Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and at my daughter’s school they did something pretty cool this year.  They wanted their students to decorate and bring in a valentine holder for their valentine cards and treats.

My kindergartener and I decided to decorate an empty graze snack box (graze.com) because it was already partially decorated for Valentine’s Day (red hearts) and it was the perfect size to transform into a purse/clutch valentine holder! 🙂

We just added my daughter’s name in the front (covering the graze name) along with some 3D valentine stickers

and glued a piece of purple construction paper in the back and decorated it with a variety of stickers.

Back

I secured the box with a little bit of clear tape and made a slot, which we decorated with a fabric, flower ribbon, for the valentine cards and treats to go in.

We recycled the clear plastic backing, which you can probably see in the first 2 pics, of the glitter tape decoration that we placed around the box (not shown in the pics) for the purse strap.  I then showed my daughter how she could hold the box two ways:  as a clutch with her hand or a shoulder purse with the strap.  The giddiness that ensued after transforming that box into her valentine holder will stay with me forever. 🙂

As for my third grader, she had a vision and it involved one of her favorite cartoon characters, SpongeBob Squarepants.  She loves that little dude!

She didn’t want to do plain, old SpongeBob though.  No, she wanted to make SpongeBob in his Kuddly Krab work uniform.   This uniform is featured in the episode titled “Bossy Boots.”

We printed out some pics of SpongeBob wearing the uniform so we could easily reference it.

I also made a template of the purple flower design that’s on the uniform so my daughter could easily trace, cut, and glue the design onto the box.

The materials we used were a cereal box, construction paper (pink, yellow, purple, white, and neon green card stock paper), and pipe cleaners.  We also printed out a small spatula and a “Krabby Patty,” which we taped onto his hands.

        

From a cereal box to “Kuddly Krab SpongeBob Squarepants!”

           

Here’s the breakdown: We gift wrapped the box with pink construction paper using tape and glue.  My daughter traced a big circle out of yellow construction paper for his face and two small circles for his eyes with white paper as well as two little squares for his front teeth.  She then drew the details herself.  She used the template for the purple flower designs and we glued those down as well as his face.  The pipe cleaners were used to make the antennas, arms, legs, socks, and shoes.  She wanted to place two pink hearts on the antennas instead of the red K’s.  For his yellow hands I copy and pasted a picture of SpongeBob and cropped the pic until his hands were the only things on the screen, then printed and glued onto the pipe cleaner.  We did the image two sided so it was easier to glue.  A slot at the top of the box ensures that valentine cards and treats will go in nicely!

There you have it!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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“Just being Audrey”

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

A couple of months ago, my youngest daughter stumbled upon this book at the library and was fascinated with the front cover.

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“Just Being Audrey” by Margaret Cardillo, Illustrated by Julia Denos

She simply said, “She’s beautiful,” and I responded, “She sure is.”

Of course, this biography book for children made it to our checkout pile and my daughters were wonderfully introduced to Audrey Hepburn.  The illustrations inside were just as beautiful as the front cover.  What made this book even more fantastic for me was when I suggested to my youngest daughter that she should draw her own version of the front cover and her eyes immediately lit up at the idea (my oldest daughter loves to draw and my youngest loves emulating her sister, so she’s a little budding artist as well.)  The very next morning she sat down on the floor with her drawing pad, a pencil and the Audrey book.  Her concentration was fierce and it took all morning.  I gave her space and didn’t peek once.

Finally, she was ready to unveil her masterpiece.

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Needless to say, I was one proud mama and I couldn’t stop gushing over her drawing.  She did a great job! 🙂

A book that teaches you about a great person and has illustrations that can inspire a 5 year old to draw her own version is a definite gemstone.  Check it out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Books, books, oh glorious books!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

One of my absolute favorite places to visit in our hometown is the library.  We officially celebrated our one year anniversary living in Pennsylvania back in November of 2015.  The library here is completely different in so many wonderful ways.  The vast hours of operation offers us an opportunity to visit as a complete family.  The children’s section of the library is spacious, it’s equipped with touch screen computers, educational toys, and hard-covered books galore.  I was so impressed and immediately fell in love with this place.

Before we leave the library, we always check out almost 40 books, which include a variety of easy to read, picture, newly published, and juvenile chapter books.  It’s become a routine to read a couple of books every night before bedtime so we need a lot of material.  My girls usually pick the books that they want and I tend to add to that pile with my picks for them.  My youngest is in Kindergarten now and she loves easy to read books.  She also loves picture books, which is why she was immediately drawn to the cover of this particular book:

“Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

She wasn’t able to read the title.  She simply saw the beautiful cover and quickly glanced inside and saw the rest of the illustrations and wanted to take it home.  When I read the title, I’m not going to lie to you, the word Muslim jumped right at me, but I had no qualms about checking the book out.  In fact, I was curious to see and read the book.  It looked interesting and it was indeed a great book with beautiful illustrations of colors in the Muslim culture.  I had no idea, until recently when I went online searching for a picture of this book to include in my blog post, that this book had a little controversy behind it.  You can google the title of this book and read the article about a father in Georgia who wasn’t happy that his daughter picked this book out at the school book fair.  Yes, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but believe me when I say that this book is a beautifully, illustrated book about colors in the Muslim culture.  You should check it out at your local library and make your own opinion about it.  And if they don’t have it, request it!

I will be sharing more book finds with you because there are so many books in this world that need to be acknowledged and praised.  I love reading to my girls and hearing them read out loud.  I have seen great results in their reading skills from their first marking period in school to the second, which just passed about a week ago.  My third grader is currently reading at a fifth grade level and my five year old went from reading zero sight words to 59.

my daughters reading at the library

I’m going to leave you with this little tidbit regarding instructions/directions usually found at the bottom of homework assignments or school worksheets like this for example:

Instead of just reading the directions to your child and doing the problems together, teach your child to read the instructions as well and make it a habit.  Read the directions for each problem together and eventually they will learn how to read it themselves.

Take good care all.

Until next time…