Simple ways to enjoy Holidays with Family while managing a business

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own !
 
There are so many ways to enjoy the holidays with your kids! Of course, there is celebration after celebration at school – from plays, feasts, and parties, they will never end up bored there, but what about when you get home? While on Thanksgiving and Christmas break, it is easy to sit your kids in front of the television, but it is more important to take time to spend with them and fill your day with some fun and educational activities and crafts! It shouldn’t be hard to come up with ideas because there are so many of them out there on the internet and my blog too ! Here are some of my favorite ways to get kids off the couch and involved with holiday activities .

Simple ways to enjoy Holidays with Family while managing a business

Decorate
This is a great, fun way to start the holidays off and it will take up a lot of time. Turn some music on, pull out your decorations, and get started! A great way to make this last longer is by adding in some fun details. You can make crafts (more on this in a minute), make a Christmas music playlist, decorate the Christmas tree, make snacks, and to end the night, you could even turn on a Christmas movie (yes, I know this list is supposed to get kids off the couch, but everyone needs a Christmas movie once and awhile!).

 
Cook and Bake Together
Plan out your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus and let the kids help you cook! Since we are a vegetarians,  I love this vegetarian Thanksgiving menu and the great part about it is that there is so much to choose from and some of it can be done ahead of time, it teaches your kids cooking skills and you will be stress-free on Thanksgiving day – it’s really a win-win!
Every year we bake cookies as a family at my sisters home. Baking cookies is another great way to bond with kids while they learn to measure and mix the flours. After baking a batch of cookies , we have a decorating station with sprinkles, colored sugar and some simple icing in different colors for piping .

 
Make Crafts
There are so many Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts available out there – just check Pinterest for inspiration! Some of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving are making a Thankful tree, creating a footprint turkey, making fall slime, and disguise turkey school project. For Christmas, I love the idea of making Cards , ornaments, and popcorn garlands for Christmas tree. You can check my blog for tips to get through holiday season , Christmas traditionsChristmas gifts ! Sometimes I even buy Readymade Craft kits that are easy to make with simple instructions. I try to stock up a variety of craft kits that my son can make without any help .During the holidays , when Iam busy cooking , I find these kits very helpful. My favorite places to shop for these crafts kits are any craft stores or Target . If you love shopping online, then Oriental Trading is the one I recommend.

Volunteer
In my opinion, Volunteering is extremely important for kids to learn about because it teaches them not only about giving back, but also shows them that there are a lot of people out there that are not as fortunate as they are.
We as family have volunteered at local Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and at the Bethesda Mission to serve food to the homeless .This is a great way to teach kids about hard work, love, and the power of helping.
According to parents.com, The benefits are enormous. Volunteering teaches even toddlers and preschoolers about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility. Look in your area and see what programs are available to help out – they are always looking for help! You could even make a family decision on where you are going to volunteer. Parents.com has a list of 10 ways that you can volunteer, on their website to get you started.

My son removing leaves from large cauliflowers at Central Pennsylvania Food bank .
 
Indoor Play Place or Outdoor playground
Okay, this is always a given during a holiday break. The playground will have so many kids available to play with your kids and it gets them exercise! If you are in need of a short break to get some work done, the playground or a indoor playplace is where to head! A lot of places now have wifi, so you can get a few tasks done. Every year we make a trip to the mall play place and also Macy’s store, they have a big red letterbox where you can drop a letter to Santa.For each letter collected in stores through Christmas Eve, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help grant wishes for children battling serious illnesses.

Speaking of work, I know how hard it is to get things done when the holidays are close and school is out – it seems like you can never get anything done! Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do, in order to spend the much needed time with your kids. Managing a website is hard work during the holidays and I can never do it all. That’s why this year, I was considering finding help. There are many ways to get help with your work. For example, Local SEO NJ agency, NJ SEO, helps website owners rank their websites on search engines. This is essential for those wanting to run a successful business or blog. NJ SEO is the number one marketing agency in New Jersey. They offer services like social media marketing, website design, link building and content, organic long term SEO, and more. This family-run, veteran owned company led by Matt Anton and Dan Anton. Matt runs the New Jersey branch of NJ SEO and was the former marketing manager for Liberty Travel, managing a 250k budget each month. With Matt and Dan’s skilled combined, along with their team of 27 individuals, you are guaranteed to get the best experience possible.

