Category: Kids Craft, Kids Activities

The Parrot Club / Club Cotorra Bilingual Children’s and Activity

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Every time we visit Puerto Rico I make sure to come back with one or more books for little one’s home library. We visited El Morro in Old San Juan, and their gift shop had quite a selection of children’s book. My child picked The Parrot Club / Club Cotorra by Nancy Hooper. This made me happy because if it was a book that caught his attention, it’s a book that he will read. It’s an English and Spanish edition in one book.  Just like my son’s favorite book Everywhere Coquis!/¡En dondequiera coquies! and by the same author. 

Little one had his Spanish-speaking friends over for a playdate so I jumped on an impromptu Spanish story time, and activity for this book. 
The story is about the Puerto Rican parrots that had “beautiful” colored feathers, and sang beautifully. They admired themselves so much that they created their own very club:  The Parrot Club.   They boasted themselves amongst the animals on  the island, bragging, and not allowing any animal to join their club. The animals were saddened but they all went about their own way, except for the fish in the ocean. They responded to the parrots that they’d have their own club too, and the parrots weren’t allowed. The parrots were not happy, and said they’d join the club and they all dove into the water! Their beautiful colored feathers were losing it’s color, and they couldn’t sing!  They were saddened about not letting any other animal in their club.  They began to accept their beautiful green color, and all of the animals of the island were part of the animal club. 

The beautiful Puerto Rican parrot is a bright green bird with a red forehead and wide, white eye rings. When the Spaniards colonized Puerto Rico it is estimated that the population of parrots was about a million. During subsequent centuries, 85% of the island suffered deforestation. The only large trees remaining for the parrots to nest in were found mostly in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque). The population of the parrots was greatly reduced until laws were passed prohibiting hunting of parrots in the forest. In 1968, the Puerto Rican parrot was put on the endangered species list, kicking off a collaborative effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources to rescue the species. In El Yunque there is a parrot aviary run by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. Today the population of parrots in the forest is less than 50, but every year individual parrots and pairs raised in captivity are released, and the rate of survival of the species is on the rise.

It wasn’t hard to make an activity to tie in with this book.  I  traced the parrot from the book, and cut the shape out of craft foam.

I cut-out different color of foams for the wings, and numbered them (so it would be easy for him to glue) as well as the beak.  I cut long strips of magnetic sheet, and found some googly eyes; and glue sticks. 
Magnetic foam parrot. 

The fun part was having my son and friends glue the parts together to make the parrot. They glued a strip of the magnetic sheet, and proudly displayed them on the refrigerator.

For more multicultural, and/or bilingual children’s book click here

Spanish Spring Time Fun with Easter Eggs, and Learning about the Life Cycle of a Chicken

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Spring is in the air, Easter is around the corner and of course, we have eggs galore! During little one’s Spanish playgroup we dyed some eggs, and we learned about the life cycle of a chicken

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy for the purpose of reviewing it. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. 

We began our Spanish lesson dying some eggs out in the yard. The afternoon was beautiful, and the weather just perfect!  We then moved the lesson indoors, and used the packet “el ciclo de vida del pollo” by Open Wide the World. We are all big fans of Julie’s work! As I have expressed in the past with other packets by Open Wide the World these can be tailored, and used according to your children’s ages.  The activities can be done in a group or on an individual basis.  
As a surprise for the kids I gave them a chick egg, with a  wind-up chick inside. They were beyond excited!!! They were pumped up to learn about the life cycle of the chicken! 🙂 
Since the Spanish playgroup kid’s ages ranges from ages 4 – 6 we do we did the life cycle cut and paste, and the headband activity.  They truly enjoyed making the headband, and they decorated them with other fun Spring stickers. 

The packet includes the following: Life Cycle Concepts, Vocabulary Concepts, and some fun extras. We especially enjoyed the “Los Pollitos Dicen” coloring page! As they colored we sang the song!

Spanish Children’s Penguin Books and a Craftivity All About the Penguins

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My child loves animals, any type of animal for that matter. Whenever I have an opportunity to incorporate a lesson in Spanish on something that he loves, I literally jump on it! What better way to teach your child new vocabulary words on a subject that your child loves, and in a language that he’s learning? Open Wide the World creates wonderful units for dual language learners, and I’ll also be sharing with you Spanish children’s book about penguins.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy for the purpose of reviewing it. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.  This post also contains an affiliate link (through Amazon). If you click on it, and make a purchase I will receive a small monetary compensation. 

