Leanna

Dec 132018
 
 December 13, 2018  Book Reviews, Christmas No Responses »

The holidays are the perfect time to snuggle up together and share some cozy moments over a good book. Well, I have not one but five wonderful new Christmas picture books to share with you, all of them guaranteed to brighten your holiday! So take a break from the hustle and bustle, grab your kids and some mugs of cocoa, and curl up with these new holiday favorites.

New Christmas Picture Books to Brighten Your Holiday | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I was sent complimentary copies of the books below 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 charge to you.

New Christmas Picture Books to Brighten Your Holiday

My kids love ninjas! So why I was very excited to receive North Pole Ninjas: MISSION: Christmas! to review. Who would have thought there would be ninjas at the North Pole? But they are so useful to do all those secret jobs that need to be done to spread kindness everywhere! The pictures are adorable, and I love the rhyming text, but my FAVORITE part is that it comes with 50 top secret missions of kindness that kids can do, like donating food to the local food bank, or drawing a holiday picture for relatives. What a great way to have kids focus on the spirit of the season!

Another book that really helps kids focus on what’s important is My Little Gifts: A Book of Sharing (Growing Hearts). This is a beautifully done book with plenty of cleverly done flaps for little hands to open. It helps children realize that gifts don’t have to be wrapped under the tree, they can be hugs and kisses, or helping someone, or letting your sister decide which jam to try. I should mention that this book is not specifically for Christmas, but great for any time of year.

All Aboard! The Christmas Train is soooo fun for little readers! It opens up into a train, plus each car opens up to see the passengers inside! My kids love laying this book out on the floor to read it. As their mom, I love that it incorporates so many fun little learning activities, like counting the number of skiers, or looking for Santa’s missing boot! So colorful and fun!

Decked Out for Christmas! is a really cute board book to help younger kids get excited about Christmas time. A group of mice pull out all the decorations (included a cheese star!) fit for a wonderful Christmas tree, but soon it becomes obvious they aren’t decorating a tree! Great twist and a special appearance by a present-giving mouse at the end.

I love finding bilingual books for all occasions, so I was happy to review Doggy Claus / Perro Noel (English and Spanish Edition). It is a sweet story of a shelter dog who wants to bring some holiday cheer to the other animals. In the end he discovers that the best presents aren’t toys but rather friendship. Really cute book with a great message!

Related Posts:

6 Tips to Keep the Holidays Special

DIY Ornament: Philippine Christmas Star Craft

Haitian Pineapple Nog

 

Winter Wonderland Blogger Campaign

This post is part of the Winter Wonderland blogger campaign from Penguin Books! Be sure to check out all the reviews – each snowflake is a different winter book for kids!

Winter Wonderland Blogger Campaign

Snowflake One

December 10 – Gypsy Mom – Review + Craft

December 11 – A Buckeye Teacher – Review + Creative Instagram Picture + Classroom Idea

December 12 – InRandom – Review + Gift Guide

December 13 – Mommy Ramblings – Review + Giveaway

Snowflake Two

December 10 – DoodleMom – Review + Moodboard/Craft

December 11 – Coquette Maman – Review + Instagram Unboxing

December 12 – Pink Polka Dots – Books to read when you want that winter feel

December 13 – Word Spelunking – Review + Inspired by the book: Baking

Snowflake Three

December 10 – Babies to Bookworms – Review + Activities

December 11 – The Unique Classroom – Classroom Activity

December 12 – Inspiration Laboratories – Activity

December 13 – Dream Reader Kids – Unboxing + Creative Instagram Picture

Snowflake Four

December 10 – Library Lady’s Kid Lit – Inspired by the Book: Snowflakes or Ornament Decorations

December 11 – Crafty Moms Share – Fun Facts about Snowflakes

December 12 – Books and Giggles – Craft

December 13 – All Done Monkey – New Christmas Books for Kids

December 14 – A Peace of Mind – Inspired by the book

Snowflake Five

December 10 – What’s a Kid To Read – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

December 11 – The Inspired Apple – Creative Instagram Picture

December 12 – Because.my.mother.read – Learning Activity + Craft

December 13 – Lovely Little Things – Review + Creative

Dec 122018
 

Part of our character building classes is teaching children about heroes in Bahá’í history and how they can emulate their qualities. Bahiyyih Khanum, daughter of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, is a leading Bahá’í heroine and holds a unique place in religious history. In these lessons, the children studied a prayer and learned about her qualities of service and leadership.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bahá’í History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum

Also known by the title Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahiyyih Khanum was born in 1846, the daughter of Bahá’u’lláh and His wife Navváb. She was only a child when her family was forced from their homes and, along with the other members of her family, spent the rest of her life as an exile.