Matt and his daughter

This step to hire someone to work this holiday will help me spend quality time with family . What are your favorite family holiday activities ? Share your valuable thoughts on family holiday fun while managing a Business or blog .

Let’s Celebrate Holi Art project and Book Review

As you all know we love books so when i got an opportunity to review this book ” Lets celebrate Holi! ”
I was very happy ,as it would be perfect for my 8 year old to learn more about the Festival and Hindu culture.

I remember the day we got this book in mail, my son came excited looking at the colorful cover , he said its beautiful & colorful just like the Holi Festival .This awesome book is written by Ajanta and Vivek and it tells us about the cultural elements of Holi as it is celebrated in India.


Going through the pages , I was sure it’s a fun story for kids but little did I know that it had lots of interesting facts about the festival.Some of the important elements covered in this book are :
The Story of Holi – The Brave Prahlad
The night before Holi – Holika Dahan
Holi – how to celebrate and meaning
Holi food – Gujia & Thandai
Holi around India – Holi King (Ahmedabad), Thabal Chongba (Manipur) and Hola Mohalla (Punjab)

Let’s celebrate Holi art project for kids and Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book begins with story of Maya ,Neel and their pet squirrel, Chintu from Chicago who visit their cousin Ameya in India to celebrate Holi . We can easily relate to these central characters in the book , I see glimpses of myself playing holi with my siblings and friends.The language is simple and easy read for young kids to understand.

We tried a cool art project to go with book inspired by the beautiful illustrations in it.
Whenever we talk about Holi , the first thing that’s comes to our mind is playing with colors and that’s what we’ll be doing here.
Materials Needed:
Coffee Filters ( you can use Paper towel too)
Liquid Water colors
Ice Cube Tray
Pipette
Black sharpie or pen
Wax Paper
Tray
Instructions :

Pour liquid Watercolors in ice cube tray.
Set up everything like shown in the picture above .


Kids Trace outlines of characters from the book or draw their own characters using a marker.


This is how it looks after making images .Coffee filters are white just like holi clothes in the story .


Now they can use pipette to suck the water colors and squeeze out drop by drop.We used same pipette but if you have toddlers or preschoolers you can use one pippette per color.


Keep adding drops to cover the characters just like people in real Holi colors !

Let’s celebrate Holi is available on Amazon and is recommended for ages 3-7 .To know more about this book visit their website

What did my little one think ?

He absolutely loved and enjoyed the book especially the Prahlad story .
He said ” Mom , the illustrations are bright , colorful and eye popping and I like Q’s and A’s at the end of the book .Chintu the squirrel is my favorite character !
I have to mention this , he said the book based art we made using pipette to drop watercolors on story characters was totally fun like playing Holi with them .Love how Holi Festival is celebrated in various ways throughout India with same spirit and enthusiasm .

Have you ever played Holi ? Whether you’ve actually witnessed playing holi or just heard about it , this book will transport you to a colorful world !

( Disclaimer : As a Multicultural Kids Blogger , I was sent this book in return for my honest review . All thoughts and opinions are my own )

Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft  – A Butterfly is Patient 

Whooo hooo ! The spring weather seems to get better , can’t wait for more sunlight , chirping birds , long nature walks and fluttering Butterflies .
Today ,I’m sharing one of our favorite nature book  ” A Butterfly is Patient ” by Dianna Hutts Ashton .

It is a beautiful , informational kid’s book about butterflies and its life cycle . The book has colorful pictures with cursive writing describing each quality of a butterfly with complete life cycle. The book also mentions about various varieties of butterflies and migration which quickly grabs the attention of any elementary age kids . We created Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft to go along with the book , inspired by its amazing illustrations .
 Fluttering Butterflies Mobile craft  – A  Butterfly is Patient
Materials Needed :
Sticks /Twigs
White acrylic paint
Color and Metallic Acrylic paints
Brushes ( sponge brushes and regular brushes)
Paper plates
White cardstock
Butterfly punch ( optional )
Color Sharpies
Gem/Jewel embellishments
Satin Ribbons
Hole Punch
Instructions :

