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”
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”
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”
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”
It’s vacation season! You may or may not be doing much traveling right now, but a good story or song will have you imagining yourself on a train, a bus, an airplane or a boat. Get your mind moving with these resources, then get your body moving with the songs and activity ideas. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Transportation”
Did you know the Missouri flag features two grizzly bears on the seal but black bears are the only species of bear found in Missouri?
I’ve got a paw-some list of books and movies all about these super-sniffing, honey-scarfing ursines along with a beary simple snack recipe at the end of this activity bundle that your cubs at home will love. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Bears”
Dinosaurs are fascinating to all ages. It still amazes me how often a small child can tell you exactly what kind of dinosaur is in a picture. And new dinosaur bones and information are being discovered every year. I find it mind-boggling that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. (When I was growing up, we thought all dinosaurs were related to reptiles.)
Here are some fun resources to share with your dinosaur-loving child. Who knows, you might even learn something new too! Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Dinosaurs”
Spring is almost here, FINALLY! For many families, this has been a particularly stressful and difficult winter, filled with navigating the unfamiliar terrain of COVID-19 and virtual schooling. Here’s hoping the warmer weather will bring with it a greater sense of ease. To celebrate the new season, here are some great books, songs, videos and a fun activity that will hopefully help your family appreciate the joys and wonders of this most rejuvenating time of year.
“Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring,” by Kenard Pak
A boy and his dog take a walk through a winter night and take cover during a snowstorm. When they wake up in the morning, they see the first signs of spring as the ice and snow begin to thaw. On their morning walk, they say hello to the new leaves, budding flowers, green grass and the singing birds who have returned. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Spring”
Bugs are the best. They are the squishiest, the smallest and the creepy crawliest! I love to see them—from a distance. In this Virtual Activity Bundle, I will share some of my favorite bug-themed activities, books, music and more. Enjoy!
“Ask a Bug” by DK
This book will take the reader from the intimate details of the creature’s life (Are bugs born as eggs? What do they eat? How fast do they grow?) to the bigger picture, offering a chance to explore their wider habitat and their friends and enemies. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Bugs”
One of the first things we teach children are the names of colors. Color words offer us a way to describe things in our world. Knowing colors is an important part of a child’s development. It helps children understand the objects around them and put words and concepts together. One of the best ways to introduce and reinforce this knowledge is through fun books and activities like the ones listed below.
“Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes” written by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
Pete loves his white shoes, but during a walk he steps in things that change the shoes’ color. Does he cry? Goodness, no, he keeps walking along singing his song. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Colors”