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Category Archive: BOOKS AND MUSIC

Jun
17

Talk with kids about values and ethics by using philosophy! (With the help of these 2 books.)

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I’ve always thought it would be pretty neat if I could have philosophical discussions with my kids. Why? Because my kids are constantly coming up with important  life questions that I, being a mere mortal, cannot answer. Questions like, “What is love?”; “Is it always wrong to lie?”; “What does it mean to be fair?” …

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Dec
31

3 realistic resolutions to inspire more reading in the new year.

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I am NOT going to resolve to declutter my house this year.  Instead, I’m going for three resolutions I know my family and I can keep.  None of the resolutions are inconvenient, expensive, nor demand changes in personalities. Even though we are a family that reads, I feel like there’s always room to be more …

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Dec
04

Do NOT go to the mall. 5 cool websites with original stuff for kids.

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Many people don’t realize that I have two superpowers: Laziness, and Money spendingness.  I know, this doesn’t make me Superwoman. It just means that I like to stay home in my PJs. It also means I spend too much money.  Thanks to advancements in technology,  my two powers in combination have become highly useful. While …

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Nov
05

How celebrities are getting kids to think reading is cool.

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According to a study recently conducted in the UK, one of every five children would be embarrassed to be seen with a book.  For many kids reading isn’t cool, and it’s no wonder. Kids look at successful pop stars and professional athletes in the media, and they don’t exactly see a bookish image.  Reading a …

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Oct
21

5 books my 6 year old son loves

Before I had kids, I wasn’t a big believer in “boy books,” and “girl books.” Still not a believer, but I have to admit my son’s tastes are very different from my daughters’ at his age.  Yet, not all his books have to be about monster trucks. My son enjoys silly humour, adventure, puzzles, and …

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Oct
16

How to talk to your kids about bullying? Start with these 6 fiction books.

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Talking to our kids about bullying isn’t always easy.  Sometimes kids don’t want to share information, and sometimes parents don’t like to talk about their own painful experiences. It may seem counterintuitive, but delving into fictional books about bullying is a great springboard for meaningful conversations. Great books demand that we delve into the psychological …

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Oct
10

Perfect fall activity: Rock hounding

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Fall is my favourite season.  Warm colours are all around us, and there’s nothing like a walk in the crisp autumn air. Here in Alberta autumn tends to be brief,  so all the more reason to savour the season by getting outside with our kids.  Plus, there’s no better teacher than nature herself. A few …

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Oct
05

4 awesome math resources to use when homework is a nightmare.

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  Don’t let math homework bring you down! I’m back, and I have some great math resources for you to share with your kids. Whether you’re a math wiz or math-challenged, you CAN help your kids when they’re frustrated in math.  Check out these 4 resources I posted on Yummy Mummy Club.  Stay tuned for …

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Aug
25

Loveable Grover reads “The Monster at the End of the Book.” – on ipad.

“WHAT DID THAT SAY?  Oh, I am so scared of monsters! Please, please, don’t turn the page!”  Poor Grover. Kids have loved turning the pages of the classic book since its release in 1971.  So, how does a classic whose theme is turning pages in a book translate onto ipad? Don’t be scared to click …

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Aug
21

Everything kids love and hate about life at school : Top 8 books

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Life at school has its ups and downs, and is rarely predictable.  A nice teacher turns mean.  A friend becomes an enemy. The “dumb” kid at the back of the class is actually really smart. No wonder when we ask kids what they did at school, the answer is often “nothing.”  It can be pretty …

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Aug
08

Relive your childhood: Disney’s Read-Along Adventures are back!

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Remember the days before DVDs and VHS players?  The only way to watch your favourite movie again was to go to the cinema. Or, you could follow along in a book as you listened to a reenactment from “Read Along Adventures.” Disneyland Records produced many well-loved classics, from The Love Bug to Star Wars to …

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Jul
04

Picasso is a pig and Matisse is a bull: Your kids will love this book!

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It’s not easy to find a book that is at once silly, clever, attractive, and educational. When Pigasso Met Mootisse paints Picasso as a diva pig, and Matisse as a feisty bull. At first, the two artist-animals are friends, but eventually jealousy leads to rivalry.  Pigasso doesn’t understand Mootisse’s “MOOsterpieces,” (haha) and Mootisse doesn’t get Pigasso’s …

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Jun
29

Decisions, decisions: Kill Julius Caesar or become a poor farmer? Your kids get to decide!