She also holds the distinction of being the first woman in religious history to lead a worldwide faith community. When her older brother ‘Abdu’l-Bahá died in 1921, Bahiyyih Khanum assumed the helm of the Bahá’í community, shepherding it through some of its most difficult times, as it prepared to transition to the leadership of the young Shoghi Effendi. Grownups can read more about her extraordinary life in Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, Outstanding Heroine of the Baha’i Faith.

The children’s class activities outlined below were taught over two classes and focused on Bahiyyih Khanum’s qualities of service and leadership, as well as teaching about the Holy Family.

For some aspects, like the prayer book, we did half during one lesson and half during the other. The other activities you can divide between two (or three) lessons as you see fit.

Children’s Prayer: “O Thou Kind Lord”

At the beginning of each class, after our opening prayers, we studied the following prayer from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “O Thou Kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might…” (read the whole prayer).

The children made a prayer book from two sheets of construction paper stapled together. During the first lesson, we pasted on the cover a copy of a photo of Bahiyyih Khanum (from the resource pages of the Core Curriculum Preschool lesson book). On the first inside page, they pasted a copy of a the first paragraph of the prayer. On the opposite page, they traced their hands, to go along with the idea of “handiwork.” Their homework was to read over and begin to memorize the first paragraph of the prayer.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum | Alldonemonkey.com

During the next lesson, they pasted the second paragraph on the next page of the prayer book, which includes “…enable them to render service to the world of humanity.” On the opposite page, they drew pictures of things they could do to help others.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum | Alldonemonkey.com

On the last set of pages, they pasted the final paragraph, which includes, “These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness.” Then we folded over a piece of card stock and cut out a shell shape, being careful to have the top (the “hinge”) of the shell on the fold, so that the shell can open and close.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum | Alldonemonkey.com

They then drew a heart on the outside of the shell (for “loving-kindness”) and a pearl on the inside. They then pasted the finished shell to the page opposite the final paragraph of the prayer.

Holy Family Tree

Next we focused on learning about the life of Bahiyyih Khanum, first by helping the children understand how she fits into the Holy Family (the family of Bahá’u’lláh). For this, I drew on the expertise of my friend Melissa at Delighted Hearts, who worked with me to develop this beautiful Holy Family Tree, which children can use to help them understand the relationships between the members of Bahá’u’lláh’s family. Be sure to visit her website for the printable worksheet!

Baha'i History: Bahiyyih Khanum - Holy Frmily Tree | All Done Monkey & Delighted Hearts

Life of Service

For more ideas, read this lesson for children on service and ideas for involving young children in service.

To learn about her life of service, I adapted a story from Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, Outstanding Heroine of the Baha’i Faith about when Bahiyyih Khanum was very young. Though she was just a small child and not very strong, she would still help to serve tea using a very heavy samovar, an act of service that impressed Bahá’u’lláh’s guests. I loved sharing this story with them, because it shows that even though they are young, they can still serve others and teach the Faith.

Since the children were not familiar with the samovars commonly used in Persia at that time, a local Bahá’í kindly loaned one to use to demonstrate.

Then we had a tea party! During the party, they practiced serving each other the tea (iced tea) and snacks.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum | Alldonemonkey.com

Leadership

Another important aspect of Bahiyyih Khanum’s life was her role as a leader, which I really wanted to emphasize to help them realize how women and girls can also be leaders.

We brainstormed ideas about what makes a true leader – someone who helps get things accomplished, someone who helps and protects others, and someone who can inspire others to do their best.

Then we did several activities to practice leadership:

  • Giving compliments to each other (to help inspire them)
  • Playing Simon Says
  • Role playing what they would do if they saw a bully on the playground or saw someone sitting alone.

This was one of my favorite lessons this past year, as Bahiyyih Khanum is such an inspiring figure!

Related Posts: 

12 Inspiring Women from Baha’i History

Moveable Sun Craft: Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Why It Matters

Dec 112018
 
 December 11, 2018  family No Responses »

Your family’s health is a top priority, so make sure you choose a doctor that’s right for you and your loved ones. Trust equals better care, resulting in early detection, more thorough diagnosis, and better follow through. Learn more about why choosing the right doctor for your family matters, plus how to get the help you need to navigate through the open enrollment process and make sure your plan includes your trusted physician.

