Virtual Flat Stanley/Sophia

Do you have a great idea for a Mother's Day gift made by a child? Please share them here!
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In my last post, I mentioned that my aunt contacted me to help with her step-granddaughter's Flat Stanley project. The person they sent it to never returned it and it is due soon. Since I live in the same state as them, I had the idea of contacting some of my blogger friends from around the world to give her more exciting stories to share. Then I had the idea of sharing some Flat Stanleys or Sophias on my blog so we could "visit" different parts of the world in the eyes of children. Are you interested in joining us? Read on for more details.

So for our invitation I thought I would start with our Flat Sophia (we made her a girl) and the adventure we took her on. First we decorated Stanley and decided he needed to be female. (I should add that this is our first one, we have to make a duplicate one to keep and another one just because she wants to have different clothes on it.)
Then we took Flat Sophia to see some local sights. We started with a National Historic Site nearby but it was not open (until next week). We took a picture by the sign anyway.
Then we went to our local library to look for the Flat Stanley book by Jeff Brown. I figured it was always good for Hazel to know the story of how Stanley became flat. (A bulletin board falls on him while he is sleeping.)
We also had two of the librarians pose with Hazel and Flat Sophia.
Then we found out there was a Mother Goose Story Time starting in five minutes so we went to it. All the children got stamps on their hands so we asked Ms. Martha for a stamp for Flat Sophia to show the class she went to the story time. Now we have to mail her and our pictures to my aunt.

We have also been hearing from some of our friends around the world with their Flat Stanleys. I am going to share one each week with you so we can learn a bit about the world together. If you are interested in joining us, print out this template and decorate your Flat Stanley/Sophia in a manner a child might dress in your area of the world. Then take your Flat Stanley some place in your area and take a picture of him/her with or without your child (depending on if you want pictures of your child shared here). E-mail me your pictures, your child's name or nickname and age, where you are from and where you took your Flat Stanley and any other wonderful information about your hometown, region, country that you might want to share (and if you want me to mention and link it to your blog, please make sure I have your blog name). By participating you are giving me permission to post your pictures and information you provide here at Crafty Moms Share and all of its social media connected with it. So tune in next week when I will share our first Flat Stanley adventure from a reader of Crafty Moms Share! And then you can help spread the word about our traveling Flat Stanley by posting a button on your blog. (I left the picture out of it so you can add your own picture in PicMonkey. Just right click the button and save it so you can bring it up in PicMonkey and add your picture.)

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Mommy and Daughter Day

Do you have a great homemade Mother's Day gift idea? Share it here!

I know I promised another Mexican Cinderella post this week and here it is Monday's post and time for my Fairy Tales in Different Cultures post, but I decided to wait this week since we did not do the crafting I had hoped over the weekend. So stay tuned for the Mexican Cinderella coming soon with (hopefully) some great Cinco de Mayo crafts.

This weekend was a bit hectic. It was Stewardship Sunday at my church and since I head the Stewardship Ministries Team, I was in charge. Luckily I have a wonderful committee with many talents and many other volunteers to help. We did our final push on the campaign and then provided a luncheon. It went well, but I am tired. 

Yesterday, Steve went hiking with some of his friends from work, so Hazel and I had an entire Saturday to spend alone. The only thing we had to do was be at the church at 1 p.m. to set up for the luncheon. I had also received a message from my aunt. Her step-granddaughter needed help with a Flat Stanley school project. We decorated Flat Stanley (though we made her a girl so we call her Flat Sophia) and took her a few places to take some pictures. More on Flat Stanley another day since I thought a blog project to do with it. We stopped at the library to get a Flat Stanley book and found out there was a Mother Goose Story Time starting in five minutes so we stayed for it. Then we went to run our other errands and go to Lakeshore Learning for their free craft. Now it was after noon, so we headed home for a quick lunch and then to get to church. I bribed Hazel into helping at the church with ice cream afterwards. 

