Kids Nook Loves: The Moon

Just like our friend Mouse, we love the moon at Kids Nook. Not only is it beautiful to look at during the night time, it plays an important role in how the Earth works! It helps with our environment, and it even helps keep the Earth at the perfect tilt.

If you’re like us, and you want to share this with your kids, then check out our links below!

  1. Erupting Moon Rocks

2. Moon Crater Experiment 

3. Moon Craft Mobile

4. Phases of the Moon

5. Moon Painting

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Kids Nook Loves: Storytelling

This week we’re sharing some thoughts on one of our favorite activities at Kids Nook: Storytelling!

In today’s world when kids know how to operate an iPad before they can even walk, storytelling is an important tool in helping develop a child’s imagination and play. Imagining a magical world of stories and fighting with witches, giants and pirates is something attractive and fun for all children. Through oral storytelling, parents can not only engage a child’s mind through listening and imagination, but they can create a special memory that their children will always treasure.

Like with most activities, children respond well to rituals and structure. Taking care to create an atmosphere for storytelling will go a long way in making this time with your children a special one. For example, use an old carpet or a blanket to “fly” to story land. Make horse noises or clap when the character in the story is walking or running. At Kids Nook we use sticks to create rhythms for silly songs we make up, but clapping can also do the trick.

If you don’t have a lot of faith in your storytelling abilities, then get your kids involved! They probably have a lot of ideas about what an elephant or a snake sounds like, and you can ask them for their help in telling the story. For example, whenever you mention a Big Bad Wolf, ask them to make some kind of noise or motion that goes with it. That keeps them involved while you’re talking.

Another tool is to break up the story into different parts. Most traditional stories can be divided into three parts (check out Jim Henson’s The Storyteller for examples), and you can use these natural cliffhangers to your advantage. In Cinderella, when you reach the part where the evil stepsisters go off to the ball and leave Cinderella alone… stop. Ask your kids if they want to hear the rest of the story, or if they just want to leave it at that. Most children will want to continue.

Some parents might be concerned with how scary some of these old stories can be. They’re worried that their children will be scared by the things they hear. This is a valid concern of course, and you can choose stories at your discretion. However one way of handling this is to give your child an “invisibility cloak.” Give them a special blanket that they can wrap around themselves, and tell them it will keep them safe from any bad guys they might meet in the story. This way the children can listen to the story safely, as an observer.

Storytelling is a fun activity for both parents and children. It gives children the attention they crave from their parents, and it creates special memories for them. In today’s culture, when it’s easier to hand your child a tablet, taking some time to explore magical worlds and having daring adventures together will have a huge impact on your children and your relationship to them.

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Best Posts of 2015

We’ve had an amazing year at Kids Nook, trying all kinds of new programs and new games. Part of the reason that the year has been so great is you guys of course! So as a way to round out the year 2015, we wanted to share our three most popular posts with you guys.

See you in the new year (for some fun new changes!!)

  1. Jungle Links to Get You Swinging
  2. We’ve Got No Strings on Us (Pinocchio Storytelling)
     
  3. Kids Nook Reads: The Lamb Who Came for Dinner
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Enjoy our last days of 2015!!!

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Run as Fast as You Can: The Gingerbread Man

Christmas is officially on it’s way folks, and that means it’s time to break out some delectable stories and activities. None are quite as delicious and fun as the story of the Gingerbread Man! When telling this story I always make sure to let the kids know that the fox got a happy ending in the story, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with the Gingerbread Man in our activities.

We started off with some delicious cocoa-smelling playdough to make our little Gingerbread Men.

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Then we used our gingerbread man cutters to make our little friends…

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And used pompoms to decorate him…

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Next we put him in the “oven” to cook, and after a minute it was time to take him out. But be careful! He’s very hot! Use something like a fan to remove him from the oven without burning our hands (it would’ve been fine though, since our little gingerbread men are made of paper and cardboard at this point).

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Once we’re done taking him out of the oven, he falls into a pool of water! Just like in the story! We have to fish him out using our tweezers so that he doesn’t fall apart completely.

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And that’s how we play with the Gingerbread Man!

What kind of activities do you use to tell this great story to your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

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Musical Links

While I know we’ve already visited this theme before, this week’s book Once Upon an Ordinary School Day got me in the musical mood. So without further ado, here are some links to get your kids moving and grooving in home or in the classroom!

  1. Popsicle Stick Harmonica

2) Sensory Bin Shakers

3) Five Great Games to Get Your Kids Grooving

4) Light Table Rainbow Water Xylophone

5) “World of Music” Passport and Lesson Plan (this looks so cool!)

Have a musical weekend!
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Hansel and Gretel by the Fire

What’s better for crisp weather than a spooky story by a campfire? Here in Istanbul we’ve been having pretty mild weather, so we figured what better opportunity to have a campfire party?

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We told the story of Hansel and Gretel…

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And some of it was a little shocking!

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But that’s alright! Because afterwards we were able to roast marshmallows and sausages together!

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Happy camping friends! Stay warm!

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