Disclosure: Thank you to Dignity Health for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family: Why It Matters | Alldonemonkey.com

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family: Why It Matters

Trust = Better Care

1. Early Detection

When you trust your doctor, you’re more likely to open up about health concerns, leading to earlier detection of problems – and less worry for you.

We know how true this is for us as adults, how much more so for our children! They often are shy to talk to doctors, especially about problems that may be embarrassing for them. Choosing the right doctor means you and your family are more comfortable during your appointments.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family: Why It Matters | Alldonemonkey.com

2. More Comprehensive Diagnosis

A doctor with whom you’ve built a relationship has a better understanding of you as a complete person, such as your history, your habits, and what type of treatment you prefer. They also know if there is a family tendency towards certain illnesses or similar environmental circumstances. A new symptom isn’t treated in isolation but rather as part of a complex combination of factors, resulting in a more thorough diagnosis.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family: Why It Matters | Alldonemonkey.com

3. Better Follow Through

Choosing the right doctor for your family means you are more likely to trust and follow their advice and so have better follow through in your treatment. You are also more likely to contact them with subsequent questions about the same condition.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Family: Why It Matters | Alldonemonkey.com

Your family’s health matters, so make sure it matters to your doctor, too!

So why aren’t more people choosing the right doctor for their family? Often it is because they are confused and overwhelmed by the process of enrolling in an insurance plan. 1 out of 2 people find the process of choosing the best insurance plan for them very stressful – most would rather wash dishes (46%), go to the DMV (22%), or even get a root canal (7%)! Yet more than half (55%) of Californians wish they had made a more well-informed decision. Source: Dignity Health

Most of us choose our health plan then check to see which doctors are in-network. Why not take the opposite approach? If you have a preferred doctor, find a health plan that includes them.

Get your questions about open enrollment answered with Dignity Health. Dignity Health is a provider network of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff in 21 states. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California. Whether you are a senior, a member of CalPERS, get insurance through work, or on your own, they can help you during open enrollment.

Take action now to get the best healthcare for your family! You don’t have to figure it out on your own. Get help from Dignity Health today.

Dec 072018
 
 December 7, 2018  music, recipes, Winter No Responses »

As we settle into colder weather, we all could use a little something to warm us up. Here are 20+ kid-friendly winter drinks to keep the whole family feeling cozy and snug this winter! And don’t miss our review of a fabulous new children’s album that will help everyone beat cabin fever all winter long!

20+ Kid-Friendly Winter Drinks to Keep the Whole Family Cozy | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Winterland 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.

20+ Kid-Friendly Winter Drinks to Keep the Whole Family Cozy

Enjoy these kid-friendly winter drinks, including egg nog, hot chocolate, apple cider, tea, and more!

Haitian Pineapple Nog from All Done Monkey

Coquito: Puerto Rican Egg Nog from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Magic Milk from Multicultural Kid Blogs

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer from All Done Monkey

Homemade White Hot Chocolate from Crayons & Cravings

White Hot Chocolate with Polar Bear Marshmallows from Gluesticks Blog

Oreo Creme White Hot Chocolate from The Soccer Mom Blog

Jaggery Hot Chocolate from Multicultural Kid Blogs

Pink Velvet Hot Chocolate from Crayons & Cravings

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate from Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Monster Hot Chocolate from Easy Peasy Fun

Mint Hot Chocolate from Happiness is Homemade

Healthy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate from In the Kids Kitchen

Mexican Hot Chocolate from MommyMaestra

Guatemalan Hot Cocoa from Global Table Adventure

Chai Tea Latte from Let the Journey Begin

Moroccan Tea from Kid World Citizen

Kahwa: Indian Tea from Maple & Marigold

Holiday Cheer Cozy Drink from Bicultural Mama

Holiday Spice Wassail from Gluesticks Blog

Cranberry Apple Cider from Salt & Baker

Fizzy Crockpot Apple Cider from In the Kids Kitchen

What are your favorite kid-friendly winter drinks?

New Children’s Album for Winter Fun

Just in time for the cold weather is a new album of 16 original songs from GRAMMY® Award-winning The Okee Dokee Brothers. Winterland is an upbeat, toe tapping album that celebrates everything that is glorious about winter, from playing out in the snow to getting to know a Yeti. My favorite is “Keep Me Warm,” (see the video on their YouTube channel), while my kids keep requesting “The Abominable Yeti.” (I love the rhymes on that one!)