We headed to the local ice cream place/farm. Hazel wanted to check out all the animals, so we both got frappes (the Boston term for a milkshake) and walked around. We stopped in the middle section to see the cows and goats.
Then we headed over to the calf nursery. We had a fun time checking out the calves.
Next to the nursery is the poultry cage. They didn't have the food machine out yet, but the male turkey had his feathers up trying to impress the female. Hazel said he impressed her. The female turkey did not seem too impressed though.

Then we headed over to the big cow barn. This farm sells the milk and ice cream from their milk of their own cows. The first door of the big barn is the section reserved for the very pregnant cows--to birth in two to three weeks. We found one little baby sitting with its mother there as well.
Then the next two doors have the other cows. We found a few grooming themselves and these cows seemed hungry or at least were very interested in all the people at the doors. They came over to say hi and Hazel thought they got a bit too close (as did another girl who had gotten licked by one).
Hazel was almost licked by the mostly white one. We were petting them on the noses. Her tongue was the same color as her--white with black spots. Of course our favorite picture was of the cows kissing.

We saw the ones in the middle again. One was getting a drink this time.
Then we bought some milk and frozen yogurt to take home for Daddy. Hazel fell asleep in the car. She hadn't been sleeping well this week since I had so many meetings at night. She slept for a couple of hours and I took a nap as well. Then Steve came home and we went out to dinner, but the wait was too long, so we ordered take-out and sat at the bar while we waited. Hazel thought it was fun to sit at the bar and drink apple juice from a fancy glass. Then we headed home and had some dinner and went to bed. That was our fun Saturday!! The best part is we got outside for the afternoon!

Mother's Day Gifts

This year for Mother's Day we bought some wood boxes at one of the craft stores for $1. We also picked out some acrylic paints at Michaels when they were on sale. The other day it was warm out and our Mother's Day is only a couple of weeks away, so we painted outside.

Sharing Saturday 13-17

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Well my first news is that Chelle over at Having Fun at Chelle's House has decided her life is a bit too crazy to keep co-hosting with me right now, so I am back to being solo. If you have not had a chance to check out last week's wonderful ideas shared, you really should. I was so inspired!! Here are my features. First of course is the most clicked from Gift of Curiosity.

1) From Gift of Curiosity: Earth Day Crayons I love this idea for recycling broken crayons to look like little earths!
2) From Little Wonders' Day: Garden Planting Picnic So fun to make simple food for a picnic in the shape of flowers after planting your garden all day!
3)  From Buggy and Buddy: Go on a Sound Walk What a fun activity to get you moving and outdoors!!
4) From Mums make lists: 25 Essential Toys for Babies Love that they do not require batteries!
5) From Toddlers Through Preschool: Measuring Shoes Full of such great ideas in learning about counting and sizes.
6) From Toddling in the Fast Lane: Paper Bag House Love that this craft goes with a lesson in both Spanish and English.
7) From Wesens-Art: Spring House Love this little paper house. It reminds me of springtime!

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.

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From Your Hostess:
This week has been busy for me, so only a few posts including Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella, The Rain Came Down a Virtual Book Club for Kids Book and a Trip to the Andes with Daria's new CD and E-book!

Now for This Week's Party 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

A Day in the Andes

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Today I am going to explain our "trip" to the Andes thanks to Daria. Daria recently published a new CD and e-book about a child's life in the Andes. The CD is called Cancioncitas De Los Andes/Little Songs of the Andes and the e-book is called A Child's Life in the Andes.  Both were released April 2nd and Daria was kind enough to offer us a free copy of each to review and we LOVE them!! The combo pack of the book and CD are available at Daria's Little Village Store for $12.99. You can also buy just the CD at iTunes and Amazon.

Now before I go into how wonderful these activities are, I want to give you a little background. Daria lived in the Andes in Peru for part of her childhood. Needless to say she knows much about the area firsthand.

Now onto this great book and CD. Every time I play the CD, Hazel says to me, "Mommy, I like your music." The music is not like the music we normally listen to or even the other amazing album of Daria's that we have. We began our journey to the Andes by just listening to the CD a couple of times and loved it. 