One of the best ways to learn about history is to role play what it would be like to live in a different time and place.  My post this week at Yummy Mummy Club is about an interactive history adventure series, called “YOU CHOOSE.”     Kids don’t just read this series, they BECOME part …

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Jun
21

Memorization and recitation of poems to be compulsory for British elementary school students.

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“Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is….his house is….OH COME ON! Um, what’s the next line again?”    Don’t worry, you’ll only be docked a few marks for failing to memorize and correctly recite the poem in front of your classmates.  That is, if you’re an elementary school student in England. …

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Jun
04

Best books to read out loud this summer.

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With the days warming up, I like to gather the kids on the lawn to share some books over cold treats.    Reading aloud is a great way to keep kids interested in reading over the summer.  Kids don’t like to sit for long,  so it’s important to pick books that pack some punch. (No …

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May
30

How to give your kids’ learning activities a summer makeover!

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  Ah, the lazy hazy days of summer. Picture it:  Games of badminton on the lawn, swinging in the park, swimming outside, sticky popsicles,  and: MATH ACTIVITY WORKBOOKS!  Ugh. I don’t think so. Let’s face it, workbooks have no place among summer activities.  Regular routines of instrument practice, reading exercises, writing, and math can become …

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May
09

Other must-read Maurice Sendak books

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By now, everyone has learned the sad news of the passing of Maurice Sendak.  Best known for his almost instant classic, “Where the Wild Things Are,” Sendak’s emotional and creative artistry left an indelible mark on children’s literature.  Sendak didn’t consider himself a children’s writer,  insisting that his books were  “about human emotion and life.” …

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May
07

Your car is your “classroom.”

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If you have kids and live in a North American suburb, chances are you spend a lot of time in your car. Oy, the agony of being stuck in rush hour traffic with three restless and squabbling children.  On the other hand, being “stuck” in the car has its advantages. Sometimes the best conversations about …

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Apr
26

Thrilled to be guest posting on Imagination Soup!

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I’m just thrilled to have my post about “The Best Villains in Children’s Books” featured on Imagination Soup. Mwahahaha! (Evil laugh.)  Actually, I didn’t have to devise an evil plot to get on Imagination Soup, which makes it all the more thrilling for me. Imagination Soup is the brainchild of Melissa Taylor, a professional educator, …

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Apr
16

Runny Babbit is geally rood!

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Our brains hurt, but we also laughed. Runny Babbit delivers Shel Silverstein’s signature silly poetry that kids love, but is also full of brain teasers. First letters of words trade places, therefore demanding good listening and decoding to understand the phrases.  Absolutely fantastic for stimulating attentive listening and reading skills, not to mention great for …

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Mar
14

The Best Villains in Children’s Books

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Mwahahaaaa! An awesome villain can really make a great book. Oh sure, it’s great to have a hero who models virtue and courage, but it’s the villains who are often the most interesting and memorable characters.  What would Charlie and the Chocolate Factory be without the outrageously spoiled Veruca Salt, or without gluttonous Augustus Gloop? …

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Mar
12

Drawing and writing with pop songs

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Today has been quite the day! I wasn’t feeling well so when I woke up, my mom, EducationDiva asked me to guest post on her blog. When I asked her about what, she had the craziest idea… a year earlier, we were exploring Chapters for something neat to read when my little sister came across the …

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Mar
05

The Magic of Reality: Renowned scientist Richard Dawkins talks to kids about evolution on the IPAD.

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British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is best known for his book, “The Selfish Gene,” (1976), and for his outspoken atheism.   This has made him a controversial figure in some circles, especially since he has called for an end to teaching creationism in science classes. No matter how one feels about Dawkins, there’s no denying …

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Feb
29

Mr. Gum is a hilarious series for reluctant or enthusiastic readers.

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Mr. Gum is disgusting. He doesn’t bathe,  and his house is a disaster.  He’s so filthy that even the pages of the book are covered in shmootz. Mr. Gum’s favourite television show is called, “Bag Of Sticks.”  It’s a picture of a bag of sticks on the screen for 30 minutes.  Mr. Gum is always …

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Feb
24

Is Your Hair Made of Donuts?

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I don’t like talking to my kids about nutrition.  No matter how I explain healthy eating, the bottom line is they still want the sugary treat.  So,  I always appreciate when a third non-parental party endorses good nutrition for kids.  Children are more likely to listen to experts on nutrition who don’t nag them about …

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