Collecting Twigs on a nature walk is first step to start this craft activity  . It is super easy to find and collect twigs if you visit  any of the State parks or local parks .
Clean the twigs under running water for a while to clear any mud or dirt and then wipe it dry with a towel .
Now it’s time to paint ! Add a coat of white acrylic paint and if you still see the dark bark color , add another coat of white paint . We used sponge brushes to add white paint to the twigs.
Once the white paint dries , Create patterns , add stripes or any design of your choice using different acrylic colors . We used Metallic acrylics like gold and silver for a lovely shimmering look .
While the twigs are drying , we can start making Butterflies. You can either cut your own butterflies out of white cardstock or use a butterfly punch or buy readymade cardboard butterfly die cuts.
 I was lucky ..this step got a little simpler because I had these precut white cardboard butterfly die cuts which were supposed to be perfume testers in a pharmacy store .
Once you are ready with your white butterflies, use  Sharpie Markers to color and design it in your own style . We made identical wings meaning the same design and colors on both sides of each butterfly to look similar when it swings and flutters .
Decorate them with gem stones and embellishments to create a pop up beveled look .
Add a hole punch to the butterflies and add  Satin Ribbon to them , tie and secure .
Add a long Ribbon to each end of the twig and secure it as a wall hanging . Now , It’s time to hang each butterfly onto your twig . When all the butterflies are secured on the twig ,hang them in your room and watch them flutter !
 Fluttering Butterflies Mobile is looking pretty and colorful just like the illustrations in the book. Kids enjoyed making these and were excited to hang them in their bedrooms .
Quick Tips : Taking extra care is very much needed as  acrylics paints are not washable , we did all the painting  in our garage . Spread some sheets or table covers for kids to sit because painting will get them messy .
* The project can be done in parts spending few minutes everyday or can be done in couple of hours in a day .
* Kids wanted to use metallic golds and silver so we have those on the list as well but you can always customize . Maybe , adding a little glitter doesn’t harm..though we didn’t get do it but lot of creative ideas to explore as long as kids are entertained. This craft can be a cool spring project or even a summer project when kids are at home .
Extension to this activity : Take the kids to a butterfly Garden  and watch and observe fluttering  butterflies   .  We stay close to Hershey , so we enjoy the Hershey Butterfly Atrium at Hershey Gardens  . There are 500 – 600 butterflies from around the world in a tropical setting that features colorful plants and a soothing water

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Looking for more book based craft ideas ?
Me and my fellow bloggers have it all covered for you .I’m linking this craft up to the National Reading Month Challenge! Please visit and take a look at the other book-related crafts and activities to get your kids excited about reading because “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”- Joseph Addison !

Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture & #Readyourworld Book Review

I feel so honored to be associated with Multicultural Children’s Book Day for the second time as a Book Reviewer ! Today’s post includes a book review and Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture we made after reading the book .
Disclosure : I received a complimentary copy of Lump Lump and the Blanket of dreams book for MCCBD 2017 in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.Thanks to Author Gwen Jackson for sending me this lovely book .

Lump Lump and the Blanket of Dreams by Gwen Jackson
This book is about a little bear named Lump Lump . He is looking for a blanket which he could sleep with and dream during his winter hibernation. Along with the help of his friends Blue bird , Fox, Robin ,Hawk and Mother Bear ,he gathers materials for Spider Woman to weave him a blanket of dreams. Spider woman is the one who taught the Navajos how to weave . Author Gwen Jackson wrote this beautiful story inspired by Navajo culture and folklore.
Generally , I prefer going through the whole book before giving it to my son but this book was picture perfect .The colorful illustrations by Lissa Calvert are fabulous .Just looking at two pages , I could sense a sweet story. It immediately went into the hands of my 8 year old son who is a crazy book lover . He thought the bears looked great and his favorite character is Lump Lump .We both love the gorgeous blanket on the cover page of the book . Infact , the design and patterns on the blanket look so attractive that it made us explore more about the Navajo Weavers and traditions. We got excited and also made a craft to go along with the book which I will be sharing in detail below. This book could be included in classroom lessons on “Navajo Indian Folklore ” and “Hibernation”.
Check Author website for other activities based on this book !
One Favorite funny part in the story is when Lump Lump munches on his honeycomb and sings
“The white light of the morning , the red light of evening , the falling rain , and the r-aa-iii-nnnnbow.”
Lump Lump .. the central character is a very kind hearted bear .Through the folk tale ,Kids learn Kindness , friendship and Hibernation in a sweet interesting manner.
Lump Lump and the Blanket of dreams book is perfect for grades 2-3 to read but the story is so beautiful that you can be read to any age group kids .

Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture

Like I mentioned above ,this book inspired us to learn more about Navajo culture and Navajo Weaving.
The blankets are made with bright colors and have strong geometric patterns. Generally these blankets are made using yarn but we will be using Paper and washi tapes . We have a variety of fancy tape on hand which also have different patterns on them like the blanket shown in the book. A little imagination ,creativity and viola ! We made our own paper blanket of dreams.

Materials Needed:
Thin Cardboard sheet (like cereal box)
Fancy Tapes ( Washi tapes)
Tiny Pom pom garland/ ribbon
Scissors

How to make Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture :

First , take a cardboard sheet and ask kids to decorate the cardstock piece with Washi Tape .
Let them cover the whole cardstock with washi tape alternating different pattern tapes to create a symmetry .


My 8 year old was able to do everything by himself but if you have younger kids like preschoolers ,they may need help. Also , a great fine motor skill activity for little ones learning to use scissors.
Now glue a Pom Poms garland to both the ends of the cardstock adding a statement .
Here is our finished Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture that you can hang on the wall or use it like a centerpiece or mat on a side table or foyer table.

More about Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books.

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/our-programs/mccbd-2016-classroom-reading-challenge/
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
Do connect with on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

15 Picture Books on Christmas Wishes

Christmas is one of our favorite holidays all throughout the year . Most Kid’s favorite part about Christmas is opening presents . Holiday Books can be great a resource to teach our kids the essence of Christmas. After all the presents and other materialistic things don’t last , it is the memories that last forever .

15-picture-books-on-christmas-wishes

15 Picture Books on Christmas Wishes
Today , I’ll be sharing an incredible list of kids Christmas books that focus on Christmas Wishes !
Christmas is the time when we celebrate and share goodness with others. It is also a chance to make wishes come true and to give something from your heart .
The list of books I am sharing here are Heart warming stories showing that people , love and kindness are more than any material things . I have chosen Christmas wishes picture books that are suitable for elementary age kids .

the-christmas-wish-by-lori-evert
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert
a-wish-for-elves
A Wish for Elves by Mark Gonyea
a-christmas-wish
A Christmas Wish by Marcus Sedgwick
a-christmas-wish-for-corduoroy
A Christmas Wish for Corduoroy by Don Treeman
all-i-want-for-christmas-is-you
All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
annas-wish
Anna’s Wish by Bruno Hachler
grandmas-christmas-wish
Grandma’s Christmas Wish by Helen Foster James
little-donkeys-wish
Little Donkey’s Wish by Udo Weigelt
little-miss-spider-christmas-wish
Little Miss Spider Christmas Wish by David Kirk
the-christmas-tree-fairy
The Christmas Tree Fairy by Marion Rose & Jason Cockcroft
the-puppy-who-wanted-a-boy
The Puppy who wanted a Boy by Jane Thayer
the-smallest-gift-of-christmas
The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter H Reynolds
its-really-christmas-book
It’s Really Christmas by Lillian Hoban
snow-bunnys-christmas-wish
Snow Bunny’s Christmas Wish by Rebecca Harry
pockets-christmas-wish
Pocket’s Christmas Wish by Ann Bonwill & Russell Julian

This post is a part of the Jenny Evolution Winter and Holiday Children Story Book series.  More than 30 bloggers are contributing by posting winter and holiday themed book lists. Click on the link to take you to a huge list of topics to find other awesome books for this season.
JYFI.. the above Amazon links are not affiliate .I have included them for your convenience to purchase and refer reviews .
If you like any Christmas book about wishes , which is not included above , let me know in the comments below . I would love to hear !
Happy Reading and Advance Christmas Wishes !

