Apr 072017
 
 April 7, 2017  crafts, Easter, Geography 2 Responses »

These days Pinterest is full of fun, adorable Easter crafts for kids, but how many Easter kite crafts have you seen? Although this time of year boasts great kite flying weather, kites are not associated with the Easter holiday here in the US, but kite flying is an Easter tradition in many parts of the Caribbean, especially Bermuda.

Make an Easter kite to learn about the kite-flying tradition of Bermuda

Make an Easter Kite to Learn About Bermuda

The story goes that once a Sunday school teacher wanted to help his students understand the ascension of Jesus to heaven and so came up with the creative idea of flying a kite with a picture of Jesus on it. The idea caught on, and now Good Friday finds many Bermudians out flying kites, including an annual Kite Festival at Horseshoe Bay Beach.

Traditionally people made their own kites from colorful tissue paper, although more and more imported plastic kites can be seen today.

Kite flying sounded to me like a wonderful Easter tradition, and a great way to do a craft that is both fun but also has spiritual significance.  I’ve got three little kids, so I keep our crafts simple, but if you want to make an authentic Bermuda kite (they are beautiful!) you can watch this slideshow.

Instead, I just opted for this very easy paper kite. They are fairly small and don’t fly as well as the big plastic ones, but I wanted to use materials that we already had on hand and to make kites that would be easy for the kids to put together and decorate themselves.

Make an Easter Kite to Learn About Bermuda | Alldonemonkey.com

They turned out really cute! I couldn’t resist putting bunny ears on mine. We were all very proud of ourselves and excited to put them into action. So the next day we headed for historic Gibson Ranch, a beautiful local park, to take advantage of the windy spring weather.

Make an Easter Kite to Learn About Bermuda | Alldonemonkey.com

Unfortunately it was a little too windy for the boys at first, but luckily they rallied (and the wind died down a bit) so we could test out our kites and enjoy the scenery.

Make an Easter Kite to Learn About Bermuda | Alldonemonkey.com

Beautiful Gibson Ranch

So this Easter try something different – make an Easter kite with your child and learn more about this wonderful tradition from Bermuda!

Series on Easter around the world

Easter is approaching, and once again we are excited to take you on a tour of the world and how it celebrates Easter! Explore the diverse traditions of Easter with us, and don’t miss our series from last year or 2015. You also will enjoy this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. Find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Easter Around the World on Pinterest.

March 27
Turning Dutch on Multicultural Kid Blogs: The Netherlands

March 28
Kori at Home: 8 Polish Easter Traditions and Customs for Kids

March 29
Hispanic Mama: Fun Easter Resources for Your Bilingual Kids

March 31
Globe Trottin’ Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrating Pascha – Greek Orthodox Easter Traditions

April 6
All Done Monkey

April 7
Living Ideas

April 10
Russian Step By Step

April 11
Pediatrician with a Passport

Mar 102017
 

I am fascinated by the Hindu celebration Holi, the one you see the amazing photographs of each year, with people showering each other with vibrantly colored powders or colored water. But to be honest, beyond the sense of it as a joyous, lively festival, I really didn’t know much about it. Well, dear reader, for you I have decided to go deeper and find out more: Here is why now I’m convinced everyone should learn about Holi!

5 Reasons Everyone Should Learn About Holi | Alldonemonkey.com

Photo by Raghuvanshidude (Holi) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I received a copy of Let’s Celebrate Holi for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Related Post: India for Kids – Favorite Resources for Elementary Students

Why Everyone Should Learn About Holi

1. It is incredibly fun.

Holi is one of the most fun celebrations I have heard of! The most famous aspect of Holi is how celebrants throw colored powder on each other and spray everyone with colored water, until everyone and everything is covered with beautiful, bright colors. Talk about fun, especially for kids who are always told to be careful not to spill or get their clothes dirty! (Find out how to make your own homemade colored powders).

2. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

No matter what your religion or philosophy, the battle of good and evil is a classic struggle where we all can support the same side! Sharing the story of Holi is a great way to teach children that when it comes down to it, all people believe in the same basic principles.

3. It is celebrated throughout India and around the world.

Holi is not only celebrated in one of the world’s most populous countries, it has also become popular in other countries as well, in part due to immigration but also because it is such a fun festival (see #1!)

