Why I Dislike Homework and How the Research Backs Me Up

homework

Do your kids spend hours a night doing homework? Mine do. And I hate it- maybe even more than they do. Seriously, I'd much rather that my kids get much needed down-time to: play, nap, read, run, swing, dance, twirl, build, create, draw, invent, or design. Yet I sit inside with them, trying to pretend that I'm enthusiastic and supportive, helping them to stay … [Read more...]

DIY a Cryoow! Doll for Play and Stories

Cryoow! doll story and giveaway

Cryoow! dolls start with a child’s 2D drawing, transforming it into a jaw-dropping, super-awesome hand-crafted 3D doll. It's so cool. Make a Cryoow! Doll To make a doll, your child draws a picture more than 4 inches tall. We recommend using the game Pick and Draw which taught us so many fun ways to draw faces. Draw your person -- my eight year old daughter drew herself. … [Read more...]

Speakaboos Learning and Literacy App

New Literacy Speakaboo iPad app

When I said I wanted a slow summer, I did not envision getting a nasty Epstein Barr virus forcing me to be slow from fatigue. Since I wasn't at my parenting best, I relied on my husband, our wonderful babysitter, and educational learning tools to help. One of those tools was Speakaboos -- an interactive storybook iPad app. Even though it's recommended for ages 2 - 6, my … [Read more...]

3 Creative Back to School Ideas with Infinity Pens

Infinity Pens

If you're a Sharpie fan like I was, you'll be ga-ga for The Write Dude's Infinity Pens which you can purchase at Target, Staples or online. My kids and I couldn't believe how much better these pens were than our Sharpies-- the broad tips are almost paint-like in application. (with no drips!) The rainbow of color choices gave us plenty of artistic options. And, we love the … [Read more...]

NEW LEGO® Education Kit Get Kids Writing

Lego Writing Kit

I'm so excited to tell you about this today - it's StoryStarter, a new LEGO Education kit to get kids imagining, working together, creating stories, and publishing. Like you, I'm always trying to find new ways to entice kids (mine included) to write. Which is why the LEGO® Education StoryStarter kits make me do a happy dance. Of course, I wish I could give you each one to … [Read more...]

DIY Miniature Blank Books for Matchboxes

Mini Blank Books for Kids

Miniature fascinates my children -- I think most children. Which is why we were inspired by the picture book, The Matchbox Diary, to make miniature blank books for writing and drawing. Paul Fleishman's gorgeous new picture book, Matchbox Diary, shares the history of an Italian grandfather who shares his immigration story with a grandchild, all of which was stored in tiny … [Read more...]

Poetry Activities and NEW Books

poetry-LG

Children's poetry is one of my favorite ways to hook writers. After all, there are no sentences in sight. No paragraphs, not even capital letters sometimes. Read poetry for enjoyment and experience with the form. Also, read poetry to learn how to write poetry. BUT, reading poetry can be good and bad for young writers. Bad if it limits children to thinking all poems … [Read more...]