happy family with book at home

Diwali Craft : Paper Plate Rangoli idea for kids

Diwali is one of the most important and colorful of the Indian festivals. It is a festival of joy , splendor , brightness and happiness. No matter which part of the world we live , Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Indians .
paper-plate-rangoli-craft-idea-for-kids
During Diwali , people decorate their floors with Rangoli . This patterns are generally made with white powder or rice flour ,chalk, colored sand or flowers . The traditional Rangoli making is tough outdoors because the weather is chilly at this time of the year especially for us on east coast of United States . Keeping all this in mind , I wanted to create something that is colorful , not a lot of mess while making and easy for kids to understand . That’s when I came up this idea of Paper plate Rangoli , it can be made well in advance and reused every year too.
I think in this generation we need to be creative in making our festivals special and fun for kids. One such attempt is our
Diwali Craft : Paper Plate Rangoli idea for kids
diwali-kids-craft-paper-plate-rangoli
Materials Needed :
Paper plate
IKEA Mala Fluorescent/glitter paints
Color Sharpies
Rhinestones/gems
Pencil
Instructions :
rangoli-pencil-sketch
Use a pencil to draw any Rangoli design on Paper Plate.
adding-acrylic-paints-to-rangoli-paper-plate
Once you are happy with your design , use Ikea paints to make outlines .
It’ll take few hours for the paint to dry .
using-sharpie-to-fill-rangoli-paper-plate
After the paint dries , use color sharpies to fill in the spaces .
adding-rhinestones-to-diwali-paper-plate-rangoli
Now go ahead and add Rhinestones randomly or symmetrically wherever the design requires.
The beautiful and colorful Paper plate Rangoli is now a perfect Diwali décor !
paper-plate-rangoli-decorated-with-flowers
Adding an extension to this activity is to arrange flowers around the paper plate Rangoli making it more elegant and colorful.
Lessons learnt : Rangoli making using paper plate , paints and decorating with flowers needs creativity and thought process .
Drawing Rangoli designs helps them learn the concept of symmetry. They color symmetrical, so that both sides of the design are same colors .
Last but not least ..Learn about rich Indian culture and the history of Rangolis .

This post is part of the annual Diwali for Kids blog hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs! See the posts below for great ideas on celebrating Diwali with children. You can find even more ideas from last year’s series and on our Diwali Pinterest board:


Maple and Marigold on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrating Diwali in Canada
Weaving Ideas: Paper Plate Rangoli Idea for Kids
ArtsyCraftsyMom: Accordion Fold Paper Diya Craft
Maple and Marigold: Rustic Indian Peda with Roasted Pistachios
Creative World of Varya: Diwali Inspired Ideas for Kids
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Rangoli with Glass Marbles
My Little Moppet: 20 Tips to Organize a Diwali Party for Kids
All Done Monkey: Diwali Books for Kids
Growing Up Gupta: 7 Amazing Multicultural Diwali Gift Ideas
Kidzlens: DIY Bandanwar
The Educators’ Spin On It: Making Flower Rangoli with Kids

Diwali for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs
#mkbkids #Diwali

Rotational Symmetry Art with 50+ STEAM KIDS projects

steam-kids-featured2

We feel very happy to be involved in the launch of new book “Steam Kids “ by a bunch of my fellow bloggers .
Before I talk more about the book, this summer, my son showed a lot of interest in science experiments. He would say” Mom, let’s try this!” Some experiments turned out really good but I must mention , We’ve failed miserably in few experiments but his curiosity and enthusiasm never failed.

steam-kids-projects-800x8001

When I heard about STEAM KIDS book, I knew he would love and learn from it as well .

I showed my 8 year old the book and said “you‘re going to be learning all about STEAM”. He was super excited looking at it. The book has many activities, close to 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for Kids. The activities are broken up into the area of inspiration: Build, Color, Play, Sense and Grow. The projects are aimed for kids ages 4-10 with easy instructions and colorful pictures.

Best thing about the book is most of the projects are using regular craft supplies or household supplies.

