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 Reads: The Pied Piper’s Magic

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It’s an old legend that cautions listeners about the dangers of trusting strangers and/or not paying your debts, depending on which side of the story you fall on. Regardless, it’s a creepy story, and so when I saw Steven Kellogg had written his own version… Well, I could resist!

What I found was not necessarily the story of the Pied Piper we all know, but rather a beautiful tale about the power of words, names, and having a kind heart.

The Pied Piper’s Magic
by Steven Kellogg

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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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Kids Nook Reads: Look! A Book!

When I was a kid one of my favorite thing to do was sit down and “read” Where’s Waldo (Where’s Wally for all of you Brits out there).  The weird illustrations of funny people doing silly things would make me giggle, but the best part was looking for the man in the red and white striped sweater. This week though, I may have found my new favorite “seek and find” books called Look! A Book!

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Look! A Book!
By Bob Staake

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Kids Nook Reads: How Do Dinosaurs Say ‘I’m Mad’?

Anger is a part of life, no matter whether you’re a human or a dinosaur apparently. Expressing this emotion can be difficult, especially for children. Like most of the “How Do Dinosaurs…?” books, “How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?” is here to help kids understand how to deal with life… through dinosaurs.

dinosaurs say i'm madHow Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?
by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

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Kids Nook Loves: Axel Scheffler

If you’re into children’s books, then the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Julia Donaldson, author of hit books like The Gruffalo and Stick Man. But what is a children’s book without a great illustrator to bring the words to life? Today we’re going to shine the spotlight on the Gruffalo’s very own illustrator: Axel Scheffler.

Axel Scheffler was born in Germany, but he’s best known for his work with famous writer Julia Donaldson. Regardless of what his projects are, his style is distinctive and silly enough to really stand out on a book shelf.

While we all know and love Scheffler from the Guffalo, he’s done a number of other cool projects. He illustrated a small book called How to Keep a Pet SquirrelHe was also commissioned to redo the illustrations for TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

He’s also known for drawing funny little illustrations on envelopes that he sends to his friends. Tom Bonnick of Nosy Crow publishing created a blog post filled with all of his favorite pieces of art that Scheffler has sent him over the years. It inspires me to not only write letters, but to get a little creative with how I decorate my own envelopes!

What is your favorite book illustrated by Axel Scheffler? I’m a big fan of Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book. Let us know in the comments below!

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Kids Nook Loves: Christian Robinson- “The Art of Fun”

christian robinson1This week we’re starting a new section on the blog called “Kids Nook Loves.” This is where our favorite illustrators, artists, and our recommended links for games will go.

 

 

 

 

christian robinson4This week I wanted to share a popular artist Christian Robinson. He’s illustrated books such as Gaston (one of my personal favorites) and Last Stop on Market Street. He also did the illustrations for a historical picture book about Josephine Baker, which is full of fun costumes and whimsical scenes.

In fact, all of his illustrations are fun for kids to look at. His style seems pretty simplistic, but there are details in his illustrations that make going through the stories special. Just look at those cookies on the right! Colorful and delicious!

christian robionson2

 

 

His website is over at The Art of FunIf you like what you see there, you should definitely check out his books! And if you’re at Kids Nook, ask for Gastonthe story of a little white puppy who feels a little out of place in his family.

Kids Nook Reads: Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

What’s this? Two book posts in a week? My stars, what is happening? Well for the last year, the Kids Nook blog has been a combination of books and activities. But coming into the 2016, we decided to make the focus of this blog about books and illustrators. We’re going to go through and update some of our old book posts (as I’m sure some of you have noticed), while also introducing some of the newer ones we’ve found. We’ll still probably have some activity posts, and a few links like we have been doing, but for now: New Year, New Us!

Enough of that, let’s get to the real fun stuff! This week we’re looking at the picture book Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride. 

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride
by Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated by Brian Selznick

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Setting Goals for 2016 (The Kid Friendly Way!)

Tomorrow is officially a new year, and if you’re like me than you are Pumped and Ready to set some awesome goals! If you want to get your kids in on this goal-oriented action, then take a look at the links below. I’ve rustled up some fun ways to get your kids in a future-oriented mindset. Even if they never achieve their goals (like so many of us), it’s still a good thing to get them thinking about these things.

  1. Get them prepped with some great books about perseverance (I am a sucker for Oliver Jeffers and the Elephant and Piggie series)

2. For your smaller kids, visualizing and drawing out goals can be great!

3. Here’s a great sheet for your older kids…

4. And lastly, find some books about making mistakes (because none of us are perfect when it comes to New Years Resolutions)

Have a happy New Year everyone! See you in 2016!

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