Friday, August 29, 2008

That's Not My Monkey ... It's Ears Are Too Soft

That's Not My Monkey is part of Usborne's Touchy-Feely board book series. This is a delightful book that children 9 months and older will enjoy for years. Each page has a diferent texture to it, which is a great way for kids to develop sensory and language awareness. They will enjoy going through this book over and over again. It makes a great addition to your "busy bag".

That's Not My Monkey also has repetative text. Children start to recognize the words to the book, and will eventually start reading it to themselves. My daughter started with That's Not My Puppy and enjoyed that book for a good 4 years. You can't beat that for getting your money's worth out of a book!

There are 27 different toucy-feely board books in this series. Most are only 7.99. A few, like That's Not My Fairy and That's Not My Princess, are 9.99. With these prices, and the great quality of these books, they make wonderful gifts for those having a baby. They will also make wonderful stocking stuffers for the littlest of ones on your Christams list. Yes, Christmas time is upon us already!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Keep Your Kids Busy with Usborne's Big Book of Things To Make and Do

This is a painting my daughter did back when she was just 4 1/2 years old. I had just started with Usborne and she always had to be painting, so I found some wonderful painting activities for her in The Big Book of Things to Do.

This is such an awesome project. It actually walked Em through the steps to complete this adorable penguin picture. I kept one color of paint out at a time for her. When she was done with that color, we washed the brush and got the next color out. There was quite of bit of waiting for paint to dry, so that worked out perfectly. For instance, first she painted the blue background. Then she had to wait for that to dry. Then she brushed some white paint over the blue paint. Then she had to wait for that to dry. She had to do this with each step. By waiting for each step to dry, you end up with a wonderful masterpiece instead of a big swirly mess of brown or icky colors. You also end up with a clean table instead of one full of messy paints to clean up.

Also included in The Big Book of Things to Do are activities for growing plants and gardens, cooking, drawing, arts and crafts, dress up, and other painting activities. For only 18.95, you can't go wrong with this book. It is full of enough activities to keep you busy for a full school year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Make This Egyptian Mummy from Usborne Books

My 10 year old son is fascinated with the Ancient Egyptian Era. Anything he can get his hands on when it comes to this subject he begs for.

I had Make This Egyptian Mummy in my stash of Usborne stuff, and he found it yesturday. He had so much fun with this. "I liked this cause it had a mummy, and I built it in a couple hours!".

I think he was most proud of the fact that he was able to build this so quickly. Many of these heavy stock cut-out models take days if not weeks to build. He built the Mayflower last year (not an Usborne publication), and it took weeks to get that built.

The nice thing with this, the model ends up pretty large. He was so excited that it was so big. He's built many mummy and sarcophaguses from other activity kits, and this one is the biggest. Heck, this boy could open his own museum with all the stuff he's built.

At just 9.95, Make This Egyptian Mummy is a great activity for those kids interested in Ancient Egypt and mummies. This is also a great resource for home schoolers who are studying Ancient Egypt.

By the way, my son started on the Trojan Horse today. He is bound and determined to finish this one in one day as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Winner of I Can Draw Animals Free Book Giveaway

Congratulations Rachel! You are the first winner of our monthly free book giveaway! Rachel won the wonderful book I Can Draw Animals. Here is the original post on this free book giveaway.

Make sure you come back on September 1st to enter our second monthly free book giveaway.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kids Can Make Their Own Greek Pot from the Ancient Olympics

Your kids will have a blast, just like mine did, making these ancient Greek pots. This is one of the pots my son made. You can print them off so your kids can keep their designs. They look pretty neat. Your kids can make their own pots here.  Be sure to check out the other Greek activities on this site as well as the Egyptian information and activities.  There are tons of information and fun activities for your kids to learn about the classical era of history.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Children's World Cookbook - Teach Your Kids About Foods From Various Countries in the Olympics

The Children's World Cookbook is by far one of my favorites that Usborne has to offer. This has provided a great avenue for me to teach my kids about foods from various countries. While the Olympics are in progress I am letting the kids choose a different recipe from a country they are becoming familiar with during these Olympics. Tonight we made the Beef Stroganoff from Russia.

The kids are enjoying learning a little about each country and making a dish from that country too.
The recipes are shown with a picture of the finished dish along with step-by-step instructions, so your kids are more than able to help you. Older kids can follow easily and cook dinner for you on their own. We'd all like that, wouldn't we!

One of the things I love about this book is that it covers other topics than just recipes. Twenty seven different countries or continents are covered. It even has a section on fruits of the world, vegetables of the world, breads of the world (which even explains about the different grains), cheeses of the world, and cakes and pastries of the world. It will even take your family through Italian delicatessans, Mexican fruit markets, and Thailand's floating markets.

The Children's World Cookbook is one of Usborne's internet-linked books which means it contains links to kid approved sites so your children can learn even more on the topics associated with this book. One of the links takes you on a sightseeing trip through Russia.

Happy Cooking!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Let the Olympic Games Begin!

What a night! That was the most spectacular opening ceremonies I can remember of the Olympic Games. My goodness, the Greeks from thousands of years ago, who first started the Olympics, would be amazed to see what the games have become.

I remember many past Olympics. I remember watching Mark Spitz win his unprecedented 7 gold medals at the '72 Munich games. Those are the first Olympics I remember ever watching. I was quite bored at the time, but remember the hype and hoopla. Because of that hype and hoopla I remember it very clearly. I also remember when Nadia Comaneci won all her gold medals with her perfect 10s. I didn't actually watch her win, but I had a friend who was a gymnast and she did not let me NOT know about it! Now that I have a gymnast (my little girl) herself, she fills me in on all the gymnasts.

Tonight's opening ceremony was great. We had gone through all the Usborne books that I had mentioned below, and the kids enjoyed knowing what the Olympics really were about. Because I had taught them about it before they started, they understood what the big deal was. They had a blast calling out the countries and shouting out what continent they were from. I was quite proud that they were probably about 95% right!

A couple things we learned during the opening ceremonies:

1. Andora only has 72,000 people in their country. That is less than is in our whole town!
2. Tuvalu is an island nation of only 12,000.
3. Most of the countries flag carriers were track and field athletes. (something my kids kept track of)
4. Brazil, the home of Pele, has never won a gold medal in men's or women's scoccer.
5. Niger has one athlete. A swimmer. He got to be the flag bearer.
6. Lesoto is a country totally surrounded by S. Africa.
7. Ireland has the fastest growing population in Europe.
8. Gambia is the smallest country in Aftrica.
9. The Prime Minister of Japan is entered in the Equestrian events.
10. The Equestrian events are being held in Hong Kong, a 4 hour flight from Beijing.
11. The US has 648 athlletes in the Olympics. (we had a family bet on how many athletes the US has, my daughter won.)

Enjoy the Olympics with your kids. You are building memories for a lifetime together with them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics TV Schedule

Had to put this up so my daughter could find when all the gymnastics competitions are on. I hope to help others find what they are looking for too. Enjoy the Olympics with your kids!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Visit the Olympics Host Country in Usborne's Book titled China

The Olympics are in China, so why not teach your kids about this vast host country with Usborne's book China. Recommended for ages 6 and up, children will love to learn about the people and animals of China, how they celebrate their new year, and about Chinese writing.

Usborne's China is an internet-referenced book which means it references kid approved sites that your children can go to in order to learn more on a subject. One of the referenced sites in China is a Panda Video
Make sure you click on video once you are to the site. My kids loved this because it shows an itty bitty baby panda with its mama. The video is not long so it keeps the kids attention, but it is full of info on pandas and you really get to see up close how they live. I thought it was great. So did my kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Learn the Countries of the World During the Olympics with Usborne's Flags Sticker Books

While you sit down and watch the Olympics with your family, you can teach your children about each of the countries flags and where each country is on the world map. To us parents, flags don't sound so interesting, but to kids, they have fun picking out the flags of various countries and then figuring out or learning where that country is on the map.

Usborne's Flags Sticker Book contains a flag sticker from every country in the world. It also has maps of the continents so you can show your children where that country is.

As the athletes compete, and their country's flag is shown next to their names on tv, your children will eventually learn where in the world that athlete is from. This is a great geography training tool for you to utilize with your children.