This fun loving pair of childhood friends will catch children up in the excitement of exploring and enjoying the outdoors in winter. In a time where children often experience the world via screens, it’s refreshing to have music that takes us back to the wonders of nature and appreciating the changing seasons.

The Okee Dokee Brothers will also be celebrating the album’s release with several family concerts, so see if you can catch a live performance!

 

Dec 042018
 
 December 4, 2018  Costa Rica, recipes No Responses »

Looking for a simple, flavorful dessert the whole family will enjoy? Try one of our family favorites: budín, Costa Rican bread pudding. This version of bread pudding is delicious and easy to put together – even the kids can help!

Costa Rican Bread Pudding: Budin | Alldonemonkey.com

Costa Rican Bread Pudding: Budín

Ingredients:

3 loaves of week old French bread*

1 liter of milk (just over 1 quart)

2 eggs

1/2 c sugar

2 t vanilla

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 stick melted butter (1/2 c)

Raisins (optional)

*Note: Traditionally stale bread is used; however, my sister-in-law told us that often they prefer to use fresh bread because it is softer. Try it both ways and see which you like better!

Costa Rican Bread Pudding: Budin | Alldonemonkey.com

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Break bread into small pieces (about the size of a grape) in a large mixing bowl then add the remaining ingredients except for about a 1/4 of the can of condensed milk.

Mix well then pour into a large baking dish. (How large really depends on how thick you want the final mixture to be. We made ours about 2 inches deep. Keep in mind that if you go for a thicker bread pudding, this may affect the baking time).

Costa Rican Bread Pudding: Budin | Alldonemonkey.com

Bake for 25-30 minutes, then drizzle with the reserved condensed milk and bake for a few minutes more, until golden.

Costa Rican Bread Pudding: Budin | Alldonemonkey.com

 

I like budín straight out of the oven, but Costa Ricans agree it is best served cold!

Related Posts:

Costa Rican Empanadas

Vietnamese Pumpkin Rolls

Singaporean Coconut Curd

Nov 192018
 

Travel the world with your children through these beautiful children’s books about West Africa! Below you will find picture books about Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. They range from biographies and folk tales to modern stories about life in West Africa today. Share your favorites in the comments!

Children's Books About West Africa: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Children’s Books About West Africa

Children’s Books About Mali

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali is the story of the legendary founder of the Mali empire. (The present day country of Mali takes its name from this medieval kingdom in West Africa and represents part of the territory that this powerful kingdom occupied at its height). Based on oral tradition, this telling focuses on the hardships Sundiata had to overcome. to become king. The cut paper illustrations are beautiful, and the narration mimics the cadences of the traditional griot storytellers. I highly recommend this book to combat the typical silence in most classrooms about the history of African kingdoms.

My kids love graphic novels, so I was thrilled to come across a comic version of the history of Sundiata. Sundiata: A Legend of Africa makes a thrilling read for any child who loves adventure. It has intrigue, battles, and magic – a surefire way to convince young readers that history is anything but boring!

If your child has any chance of reading about medieval West Africa in one of their history books, it will likely be about Mansa Musa, the celebrated king who distributed so much gold on his pilgrimage to Mecca that he caused inflation in Egypt and the surrounding areas for years after. After his trip, he became the only African king featured on European maps of the continent. Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali, gorgeously illustrated by the award-winning team Leo & Diane Dillon, tells of the powerful monarch whose fame carries down through history.

Never Forgotten, a Junior Library Guild selection, is a gorgeous picture book about a difficult subject – slavery. It reminds me a bit of Roots in that we come to know Musafa and his native Mali intimately before he is stolen away, so that we can more deeply appreciate the horror of what is lost and what might have been. Author Kissack, who dedicated herself to filling the gap in African American children’s literature, wrote that through this book she sought to “create a story that addresses that answers the question that all of us who are descendants of the Taken ask: ‘Were we missed?’ I answer with a resounding ‘Yes! We were never forgotten.” Illustrated by the same award-winning team that illustrated Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali above.

The Hatseller And The Monkeys is the first book on this list from Coretta Scott King Honor winner Baba Wagué Diakité, who was born and raised in a small village in Mali. This tale is one he heard as a boy from his uncle, a version of a story popular in many parts of the world about a seller who has his wares stolen by monkeys while napping. As always, Wagué takes the opportunity to teach his young readers about the culture and art of Mali, as in the wide-brimmed dibiri hats sold by the main character.

