Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Exclusive Summer Olympics news & widgets at NBC Olympics.com!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Olympics are Just Around the Corner...

The Olympics start August 8th in Beijing, China. I've always loved watching the Olympics. This year's Olympics will take on new meaning as my daughter is a team gymnast and is so looking forward to watching the gymnasts compete at that level.

With that said, I thought it appropriate to teach her, along with my son, the history of the Olympics and why they are such a big deal. Just this year Usborne came out with a great book on the Olympics - The Story of the Olympics. This book is part of Usborne's Reading Series 2 Gift Book set, and is recommended for ages 7 and up. I'll shed some light on this book. Over the next couple of days, I'll share other Olympic info found in Usborne Books so you can teach your kids about the Olympics too.

Last night we read the first three chapters which are on the ancient games. There was quite a bit of info that I didn't even know. I'm getting so much smarter teaching my kids all this stuff. Anyway, I had no idea that during the ancient games they competed naked. One thing Usborne is known for is their accuracy, so some of the pictures do have cartoonish drawings with the backs of naked people - but it's very tastefully done and I didn't even get any wise cracks from my kids about it (sorry, no pun intended).

The rest of the book goes over the modern games. My son found it quite fascinating, and I thought it interesting to learn that the current length of the marathon race was changed to 26 miles and 385 yards because King Eward XII and Queen Alexandria wanted to watch the beginning of the race from Windsor Castle. I personally would have preferred to have watched the end of the race. Oh well, that does explain, however, the odd length for the marathon.

The Story of the Olympics is an internet-linked book. Here are a couple of the links you will find in this book:

Ancient Games This is a neat, animated site where kids follow two Greek guides through the ancient games.

Modern Games Learn about all the sports in the summer games from animated guides. Click on this site - words don't do it justice.

There is such interesting information about the Olympics in this book. If you know some other interesting tidbits about the Olympics please share!
Happy Olympics! Kristie

PS - Don't forget to go down to the Free Book Give Away post below to enter to win a free Usborne book!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Free Book Giveaway - I Can Draw Animals

I Can Draw Animals is part of Usborne's Playtime series. It is also included in the combined volume Big Book of Playtime Activities (one of my favorites that Usborne has to offer).

This book has very clear step-by-step picture instructions. Kids can follow the instructions on their own, or you can sit down with your child and teach them the steps yourself. This is a great book for those that can't draw and want to teach their kids how to draw animals - something every kid wants to do.

It's also a great book for you, mom or dad, to go to when Jr. says, "Hey, can you draw me a frog!" Your child will be amazed at how well your frog comes out, and they'll even be more amazed when you teach them how to draw that frog and their frog looks just as good as yours!!

This book will provide tons of fun for you and your kids.

It is also available in a kid kit version with chalk included. My kids love drawing the animals on the sidewalk with chalk. They make full ocean and jungle scenes. The kids on the block come and say "How'd you do that!?!".

Now the fun part! If you would like to win I Can Draw Animals for your family, post a comment on why you would like this book. Winner will be randomly selected at noon EST time August 15th. Winner will be announced, and I will email the winner to get proper shipping instructions. Ok now, get posting. I know you want that book!

~Happy Drawing! ~ Kristie~

Clearly a Very Loved Child with Lots of Love to Give

Now how precious is this!! My daughter leaves pictures like these all around the house for me (she leaves ones for her dad too, and sometimes even her brother). I must have stacks of these.
Anyway, I find it so interesting that she draws all her people with heart shaped heads. There's always hearts all throughout her drawings. I just love it! And she always writes in there "I Love Mom". Too cool.
I'm just so thrilled to see such happiness and love exuding from this child. I'm thrilled that she knows how much she is loved and is able to express it back at such a young age. (It'll be interesting to see what her drawings look like 10 years from now! Yikes! I hope they stay sweet like this.)
Oh - and she always has crosses somewhere in her drawings. "That's cause God is always everywhere.", she says. Again, too cool!
If you'd like to share a precious picture that your child has drawn please post it. Tell us a little about it too. Everyone loves to see such cute pictures.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Children's Activities with Usborne Books

Welcome! I am so excited to start sharing all the fun stuff you can do with your children by using Usborne books. I taught a preschool art class and used the
Big Book of Playtime Activities for the entire year. The kids LOVED all the projects. The parents loved it too.

So many parents that I meet tell me that they just don't know what to do with their kids when it comes to hands on activities, especially arts and crafts!! That is why I decided to start this blog. I want to be able to show parents that it's so simple to sit down and draw and EVEN PAINT with their kids. There are easy ways to keep painting non-messy. You're kids will love you even more (if that's possible) if you take the time to do some of these types of activities with them.

There will be more than just art on this blog. Usborne books has some incredible science experiment books and internet-linked books that I just have to share with you! They are awesome!!
Each month I will be giving away a free book! Everyone likes a free book, eh! Watch here for further details.