Showing posts with label stones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stones. Show all posts

Elmer's Glow in the Dark Glue -- a Crafty Weekends Review and Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these bottle of glue in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

So I was very excited to get this new Glow in the Dark Glue from Elmer's. I had many ideas on what to do with it. The obvious one being slime. But we are into Harry Potter right now. Hazel is reading all the books on her own constantly. I had seen an idea of making the Deathly Hallow Resurrection Stone with hot glue on a stone, but I thought how cool it would be to glow in the dark. I decided to use the yellow glue on black(ish) stones.

MindWare Gifts -- Perfect Gifts to Get Them Thinking!!

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from MindWare. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

I have been sharing some of our favorite places to get gifts and tonight I am sharing a new one. MindWare has many educational and fun gifts. They are connected now with Oriental Trading. You can get your party supplies and gifts in one stop!! The first thing I knew I wanted to check out was Qwirkle. I had heard of it but never played. 

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Mixed Up Fairy Tales by Nick Sharratt

This month the author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Nick Sharratt. We have really enjoyed his books. He has quite a range of books and then even more that he has illustrated. You can learn a little more about Nick Sharratt on his website.

Preparing for National Hunger Action Month

September is National Hunger Action Month. This year I thought I would get a head start. I am joining the amazing group of bloggers again called Moms Fighting Hunger. We are joining with No Kid Hungry to try to help combat childhood hunger in our local areas. Last year I challenged you my readers to join me in gathering food for local food pantries. Again I will extend this invitation to you. Last year I also helped plan a story time food drive at my local library, but since I got started late, it was in October. We used the theme of Stone Soup for it. This year I am starting earlier. I passed on Jen's from The Good Long Road idea of a food drive themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar back in the spring, and we discussed doing a story time theme, but it hasn't happened. We are now thinking of doing some combination with the library's food drive around Thanksgiving. 

This year I wanted to do something bigger too. So I decided to gather emails for many local libraries and preschools and offer them the story time themes of Stone Soup and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I gathered craft ideas and story telling ideas for both on Pintetest boards: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board and Stone Soup Board. I also put together outlines for both story times with options of additional books, story telling props and crafts and activities. (You can click picture or caption to get the free downloads.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Set
I also did a generic flyer to advertise the story time with spots to fill in each places information (in red). The flyer is in Word, so it would be easy to change.  Here is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A big thank you to Vickie from Mrs. Plant's Press and Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy for allowing me to use their pictures on my outline.
Stone Soup Set

For Stone Soup, I used pictures from our story time last year on the outline and including a tutorial on making the story stones we used. Then I made a generic flyer again for this story time theme. Finally I made a set of memory cards to go with Stone Soup. The ones I printed, I forgot to center the page so you could print double, but I have fixed it in the printable.

I figured it would be a fun activity and also an easy take-home activity. I have not found as much on Stone Soup as I did The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I wanted to add some more to it.

I then sent these as attachments to the local libraries and preschools. Above is the e-mail I sent out. I am sharing all of these in hopes that others will want to use them. Either to send out to local libraries in your area or to plan your own story time food drive. 

The next thing we are doing for Hunger Action Month includes our long talked about butterfly party. Hazel made up a Butterfly party song she sang at the library yesterday while playing her ukulele. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn the picture with the software it was in. We sent out our invitation to the party asking people to bring fruit for a fruit salad and a can of fruit or vegetable for the local food pantry.
I included the video in the invitation and somehow my clip art did not show up. Oh, well. Hazel is so excited for it. I will post more as we get towards it.

So that is what we are doing for Hunger Action Month. Will you join us and get the word out to help our hungry children? After all, one in five American children are from a family who struggles to get enough food on the table. In a country as great as the United States, I think we can do better for our children.

Halloween Books

Two of Hazel's all time favorite books are Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Last year, I needle felted Hazel the characters to Big Pumpkin, and we made some from toilet paper rolls. Then I made her a memory game with the clothing and pumpkin and the sounds they make from The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

This year we have been doing the story stones, so I made her story stones of the different "characters" from each book.
For Big Pumpkin, I gave her the big pumpkin and a pumpkin pie! I was able to use stickers for all of these except the witch. I did my best to paint a witch for her. We also needed a house for the witch, so we used the lovely cottage that Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts made for Hazel.
I made the little old lady as well as each of the things she runs into with the sounds they make. These I had to paint mostly by hand except the giant pumpkin head since we had a great sticker for that from Trader Joe's. (I think this sticker was leftover from last Halloween. Several of the employees really like Hazel and give her so many stickers every time we go. We have them all over the house.)