Before we say good-bye to Winter (and anything associated with that season including penguins, you know cold/penguins) I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the customizable penguin craftivity that I had the opportunity to review with my child, and his Spanish playgroup. 
Note to self:  The craftivity requires a 12”x 18” black construction paper for the outer penguin folder. Unfortunately, I had not “fully” read the instructions, and went on to start the lesson with three eager kids with standard size black construction paper. I must read all of the instructions before I laid out all the fun things to do with the kiddos! The kids were so excited that I didn’t want to postpone our penguin lesson so we made them with the construction paper that we had.   
This wonderful Spanish Los Pingüinos Penguins Craftivity Booklet includes a flip book, covering the basic penguin habitat, glossary words, penguin chart with 17 species, a cut-and-paste of the life cycle of the penguin, labeling of the parts of a penguin, and a recording sheet, open-ended writing sheet, and more awesome fun stuff! You can see the details of the packet here

I enjoy the flexibility of using this unit when teaching children of different ages.  With kids ranging from ages 4-6 yrs. old their learning skills vary. However, with this unit  they can actually all participate in the same activity.  Such as making the penguin folder, or cutting-out the life cycle of the penguin.  They can all cut, glue, and color them at the same time.   I can also set-aside a time for my budding Spanish reader (my 6 yr. old)  to do the Spanish word search, or prompt to write in Spanish using the open-ended writing sheet.

This was a very fun unit to do with the kids, and I highly recommend it! (Just make sure to read all of the instructions hahaha!)

I posted this picture on Instagram, and it sparked a conversation on tips on reading, writing, and speaking Spanish with your kids.  If you have a minute take a look. Lots of good tips are shared on the comment thread. 

Don’t forget to check-out these great Spanish finds for your kiddos.  

   
Thank you Open Wide the World for allowing me to review your penguin unit. 

10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Acorn & Pine Needle Ornament Inspired by The Little Acorn Grows Up

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Welcome to the 2nd annual 10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas series hosted by Mama Miss featuring over 70+ bloggers with ornaments inspired by children’s books. 

Disclosure:  This post also contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase through this link I will receive a small monetary compensation. Thank you! 

This year little one and I were inspired with the children’s book Little Acorn Grows Up. It’s the story of an acorn and how he tells each animal how he will take care of them when he grows up. 
For our Little Acorn Grows Up inspired ornament we used the following: 
Assemble the pine needle on the foam craft, and hot glue then the acorns.  Then put dabs of white glue on each acorn, and sprinkle glitter over it. Once dry, shake the excess glitter off, and hot glue a ribbon to hang. Voila! Simple as that! 
Little one had so much fun making this super-easy kid ornament! He got to go on a nature hung! Looking for acorns, and pine needles.  Initially we thought of making a small wreath, but the way he assembled the pine needles, it ended up looking like a tree!  
Looking for more ideas on ornaments? Check out these wonderful bloggers posting their ornaments today, and link-up your own kid-made ornament!  


Need more inspiration? Check out the ornaments we made last year:

Tornado Science Activity and Emergency Preparedness for Kids

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This past summer we went to see the movie Into the Storm upon my son’s request.  He saw the movie’s trailer on TV, and quickly ran to his Daddy to ask to see the movie. I was a bit hesitant, but quickly realized that my baby isn’t such a baby anymore. Although the movie is rated PG-13 we all went to see the movie together. We all enjoyed the movie, and my son wasn’t scared at all! 

Once we returned home he had so many questions! This was my opportunity to make out of this a learning experience, and talk about what we should do during a tornado.  Unfortunately, we’ve had a few tornadoes close to where we live so this was a perfect time to learn about tornado formation, and emergency preparedness.

Photo credit via Flickr Matt Zaske

I researched on-line, and found Scholastic’s tornado experiment, and Kid Spot’s science tornado in a jar experiment.  We used the latter experiment, and my son was enthralled!  Being the Spanish homeschool mommy that I am, the tornado experiment was done in Spanish. 🙂 He learned how the tornadoes are formed due to a number of factors including a combination of hot and cold air.  

After our fun experiment we talked about what to do during a tornado.  Lots of homes have basements, and/or storm shelters. Which are the places recommended to go to during a tornado. However, we have neither. So we chose the bathtub as a place to seek shelter, and cover ourselves with a mattress.  There’s also a ditch by our home that is low, and we also talked about going there as well. But if it’s raining it can quickly fill up with water that comes down the street.   

We checked out this map that gives us a look at the large-scale disasters that have affected our state, you can click on it to view your state as well. FEMA also has a list of emergency preparedness curriculum for grades 1-12 that teach kids what to do before, during, and after an emergency.  In the future we’re also considering purchasing a NOAA weather radio in case of an emergency.
I pray that we never have a tornado in our area, and although my child wasn’t scared… I for one, am! Tornadoes are truly frightening!   
In the meantime, my child has learned about tornado formation and what to do in case of a tornado alert.    

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse Spanish Homeschool Lesson and Activity

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This post contains affiliate links if you click on the link, and if you make a purchase I will receive a small monetary compensation. Thank you! 

During this summer we had tons of fun, and I also sneaked in some Spanish learning as well! We read Eric Carle’s The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse (El artista que pinto un caballo azul (World of Eric Carle) (Spanish Edition)) although perfect for early literacy skills (ages 1-3 yrs. old) it is also ideal for early Spanish readers. 
As a mom who’s trying to raise a biliterate child I need to find books that will make my child excited about reading in Spanish. This book certainly served this purpose! Little man loves animals and this book made him excited on wanting to read, draw and color the animals. 
After reading the book we made a pastel oil canvas. I traced the animals (you can find the copy I used here) and my son drew three more animals on the canvas. 

As you can see little one traced an alligator, rabbit, and gorilla onto the canvas.    Check out this video of him coloring a pink rabbit.

Little one learned to read the following words in Spanish as well as the colors:

  • caballo 
  • cocodrilo 
  • conejo 
  • vaca
  • león 
  • elefante 
  • zorra 
  • oso 
  • burro 

As I finish writing this post I remember an instance when my son came home one day from kindergarten last year. He was sad, and I asked him what happened in school? He tells me that they were coloring animals, and he was coloring a horse blue. The teacher aid in his classroom told him that there weren’t any blue horses, and made him color the horse another color. 
I told him, not to worry, and that of course, we’ve both seen blue horses (Eric Carle’s books!).  That perhaps the teacher aid had not seen the book, and that he can color the horse blue, or whatever color his little heart desired.  
I was flustered that an adult can make a child feel bad about coloring a blue horse, and I approached his teacher letting her know why he colored a horse blue, and how he felt.  She apologized for her, and told me that she’d talk to her. 
OK, got that off my chest! 🙂  
On a happier, and brighter note which Eric Carle children’s book is your child’s favorite?

Papier Maché Rabbit Piñata

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During little man’s past birthdays we’ve never really had a piñata. Shocker! I know! I guess I was intimidated by the whole papier maché method that I didn’t venture into trying it out. Until, I saw my wonderful friend Jody from Mud Hut Mama’s super, easy to do papier maché leopard piñata
Since we’re doing a Survivor theme, yes, like the reality show Survivor. I thought we can make a jungle animal piñata so it can go with the theme. Both hubby, and little one are huge fans of the show!

But, instead my child insisted on a bunny rabbit!!! I was like really? Daddy tried to persuade him but he was adamant that he wanted a bunny rabbit. Of course, it’s his birthday….so a rabbit piñata was in the works. 
I followed Jody’s instructions to a tee! I read her post like 10 times before we ventured into making the piñata, and this is the result! This was a collaborative effort between my child and I; and I must say that it came out nice. Little man loves it!!!
We used a recycled fruit pouch cap as the nose, for the ears and teeth I used craft foam, and we glued googly eyes. We used pipe cleaners for the whiskers, and of course, cotton balls! 
The process was quite messy, but fun!!!

The really fun part was painting it, and turning the hardened papier maché into a bunny rabbit!

This is such a cute piñata that you can use for birthdays or even Spring and Easter celebrations.

Can’t wait to share with you our Survivor birthday ideas, and no I don’t think we’ll have anymore rabbits! 🙂

U.S. Lighthouses and Simple Kid Craft

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This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup Series for Kids. For each day that the United States soccer team plays during the FIFA World Cup I will be sharing with you an interesting fact and craft about the U.S. 
Today’s post is about U.S. Lighthouses, and a simple lighthouse craft activity for children.  During a recent visit to Florida we had the opportunity to visit the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in Florida.   
It was our first time visiting a lighthouse. We actually climbed the 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse! It was a beautiful experience, we were tired, but the view from atop was priceless.  

On our return, and back home little one and I made a simple lighthouse activity. So easy even a toddler can make it! 🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I can’t wait to share more kid-friendly post representing the U.S.A. Looking for more ideas during the World Cup please check the Multicultural Kids Blog World Cup for Kids Pinterest page
You can also read more about other nine incredible lighthouses in the U.S. here

Since this post is also for the Multicultural Kids Blog World Cup Series here are some Instagram pictures of the Ghana vs. U.S.A game today! U.S.A won today’s game! Gooooooooooooooooooal!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Linking up to the After School Linky Party Week 25 hosted by The Educators’ Spin On.

Simple Valentine’s Day Heart Mobile

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This is a simple foam heart mobile that little man did with his friends during a playdate.  All you need is heart shaped foams in different sizes (I bought these during last year’s Valentine’s day clearance sale), glue stick, ribbons, and stickers.  The kids had a great time decorating them with smaller size heart stickers. Once they finished their projects, I would glue the ribbon, and voila! Heart mobiles! The kids love them! 

You can make these with construction paper if you don’t have large foam hearts, and they make a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift. 

Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day cookies and cards project. This year we’ve made Valentine’s Day rocking lovebirds, and fluttering heart shaped butterflies

This is such a fun holiday! 🙂  Happy Valentine’s Day!