The Magic Gourd is also by Baba Wagué Diakité. (For a treat, flip to the back cover to see a picture of him with his daughters, one of whom would grow up to collaborate with her father on a book featured below!) The Magic Gourd is a fable about a kind rabbit who receives a magic gourd as a thank you after helping a chameleon. The gourd, which fills magically with whatever the owner desires, keeps Rabbit and his loved ones well fed even during a famine. Yet when the magic gourd is stolen by a greedy king, it takes another magical gift from the chameleon and the rabbit’s quick thinking to retrieve the gift and teach the king a lesson in friendship and generosity.

I Lost My Tooth in Africa is one of the most famous children’s books set in Africa. Written by Baba Wagué Diakité’s daughter Penda Diakité and illustrated by him, it is based on the true story of when Penda’s younger sister Amina lost her tooth while they were visiting their father’s homeland of Mali. She is so excited when she finds out that when you lose a tooth in Africa, the African tooth fairy will give you a chicken! My kids loved this story, perhaps especially because they can relate to experience of losing teeth – and of visiting another country where their father was born.

Gabrielle Emanuel, who now works for NPR, spent a year in Mali, working in the health sector. She often read to a young friend there and became appalled at the lack of books that reflected the local landscape and culture. Her book The Everlasting Embrace is a response to this need. It is a beautiful tribute to mothers and the close bond they create with their babies through the traditional practice of babywearing. As a mother goes through her day – grinding millet, going to the market – we see the world as experienced from the loving “cocoon” in which the child spends her days.

My Baby is another beautiful book about a mother’s love for her child. It showcases the art of bogolan, a traditional technique of painting cloth with specially prepared mud. Nakunte learns the art from her mother and uses it to make cloth for weddings and funerals, until she is finally ready to make a beautiful cloth for her own baby, decorated with symbols teaching the little one about the creatures of her home.

Children’s Books About Burkina Faso

The Water Princess is a beautifully done book based on the childhood memories of supermodel Georgie Badiel. A young girl dreams of having clean water close by, but instead she and her mother (along with many other women and girls) must spend much of their day walking miles to fill their jars with dusty water. My children could not believe that this was still a problem today and had trouble imagining what it would be like to have to work so hard just for a drink of water – and that the drink wouldn’t even be clean. There is more information about lack of access to clean water at the back of the book. You can find out even more from the Georgie Badiel Foundation, which has made providing clean, accessible water a cornerstone of its work in Burkina Faso.

All Aboard for the Bobo Road is a fun children’s book about the Fulani people of Burkina Faso, written by Stephen Davies, who spent ten years living among them as a missionary. It focuses on a common experience there – riding in a minibus! It is a beautiful, colorful ride past a lake full of hippos, by a waterfall and old rock domes, through the forest and into the big city. See for yourself why Davies calls this region one of his favorite places in the world.

Children’s Book About Niger

Though I found many books about other countries in West Africa (especially Mali), unfortunately I was only able to find one about Niger. Don’t Spill the Milk! comes from author Stephen Davies (see above), a missionary who spent ten years living in Burkina Faso and regularly visiting Mali and Niger. This is the sweet story of a Fulani girl carefully delivering milk to her father, who is tending sheep high in the grasslands. As she walks to see her father, we see many features of the region, including the endangered West African giraffe. A story of love and understanding between a father and daughter.

Kids Read the World: Africa | Kid World Citizen

This post on children’s books about West Africa is part of a series from Kid World Citizen, gathering reviews of children’s books about the countries of Africa. Don’t miss this incredible collection, coming soon!

Nov 092018
 
 November 9, 2018  music, Sacramento 4 Responses »

Did you grow up singing along to “Down by the Bay” or help your kids “Shake My Sillies Out” to Raffi’s infectious tunes? Then you won’t want to miss his live show, coming soon to a city near you! I’ve got all the concert details, plus a giveaway for my Sacramento readers, so just keep scrolling down while you eat, eat, eat your “Apples and Bananas”!

Raffi Live in Concert in Sacramento - Giveaway! | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the music below and tickets to the concert 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. 

For four decades Raffi has delighted audiences at his concerts and through his numerous albums, and now is your chance to share his music live with your little ones! Raffi is on tour now, singing from his beloved classics as well as his brand new 15-song album, Dog On The Floor (see my full review). Proceeds from his concerts benefit the Centre For Child Honoring.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see Raffi live in concert! For my Sacramento readers, scroll to the end to see how you can enter to win your own tickets!

