Oct 012014

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  Thank you for your support!

It’s October, so now we can officially go crazy for Halloween!  Okay, okay, we’ve already been getting excited for the past month, I admit.  But now I feel like I can really go to town!

One of our favorite Halloween picture books is one we discovered a couple years ago, The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis.  This is a marvelously fun book to read.  The text bounces along, just as the runaway pumpkin does as it thumps and bumps its way down the hill of the Baxter farm.  As the enormous pumpkin crashes through the barn and splatters through the pig sty, the family members try to catch it, as they dream of pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup.  Yet it is the father who comes up with a clever plan to stop the pumpkin’s rolling and move it into the kitchen so Granny can begin cooking.

The boys and I adore this book, and it’s hard to read without bouncing in your seat, at least a little.  So I thought it only appropriate that we should do a pumpkin rolling experiment to explore the book further.

I wasn’t brave enough to let the boys have at it with a full sized pumpkin, so we used several mini pumpkins instead.  Our quest was to find the “best” way to roll pumpkins using our couch cushions.  Where did the pumpkins roll the straightest?  The furthest?  The fastest?

(This would be even more fun to do outside; unfortunately we were stuck indoors because of bad weather and colds).

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

The Monkeys tried rolling their pumpkins over the arm rests (not very successful) and along the surface of the cushions (better) before we pulled the cushions out at tried them at different angles.  Needless to say, they enjoyed racing their pumpkins down the cushions and around the living room!

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

What We Learned:

  1. Pumpkins roll straighter on a smooth surface.
  2. Pumpkins roll more quickly the steeper the angle.
  3. Pumpkins can roll far even if they aren’t going very quickly – as long as a little brother doesn’t stop them first.
  4. Rolling pumpkins – and climbing on the couch – is fun!

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com


This post is part of an AWESOME Halloween Read and Play Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out the other book based activities from fantastic bloggers!

Betsy’s Photography- Popcorn- Making Popcorn Bars
Where Imagination Grows- 5 Little Ghosts- Ghost Collages
Rubberboots and Elf Shoes- Skeleton Hiccups- Paper Chain Skeleton
Little Bins For Little Hands- ABCs of Halloween- Sensory Bin
Wise Owl Factory- Bunnicula and others- Halloween Book Fun Learning Round UpPlanet Smarty Pants- The Picky Little Witch- Halloween CupcakesDon’t forget to check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!

Sep 292014

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Save Mart Supermarkets. I received Thomas Cookware items to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

No matter how much I try to plan ahead, weeknight dinners seem to always be rushed in our house.  So I love having a healthy, yummy dish like these Weeknight Parmesan Noodles I can pull together quickly for my kids – with minimum cleanup!  Best of all, it’s something both my boys love to eat!  Seriously, if it were up to Monkey, we would have this every night!

Recently I made Parmesan Noodles (see recipe below) with my new Thomas Cookware from Save Mart.  I loved that it was so easy to make in a single pot – I didn’t even need a colander!  The lid is cleverly built so that it’s also a strainer, saving me a cooking step plus one less dish to clean – priceless! And when time came to wash the pot, I got an extra surprise with how easy it was to clean.

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

Thanks to Save Mart, now through January 20, you can earn this high quality cookware simply by doing your regular grocery shopping.  Every $10 you spend earns you a bonus stamp, which you can use towards your choice of pots and pans from Thomas Cookware, exclusively at Save Mart Supermarkets!

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

I love participating in rewards programs, and this is a great one.  Why not put your dollars to work earning you some great new additions to your kitchen?  Cook like a pro with this top quality cookware!

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

I am always impressed with how friendly and helpful the staff are at our local store, and how open and airy it is.  Save Mart carries all the name brands we find at other stores, often at lower prices.  Plus we ran into some fire fighters in our recent trip, which I consider a high stamp of approval!

And now on to the recipe!  Enjoy this quick but tasty weeknight version of the kid classic macaroni and cheese!


Weeknight Parmesan Noodles

Makes two generous kid-sized servings or three adult side servings


1/2 lb pasta

Butter or margarine, approx. 1/2 T

Grated Parmesan cheese, approx. 1/4 c

Salt, dash

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Strain noodles then stir in remaining ingredients and serve.