Now we can act out while reading the book or without reading the book. Yes, Hazel has both memorized so she really does not need someone to read them to her, but she still loves to have them read!

Story Time to Help Fight Hunger

If you read my blog regularly, you know I joined a group of parents, teachers, concerned citizens called Moms Fighting Hunger to help bring awareness to the No Kid Hungry Campaign in September. (If you have not been following them all you can see all my posts about this here.) September is National Hunger Month and thus why we did all of this in September. As I was thinking of what I wanted to do to help, I came up with the idea of having a story time at the library about food and hunger and ask the children (and their families) ahead of time to bring a can of food for our town's food pantry. I had really wanted to do something different. I knew I could bring cans of food to church which is always collecting for one of the local places, but wanted to make a difference in a way that affected more people than just myself.

My first stop was at our town library. Luckily the children's librarian, Ms. Bethany is amazing and we know her well. She loved the idea and the only stipulation was that it could not be in September since the September calendar was set and we needed time to advertise. So we chose the first week in October. She does two morning story times every Tuesday: one for toddlers and one for preschoolers and then often she does something after school for the older children. So yesterday was our day. Now I wanted to help as much as possible. We brainstormed about some book/story ideas and I came up with Stone Soup and making story stones so the children could add a stone with a picture of an ingredient to the pot. She loved the idea and I made her the stones. (I shared them here.) I also talked to the editor-in-chief at our local newspaper and he of course said he would help advertise it. I just had to send it to him, which I did. It made it into the paper here.

So yesterday between the three story times, she had about 40 people including parents. We gathered six bags of food which I brought to the food pantry this morning. Hazel and I attended the afternoon story time since Hazel was in school for the morning ones. This had the smallest crowd, but it was fun. 
The first book she read was Sylvie by Jennifer Sattler. This was a very entertaining book about a flamingo that changes color by eating different foods.
One Potato, Two Potato 
Next she read One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice about an elderly, poor couple who only has potatoes to eat and when the man realizes he has dug up the last potato he digs deeper and finds a magic pot that recreates whatever you put in it. Therefore, the last potato becomes two and then four, etc.  It is a very cute story that uses magic to save these people, but definitely shows hunger (they shared one potato for all three meals of the day each day) in less scary way.

Then she told Stone Soup. She used her felt board with three travelers on it. And she had distributed the stones with pictures of food on them to the children. She asked if each child had any food to spare for the travelers and of course they said, "No."  So the travelers decided to make stone soup and she put the three blank stones into the basket (she forgot the pot at home). Then asked if anyone had water they could spare. The child with the water rock said yes and put her rock in the basket. Then she asked for salt and pepper and the child with the salt and pepper rock put it in the basket. Then the kids and Ms. Bethany kept adding their rocks to the basket.
Hazel putting a stone in
When there were no stones left, they stirred the soup. The kids loved checking it all out.
After the story Ms. Bethany had a Stone Soup craft for them. Each child got a bowl and three beans which were the stones and then they added cut outs of food. She even had pieces of yarn as noodles. Then she talked to the kids about what kind of soup they liked best.
Bethany's Sample

They had a blast doing it. Hazel liked trying to cut out the shapes. They all seemed to really enjoy it!
Here is Hazel's before she added the food she cut out herself. When she was done there wasn't much inside of the bowl showing.
Oh, and a reporter from a local daily paper came to take a picture of the story time, so we will be featured there as well. I'm also going to write a press release and send pictures to our town papers. Oh, and did I mention Ms. Bethany and I decided this should be an annual thing. Next year I'm going to make her a felt fire for under the pot!

So have you met my challenge yet and donated a can of food to your local food pantry or soup kitchen? I hope so!! Please let me know if you have! You can also make a donation directly to the No Kid Hungry Campaign here. Thank you for helping us in our fight!