Remaining dates are as follows:

Sunday, November 24, 2018 – Sacramento, CA – Crest Theatre – 1:00 PM (SOLD OUT), 4:00 PM

Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Glendale, CA – Alex Theatre – 1:00 PM

Saturday, January 19, 2019 – Tampa, FL – Tampa Theatre – 1:00 PM

Sunday, January 20, 2019 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Parker Playhouse – 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – Calgary, AB – Jack Singer Concert Hall – 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Sunday, March 3, 2019 – Edmonton, AB – Winspear Centre – 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 16, 2019 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Theater – 1:00 PM

Sunday, March 17, 2019 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Arts Center – 1:00 PM

Saturday, April 6, 2019 – Hamilton, ON – First Ontario Concert Hall – 1:00 PM

Sunday, April 7, 2019 – Montreal, QC – Maisonneuve Theatre – 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Sunday, April 14, 2019 – Victoria, BC – Royal Theatre – 1:00 PM

Saturday, September 28, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre – 1:00 PM

Sunday, September 29, 2019 – Mississauga, ON – 1:00 PM

Find more details for the Sacramento concert as well as other stops in the tour.

Raffi Live in Concert in Sacramento Giveaway!

And now for our giveaway for Sacramento readers! Enter to win a pair of tickets to his November 24, 4 pm show in Sacramento! Just comment below to let us know your family’s favorite Raffi song!

Giveaway ends Thursday, November 15, 2018 at midnight PT. Winner chosen by random selection. Must be able to attend 4 pm show on November 24, 2018.

Nov 092018
 
 November 9, 2018  activities Comments Off on Best Board Games for Kids and Families

I grew up in a family that loved playing board games together, and I’m so pleased that now my children enjoy this family pastime as well. We have had the chance to try out quite a few together over the years. Here are the best board games for kids and families that we have found, for both little ones and older children.

Best Board Games for Kids and Families | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Best Board Games for Kids and Families

 

Here are some of our favorite family board games! And don’t miss our other favorite activities for family game night.

Trouble Game is a classic game I remember from my childhood, so it’s fun to play it now with my kids. It is easy for young children to understand and uses a nice mix of luck and strategy. We actually have the Despicable Me version of Trouble, which my kids love because it comes with little Minion game pieces and a Siren Bob figurine.

A friend once gushed to me about how much fun her family had playing Marvel Hedbanz Board Game. It was something that everyone in the family loved to play. Although the listing states this is for ages 7 and up, it is often played with much younger children, especially since it is picture based.

Don’t Break the Ice Game is a really fun hands on game we first discovered thanks to a board games club at our homeschooling group several years ago. Kids have to try to pop out pieces of “ice” without letting the penguin on top fall through. At the board games club, there was always a line to play this one!

Want to teach your child chess but afraid it will be overwhelming? The board games club also introduced us to No Stress Chess, with a board that offers hints and a deck of cards that teaches the moves to new players. It is a easy way to teach kids chess, while letting them get started playing right away. I also liked how you can play at different levels of difficulty, as the children begin to learn the game.

Hasbro Battleship is another classic game that seems to never go out of style. Let’s be honest – I still find it really fun to play! We have Battleship Game: Star Wars Edition, which my little Jedi knights love to play together.

Peacable Kingdom Cauldron Quest is an award-winning cooperative game for ages 6 and up. Players work together to find the ingredients to make a special potion while avoiding obstacles – perfect for any magic-loving kids! Great for learning strategy and teamwork.

I’m always surprised at how much kids love to play Hasbro Monopoly Classic Game, considering how long game play can take – yet kids always want to play for hours! (Pro tip: if you read the instructions carefully, you’ll find rules for shorter versions that you play). This long-time favorite board game has inspired many versions, several of which can be found in our games closet! My boys’ current favorite is Star Wars Monopoly. (Did you know there’s actually a Fortnite Edition of Monopoly?) What is your family’s favorite version?

Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride is one I had heard of from friends with older kids, so we decided to try it out, now that my kids are ready for more complicated games. It was so much fun! Even my 5 year old had no trouble playing once he had some practice – though my little one kept stealing all of the train tokens! This board game is now so popular that you can find it in numerous variations, such as Ticket To Ride – Europe, Ticket to Ride: Asia, and Ticket to Ride: Africa.

This is next on our list of games to try out! Whether your child loves chemistry or you are hoping to spark an interest, Valence Plus – Use Real Chemistry to Break Down Your Opponents’ Molecules and Be a Science Ninja! is a fun way to learn about chemistry and the periodical table even you start with only a basic grasp of the concepts. Created by two chemical engineering PhDs and a New York Times best-selling cartoonist, this unique game is designed for kids of all ages.