Now that our mood was set, we sat down to read the book. We learned all about life in the Andes including what food was native to there. (Sorry we didn't have a play potato or I should say I couldn't find it if we still have it.) Plus about the animals and life in general for the children. Then there were all sorts of coloring pages.
Hazel only colored this llama so far, because we were busy doing the other activities like making musical instruments. We had already made a rainstick, so we some zampoñas following the easy instructions in the book. Hazel loves trying to play them!

Then we decided to follow the suggestion in the book to have a stuffed animal parade, but we decided to use our two llamas (one stuffed and one plastic) and also to use our two instruments. We had Steven video us. (Fair warning, he is not the best with a camera of any sort!)
Now if you are interested in exploring the Andes from your home, please stop by Daria's page and buy her new CD and E-book. They are amazing and we really enjoyed them! Thank you to Daria for sharing these wonderful resources with us!!

VBCfK: The Rain Came Down

Here is a quick educational activity to go along with David Shannon's book, The Rain Came Down. David Shannon is the author of the month for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. Last week we shared a simple activity to go with Duck on a Bike.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Adelita

In preparation of Cinco de Mayo, we thought we would feature the Cinderella stories from Mexico. The first this week. So today we will "travel" to Mexico. Since I have been to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, I will share a few of the pictures I have from my trip.
Mexico is rich with history. Pre-European contact Mexico had many advanced cultures like the Aztecs, the Mayans. In 1521 Spain conquered what is now Mexico and colonized it calling it New Spain. The territory became Mexico in 1821 following its independence. It took its name from its capital city, Mexico City. Mexico City is built on top of the ancient Aztec capital México-Tenochtitlan. The official name of Mexico has changed with government changes. It is now Estados Unidos Mexicanos which translates to the United Mexican States.

Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas and the thirteenth largest independent country in the world. It is the eleventh most populous country and is the most populous Spanish-speaking country. It comprises of 31 states and a Federal District (the capital city). Mexico is the 23rd largest tourism based income in the world. The vast number of tourists come from the United States and Canada. (Source)
Now onto our story! This week we are sharing Tomie dePaola's Adelita.  This book has Spanish phrases throughout it with the English translation following the phrase. At the back of the book, there is a list of all the Spanish used and their meanings and pronunciations. This is a story based on the Cinderella story, but is not an original one to the region.
Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
The story begins describing the father and the mother, Adela, and Adela telling the father they are going to have a baby. He sends for the woman who took care of him as a child and has been with his family since she was a girl. Her name is Esperanza. Adela becomes ill following childbirth and only gets to hold her daughter once before dying. The father names the baby Adelita after her mother. Adelita grows into a beautiful young woman under the care of Esperanza and her father. They both love her very much.

Coloring Pages came from Coloring.WS
One day the father announces he is going to remarry. He brings the woman and her two daughters to meet Adelita and Esperanza. Esperanza does not like them immediately, but Adelita is happy for her father. Adelita has to share her father now, but does not mind since he seems happy. Unfortunately he soon dies and Adelita is left an orphan. Her stepmother begins to show her true colors and jealousy over Adelita. She moves her from her beautiful bedroom to a room in the attic, and she now only is given hand-me-downs for clothes. The stepsisters are also mean to her. Adelita spends much of her time in the kitchen with Esperanza. 
One day the stepmother comes into the kitchen to say she will no longer keep Esperanza since she is spending too much on the household and Adelita can do the work since she is always helping anyway. Esperanza and Adelita beg her not to send Esperanza away, but she does. Adelita is saddened and now must do all the hard work herself. One day at breakfast the stepmother announces they have been invited to a fiesta at the Gordillo's ranch. The girls are very excited since they both would like to marry Javier Gordillo. Adelita asks if she may go as well since she and Javier were childhood friends. She is told she would be an embarrassment to the family and she must stay home. She helps the stepsisters prepare for the party and watches the family leave.
Adelita is weeping in the kitchen when she hears a soft knock on the door. It is Esperanza. She had a dream about Adelita not being allowed to go to the fiesta and has come to help. She takes her to the storeroom and shows her a trunk of her mother's things. They find a beautiful white dress and a red rebozo. Adelita quickly washes and dresses and Esperanza braids her hair and puts it up with ribbons and flowers. Then they use the cart Esperanza borrowed to take her to get there.
Adelita turns heads when she arrives. Senor Gordillo comes to meet her and asks who she is. She tells him she is in disguise and to call her Cenicienta, Cinderella. Javier takes one look and falls in love with her. They dance and talk all night. When he expresses his love to her Adelita becomes nervous and runs away. The next day all the stepmother and stepsisters can talk about is the mysterious Cenicienta at the fiesta. The stepmother tells them Javier is going to go house to house to look for her so her daughters have another chance to impress him. Before going to help her stepsisters, Adelita runs to her room and hangs her mother's rebozo out of the attic window. 