ROTATIONAL Symmetry project steam kids

We tried Rotational Symmetry Art from the book , a wonderful activity to teach kids concepts of Symmetry while rotating irregular shapes.

rotational-symmetry-art-for-kids

To know more about Rotational Symmetry Art with 50+ STEAM KIDS projects watch this amazing book trailer

The Book is available in print from Amazon as well as as an e-book PDF, this book has amazing projects your kids will love.
The e-book is on sale this week only for $9.99. Plus, if you buy the book this week, you get a bonus book for FREE:

steam-kids-halloween-collage1

Most important ..STEAM KIDS gives an opportunity to spend quality time with your kids . We had a great time and can’t wait to try other projects from the book and other STEAM Education resources below .
The authors of this book have put together some amazing FREE STEAM Education resources as well! Check them out:

52 STEAM Challenges for Kids
40 Household Items for STEAM Projects at Home
How to Get Started Doing STEAM
STEM vs. STEAM, Does the A Matter?
How to Teach STEAM
40+ Projects that Combine STEM with Art
Tips for Acquiring Inexpensive STEAM Materials
Adapting STEM and STEAM Activities for Different Children
3 Genius Tips for Raising out of the Box Thinkers

Lovely quote about the book..
“STEAM Kids is a book that will inspire children to:
question like a scientist
design like a technologist
build like an engineer
create like an artist
deduce like a mathematician
– and, most importantly –
play like a kid.”

Would love to hear your views on STEAM activities and Share your Favorite STEAM activities ?
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a free copy in return for a honest review .
50-steam-projects-that-inspire-kids1

100+ Ideas to play with LEGO® Bricks

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
We‘re excited to share with you with the launch of this wonderful book The Unofficial Guide to Learning With LEGO®!
Here’s a little about the book. A few of my fellow bloggers came up with great ideas to play with LEGO® Bricks and launched their book on July 5th, 2016. The book has a collection of 100 activities using LEGO® Bricks with colorful pictures that will attract kids instantly. It is a great resource for kids to learn Fine motor skills, Problem solving and STEM activities using LEGO® Bricks. The instructions are very simple and easy to read; even my 8 year old was able to follow. There are activities for every age group, right from toddlers to elementary age kids.
100 Lego Ideas for Learning and Playing
100+ Ideas to play with LEGO® Bricks

We were lucky to get a free sneak peek copy to try and my little one couldn’t wait to dive in. Honestly, he wanted to do everything in the book except for the sorting and counting ones .He said “Mom ,these activities are for toddlers .” We tried a couple activities and here I share one of our favorite activity from the book .
The Floating Boat Experiment:
Ideas to play with Lego bricks
Materials Required:
Empty Shallow Dish / Bath Tub
Water
Pennies
Bricks (any variety)
Instructions:
Boat Experiment with lego bricks
Ask your child to build a boat that can hold the most pennies .They can design a boat of their choice using any variety of LEGO® Bricks. My son spent some quality time in designing his boat.

Explore STEM with LEGO
Fill the dish with enough water for your boat to float and later add pennies to your boat.
Now count how many pennies your boat can hold. The more coins we added ,the boat became heavier and sunk in .
Learning with Lego
My son was totally engaged in the process for couple of hours .I thought it was  perfect for Summer time learning .
Lessons Learnt :This activity helps children develop skills in Science, Math, Problem Solving and Engineering.
If you have a LEGO® Fan in your house, I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on these 100 hands on learning activities from the book.

front[1]

To purchase the book now through July 12, you can get The Unofficial Guide to Learning With LEGO® ebook on sale for only $11.95 (regular price $14.95 !

extra printables[1]
You can also purchase a copy of real book at Amazon for $24.95. If you get it through Amazon, be sure to email one of the authors, Nicolette, a screen shot of your order and she’ll send you your 100 free printables but remember this offer is only until july 12th. (Send your email to nicci @ learnandplaywithbricks.com.) You can do the same with your Kindle order ($14.95), too.

Check out the video showing few activities from the book in action !

Disclaimer : LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site”.

Celebrate Disney’s #TheBFG with Roald Dahl books #GIVEAWAY

The BFG Giveaway

My son reads a lot of Roald Dahl Books and One of his favorite is The BFG. We received this Book as a birthday gift last year. On the book was sticker that read.. soon to be a Steven Spielberg Film . We love this book and now that its made into a movie ,we’re even more excited to watch the film.