That’s it!  Hope you enjoy as much as my Monkeys and I do!

Weeknight Dinner: Parmesan Noodles, Plus How to Earn Free Cookware! | Alldonemonkey.com

Sep 292014

Fire Safety for Kids: Make a Fire Safety Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

Making a home escape plan in case of fire — it was one of those things I kept meaning to do, along with make an emergency disaster kit (still need to do that one!)  Luckily, thanks to Fire Prevention Week, we finally got it done!

I have to say, it was so much easier and less time-consuming than I thought it would be, and the boys loved it!  Little Monkey, of course, just had fun running around the house and pointing at things, but Monkey really understood what we were doing and was totally focused on the task.

This wasn’t the first time we’ve talked about fire safety, of course.  Like most little kids, the Monkeys love fire trucks and firefighters, and we’ve been to a number of open houses and demonstrations at our local fire stations.  But this was the first time we really took a good look at exactly what we should do if there were to be a fire in our home.

My favorite resource if the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  They have wonderful materials for fire safety and fire prevention for kids, plus a guide to escape planning for families.  Monkey loved their interactive online book about making a fire safety plan.

Fire Safety for Kids: Make a Fire Safety Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

Apparently Monkey built a robot factory in our front room (!)

As we did our fire safety plan, we followed the NFPA guidelines, plus we used – believe it or not – a copy of last year’s Fire Prevention Week LEGO magazine!  As a way to reach more kids, NFPA last year partnered with LEGO magazine to create an issue all about fire safety, including a section about making a fire safety plan.  You can download full instructions and a grid similar to the one we used from NFPA’s website.

Fire Safety for Kids: Make a Fire Safety Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

First we picked our outdoor meeting spot – in our case, across the street.  Next I drew a map of our house.  Next we walked through each room together, drawing the windows, doors, and smoke detectors.  We also made sure each room has two ways out.  I also went over with Monkey where the latches were for all the windows.

He also practiced the proper way to feel a door to see if it was hot, using the back of his hand.  We also practiced crawling on the floor to avoid the heat and smoke.  (This, of course, disintegrated into chaos for a bit as they did up their role playing to the hilt!  There were a lot of dramatic falls and crashes before we re-focused for a snack).

Fire Safety for Kids: Make a Fire Safety Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

We’re not done, of course – we still need to review our plan periodically and practice, as well as other tasks like checking smoke detectors regularly.  But I feel like we took a big first step, and now we’re much more prepared should a fire occur.

How are you preparing your family for an emergency?


Fire Safety for Kids Blog Hop | Alldonemonkey.com

I am so excited to team up with some bloggy friends to gather ideas for fire safety for kids!  As Fire Safety Week is coming up next week, we wanted to put together some ideas to teach our little ones about fire safety, and see yours as well!  Be sure to visit the other participating blogs, and link up your own fire safety for kids post at the end.

Look! We’re Learning! – Fire Safety Printable Pack (Free this week!)

Creative World of Varya – Fire Safety Theme Park

Inspiring 2 NH Kids


Sep 252014

Science Kits for Kids: Little Blast Review and Giveaway | Alldonemonkey.com

I was provided a complimentary Little Blast Pulleys kit for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Monkey is fascinated by science, and we try very hard to feed his curiosity.  We visit volcanoes, read tons of books, and do as many science experiments as we can, such as this conservation one from last year.  But the truth is that as a busy mother to two young children, I just don’t have the time to research experiments and learning activities, gather materials, and so on.

That is why I jumped at the chance to review a Pulley science kit from Little Blast.  When I read a Little Blast review done recently by my friend Jaime at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail, I thought I was dreaming: monthly themed science kits that are kid-friendly and really works?  We have tried our share of science kits from other companies, some good and some bad.  Often they are more about the cartoon characters involved, or they throw a lot of glitter and slime around without very much science.   Not so with Little Blast!

Science Kits for Kids: Little Blast Review and Giveaway | Alldonemonkey.com

Little Blast kits are easy to use and fun and incorporate lots of learning into every activity.  I love that the kit included so many types of learning – building, reading, storytelling, logical sequencing, and more!  Something else that is unique to Little Blast is that their kits include all the supplies you need.  Monkey was so excited to dive into the package when it arrived, and he was not disappointed!