Javier sees the rebozo and runs to the house asking where she is. The stepmother calls in the stepsisters and Javier says they are not the one he means. The stepmother says they are the only ones there, but then a voice form behind says there is one more. Adelita has changed into her mother's dress and rebozo again and comes down the stairs. She tells Javier who she is and of course he remembers his childhood friend. He asks her to marry him and she says since she is an orphan he should ask her stepmother. Her stepmother gives her permission and they are married. Esperanza comes to take care of them as she always had. Everyone is happy.

And that is the first of our two Mexican Cinderella stories. I think I gave our peg doll a bit too much hair. Oh, well.

Sharing Saturday 13-16

What a week this has been. Between the Boston Marathon bombing and school vacation week our week has been anything but normal. We live in the Greater Boston area so the bombing was a bit too close for comfort. However, I did have time to visit the amazing posts from last week's Sharing Saturday. If you have not checked them out yet, you should. I was pinning and being inspired by many of them!! There were great recipes, crafts, science experiments, lessons, activities, playdate ideas and so much more! It was hard to choose features or should I say limit the number of features I chose. Speaking of features, make sure you check out my co-host's features at Having Fun at Chelle's House! We always have different ones. Now onto my features. This week I get to present the Most Clicked!! Our most clicked last week came from Gift of Curiosity with Super Sparkly Sensory Bags. I know Hazel would love to make one of these. I think the next rainy day we will!

Next are a few of the great ideas to help children learn about and celebrate Earth Day. (There were many more so go check them all out!)

1) From My Nearest and Dearest: 6 Earth Day Activities for Little Ones (Some great ideas for even the youngest ones!)
2) From Toddling in the Fast Lane: Recycled Tea Set (Love this idea and it is perfect for play and uses recycled items!)
3) From We Made That: Tin Can Planters (So pretty, simple and Earth friendly!)
4) From Learning and Growing the Piwi Way: Save the Monarchs (I had just been reading about the decline in the butterfly numbers and was thinking about adding some more butterfly friendly plants--love getting the little ones involved!)
5) From Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes: Making Your Own Cool Art Paper (Something I hope to try when Hazel is a bit older!)

Plus I had to mention a few of my other favorites. Just because I loved them and found them inspiring and fun!
A Few of My Favorites
1) From Science Sparks: Challenge and Discover: Bridge Building (A new monthly feature of an idea to explore and try something with and then link up. As a former geometry teacher, I know we looked at bridge structure in my classes and even had a similar challenge of building bridges from toothpicks. Oh, and there is still time to explore and link up!!)
2) From Buggy and Buddy: Science for Kids: Exploring Sound with a Hanger and String (This sounds so neat--I want to try it and I guess I'll let Hazel try too!)
3) From Rubberboots and Elf Shoes: Mr. Klimt Trees -- Kindergarten Style (I love these and they are so pretty!)

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! If you were one of the ones picked as a feature here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.

My Week in Review:
This week I did not post as much as usual. I shared some butterfly crafts, our Virtual Book Club for Kids post of Duck on a Bike, our vacation week outdoor post on a class at Drumlin Farm and gardening and an Alaskan Cinderella story.

Now for This Week's Party 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
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4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as well as Having Fun at Chelle's House at Facebook and Pinterest
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest