Category Archives: (5-8 years) Kindergarten – 3rd Graders

(3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders Books Creative Parenting Creative Products

Book Review: The Pea in Peanut Butter by Allyn Stotz

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Photo courtesy: Allyn Stotz

The Pea in Peanut Butter
Paperback: 36 pages (large print)
ISBN-13: 978-0984589050

The Pea in Peanut Butter Coloring Book Edition

Paperback: 54 pages (large print)
ISBN-13: 978-0615558981

Written by Allyn Stotz
Illustrated by Valerie Bouthyette
Target Age: 3 to 6 year old kids

 

The Pea in Peanut Butter,  the debut children’s picture book for author Allyn Stotz, features the adorable little Kailee. Kailee loves “the super duper, gummy yummy, sticky lickin’, and belly rubbin’ taste of peanut butter.” Of course, it’s no wonder she loves it. Peanut butter is tasty stuff! Unfortunately, Kailee loves it so much that many other foods, especially green ones like peas, get bypassed in favor of her beloved peanut butter. Until…

Kailee’s hungry tummy wakes her and she heads to the pantry for a snack. Instead of the fruit roll-up her mommy suggested, Kailee reaches for a jar of that dreamy creamy peanut butter. While she struggles to open the jar, the door slams, and Kailee is trapped in the pantry. A squeaky voice lets her know she’s not alone.  Who is talking? All Kailee sees is a pantry full of food. Young readers will find themselves pulled into a magical world where foods of all colors come to life and teach Kailee (and them) that it’s fun, tasty, and good for your health to eat a variety of foods.

 

Check out this fun video trailer for a sneak peek inside the book:

Note from Jo: I always test my toy and book reviews on my two kids to get an accurate reading on how well children respond to the product. I have a 10-year-old and 6-year-old, and The Pea in Peanut Butter was a hit with both of them! When I asked each of the girls separately to share a favorite part of the story, the answer was the same. The scene in the pantry when the food comes to life was magical, fun, and got their attention. Whether your kids are picky eaters or not, this book is one they will want to read time and time again! The well-written and imaginative story by Allyn Stotz and the vivid and attention-getting drawings by Valerie Bouthyette are a perfect pairing.

 

How can I get a copy of The Pea in Peanut Butter?

 

We’re glad you asked! There are a few different ways you can get this book for kids.

  1. Visit Allyn’s blog to purchase it. You can even get an autographed copy of The Pea in Peanut Butter if you contact her via her blog and ask for it!
  2. Click one of the Amazon widgets below and go directly to the purchase page.

 

      

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION:
Creative Kids Ideas received a copy of The Pea in Peanut Butter in exchange for this honest book review.

(5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Creative Parenting Creative Teaching Discounts and Savings Teenagers

Raising Money Smart Kids – Setting Savings Goals

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Setting savings goals with your kids

Creative Kids Ideas readers are familiar with our philosophy that kids learn best by doing, not merely listening. This is true in all aspects of life, whether in the classroom or at home.  In her upcoming book, Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar, author Angie Mohr, CA, CMA offers practical advice to adults and encourages that same hands-on approach to teaching kids about money. Today, Angie shares one of her tips with our Creative Kids Ideas readers:

 

Raising Money Smart Kids Tip #5- Setting Savings Goals

 

Every family has different savings philosophies. Each has its benefits and one is not necessarily better than another. Families need to start the process by looking at what is important to them in teaching their kids to save.

The first step in setting savings goals with your kids is deciding what they are going to be responsible for buying.  Will you pay for a new bike every year or are your kids responsible for that?  Will they participate in saving for college or will you fund that for them?  Kids need to know this kind of information in order to make reasonable savings goals.

Once kids are clear on what they need to save for, they can make more informed choices.  The easiest way to get kids to save without a fight is to set ground rules with them.  For example, the rule could be that every time your child comes into money, at least 10 percent goes to the college fund and 40 percent goes to other long term savings.  The rest can be spent or saved as the child chooses.  This accomplishes two goals: it sets them on the path to having disciplined savings deposits and it also allows them some freedom to decide if they want to spend or save a portion of their “income”.  When they are adults, they will be making these same choices on a daily basis and will be setting aside a fixed, recurring amount every month to fund their retirement plans or emergency fund.

Changing Savings Goals
Like adults, kids will likely change their wants and needs many times and will want to re-adjust their savings goals.  Walking them through the process of deciding whether new goals are more appropriate will help them to make these types of decisions in the future.  If you instead hold them to their original plans (“you wanted the iPod so you have to keep saving for it”), kids can lose interest in savings.  That doesn’t mean that they should change their goals every few days when something new and cool comes on the market.  Help them to put some real thought into why the new goals make more sense now than the current goals and help them figure out how much more or less they will have to save on a regular basis to adjust to the new goal.

For more great Raising Money Smart Kids Tips and excerpts from my new book, Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar, come and join us on our March book blog tour here.

© Angie Mohr 2012

 

Drop by Angie Mohr’s blog to offer your support, grab your copy of her new book, or learn more about her other publications.

(1-2 years) Toddlers (3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Creative Teaching Games

Celebrating Seuss

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Fun ways to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and promote reading


Fun ways to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and promote reading

March 2 is the birthday of the late, great children’s author, Dr. Seuss. In honor of this favorite icon in literature, we’ve come up with a few fun ways to celebrate his birthday and promote reading and creativity in kids.

Schools, libraries and other organizations all across America are hosting Read Across America Day and many are celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday with week long events. The National Education Association offers excellent information on Read Across America events happening in local areas throughout the nation.

How you can celebrate Seuss with kids

1. Whether you are a teacher searching for new methods to reach your students and turn them on the joys of reading or a parent looking for fun ways to bond with your children, these activities to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with children of all ages are sure to do the trick.

2. AtoZteacherstuff also offers a comprehensive list of Dr. Seuss themed activities, lesson plans, games and printable craft ideas that we love.

3. You simply can’t forget to visit Seussville. This fun site is loaded with online and printable games and activities for children of all ages. Children can do everything from attempting to catch a Thing, to playing a Fox in Socks matching game, all the way to creating their own stories with the Seussville Storymaker section using Dr. Seuss characters and scenery.

Keep the Seuss attitude

However you choose to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with your children, remember what his writing was all about – creativity and fun. The stories of Dr. Seuss represent those traits to millions of fans, both young and old. Today is a great day for adults to recapture a small portion of that and share it with the children they love.

Have a fun and creative time together!

(5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Contests Creative Parenting Creative Teaching Teenagers

Kids Are Authors Contest Sponsored by Scholastic

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Do you know a child who is a gifted writer or artist? Are you looking for ways to encourage him or her to use those skills?

If so, you might want to check out the Kids Are Authors competition sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs. It is a yearly contest for all students in Kindergarten to 8th grade (in American and U.S. international schools). Since the goal of the contest is to also teach kids how to work better in groups, the rules stipulate that students must work in teams of three or more kids with an adult project coordinator to write and illustrate their own book. The Kids Are Authors competition encourages kids to use their writing and artistic skills, as well as creativity, teamwork, social skills, and communication skills.

 

Important Dates:

All entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2012 in order to be eligible for the 2012 Kids Are Authors Competition. The winners will be announced by May 31, 2012.

Contest Prizes:

Grand Prizes — The two grand-prize winning books will be published by Scholastic and sold at Book Fairs all over the United States. There will be one fiction and one nonfiction book chosen. Each winning team will also receive $5,000 in merchandise from the Scholastic Book Fairs School Resource Catalog to be awarded to the public/private school or non-profit organization of their choice and 100 copies of their published book. Each student will also earn a gold medal and a framed award certificate.

Honeorable Mentions — In addition to the big prizes, there will also be 25 honorable mentions selected. Each winning team will earn $500 in merchandise from the Scholastic Book Fairs School Resource Catalog to be awarded to the public/private school or non-profit organization of their choice. Each participating kid in the winning groups will also receive an award certificate.

Guidelines and Rules:

Learn more about Kids Are Authors by visiting the Scholastic website. You can also find the full contest guidelines and offical rules and specifics on how to enter the contest there.

Good luck to all the kids who enter!

(3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Reviews Toys

Review: Soft Kitty Plush Toy from the Hit Show The Big Bang Theory

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Photo courtesy of: Big Bang Theory and Stylin Online



Photo courtesy of: The Big Bang Theory and Stylin Online

“Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr!”

Fans of the CBS TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory, will recognize the “Soft Kitty” song that an ill Sheldon teaches to Penny and convinces her to sing to make him feel better. This cute and snuggly plush kitty sings the soothing song (in Penny’s voice) when the paw is pressed, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your child’s face, whether she is sick or not!

Parents who may be concerned about giving their child a collectible item from The Big Bang Theory, which is a show that sometimes contains more “adult content”, can rest assured that there is nothing inappropriate for kids with the song or the plush toy. But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Here’s a short video to give you a better idea:

Photo courtesy of: The Big Bang Theory and Stylin Online

Here are the details you’ll need to know about the Soft Kitty Singing Plush Toy:

 

  • This plush is a trademark The Big Bang Theory product.
  • The kitty is 10-inches long.
  • The plush toy is gray and pink.
  • It requires three 1.5V button-cell batteries (included with the toy).
  • It plays “Soft Kitty” when the button on the paw is pressed.
  • The kitty is made of polyester fiber and is all new material.
  • The plush is not machine washable. Surface cleaning should be done with a damp cloth.
  • The toy is recommended for children (and adults) over the age of 3.
  • The Soft Kitty plush is now available on Stylin Online for $29.99.

**I received no payment for this review, but did receive a free Soft Kitty Plush toy in exchange for an honest review on Creative Kids Ideas.**

(3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Creative Parenting Creative Play Creative Teaching Games Teenagers

Games that Teach Kids

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Games are great way to teach kids (Photo credit: sxc.hu/juliaf)



Games are great way to teach kids (Photo credit: sxc.hu/juliaf)

I’m a firm believer that learning should be fun, especially when the learners are kids. The use of games, activities, and other hands-on methods get children and teens involved in the learning process instead of just being observers. Not only do I use these types of methods with my own kids, ages 5 (she’ll be 6 next week!) and 10, I’ve also used them repeatedly with kids as a youth worker, tutor, mentor, and teacher.

Imagination and flexibility are key to using visuals, games, and activities to teach children and teens. There aren’t any two kids out there who are exactly the same or learn in exactly the same way. No two children will gain exactly the same lessons from a learning activity.  Games will work the same with different groups of kids. So, that means, adults have to also be in tune with their creative side, stay on their toes, and be ready to change with the needs of the child or group of kids.

To get you started, here is a short list of some of my favorite games that teach kids:

  • Interactive Games to Teach Kids Social Skills – Development of social skills is important to the growth of children. Social skills help them make friends, communicate and relate with other kids and adults, make decisions, solve problems, and learn to act appropriately. One way parents, teachers and youth workers can help kids learn and develop social skills is by using interactive games. Kids learn best when allowed to apply and practice what they’re taught in a playful, non-threatening environment. Incorporating games into lessons is an excellent way to do that. Try these interactive games for kids.
  • Communication-Building Activity for Parents and Children – Developing good communication skills at an early age helps kids build healthyrelationships with other children and adults, and feel more confident in themselves. Unfortunately, communication between parents and children is often strained, unclear and, sadly, sometimes almost nonexistent. If you find your relationship with your child falling into this trap, try this quick communication building activity for parents and kids to help you redirect your attention on each other.
  • Five Fun Icebreaker Games for Tweens and Teens – Icebreakers are games and activities that encourage people of all ages to get acquainted, relax, and become part of the group. I’ve worked as a youth leader for over 15 years and use icebreakers to ease new members into the group, encourage preteens and teens to get to know each other better, and get them loose and excited about the upcoming event. Icebreaker games work well for youth group meetings, kids’ parties, and informal classroom settings. Here are five of my favorite icebreaker games for tweens and teens.
  • Team Building Games for Preteens and Teenagers - We live in a society that stresses an “it’s all about me” mentality. Kids are exposed to that, too, so it’s no wonder they often struggle to work together. This is evident whenever a group of kids are gathered in a classroom, party or other youth event. I often use games and icebreakers to help the teenagers and tweens in my youth programs develop their social skills and communicate better. Try these team building games for groups.

(1-2 years) Toddlers (3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Activities Creative Parenting Creative Play Family relationships Teenagers

Date Night… with Your Kids

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Date night... not just for parents anymore! Make it a family affair.



Date night... not just for parents anymore! Make it a family affair.

Date night... not just for adults anymore. Make it a family affair!

Relationships that matter are worth the effort they require. That doesn’t only apply to grown-up relationships, but also to the ones with our kids. When we became parents, my husband and I learned it was important to make time for each other in order to keep our marriage fresh and stay connected to each other. Time alone is often spent at home after the kids go to bed, but the preparations happen while they’re still awake. Our girls latched on to the excitement surrounding date night and soon starting asking to be a part of it. That inspired a family tradition that includes one night a week set aside for mommy and daddy time and another one for special family time. That’s how family date night started in our home. Read five creative ways…

(5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Creative Parenting Kids' Health Teenagers

Kids and Body Image

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Kids and Body Image


Kids and Body Image

Body image is a tough battle for kids to fight. Heck, if we’re honest, most adults still struggle with learning to love and accept our bodies. In the 15+ plus years I’ve been working as a youth leader, I’ve seen and heard the self-doubt and critical appraisals of their bodies from the tweens and teens over and over again.  And I knew it was only a matter of time before my own preteen daughter would be facing many of those same issues. Little did I know, my daughter was already struggling with her body image.

While I couldn’t change how she saw herself, I could help her learn to be comfortable with her own body and develop a more positive self-image. Read “Looking in the Mirror: How to Help Your Daughter with Her Body Image” to learn five ways I helped – and continue to help – my daughter with her body image.

(1-2 years) Toddlers (3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Activities Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Games Holidays

Fun St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids

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Activities and crafts to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your kids

Parents and teachers can find a wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day activities, craft ideas and printables for children online. Here are some of my favorite websites and links to articles with fun ideas and St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids and families to enjoy.

St. Patrick’s Day printables and coloring pages:

  • Parents and teachers will find word search puzzles, printable shamrocks, leprechaun puppets, St. Patrick’s Day games, coloring pages and more at Abcteach.com.
  • Visit Kaboose.com for a huge selection of fun St. Patrick’s Day crafts, activities, clip art, games, recipes and party ideas for kids of all ages.
  • Discover coloring pages, St. Patrick’s Day crafts, games, worksheets and recipes galore at DLTK’s page for St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids.

Other St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids and families:

  • Add a little history, adventure and Irish folklore to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration with your children this year by setting a leprechaun trap. This is a great activity for home or school. Read this article for full details on how to set a trap with the children.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your family from Creative Kids Ideas!

(3-4 years) Preschoolers (5-8 years) Kindergarten - 3rd Graders (9-12 years) Tweens Crafts Creative Parenting Creative Play Creative Teaching Holidays

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

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Have a Happy and Creative Valentine's Day!

Today’s a busy holiday, so this post will be short and sweet – kind of like my two little Valentines are! :) I simply want to wish you and your family a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also, if you’re looking for last minute Valentine’s Day ideas to use with your kids, check out these fun ones below:

How to Make a Valentine Mailbox for Your Child’s Valentine’s Day Cards and Gifts – Do you need a way to hold your child’s Valentine’s Day cards and gifts? Don’t worry. It’s still not too late to make one! This fun and functional valentine mailbox is a simple and inexpensive craft project to make with kids at home or at school. It can be customized for each child, so it’s suitable for boys and girls. The best part about this cute kids’ craft is there’s no need to spend money on supplies, because it’s made entirely from construction paper and recycled materials.

Recycled Jeans Valentine Pouch – I saw this cute Valentine’s Day craft for kids the other day and fell in love. It’s made from an old pair of blue jeans and a few other simple items. It’s a win-win idea. You get rid of some of those old holey jeans that are lying around, you and your child have fun making the craft together, and your child gets a stylish and unique way to hold her valentines or decorate her doorknob.

Valentine’s Card Homemade from the Heart – Need some last minute valentines cards? Instead of spending money on store-bought ones, try these quick, easy-to-make ideas for making your own cards. The thought and creativity you put into these will make your Valentine feel even more special!

Still want more? Here are a few other Creative Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Creative Kids Ideas!