4. The food is spectacular.

As with so many holidays, Holi is a time of eating special foods, like the gujia pastry or the refreshing spiced milk drink thandai (you can also make a dairy-free version).

5. Your kids will think you are the coolest parent ever.

Getting messy, throwing water and powder on each other, eating great food, and hearing stories that excite the imagination: no doubt about it, if you help your kids learn about Holi, they will think you are awesome! 

Related Post: Holi Crafts and Activities for Kids

Convinced? Then I have the perfect guide to teach you and your kids all about Holi! You may remember the series I have reviewed previously about Maya and Neel, the brother and sister who introduce children to Indian culture. They taught about Mumbai in Let’s Visit Mumbai! and the holiday Diwali in Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (see my reviews here and here). In their latest adventure, Let’s Celebrate Holi!, Maya and Neel help children learn about Holi through traditional foods and activities. I love that the book also highlights regional variations in how Holi is celebrated, with colorful illustrations and maps.

I also appreciated reading the story behind Holi, something I had never really understood before. After all, what does throwing powder on each other have to do with the triumph of good over evil? Find out, plus discover what it has to do with the bonfires during Holi!

As with the other volumes in this series, the illustrations are beautiful and engaging, and young readers can easily relate to these siblings as they learn about Holi and Indian culture, as seen through the eyes of children. If you are looking to introduce your child to this festival or want a story to share in your classroom, I highly recommend Let’s Celebrate Holi!!

Feb 202017
 

Purim is coming, and I have gathered together the best FREE Purim printables out there! They are guaranteed fun for you and your kids, as part of your celebrations of this fun holiday. From masks and puppets to coloring pages and activities, there is something for everyone!

Free Purim Printables | Alldonemonkey.com

Free Purim Printables

From Moms & Crafters: Free Printable Labels

From Moms & Crafters: Color-In Masks for Grownups and Kids

From Alpha Mom: Printable Masks

From Chai & Home: Paper Crown

From Ann D. Koffsky: Puppets to Color

From Tori Avey: Finger Puppets

From Kosher on a Budget: 10 Free Coloring Pages

From Dena Ackerman: Purim Coloring Pages

From To the Moon & Back: E Is for Esther Templates and Activities

From Our Jewish Homeschool Blog: Activity Pack

How are you celebrating this year?

 

Purim for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of our annual Purim for Kids blog hop. Visit the posts below for great ideas about sharing this holiday with the kids in your life! Don’t miss our blog hop from last year, and you can find even more ideas on our Purim board on Pinterest:


Participating Blogs

ZinnHouse.com on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Interfaith Purim Plus: A Wide Approach to Spring Holidays
Moms & Crafters: Free Color-in Purim Puppets
Kelly’s Classroom: Better-than-Best Purim
Melibelle in Tokyo: From Shushan with Love
All Done Monkey: Free Purim Printables

May 052016
 

5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away | Alldonemonkey.com

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the mothers and grandmothers in our lives, so it’s a particularly hard time of year to live far away from family.  My parents live across the country from us, while my in-laws are in Costa Rica.  Though we try to visit as often as we can, it is not practical to go as often as we like, so maintaining ties can be a challenge.  Here are some easy ways we have discovered to keep in touch with family far away.  Leave your ideas in the comments!

5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away

5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away | Alldonemonkey.com

1. Homemade Cards and Gifts

I am a big believer in old-fashioned cards and gifts.  For special occasions the kids and I always sit down to make homemade cards to send to loved ones.  Especially when you live far away, having a sweet, tangible gift really means a lot!  And cards are very practical, since they are inexpensive to send overseas.  Hand print cards like this hand trace art are perfect, since they are a great keepsake gift as well.  At our last family reunion, my sister-in-law had all the kids make hand print T-shirts for each other – so fun!  For even more ideas, check out my Homemade Gift Ideas board on Pinterest.

2. Photo Gifts

Photo gifts are also a lovely way to be “present” in your family’s lives even though you are far away.  We send out photo cards with pictures of the kids each year, and often create special family photos to send to the grandparents in the US and Costa Rica for occasions like Mother’s Day.  They are truly cherished, as this way the grandparents get to “see” the kids everyday.

5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away | Alldonemonkey.com

3. Create a Shared Ritual

One sweet idea is to create a ritual you each can do at the same time.  For example, you could take a morning walk or work in the garden at around the same time then share photos of the flowers or animals you see.  (Especially fun if your kids help take the photos!)  You could also have special candles that you each light as you say your evening prayers, or a favorite bedtime story you read together over the phone, or a decoration that you can both use on special occasions.  My sister, for example, sent us all beautiful handmade garlands that each family uses to decorate for the holidays.

5 Easy Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Far Away | Alldonemonkey.com

4. Virtual Parties

Can’t be there for a special occasion? Get on the computer and make a virtual visit!  My family threw a virtual baby shower for us before each of our babies was born, and we have gotten to be a part of the big family Christmas celebration in Costa Rica each year via computer!  We really felt like we were there as my sister-in-law “carried” us around the house to say hi to everyone and even drool over the food!

5. Send a Financial Gift

If we lived nearby, we could take the grandmothers out for brunch on Mother’s Day, or buy them a special gift on their birthdays.  Since this is not practical because of the distance, we often send a financial gift instead.  (Be sure to check out these awesome Mother’s Day deals and egift cards from PayPal!)

As a busy mom, I’m so glad that now I’ve discovered how easy and safe PayPal and Xoom are to manage and move money quickly.  Now I can rest easy knowing our gift was received and they have more time to focus on family rather than chasing down the money transfer.  Managing our money securely is important to our growing family, so using services like PayPal and Xoom helps relieve that added stress that finances can bring.

Xoom is an easy way to transfer money to loved ones

Xoom is the only remittances company that offers instant disbursements, and it has so many options for how your loved ones can receive your financial gift, such as bank transfers, cash pick-up or delivery, bill pay and mobile reload – so easy!  And how great is it that you can track your transfers with SMS alerts, and even get a text message when the money is received?  I can recall so many instances in the past when my husband had to make multiple phone calls to see exactly how/when our family could pick up the money we had sent, and even then we never quite relaxed until we got a call from our family members that they had received the money successfully.  The Xoom system is so much easier, leaving more time for everyone to relax and enjoy the holiday!

How do you keep in touch with family far away?

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

Mar 282016
 
 March 28, 2016  Passover, recipes 4 Responses »

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Whether you are looking for a new twist on a staple of your Passover Seder or wanting to explore the traditions of Passover with your kids for the first time, you will love this Sephardic charoset recipe.  Its sweetness is balanced out by the spices and nuts, making it kid-friendly and delicious!

When the opportunity came to participate in a blog hop about Passover for kids from Multicultural Kid Blogs, I rather innocently said that I would do a traditional recipe for Passover from Spain.  Our Global Learning series is focusing on Spain this month, so it seemed like a great way to combine the two projects.

So what’s the problem?  As it turns out, establishing what exactly is a Spanish tradition for Passover – or any other Jewish holiday – is a bit tricky.  Even though Jews have been in Spain since ancient times and during medieval times it had one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, today their numbers are relatively small.  Remember the Spanish Inquisition?

Jews had thrived under Muslim rule in Southern Spain, yet everything changed when Ferdinand and Isabella (yes, the same ones that sponsored Columbus’s voyages) were finally able to conquer the remaining Muslim strongholds in the peninsula.  As part of their “Reconquest” for the Catholic Church, they also expelled all the Jews.  (England had expelled Jews 200 years earlier, and there were similar expulsions in many European countries).  The expelled Jews – who today are scattered around the globe – became known as Sephardic Jews, from the Hebrew word for Spain.

Terrible, of course, but that was more than 500 years ago.  What does that have to do with today?  Turns out that Jews were only allowed back to Spain in the late 19th century and then only in small numbers.  In fact, it was just last year that Spain passed a law welcoming the descendants of the expelled Jews back.

Which brings us back to the charoset recipe.  This fruit and nut paste eaten during the Passover Seder is meant to symbolize the suffering of the Jews in Egypt because of its resemblance to the mortar the Jewish slaves used in constructing the great monuments of that empire.  And so it is fitting that we remember that the sufferings of the Jewish people were not just limited to slavery in Egypt or the Holocaust.  They encompass numerous outrages throughout history, including the expulsion (or forced conversion) of the Jews in Spain.

The charoset recipe below, adapted from this version, captures the pungent flavors of Sephardic cooking today, influenced not only from the recent centuries outside of Spain but also from the generations of living under Moorish rule.  I increased the proportion of nuts and skipped the spicier spices out of deference to my kids’ tastes.  Feel free to tinker to discover your family’s own favorite mix.  That is part of the fun!

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Sephardic Charoset Recipe

Adapted from Mother Would Know

Ingredients

Scant 1/4 cup each of dried apricots, dates, dark raisins, golden raisins, dried figs, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

About 1/4 cup of apple juice or grape juice

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Put all ingredients except juice in the food processor and mix to desired consistency.  (Some like a smooth paste, while others prefer it chunkier).  Heat the juice and add it gradually to the fruit and nut mixture.  Let it sit for a few minutes so the mixture absorbs the liquid and then mix again.  Drain off excess liquid or add more if needed.

 

Passover for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of the Passover for Kids Blog Hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Visit the co-hosts below for more about how to celebrate this special holiday with kids:

Participating Blogs

The Book of Life on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Crafty Moms Share

All Done Monkey

Kelly’s Classroom

Moms & Crafters

Mar 212016
 

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

There are many things that a baby uses intensely during its first year, then never again.  Think of all those adorable onesies that your baby uses in abundance, then quickly outgrows.  Another such item is the receiving blanket.  They are perfect for young babies – soft and snuggly and just the right size – until they are suddenly too small, and you are left with a stack of blankets you can no longer use.

Until now!  Here is an idea to use an old receiving blanket to upcycle a basket into a cute DIY Easter basket for baby.  I’ve also collected fantastic basket filler ideas, plus other creative uses for old baby blankets.

Disclosure: This article was inspired by a complimentary gift basket I received from Gifts.com.

DIY Easter Basket for Baby

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

I started with this amazing gift basket from Gifts.com.  They have a great selection, including the one above, which was full of yummy, organic fruit!

After we had devoured the fruit, I was left with a basket that was just the perfect size for an Easter basket!  Since we are all about natural parenting and green living, what better way to make an DIY Easter basket than to upcycle materials we already had on hand?

It couldn’t have been easier!  All you need is an old receiving blanket, a basket, and a hot glue gun.

Receiving blankets are perfect for upcycling because of their even, regular shape; their soft material; and their adorable patterns.  Plus you have a bunch sitting around the house already!  And after Easter, it is great for storage in the nursery or as part of a baby shower gift.  (Thanks to a reader for that last suggestion!)

I used this “faux sew” method, in which you basically just drape the material over the basket and hot glue it in place.  I love the fullness of the draped material, plus it neatly sidesteps the need to make a hem!  (If you do want to make a hem, you can either cut, fold, and hot glue one; or you can use hem tape).  This no-sew tutorial is a bit more precise, plus I borrowed its idea of how to tuck the extra material under at the ends.  If you want a liner that fits more snugly against the basket, here is a tutorial that includes how to measure material for a round basket.

DIY Easter Basket for Baby | Alldonemonkey.com

So pretty and so easy!  Now what do you put in that cute basket?  Here are some ideas:

Easter Gifts for Baby

And now that I’ve got you excited about repurposing your old receiving blankets, here are more creative uses for them:

Creative Ways to Repurpose Receiving Blankets

Be sure to check out these other great spring ideas:

Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Wind Chimes for Kids to Make

Mom Inspired Life: Planting Flowers Alphabet Activity

Inspired by Familia: Fruit Flower Pot Snack for Kids

Mar 152016
 

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim | Alldonemonkey.com

Add a little exotic flavor to your Easter menu this year with this super easy Easter dessert from Brazil!  Paçoca de amendoim is a peanut candy common to the rural areas of the southeastern parts of Brazil, around the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais.  Since so many kids have peanut allergies, I’ve made a peanut-free version using almonds instead – still delicious!

Last year we really enjoyed making an Easter bread from Ethiopia, but with a newborn I knew that this year we’d need something much simpler.  There are many different recipes out for paçoca de amendoim, all slightly different, but most use peanuts, sugar, condensed milk, and manioc (cassava) flour.  Traditionally the peanuts were pounded in a mortar, but most cooks today use a food processor. Basically you just throw everything in and mix: I love any recipe that only requires that I push a button!

The toughest thing is getting the consistency right, which is always difficult if, like me, you’ve never tried the real thing.  It should be dry but not too crumbly – just wet enough to come together without turning into a paste.  If yours turns out too wet, try mixing in extra flour or putting it in the refrigerator over night – if you can wait that long!  The best thing, though, is to start too dry and add the condensed milk only a very little bit at a time.

Either way, it will be delicious!  Happy Easter and enjoy!

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim | Alldonemonkey.com

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim

Inspired by these two versions: from Cyber Cook and About.com (the latter was one of only English versions I found).

Ingredients:

1 cup of peanuts or almonds

1/2 cup manioc (cassava) flour or coconut flour*

2 T brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (you will not need the entire can)

pinch of salt

*look for manioc flour or manioc starch in international grocery stores.  Ours unfortunately did not have it, so I substituted coconut flour instead.

Add all ingredients except condensed milk to your food processor and grind to desired consistency.  (I did ours into a fine powder, but some prefer to leave slightly larger bits of nuts).  Add the condensed milk just a little bit at a time until the mixture starts to come together.  Press into an 8 x 8 pan or other mold then cut into pieces.

 

Series on Easter around the world

Explore the diverse traditions of Easter around the world with us, and don’t miss our series from last year and this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. You can also find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Easter Around the World on Pinterest.

March 7
Femme au foyer on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Priecīgas Lieldienas: A Latvian Easter

March 8
Crafty Moms Share: Exploring Easter in Australia

March 11
La Cité des Vents: La Procession de la Sanch

March 14
Living Ideas: DIY Indonesian Easter Basket from Recycled Can

March 15
All Done Monkey

March 17
Kids Travel Books

March 21
Kori at Home

March 23
Let the Journey Begin

March 24
Hispanic Mama

Feb 292016
 
 February 29, 2016  Book Reviews, Purim 1 Response »

Favorite Purim books for kids

Purim is just around the corner, so here are some of our favorite Purim children’s books.  Some tell the story of Queen Esther, while others describe how Purim is celebrated today, and still others are about a particular experience related to the holiday.  We have enjoyed reading these, as we were not very familiar with Purim previously.

Purim Books about Queen Esther

The story of Queen Esther is a fantastic tale, full of intrigue, betrayal, and, ultimately, triumph.  The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale tells of how a Hebrew maiden became the Queen of Persia and risked her own life to save her people from a plot to destroy them.  Eric A Kimmel is a well known children’s author whose books have received National Jewish Book Awards.  He was also awarded the Sydney Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Queen Esther Saves Her People is another popular version of the story of Queen Esther and her bravery in saving her people from the schemes of the wicked official Haman.

Individual Purim Stories

Jane Breskin Zalben has written a wonderful series of picture books about Jewish holidays, including Happy New Year, Beni, which I included in my collection of Rosh Hashanah booksGoldie’s Purim is about a little bear and her family who are preparing to celebrate Purim together.  Goldie has the lead role of Esther in the Purim play, but she is nervous!  Then Goldie remembers how brave Esther was and decides she can be brave, too.  This is a really sweet book about courage that also shows children many of the important elements of Purim.

As Purim approaches, Herschel wishes he could help his mother more, as she struggles to support them. But Herschel is blind and so there is only so much he can do to help – or is there? When an angel appears to him in a dream and encourages him to “see” what is in his mind, Herschel discovers a natural talent that can help his mother and provide a secure future for them both. Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale is a beautiful story of love and learning to trust in yourself.

Raisel’s Riddle is a Cinderella story set in Poland. Raisel is an orphan who goes to the city as a young woman, where she finds work in the house of a rabbi. The rabbi’s cook is jealous of Raisel and treats her cruelly, but Raisel’s luck changes one day when her kindness to an old beggar women is rewarded with three wishes. These enable Raisel to attend the Purim play, where she meets the rabbi’s son, who has no idea she is the same girl that works in his own home. I love that this story turns on a riddle that Raisel tells the rabbi’s son about wisdom, and that it is her cleverness that steals his heart.

Just for Fun Purim Books

 

The little old lady is making hamantaschen for Purim, but her lazy pets won’t help. The animals always have an excuse, but they aren’t actually lazy: See what special surprise they are planning while their beloved owner bakes! The Better-Than-Best Purim is a really cute book for young readers. Includes a note about the history of Purim and how it is celebrated, plus a recipe for hamantaschen.

Barnyard Purim is an adorable story for young children about Purim.  When Farmer Max leaves for a Purim play, the bayryard animals decide to put on one of their own.  But when a wolf sneaks in and is mistaken for Haman, the shy Duck (in the role of Esther) must be brave and save the day!

Purim for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Join Multicultural Kid Blogs today as we share posts on celebrating Purim with kids! You can find even more on our Purim board on Pinterest:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Purim on Pinterest.

Participating Blogs

Melibelle in Tokyo on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Moms and Crafters

Kelly’s Classroom

Crafty Moms Share

All Done Monkey

May 052015
 
 May 5, 2015  Mother's Day 2 Responses »

5 Ways to Make a Mom Friend Feel Special This Mother's Day | Alldonemonkey.com

I received complimentary products from Shari’s Berries to facilitate this article; however, all opinions are my own.

Do you have a special mom friend in your life?  Here are some great ways to make her feel special this Mother’s Day!

1. Moms’ Night Out

Sometimes what a busy mom needs is to get out of the house with her friends to relax and have fun!  Of course, this could be dinner or dancing, or you could do something even more creative:  A friend recently told me about a group painting class for moms.  What a fun way to spend an evening with friends!  Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of caring for others that it can be refreshing to do something just for fun, just for ourselves.

2. Moms’ Night In

Of course, if you are a homebody like me, going out to a fancy restaurant or dancing at a club may not be the most relaxing way to spend an evening. Also, for some moms being away from very small children (especially nursing babies) can be a challenge logistically.  Instead, one friend and I often do moms’ nights in.  I come over just in time to say good night to her little one, then afterwards she and I relax drinking tea, eating yummy desserts, and – of course – talking for hours!

3. Time to Herself

No one but a parent can understand what a luxury it is to be alone.  As in, able to go to the bathroom without an audience.  Able to sit down with a cup of tea and actually drink it before it gets cold.  Able to close your eyes or gaze off into space or enjoy a good book or movie without worrying that the someone might burn down the house/break a leg/break their siblings’ legs in the meantime.  So consider offering to babysit or have her kids’ over for a play date – you could always swap off so you each get a free afternoon!

4. Acknowledge What She Does

One of the hardest things about parenthood is that it is a 24/7 job, with no performance review once a year, no raises or bonuses to recognize all of your hard work.  And while, of course, this is not while we do it, it is still wonderful when someone simply acknowledges what we do.  So many of us often feel that we aren’t doing enough, that at the end of the day we haven’t accomplished anything, so it is really important to encourage your mom friends by recognizing what a great job they are doing.  Try being specific, so your compliments don’t come off as insincere – Are her kids always polite?  Is she the mom that always remembers the snacks at the park?  Is she an expert at handling tantrums?  It really will make a difference to her when you notice!

5. Treat Her to Something Special

Of course, a special treat for your mom friend will always be welcome!  Mother’s Day is a great time to indulge, and she’ll appreciate that you were thinking of her.  Personally, I love Shari’s Berries, a known source for premium treats for special occasions and everyday indulgences!

5 Ways to Make a Mom Friend Feel Special This Mother's Day | Alldonemonkey.com

And while they are known for their delectable chocolate-dipped strawberries, they also have other gifts for Mother’s Day.  For example, for my recent moms’ night in with my friend, we chose an amazing tea collection – yes, with chocolate goodies, but also with a lovely gourmet tea set, including a selection of organic teas!

5 Ways to Make a Mom Friend Feel Special This Mother's Day | Alldonemonkey.com

How do you help your mom friends feel special?

Apr 072015
 
 April 7, 2015  activities, Around the World in 12 Dishes, Earth Day, Education, education3 Comments Off on Endangered Animals: Learning about African Manatees

Endangered Animals: Learning about African Manatees | Alldonemonkey.com

To continue our theme of learning about endangered animals, we turned our attention to Senegal (our next country in Around the World in 12 Dishes) and began to study the African manatee.  There are three species of manatees, but the African (or West African) manatee is perhaps the least known of the three and the most endangered.

Disclosure: This post contains a sponsored link for your convenience.

These animals are known locally as “Mamiwata”, an African name (unfortunately I wasn’t able to discover which African language) for the spirit believed to be embodied by the manatee.  The gentle manatees are marine mammals, which means they must surface periodically to breathe.  Most manatees are primarily herbivores, but now there is evidence that the African manatee actually eats fish, mollusks, and clams.

