On Friday, July 23, the Olympic flame will arrive in Tokyo, and the most anticipated sports event of the year will begin! The opening ceremony will be full of dancing, singing, art and an explosion of culture. Then, the events will begin. Regardless of age, we all discover new heroes, cheer until our voices grow faint and feel the chill of inspiration watching athletes overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
My favorite summer sport has always been gymnastics. The strength, grace and pure power it takes to defy gravity, spinning so fast you can barely track the rotations, and then sticking the landing—wow, it just blows my mind! While *I* am not a gymnast, my sister is a preschool gymnastics teacher in Tennessee, and she’s agreed to share some of her favorite exercises for you and your young athlete!
Stories about farm animals fit right in with the Summer Reading theme of “Tales & Tails.” But the characters in these tales are not ordinary animals—they all want to be in a band. I discovered a wonderful variety of books, music and videos about talented farm animals making music. In case you aren’t familiar with some of the instruments being played, I added some nonfiction books and video clips about musical instruments too.Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Barnyard Bands”
Do you remember the excitement of waiting for your birthday party? The main character in this book has been looking forward to her birthday for “twelve moons” and measures the time it took to make the invitations in hours, smudges and sandwiches consumed. This book is full of surprising measurements, which is a great way to reinforce numbers with little ones. As the family heads to the park for the birthday party, the event is tragically rained out. But on their way home they find a lost dog, and search through the park until they find the owner. The grateful owner invites the birthday girl to their house, and their party supplies and birthday cake get to be enjoyed after all. This sweet and delightful book models staying positive even when dealing with disappointment. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: July Favorites 2021”
July 10th is National Kitten Day, so, in honor of this cutest of holidays, and as a complement to our Virtual Activity Bundle on pets from a few weeks ago, I want to specifically focus on my favorite pets — cats! Cats were first domesticated around 7500 BC (which is actually thousands of years later than dogs) and in ancient Egypt they were regarded as sacred and depicted in art representing justice, fertility and power. In the 15th and 16th century, cats made their way to America on cargo ships, tagging along with Christopher Columbus and then later with the settlers at Jamestown and on the Mayflower. By the end of the 19th century they became popular here not only as expert mouse catchers but as household companions, and they continue to be the second most-owned pet in America after fish. So here are some books, songs, videos and a craft activity to help celebrate our wonderful feline friends. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Cats”
In the book “I’m Not Using the Potty” by author Laura Gelh, Peep is excited. “Today is the day!” Peep said. “Time to start using the potty!” But to Egg, the potty is too slippery to sit on, the toilet paper is too tangly and the flushing noise is too loud!
Encouraging a child to try something new is often challenging. But when it comes to potty training, there are also so many questions. Is my child ready? Am I ready? What’s the best method or approach? How long will this take? Additionally, there’s a plethora of advice from well-meaning family and friends, each with their own stories, proven techniques and absolute dos and don’ts.
One of my sons has a snake for a pet. (I’m not a fan of snakes!) Fortunately my son is all grown up, so he and his snake don’t live with me. My other son has raised ferrets and kittens. But personally, I’m a dog fan. My children grew up playing with and taking care of dogs, learning responsibility along the way. There are lots of animals that make good pets—you can explore some pet choices by checking out the resources and activities below. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Pets”
For this month’s favorites, we’ve got elephants and dogs and bears—oh my! I couldn’t resist all the animal books for our “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading theme this year, but I did throw in a few others as well. Enjoy!
Have you ever noticed that the word “underpants” is somehow funnier than “underwear”? Try saying it out loud to compare. Now get ready to say “underpants” approximately 34 more times, because this book has a lot of hilarious repetition! It is possible you’ll get tired of saying this word, but I assure you, your kids won’t get tired of listening to it. One morning Bear Cub wakes up and notices a pair of underpants hanging outside his cave. They’re not labelled, and Bear Cub is determined to find their owner, so no one will have to go underpants-less. As he asks each of his friends, they all show off their own undies and demonstrate why the tighty whities in question can’t be theirs. Of course the mystery is solved in the end! This is a perfect book for this year’s Summer Reading theme of “Tails and Tales,” as readers will get a delightful tour of the tail-ends of various forest animals. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2021”
It’s not quite here yet, but we’re only 17 days away from the summer solstice—the longest day of the year, and the first day of the most fun and lazy season of them all! Swimming pools, picnics, float trips, family vacations, long bike rides, campfire singalongs, afternoons spent with a good book, a welcome break from the daily grind of schoolwork—these are just some of the many pleasures of summer for kids and their parents. Here are some great books, songs, videos and a cool craft project to complement your summer activities or give you some new ideas for how to have fun in the coming months. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Summer”