,
THINK OF THE THINGS WE COULD DO.
The ant just sat. He had a think.
The elephant’s mind began to blink.
They imagined being each other.
My, oh my!
How much I would eat!
It’s heavy work being in an elephant’s feet.
AND WHAT A PACE, SO VERY BUSY.
BEING AN ANT WOULD MAKE ME VERY DIZZY.
The ant looked up.
He had a smile.
I think I will stay who I am for a while!


Page 12-13, reprinted with permission from Sir Silly: The World Where Words Play by David Dayan Fisher ©2013; http://www.sirsilly.com/.




Monday, April 8, 2013

Baby Gear Product Review: SnoozeShade Plus




A couple months ago, I received a SnoozeShade Plus stroller shade for review.  I was excited to put it to the test, but the weather decided to hang onto winter and early spring snowfall making it difficult to get out and go for a walk.

 

Last week, spring finally sprung in my town.  First on my order of business was to take a walk around the lake and try out the SnoozeShade Plus.





I had read the reviews and the product description, but I was extremely impressed as I pulled the SnoozeShade Plus out of the package to see first-hand what it was like.




It was neatly tucked away inside a pull-close mesh bag for storage.  I was really pleased to see that the Velcro closures were covered in the packaging to protect them from snagging the shade.  This immediately won me over with excitement, as I get so annoyed when this wonderful invention of Velcro snags an otherwise perfectly wonderful garment or item.







I pulled out the SnoozeShade Plus and opened it up to find that it has several loops to fit around just about any stroller, though will not fit on a double-width hood of a double stroller.  It will, however, fit on a single-hooded/kid in a row style of double stroller.  There are plenty of Velcro-looped straps to get the best fit.  If you don’t use all of the straps, just tuck them away..

It is designed with baby and mom in mind.


  • It provides 50+ UPF sun protection
  • Protects baby from wind and chill on colder days.
  • Serves as a mosquito or insect net.
  • It works great with newborns through approximately age 4
  • It is a universal fit
  • It is made out of breathable fabric
  • Mom can catch a sneak-a-peek through the front zipper
  • It has a 2-in-1 blackout blind and a full sunshade
  • It provides black-out from the sun so baby can sleep or a zip-down window, on the dual layer fabric, for baby to look out while still being shaded from the sun.
  • It works great while traveling.  It is portable inside the mesh drawstring storage bag, and it helps to keep baby’s sleep routine undisturbed.
  • It has a top zipper (at stroller handles) to allow you to quickly check on baby.


The SnoozeShade is sold as:

SnoozeShade Original ($34.99)
SnoozeShade Plus ($49.99)
SnoozeShade for Infant Carriers ($29.99)
SnoozeShade for Playards ($99.99)

They are available online at www.snoozeshadeusa.com. You can also “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.



Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Elephant Pictures 101

Since my daughter now owns upwards of 100 elephants, we have agreed that it's time to make the shift from rescuing and collecting all of the elephants in the world to instead begin taking pictures of all of the elephants we encounter.

Well....  There are many.

I was shocked to discover that there are elephants wherever we go.  And, no, I'm not seeing "pink elephants" from too much drinking.

Here's just a few from one day's outing:












Friday, January 4, 2013

Coolest Snow Globe Gift Cards Gift


I realize that Christmas has passed, and we have moved into a new year.  However, I received this coolest gift for Christmas from my niece and just had to share my haphazard tutorial of how to make one for yourself to make your own gift card snow globe.

Hint:  These would make adorable Teacher Gifts for any occasion, and a child could make them with adult supervision with the hot glue gun!





  Yes, they are decorated in Christmas ornaments, but you could just as easily make it any wintry scene to give throughout Valentine's Day, a child's birthday (add a princess theme and some pink tulle) or even a gift just to give during the winter.  You could probably even turn it into a sandy beach/ocean scene with some blue food coloring and a little creativity to give throughout the year.


 Keep in mind that I did not make this originally, I received it as a gift.  But, I pretty much figured out how it goes.

Start with a jar, and remove the label.
Buy a gift card (the ones without the magnetic strip probably work best, but I don't know if this would become damaged when wet or not).  Hot glue the gift card to the inside (bottom) top of the lid.

Note:  When I opened my snow globe to redeem the gift card, this was challenging to remove.  So, it might work best to wrap the gift card inside a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap and glue only the wrapping or outside bag to the lid instead.  Just a thought.  But, I did successfully get all the glue off so I can use the cards.
 Fill the jar with as much glitter as you desire (or other decorations, such as small water-proof Christmas ornaments, little heart glitter (for Valentine's Day) or sea shells and glitter that resembles sand for a beach scene.  Use your creativity and go wild.