To help celebrate the release of Disney’s The BFG on July 1st, a group of bloggers have come together to bring you a Big Fat Giveaway (see what we did there?). There will be 18 winners total – yup, you read that right, EIGHTEEN! 15 winners will receive The BFG Paperback Book (ARV $5), 2 lucky readers will receive 3 Roald Dahl books (The BFG, Matilda, and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – ARV $18), and 1 lucky reader will receive this $57 GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE:

About The BFG

The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. “I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children. It was very, very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature in a lot of their earlier works like in ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella,’ and being able to do scary, but also be redemptive at the same time and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone, it was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things that attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book,” says Spielberg.

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows. But Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Says Spielberg, “It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems.” Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.

Like THE BFG on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebfgmovie

Follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram: https://instagram.com/disneystudios

Follow Walt Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneystudios

Giveaway Alert

A GIGANTIC The BFG Giveaway – In Progress

Prizes subject to change depending on availability. A prize of equal or greater value will be substituted.

Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards

First time, I asked him to show me his Pokemon folder ,
He said “Mom , I thought you didn’t like Pokemon . I said Hmm..yes…but I want to see and learn more about what my son likes and maybe one day I’ll like it too. ”
He opened his folder with excitement and began sharing all kind of stories about each card. So glad I had this conversation with him.
After a few weeks , I got the opportunity to review Pokemon Cards . We were beyond excited and thrilled to hear the news.
Pokemon cards
The delivery was quick through Amazon Prime and we received it within 2 days . The cards came in a plain , plastic bag , nothing fancy like store bought packaging .The Bundle of Pokémon cards from #GoldenGroundhogPKMNLots were in good condition and it included
100 Assorted Pokemon Card Lot with Random 6 Foil Cards! Includes 3 Custom Golden Groundhog Token Counters!
My son started collecting Pokémon trading cards few months back and has close to 80 cards . The 100 cards were impressive new addition to his collection.
I had few activities planned for him using these 100 cards . What better way to learn and enjoy the summer time.
Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards
Materials Needed :
Assortment of Pokémon Cards
1 0z Medicine Cup Dispenser
Ruler
Pencil
White Poster Paper
Sharpies
Instructions:
Firstly , We sorted them according to type to see how many of Pokémon cards of each type. Sorting the cards is a great activity to keep themselves busy for quite some time .Sorting Pokemon Cards by type
All you need to do is spread all the cards on a table and sort them into piles by their type.After dividing them into piles we had
Grass : 14
Water : 16
Lighting : 6
Colorless: 11
Metal :2
Darkness:3
Psychic: 13
Fire : 5
Fairy : 3
Dragon :5
Fighting :4
Trainers: 15
Drawing Pokemon Symbols Activity
We used a sheet of white paper to Draw the circles using medicine cup .
Draw Pokemon Type Symbols
In those circles we drew different symbols .
Draw and color Pokemon Symbols
To color the symbols we used Sharpies markers .Adding total Health points of each Pokemon card

Take one pile at a time to count and write down the number of cards next to the symbol where it belongs.
Note : As a added extension to the activity , We even calculated and wrote down the health points of each type card . All the activities weren’t done in one stretch. As my little one was showing so much interest , we worked our way ,each day for an hour for 3 days .
We had around 14 Duplicates but my son was totally happy with the variety of cards he got in the 100 pack . He plans to share the duplicates with his cousin sister and trade a few with his friends.
Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards
Lessons Learnt :
Turn your child’s interests into a game of learning without them realizing it !
Art skills : Drawing and Coloring symbols helps observation skills . Objects to sketch related to their hobbies or games are always more likely to interest the children.
Math Awareness & Skills : Working on counting and adding the number of cards in total helps in improving and mastering basic Math skills.
My son thoroughly enjoyed the sorting , drawing , coloring and counting activities. With Summer around , fun to see him sit and play for hours instead of watching tv .
Share your thoughts on where you buy your Pokémon trading cards or how you encourage your children in their hobbies ?
*Disclaimer: I received this product free or discounted for my honest review. All experiences and opinions are my own.
#GoldenGroundhogPKMNLots


LarabeeUK

A Mom's Creative Nest