The activities in the kit have a recommended order (brought to life in a cute storyboard that incorporates each activity into an overarching tale), but each can also stand on its own – which is useful, since young children do not always like to do things in order!

Science Kits for Kids: Little Blast Review and Giveaway | Alldonemonkey.com

Our kit was all about pulleys, and Monkey had so much fun building his pulley together and putting it to work – lifting up one of my shoes!  (Don’t worry, I wasn’t wearing it at the time!)  The activities all demonstrate basic principles about pulleys.  For example, one shows why pulleys make lifting so much easier.  (Because you’re pulling down instead of up, so you are working with instead of against gravity!)

I highly recommend Little Blast.  They are wonderful for kids that are into science, but also for those that aren’t.  Chances are, once they try one of these kits, they will realize why science can be so exciting!

Science Kits for Kids: Little Blast Review and Giveaway | Alldonemonkey.com

That’s why I’m so happy to be hosting this giveaway of one Pulley Blast science kit from Little Blast!  Just enter below for your chance to win! US Shipping Only


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Posted by at 6:00 am
Sep 222014

Spiritual education is a keystone of how I am raising my sons, and I am always inspired to hear how other parents are working to raise their children along a spiritual path. In the series Parenting and Faith I feature posts from bloggers discussing how their religion or philosophy influences their parenting. I am so pleased to share a post today from Anna of In The Playroom, about what Islam teaches about parenting.

What Islam Teaches about Parenting {Parenting and Faith}

Thanks to Leanna for inviting me to take part in her parenting and faith series. I’ll be sharing some of what Islam teaches about parenting and how we implement this in our day to day family life.

Hi! I’m Anna from In The Playroom where I share simple ideas for kids activities including sensory play and crafts, and Fa firroo ila-allah where I share a inspirational Islamic quotes from quran, hadith and Islamic history. First of all, let me introduce the family. We have 3 boys aged 6, 4 and 3, and then there is me and their dad. I became Muslim at 13 years old, coming from a non practising Catholic family background and their dad, my husband, is from a Sri Lankan Muslim family. We got married at 18 (me) and 19 (him) years old and had the boys a few years later.

I had always wanted to have children, and to focus my energy and time on their upbringing. Islam tells that the effort we put into caring for our families and nurturing our children is an act of worship when we do this with the intention of pleasing Allah (God). Worship is not just praying or reading Quran (although I would not diminish the importance of those acts) but worship can also be teaching our children right from wrong, cooking good food to keep our children healthy and well and letting them know to thank Allah for providing our food and giving us our bodies and our health. Worship can be found in all the little moments of motherhood for a Muslim mum.

Many places in Quran we hear of Prophets hoping and asking Allah for offspring, like the well known verses of Zakariya (peace be upon him) in Surah Maryam, or when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) called out:

رب هب لي من الصالحين
Oh my Lord, grant me a righteous son! (37:100)

The value of children is so priceless, and they are so precious. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to raise these beautiful and innocent souls.

What Islam Teaches about Parenting {Parenting and Faith} | Alldonemonkey.com

I’ve never allowed anyone to make me feel belittled in the role of a stay at home mum. I’ve always felt that this is the right choice for our family, and although I now work from home I’m still present all the time if the children need me. My children are still young, but as they grow older there will still be challenges, and they remain in need of guidance throughout each and every stage of their childhood.

Islam has given us guidance on how to bring up children, with many hadiths (sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him) emphasising gentleness towards children. With so many confusing messages in today’s society, I feel it’s so important to give them a strong feeling of belonging within the family. Spending time with family should be fun, we need to build trust and openness with our kids so that they can come to us with their questions and problems. I never want my kids to be scared to come and ask for help and advice from me, or from their dad.

One of my favourite hadiths about gentleness is:
عَلَيْكِ بِالرِّفْقِ فَإِنَّ الرِّفْقَ لَا يَكُونُ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا زَانَهُ وَلَا يُنْزَعُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا شَانَهُ

You must be gentle. Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.
Source: Musnad Ahmad 24417, Grade: Sahih

This hadith is often cited as a reminder of how we should treat children, and these beautiful words have a lot of value. In fact our youngest son’s name comes from this hadith (Rafiq, which means gentle).

My ultimate aim in raising my children is to raise good, honest and kind individuals who love and respect Allah (God) and who leave a positive impact, whether big or small, on those they meet. I want them to be happy, and I want them to be good people. I’m pretty sure these aims are universal in many parents no matter what the religion or nationality. We are all striving to do the best for our kids, and I take inspiration from so many parents, both Muslim and non Muslim.

Anna - In the PlayroomAnna is a London-based stay at home mum to three boys.  Her blog In The Playroom is a parenting and lifestyle blog, about playing, learning, and life with young children, including special needs.  She shares kids crafts and activities which are simple and easy for any parent to do with the supplies you probably already have in your home.  Anna’s site Fa firroo ila-allah showcases inspirational Islamic quotes from quran, hadith and Islamic history.




Parenting and Faith on Alldonemonkey.com

In the series Parenting and Faith bloggers share how faith influences their parenting. You can find all the posts in this series on the main page as well as the Parenting and Faith Pinterest board.

Sep 212014
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #19 - Now on Multicultural Kid Blogs!
Hi, and welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!
The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can’t wait to see what you share this time!
Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes and previously co-hosted by myself and Kristin of Toddling in the Fast Lane, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs. And now, all MKB members can co-host as well, so look for some fresh faces in the coming months!

Today I am sharing my pick from the last linkup on Multicultural Kid Blogs, so hop over to see and to link up your great posts!

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #19 on Multicultural Kid Blogs


Sep 192014

Acts of Kindness for Fall | Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the Mega Cash Giveaway and Fall Linkup from Kid Blogger Network- see details below!

Teaching my children values like showing kindness to others is central to how I am trying to raise my sons.  I draw inspiration from other bloggers who have found many creative ideas to do acts of kindness with their kids, many of which are showcased in our Random Acts of Kindness series.  Now I’m excited to be sharing some wonderful ideas for acts of kindness especially for the fall season!

Acts of Kindness for Fall | Alldonemonkey.com

Acts of Kindness: Supporting Schools

Coffee Cups and Crayons: 25 Ways to Make a Difference This School Year – Everything from donating school supplies to waving to school buses!

Sense of Wonder: Reaching Out to a Community in Need – Great ideas for helping underprivileged students

Tutus & Tea Parties: Donate School Supplies – Take advantage of donation drives in your area

Glittering Muffins: Helping Hands: School Supplies – Showing that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a difference!

Kids Yoga Stories: Back to School: Acts of Kindness – Ideas for teaching your child to be a respectful and kind class member.  I love that she includes acts of kindness to do for yourself!

Pennies of Time: Thank a Teacher with Yard Signs – Fun and inexpensive way to thank a special teacher in your child’s life

All Done Monkey: Top Ten Ways to Support Teachers – There are lots of ways to get involved with schools all year round!

Acts of Kindness for Fall | Alldonemonkey.com

Acts of Kindness: Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month!  You can find lots of ways to get involved through Moms Fighting Hunger and No Kid Hungry

The Good Long Road: Ten for Tuesday: Simple Ways to Fight Hunger – From bake sales to playing games!  I love her emphasis on empowering kids to make a difference!

Pennies of Time: Fall Harvest Boxes for Meals on Wheels – Organize your friends and neighbors to give back to the elderly

KC Edventures: Host a Neighborhood Food Drive – An easy tutorial for a food drive you can get ready in less than an hour!

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail: Mini Can Food Drive – A great way to teach kids to give!

The Pleasantest Thing: Easy Ideas to Get Kids Involved in the Fight Against Hunger – Wonderful ideas to get kids involved, including decorating food donations and collecting fresh produce

Coffee Cups and Crayons: 13 Ways Families Can Help Fight Hunger – I love the read-a-thon idea!

The Good Long Road on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Making a Difference Globally and Locally for Hunger Action Month – Great ideas for how to make a difference in your community and beyond
Acts of Kindness for Fall | Alldonemonkey.com

Acts of Kindness: Fall Holidays

Toddler Approved on Life Your Way: Make a Fall Kindness Wreath – A wonderful fall craft that also serves as a reminder for how to show kindness

Makeovers & Motherhood: Fall & Holiday Kid-Friendly Service Projects – I love the idea of visiting a senior home for Halloween!

