Thursday, June 12, 2008

Week Three Summer Mini Camp

All around the world!

I like to create a passport for the kids during weeks that study other countries.
In previous summer school days I would take a piece of card stock and fold it in half and glue a photo of the child on front. I would make spaces in the inside for "stamping" each country as they took a visit. It was a nice daily routine for World week.

Fact Finders:
(Read Frommers travel guides and this too
Finn M'Coul (The giant of knockmany hill book by Tomie De Paola)
Craft -
Make Christmas Crackers!
Snack- High Tea! Serve tea and bisquits (cookies)

Fact finders:
( Read Frommers and we like these books: A Family from Japan by Julia Waterlow and National Geographic Japan)
Fable: The Star Festival
craft: Poetry Strips
Snack- Sushi oh yeah! Visit to a sushi restaurant or grab some sushi from the grocery for a treat.

Fact Finders:
(Frommers and this one)
Fable: ( I love Indian Tales a Barefoot collection by Shenaaz Nanji!) many to choose
Craft: Rangoli
Snack: nan bread! Make yr own- check out this great post about nan!


Fact Finders:
Frommers and When the World Began by Elizabeth Laird
Fable: Anansi is great here- check the library for tons of books!
Craft: Batik -check this out
Snack: Make Injera ( sponge bread)

Fact Finders:

Frommer and A Visit to Greece by Connie Roop and Welcome to Greece by Meredith Costain
Fable: Mythology all the way here! Get some ideas here and here
Craft: Evil eyes! Make some evil eyes and hang from the windows
Snack: Yumm! Make A Greek Village Salad

I also like to have a welcome home party! Celebrate what is cool about yr state/town/country on Friday at dinner time! :)
Don't forget to wake yr child up each morning and say Welcome to ______
Learn a phrase each day of the language!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mother-Talk Book Review

The Fertility Journal by Kim Hahn (founder and CEO of Conceive Magazine was a pleasure to review. I have a wonderful friend who is dealing with fertility issues at the moment and I wanted to review this so that I could share it with her. I talked with her about the book and we looked through it together. The book is a real hard cover journal type book that would be a lovely gift for a woman in your life who announces she is going to start trying.(um- 8 months average- did you know?) She said it looked like something she would really be into at this point in her life(at the one year mark of trying and being able to have doctor info in one place and not an old ratty notebook). The beginning of the journal is quite no nonsense and takes the approach of teaching you all about your fertility as if you are clueless. Well, often we are clueless as women right? We think we will stop worrying about getting pregnant and then just get pregnant when we announce it to the world or abandon birth control. We often fail to recognize the purely scientific and wondrous workings of our bodies. This journal, although it may annoy some with it's matter of fact lessons, I am sure they will be impressed with the overall product design.

The book and it's design with two parts (one for "Trying to Conceive" and one for "Fertility Treatments") has covered most topics that my friend has been dealing with or thinking about as a woman trying to become pregnant for over a year.. The first part is broken down into 12 monthly sections and has basic and necessary information with a small box for each day where you can write down your cycle day, medications, vitamins, and your BBT and other facts. She liked the tracking and journaling space provided. In the latter half of the book we thought that the sections for IVF could be longer and have more spaces as most of the friends we know took more than two treatments to become pregnant or cease treatment. It felt that the latter half of the book was strongly assuming that the next step for all women was IVF. My friend is exploring acupuncture and other alternative methods as she is healthy and so is her husband and it is just taking longer than expected. She did not talk much about the IVF treatments
section as I think that she feels like this is the final frontier to most women in this situation. Many women might not be able to afford to pay the high costs of or even those who might not want to "pay" the emotional costs of IVF treatments may find this section of the book hard to read.

This journal is full of great knowledge and is presented in a modern and smart way. I will be giving this as a gift to friends and I know that any woman could benefit from information in this journal. The great thing about this book is it is the real deal and does not sugar coat the facts of life. It announces that getting pregnant is not simple for all woman and it should be looked at as a type of health and knowledge mission. This author is true to science and reality as the book urges you to think and unlike other books on the market, it will arm you with facts and not just the hope.I think that perhaps the publishers might want to think about a companion journal for the women struggling with infertility longer than a year and explore deeper the issues they face. I think this author would be able to talk frankly and yet with compassion and insight to women. My friend is using The Fertility Journal daily now and loves it. Check out Mother-Talk for more reviews!!!
Thanks Mother-talk!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Week Two

Bugs and Critters! ( I would love some ideas as bugs are not my thing but Finn really wants to do this theme! Please leave tips?) Merci!