The African manatee can be found in the shallow coastal waters, rivers, and estuaries of West Africa and is under threat from poaching, fishing (because of getting caught in fishing nets), and habitat loss from construction of dams.  While firm numbers are difficult to come by, it is clear that the African manatee is under grave threat and its population is in danger of disappearing from several of the countries – including Senegal – where it has traditionally lived.

Endangered Animals: Learning about African Manatees | Alldonemonkey.com

To learn more about the African manatee, I created a word search and word puzzle, which you can download and print here:

African Manatee Word Search

African Manatee Word Puzzle

 

Additional Resources on African Manatees:

From Save Our Species

From Save Our Seas

From Wildlife Conservation Society

From Sirenian International

From EDGE

From IUCN Red List

Title image via http://currencewiki.wikispaces.com

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

Earth Day Books and Music Giveaway

To inspire earth-friendly practices with your family, I’m so excited to be taking part in an awesome Earth Day giveaway with several other kid bloggers. Several publishers have offered earth-themed books and music prizes for your Earth Day celebrations. Hopefully, these wonderful resources will inspire a love of nature in your children and motivate them to make a difference in the world. Amazon affiliate links are below for your convenience.

The Earth Day Giveaway co-hosts are:

Kids Yoga Stories, Mama Smiles, Spanish Playground, Creative World of Varya, Crafty Moms Share, the piri-piri lexicon, All Done Monkey, and Eva Varga

Earth Day Giveaway Prize Pack #1

EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY

PRIZE PACK #1

Water Rolls, Water Rises, by Pat Mora
Celebrate the wonders of the water on planet Earth with this poetic and illustrative bilingual book.

Call Me Tree, by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Act out this beautiful bilingual story following a young child mimicking the growth of a tree.

Kings & Queens of the Forest CD, by Kira Willey
Act out a journey to the forest with Kira Willey’s enchanting yoga-inspired music.

Imaginations 2, by Carolyn Clarke
Use guided imagery to explore nature while learning to calm the mind and body with these relaxation stories.

Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, by Giselle Shardlow
Join Sophia and her family on a jungle adventure while learning to appreciate jungle life and doing yoga along the way.

Every Day is Earth Day Kids Yoga Lesson Plan PDF, by Next Generation Yoga
Create an earth-themed yoga session with this kids yoga lesson plan.

Compost Stew, by Mary McKenna Siddals
Dig into composting with this engaging rhyming text.

Too Much Junk song, by Elska
Get inspired to enjoy nature and simplify your life with this new musical adventure.

Backyard Garden CD, by Earthworm Ensemble
Celebrate nature, green living, and gardening with this uplifting new music.

Earth Day Giveaway Prize Pack #2

EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY

PRIZE PACK #2

Change the World Before Bedtime, by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good
Find out how the simple things in life that can inspire huge differences that change the world.

Picture a Tree, by Barbara Reid
Discover new ways to experience trees in this book with stunning imagery.

This Tree Counts, by Alison Formento and Sarah Snow
Practice counting with animals that live in trees.

Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green, by Eileen Spinelli and Anne Kennedy
Join Miss Fox as she teaches her forest animal students how to go green.

In the Garden with Dr. Carver, by Susan Grigsby and Nicole Tadgell
Step into the historical world of Dr. Carver as he teaches children about gardening.

What’s So Special About Planet Earth?, by Robert E. Wells
Learn how planet Earth is different from other planets.

Polar Bear, Why is Your World Melting?, by Robert E. Wells
Learn why and how the world is getting warmer and what we can do about it.

Earth Day Giveaway Prize Pack #3EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY

PRIZE PACK #3

Earth Day CD and Recycled Musical Activities eBook, by Daria Marmaluk Hajioannou
Sing and dance to catchy folk music to celebrate our beautiful rainbow world.

Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman
Take a look at nature in a new way with this book that explains all about the nature with sketches.

Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun, by Michael J. Caduto
Learn about renewable energy with 22 activities on producing and using it.

Ecology eBook – Ecology Explorations, by Eva Varga
Explore your local ecosystems with this hands-on ten-week life science curriculum.

When the Animals Saved Earth, by Alexis York Lumbard
Read a tale about how animals teach humans to restore balance in nature.

Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree, by Durga Yael Bernhard
Explore trees all over the world and see what a child sees when climbing those trees

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