Toddler Approved: Halloween Kindness Box – Such a creative way to keep kids focused on others during a holiday that is often “me me me”!

Happiness is Homemade: Free You’ve Been Booed Printables – If you’ve never participated in this pay-it-forward game with your neighbors, it is a super fun way to spread Halloween cheer!

Pennies of Time: Fingerprint Turkey Notes – This is a darling craft you can use to show kindness to your neighbors

The Pleasantest Thing: Thankful Nature Walk – A beautiful way to show kindness to nature as well as teach kids gratitude

Live Craft Eat on Lasso the Moon: Thankful Hearts – Sweet activity to help kids recognize others for their kindness


You can find more great ideas on my Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest board:


KBN Mega Cash Giveaway

Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

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As a busy mom to two active young kids, I spend most of my day on my feet – cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, wiping noses, or running around the park.  It is easy to get burned out this way, so I try to remember an important lesson I learned from my own mother and take some time for myself to recharge and regroup.  I often tend to just go go go and sometimes need a reminder to take time to just sit and relax.  This is good not just for me but also for my kids, who get to have a happy, refreshed mom to play with!  It’s also crucial for them to learn by example that everyone needs time to rest and take care of themselves – even Mom!

As fall approaches, my favorite way to do this is to curl up with a mug of this yummy vanilla oatmeal steamer, a family recipe from Costa Rica.  Known as atol, it is also a favorite kids’ drink.  It is nutritious, with all the benefits of milk and oatmeal, with just a touch of sweetness.

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer (Costa Rican Atol)


Milk (whole milk is best for real creaminess) – approx 1 1/2 cups per serving

Oatmeal (either instant or rolled, depending on desired consistency)


Dash of vanilla

Whole cloves

Cinnamon sticks (or can use powdered)

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

The exact amounts of each ingredient depends on your preference.  For example, I like a lot of oatmeal, while others like just enough to thicken the milk.  As seen above, powdered cinnamon can be used, though it will give the drink a light brown color.

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and hit on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickens.  Remove cloves and cinnamon.  Serve warm!  Best enjoyed with your feet up and eyes half closed :)

Be sure to check out more Mom wisdom and great ideas for enjoying milk!

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sep 152014

Costa Rica Craft: Carretas {Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop} | Alldonemonkey.com

Today is Independence Day in Costa Rica, so we have had fun making a special Costa Rica craft!  If you have traveled to Costa Rica, chances are that you have seen the beautiful carretas, or ox-carts, that have become a popular form of folk art.  These carts, which once were necessary to carry coffee beans from the country’s central valley to the coast for export, are today used mainly as decoration.  Indeed, we have several miniature versions around our house, including a refrigerator magnet!

Costa Rica Craft: Carretas {Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop} | Alldonemonkey.com

Carreta on display at a hotel in Costa Rica.  Most are painted red, but all have beautiful designs like the ones shown here.

The carretas are recognized internationally.  In fact, in 2005 UNESCO declared the oxherding and oxcart tradition of Costa Rica as a masterpiece of the intangible heritage of humanity.  Here is more information (in Spanish) on this beautiful tradition, and here you can see a present-day carreta workshop.

So this past week the Monkeys and I have been hard at work to create our own carretas, to celebrate, as Monkey put it, Costa Rica’s birthday. (Costa Rica, along with most other territories in Central America, became independent from Spain on September 15, 1821).

Costa Rica Craft: Carretas {Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop} | Alldonemonkey.com

We started with two open cardboard boxes, which we gave a base coat of (mostly) red paint.  They also painted the wheels – Monkey with the traditional red and Little Monkey with his own design.  I had originally planned on using the tops of large yogurt containers, but the boys spotted some small paper plates in my craft bin and insisted on using those.  Because these aren’t as strong, I ended up gluing several together for each wheel and reinforcing them by gluing the yogurt lids to the underside.

The next day was designated for decoration, but I think the boys were not quite as excited as they had been the previous day, because after making a quick dot pattern on one side of his carreta, Monkey declared that he was finished, and Little Monkey soon followed suit.