Check out and These books here and here are helpful!
Get some large sheets of drawing paper and brainstorm with yr kids about bugs and critters. I am going to talk about bugs and worms and insects and all sorts to my kid. Read some books together and plan yr bug adventure. Talk about vocabulary words like exoskeleton, invertebrate, and molted.
I like to have the kids help assemble a discovery kit. A discovery kit is a net, a magnifying glass, a glass jar with holes in top, a notebook, and some crayons or colored pencils. It can be as spartan and thrifty or as elaborate as you like. I like a nice safari hat to get into the mood myself :)
*Simple lesson is to talk about bug classification and choose some of the type of bugs you want to learn about for the week. Classification is something that is good for them to hear and explore as they will do so in school. Make a small chart and color it.
(each day use yr notebook to journal about bugs)


Ants are easy to find outside and a good non threatening insect to begin yr week. You can talk about the three body parts of the ant today. ( head, thorax, and abdomen)
*A great art and science lesson is to construct an ant out of clay and toothpicks and talk about the three distinct body parts that all insects share.
* Have a cootie game? Play it today! talk about parts!

Metamorphosis is a simple and fun lesson. I am going to make a wheel of metamorphosis out of cardboard (cut two identical circles from a cereal box and use the blank sides- take an xacto knife (don't ya just love any excuse to get it out?) and cut a two inch square on the top circle near the edge. Attached the circles together with a paper fastener or a fancy brad if your a scrapper. Place simple drawings of a butterfly metamorphosis on the wheel and watch the butterfly emerge as you spin the wheel.) ( Like I did here for an emotion wheel)
*A great art activity would be to cut butterfly wings from cardboard!!!!

Bees! Wasps!
Kids love to learn about bees and honey!!!
Have some tea and honey and talk about all things buzzy!
Make yr own bee catchers!

make a bug box here ( I love this site!!! free stuff!)
take a bug walk and collect some!!!

****Worms too here if you have time...We vermicompost and love it!

RANDOM BITS...on ebay you can get a ton of cheap insects in glass paperweights and look for Man Vs. Wild at the library for older kids to watch insect as food gross out facts and fun! Also check this out!(
Have fun~~~

Monday, June 2, 2008

week one of dooble-vay's summer mini camp/Our neighborhood & Safety

I like to start off any camp experience with a safety angle and for young children it is important to start early. I also think that the exploration of one's neighborhood can unearth so much treasure and knowledge.
(Also- thanks so much for wanting to hang out with us and do this mini camp- just try and make it yr own...change things...adjust..whatever- just think of this as inspiration platform!!!!)


We are going to go on an observation walk and "take in" the neighborhood. We are going to try and look through new eyes and pretend it is our first time ever walking around there. We are going to talk about what we like and what we think about all that we see.
Our lesson today will be practicing our address and phone number and gently talking about emergencies and 911.

You can make a simple worksheet for the home like the above.(tragic sorry)
We will end the day with a simple lesson on red/yellow/green lights and playing "driving in the yard" with a kids car or a box you decorate. I like to set up a little "Safety Street"(colored masking tape and cones and bowls) and talk to the kids about traffic lights and pedestrians(throw as many big words as you can at yr kids this summer!!!!)and rules of the road.
Allow yr child to go around the "street" set-up and then go back around with them and expand the "look both ways" info to include stop lights, signage, and pedestrians. My K/1/2 class last year played safety town for two hours!

*Art for the day could be sign making from cardboard and letter recognition.

Visit yr local Police and/or Fire Station. All communities will arrange a tour for children if you call and schedule. This field trip can be very educational and exciting for little ones. It is a good day to go over the emergency 911 concept again and talk about how these emergency folks help us.
*Art for the day could be make a fire fighter hat out of newspaper- Here are some firefighter ideas.
*Have some Stop/Drop/Roll exercise together on the lawn

Make a neighborhood of cardboard or clay.
Here is a cool link.
Talk about city neighborhoods and rural neighborhoods.
Here are some books about city life.
Here are some books about Farm life.
*Write a story about how yr life would be different if you lived in the city or on a farm!

Arrange in advance to visit a senior center or home in your neighborhood. I always took my classes to one each year as a "random act of kindness" project. Even if yr kids are very young it is a good thing to do for yr own soul. Bring some tea or a veggie tray and some handmade love notes to share. Pack a backpack of books and volunteer to read to the adults. I know that this type of activity gives so much to the elderly who might not have many visitors each week, month, or year and I believe that human connection like this can foster such good for all involved. Children have loved this activity and I am planning our first family visit now. Finn is going to make paper flowers and we are taking some Nancy Drew books down to our local senior center to read. If you are unable to go in person, contacting the activities coordinator of these facilities is good because you can find out about donations might be needed, or where to send a care package of love letters. Here is some great info on a visit like this!

Take another observation walk and talk about what you have learned this week.

Contact a local business (for me it was nearby Starbucks and a hardware store) and inquire if you can take a tour. Children love seeing the "ins and outs" of what makes a business run. Starbucks will allow us to make a drink and be a cashier!!!
*A great art activity for the close of this week is making a map of yr neighborhood. Add landmarks and street, neighbors, stores, safe spots, nature, and anything else that makes yr neighborhood special.

Courtney over at Two Straight Lines had a great camp last year. She has some community ideas here.
Villagemama has a great game for signs and
letter recognition on flickr.

I hope you have a great time in yr neighborhood!
xo amy