Pandemic is my oldest son’s current favorite board game, and I’m always happy to oblige when he asks to play. I know of adults that gather to play hours long games of Pandemic, but it can also be enjoyed by the younger set, as you can play at different levels of difficulty. Again, my 5 year old has also played, with a little coaching. It has now spawned variations like Pandemic: On the Brink and Pandemic: State Of Emergency.

What are your family’s favorite board games?

KBN Holiday Gift Guides

KBN Holiday Gift Guide 2018

I’m excited to join this gift guide blog hop from other kid bloggers! You won’t want to miss these great holiday gift guides for kids!

Rad Gifts for Tween Girls from The Moments at Home

Gifts for Teen Girls from KimspiredDIY

Best Train Sets for Toddlers from Play Trains!

Best Board Games for Kids and Families from All Done Monkey

Gifts for Kids Who Love Outside Adventures from Bambini Travel

10 Gifts for Kids to Encourage New Reading Skills from My Storytime Corner

Best Games for Teens/Tweens from Nouveau Soccer Mom

The Best Toys and Games for Kids to Play Together from Mosswood Connections

Creative Books for Kids that Inspire from Thimble and Twig

15 of The Most Magical Unicorn Gift Ideas for Kids from Projects with Kids

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys from EverydaySavvy

Gifts for Messy Play from In Our Pond

15 Best Arts and Crafts Gifts for Kids from The Joy of Sharing

Girl Power Gifts for Girls of all ages from Seaside Sundays

Brilliant! Best Unisex Toys and Gift Ideas for Young Children from Heart of Deborah

Inquisitive Detective Gifts for Kids from Castle View Academy

Gifts for Kids that will Inspire Creativity from Creative K Kids

Robots, Rockets, & Tech Toys for Kids that ROCK! from Our Family Code

Seriously FUN Sensory Toys and Games from B-Inspired Mama

Gender Neutral Frozen-themed Gift Ideas from Fab Working Mom Life

Gifts for 8 Year Old Girls from What’s Up Fagans?

Best Outdoor Gifts to get Kids Outside from Creative Little Explorers

40+ Magical Gifts for your Harry Potter Wizards from Coffee and Carpool

Absolutely Amazing Gifts for Future Fashion Designers from The Gifty Girl

Nov 062018
 
 November 6, 2018  Birth of Baha'u'llah, crafts Comments Off on Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha’u’llah

As a follow up to last week’s stained glass heart craft for the Birth of the Báb, today I’m sharing a craft for the upcoming Bahá’í holy day the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh. This is an easy movable sun craft, which anyone can make as a cheerful decoration, or you can customize it with a quotation for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha’u’llah

The Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Mirza Husayn Ali, is customarily known by the title Bahá’u’lláh, which is Arabic for “the Glory of God.” For this craft for the upcoming Bahá’í holy day celebrating the anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s birth, I have focused on the word “glory,” here represented by the sun.

This craft is an easy one to do at home with your child or to do with a group of children in a class or at a holy day event. If you do, please share your photos! You can either share on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram (@alldonemonkey).

Materials (per child)

3 sheets of construction paper or colored card stock

Orange or yellow marker

Scissors

Glue

One round head fastener

Instructions

To make this movable sun craft for a class of 3-6 year olds, I prepped ahead by doing steps 1 and 2, as well as the final step. You may decide to have your students or child do those steps with you, depending on their age and attention span.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

1. Stack your sheets of colored paper. Trace a large circle on the top layer and cut out the shape so that you have three identical circles, one from each sheet of paper.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

2. Leave your yellow circle as is. Fold your white circle in half, lightly crease it then open again. Fold in half the opposite direction. Cut along the line of your first crease except cut a small quarter circle as you approach the edge of your new fold.

When you open it again, you should have a semi-circle topped with a small semi-circle in the middle (almost like a little UFO!). The small semi-circle will be the base of the rising sun.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

3. Have the children color the smaller semi-circle either orange or yellow, to represent the sun.

4. Next, cut your orange sheet into rays. You can let the children cut the rays themselves in whatever pattern they wish, just as long as they cut out some pieces, so that when it is placed on top of the yellow circle, some of the yellow will show through. (In other words, don’t just cut a fringe by cutting slits all the way around).

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

If you would like a more even pattern, you can fold the orange circle in half, then in half again, and then once more. Cut out a “V” in the middle of this triangle, making it as much in the middle as possible, so that the sides remaining are even.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

5. Open the orange circle (if folded) then glue onto the yellow circle.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

6. Place the white sheet on top and secure them all together with a round fastener right in the middle, so that the sun can spin.

7. If you are just making the movable sun craft as a fun decoration, you can stop – you’re done! However, if you are making it for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh then write “Bahá” on four consecutive orange rays.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

8. Spin the sun until “Bahá” is hidden then write “Glory” on five of the yellow rays. If you did the folded method of making the orange rays then you will have exactly the right number to write both phrases. Note that for “Glory” the first and last letters will be on half spaces, so that they don’t show when you spin to show the “Bahá” side.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah | Alldonemonkey.com

9. Finally , on the white semi-circle, write the following quote (this could also be done ahead of time):

“Thou art My glory, and My glory fadeth not.”

-Bahá’u’lláh

Related Posts

Trumpet Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bell Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Why It Matters

Nov 022018
 
 November 2, 2018  Birth of the Bab, crafts Comments Off on Stained Glass Heart Craft: The Birth of the Bab

In anticipation of the upcoming Bahá’í holy day, here is an easy but beautiful stained glass heart craft for the Birth of the Báb we did in our children’s class. It only requires a few materials yet allows children to be creative and add their own personal touch on it.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

Stained Glass Heart Craft: The Birth of the Bab

Next week, Bahá’ís will celebrate the anniversary of the birth of one of the Prophet-Founders of the Bahá’í Faith, known by His Arabic title, the Báb (“The Gate”). This stained glass heart craft is a fun activity for the holy day to use in a children’s class or at home. It makes a beautiful gated frame for a short prayer from the Báb.

Materials (per child):

1 sheet of card stock

1 block of contact paper, about the size of the sheet of card stock

Torn tissue paper of varying colors

Glue

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

Instructions:

For this stained glass heart craft, I did steps 1-6 myself ahead of time, to prep for a class of 3-6 year olds; however, if you are working with a child one on one or have a group of older children, you may choose to have them do some of these steps.

1. Fold the card stock in half cross-wise. Lightly crease then reopen.

2. Fold each end toward the crease mark so that they meet in the middle. This will be your gate. Sharply crease these edges then reopen the sheet.

3. Fold the card stock in half again (as you did originally) and cut out a large heart shape. Make sure not to pass the creases you just made in Step 2.

4. Take the cut out shape and make it smaller by cutting off about an inch all the way around. The amount you cut off will be the amount of space you have for the “stained glass” to show through.

5. On this smaller heart, write this short prayer (see below of a melody you can teach for this prayer):

O God, my God,

my Beloved,

my heart’s Desire.

– The Báb

6. Fold the contact paper in half (with the sticky side facing in). Trim so that it is about the size of the back of the gate when refolded.

7. Peel the paper off of one half of the contact paper and have the children place the small heart with the quote in the center.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

8. The children can then decorate the remaining area of the contact paper with the torn tissue paper. You may also wish to give them other items, such as glitter, to use.

They can fill the space completely or leave some spots empty, as they wish. Just make sure they leave room around the edges so that you can seal off their creation at the end. They should focus on decorating the center of their rectangle, as only the area around the heart will show through at the end.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

9. When they are done, peel off the backing of the rest of the contact paper and fold it over the decorated area to seal it in.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

10. Glue this sealed contact paper to the back of the gate, so that the small heart shows through in the center of the cut-out heart space.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

Once you have finished, children could also decorate the rest of the gate frame with markers or stickers, if they wish.

Here is a melody for the above prayer that you can teach the children as well:

 

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“Oh God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s Desire.” – Bahá’í prayer . I finally have my voice back after being sick for more than a week, so I can share with you the melody for this prayer from the Báb, which we used in our stained glass craft (see post from last week). This is a short, easy prayer for kids to learn for the Birth of the Báb holy day coming up in just over a week! It celebrates the birth of one of the Prophet Founders of the Bahá’í Faith in 1819, known by the Arabic title the Báb, which means “the Gate” because He prepared people for the coming of Bahá’ulláh, the other Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. . . . #mkbkids #bahaifaith #bahai #prayer #prayers #spiritual #music #song #mommyblogger #momsoninstagram #kbnmoms #Sacramento #instagood #instamusic #ignorcal #holyday

A post shared by Leanna || Parenting, Education (@alldonemonkey) on

Happy Birth of the Báb to those celebrating next week!

Related Posts:

Birth of the Báb Gate Craft

Birth of the Báb Virtues Game

Trumpet Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

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