Costa Rica Craft: Carretas {Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop} | Alldonemonkey.com

Still, there was renewed interest several days later when it was time to attach the wheels.  I made holes in the boxes and wheels with a knife, then threaded them together using sturdy straws as axles.

The fun thing about this craft is that you can actually play with it when you are done!  Next I plan to stabilize the wheels a bit more, but for the time being the Monkeys and I are satisfied with our tico-americano creation.  Happy Birthday, Costa Rica!

Costa Rica Craft: Carretas {Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop} | Alldonemonkey.com

Be sure to check out our craft last year – a Costa Rican farol (lantern)!  You can also find more great ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month on my De Colores board on Pinterest.


heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs

All Done Monkey

Spanish Playground

Kid World Citizen

Mommy Maestra

Inspired by Familia

Entre Compras y El Hogar

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Spanglish House

Crafty Moms Share

Toddling in the Fast Lane

Mama Tortuga

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Our Whole Village

Changing Plate

A Life With Subtitles

Spanish Mama

Pragmatic Mom

Daria’s Music

My Favorite Multicultural Books

Trilingual Mama

Mundo Lanugo

The Good Long Road

Ana & Zelli

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play PadSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.

Traditional Mexican toys and games.

A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.

LanugoA basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.

Spanish games for kids.

A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.

Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.

A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World CitizenA child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.

Spanish games for kids. A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

Spanish songs for kids.

Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Spanish poems for kids.

Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.

Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.

Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.

Lingua ToysSpanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.

Bolivian GuiroHand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.

¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.

A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.

ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

High frequency words books in Spanish.

Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

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Sep 112014

Learning About Culture Through Play: Saudi Arabia | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for my monthly post for “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” the series in which each month participating bloggers travel the world with their kids by cooking a dish from another country and perhaps reading a book, doing a craft, or learning fun facts about it. This month we travel to Saudi Arabia!

We are behind in cooking our dish, but we have been having a lot of fun learning about Saudi Arabia in the meantime!

Learning About Culture Through Play

Monkey and I love to read together, but I’ve also found that he really enjoys (and ultimately retains information better) when we do hands-on activities.  For a Westerner, one of the most striking aspects about Saudi culture is dress.  And since kids love to play dress up, I realized this would be a great window into Saudi culture and a way for Monkey to really imagine what life there might be like.  Read about traditional Saudi dress.

Learning About Culture Through Play: Saudi Arabia | Alldonemonkey.com

I found an old long-sleeved work shirt of mine, which was so long on Monkey it mimicked the flowing thawb worn by Saudi men.  I used a white pillow case as the head covering and secured it with a black cloth headband.  He looked adorable!

Two important aspects of culture that emerged were 1) ideas about modesty and 2) practical ways to deal with the local environment.

Modesty was a new word for him, but we had talked about privacy for your body.  We talked about how people in different parts of the world have different ideas about modesty.  So just like we wouldn’t go outside in just our underwear, people in other cultures wouldn’t go outside with bare arms and legs.  So the dress in Saudi Arabia serves the purpose of helping people be modest.

Learning About Culture Through Play: Saudi Arabia | Alldonemonkey.com

But it is also a practical way to deal with the extremely hot environment.  We talked about how we are used to wearing less clothes in hot weather, but this is not the case in other places.  Why would this be so?  As it turned out, we did have some examples where we layered on clothes when it was hot: we wear hats when it’s really sunny out, and the Monkeys wear shirts in the pool.  Covering up can protect us from the sun!

It was also a great opportunity to introduce more science by talking about how light colors, especially white, reflect the sun’s light and so help keep us cool.  This came in handy soon after when I had to convince Monkey not to wear a black T-shirt outside on a very hot day!

Learning About Culture Through Play: Saudi Arabia | Alldonemonkey.com

A lot of learning packed into an afternoon of dress up!  And just as important, Monkey had so much fun!  This type of experiential learning is so important when learning about other cultures, as children really learn what it is like to “walk in someone else’s shoes.”

Around the World in 12 DishesCheck out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:

Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It and The Mommy Talks.

If you try a dish from Saudi Arabia, we’d love to hear about it! You can link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs: