Aug 132021
 
 August 13, 2021  Book Reviews, character building for kids, parenting Comments Off on Inspiring Picture Books About Courage

The start of a new school year – especially during these uncertain times – is a perfect opportunity to remind kids about the inner strength they possess! Here is a batch of new picture books about courage to inspire the little ones in your life.

Inspiring Picture Books About Courage | Alldonemonkey.com

Picture Books About Courage

Disclosure: I received 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.

These picture books about courage are wonderful tools to inspire and encourage your little ones!

Go Get ‘Em, Tiger! is part of a collection of positive, values-driven children’s books created by two sisters. I’ve been lucky enough to review several of their books, including Kindness Rules! (read my review). Go Get ‘Em, Tiger! is color-tastic inspirational book that would be perfect for any child reaching a major milestone, such as starting a new year of school. This board book celebrates those wonderful values the child has developed, like kindness and curiosity. It also gives them a confidence boost for the next chapter, when they will be bold in exploring, make new friends, and show courage as they lead the way for others.

Ship in a Bottle is the story of a little mouse who just wants a safe place to live. She is forced to leave her first home because of a cat constantly on the prowl, and thus begins an epic journey that will draw on all Mouse’s courage and perseverance. She makes several stops at potential homes, but at each one her meager resources, which she shares so generously, are taken by selfish animals. In the end, she finds a new home in a city park with a diverse group of friendly animals. A poignant allegory about refugees that will help children find their own courage.

Lion Needs a Haircut is a fun story about a little lion who refuses to go to the barber. His loving father tries to convince him by guessing at his possible objections: Is he scared it will hurt? Worried about how it will look? The young lion only agrees to go if his father gets his mane cut, too. As it turns out, the big lion is worried about getting a haircut, too! With gentle humor, the little lion teaches his father that fears are best faced together.

Willow the Armadillo wants nothing more than to be a superhero in a picture book. She works harder than anyone else at the Picture Book Academy but is rejected at every audition. No one takes her seriously! Her determination finally falters, and Willow is forced to accept the fact that maybe she wasn’t meant to be a picture book hero. But an emergency at the library shows that, thanks her selflessness and courage,  Willow is definitely a hero in real life!

This Way, Charlie is a story of the power of friendship to overcome barriers. When Jack the goat arrives at Open Bud Ranch for rehabilitation, everyone can see that he wants his space. Over time, he reluctantly forms a tentative friendship with Charlie, as Jack serves as a guide for the horse, who is slowly going blind. Yet one day Charlie’s optimism wears on Jack’s nerves, and he takes out his long buried anger on his only friend. But when a powerful storm overtakes them, Jack is forced to confront his fears and summon help to save Charlie.

Ergo is a relatable story about a little chick who is just trying to figure out the world and her place in it. At first Ergo thinks her little egg is all that exists of the world, but she soon realizes that there must be more outside of it. However, trying to imagine what that might be only frightens her, and she must summon all of her courage to break her shell. A wonderful metaphor for the rewards of stepping beyond your comfort zone to explore the wider world.

What little kid doesn’t dream of being an astronaut? In Goodnight, Astronaut, astronaut Scott Kelly shares his own journey from just dreaming about adventures to living them! In this sweet bedtime story, Kelly shows children all of the interesting places where he’s slept over the years, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of Mount Everest and, of course, in space! A wonderful book to send children off into their own dreams of adventure.

It’s important to teach our children about the hidden figures of history, whose stories are too often forgotten. People like Anna Strong, a real life hero of the American Revolution who helped win the war by doing the dangerous work of spying on the British. The new picture book Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution tells about the ingenious methods she devised to pass on her secret messages – such as how she hung her wash. No British soldier suspected that a housewife would be relaying coded messages just by how she hung her clothes to dry! It wasn’t only the generals that won the war, so let’s share these stories of lesser known bravery.

Related Posts:

Children’s Books About Being Brave

How to Raise Confident Kids: 5 Pro Tips

Books and Music to Teach Kids Self-Confidence

Feb 082021
 
 February 8, 2021  Ayyam-i-Ha Comments Off on Ayyam-i-Ha Resources Page and Gift Guide Update!

Are your kids getting excited for Ayyám-i-Há? There are just a few weeks left! We had fun decorating the house over the weekend and hanging up our Ayyám-i-Há countdown calendar. And now you can find all of my Ayyam-i-Ha resources in one place, including crafts, activities, and gift ideas!

Ayyam-i-Ha Crafts, Activities, and Gift Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

Ayyam-i-Ha Resources Page and Gift Guide Update

As a parent and children’s class teacher, I know how hard it can be to find ideas for fun ideas to celebrate Ayyám-i-Há with kids. That’s why I’ve made things easier by putting all of my Ayyám-i-Há crafts, activities, and gift ideas in one spot, on my new Ayyam-i-Ha resource page!

Visit our Ayyam-i-Ha Crafts, Activities, and Gift Ideas Page

It includes fun crafts and activities to do at home, plus links to our Ayyám-i-Há fun e-book and our huge Ayyám-i-Há gift guide, which has just been updated for 2021!

What are your favorite ideas for celebrating Ayyám-i-Há?

Aug 062020
 
 August 6, 2020  Baha'i, parenting Comments Off on Updated Planner for Baha’i Parents On Sale Now!

Our Coral and Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents has been updated for 2020-21. Now until August 15, 2020, it is available at a discount, so scroll down to get your copy!

Coral and Pearls Planner for Baha'i Parents 2020-21 | Alldonemonkey.com

Updated Planner for Baha’i Parents On Sale Now!

Looking for a simple, well-organized planner that you can customize to your needs? Tired of writing in all the Bahá’í holy days and Feast days into your planner? Want help planning family service projects and holiday celebrations? The Coral and Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents is for you!

The Coral & Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents was born out of my own need to have a planner customized for the needs of Bahá’í parenting, such as inclusion of Bahá’í holidays and space for reflection. In this 42 page planner, you will find pages monthly and weekly calendars, as well as pages to plan service projects and Holy Day celebrations.

This digital planner can be downloaded to your computer and printed as needed. Here’s what you will find:

Mission Statement

Yearly Goals

Monthly Pages (includes Bahá’í holidays and Feast days)

Weekly Pages

Meal Planner

Holy Day Planner

Service Project Planner

Online Parenting & Education Resources

If you already bought our full planner last year, you can just update with our 2020-21 Monthly Pages.

Planner for Baha’i Parents: Homeschool Supplement

If you are a homeschooler, don’t miss our Homeschool Supplement! As a homeschooler myself, I was searching for a planner that would fit my needs as a Bahá’í parent. While many of my needs & interests are common to other Bahá’í parents (and included in the main Coral and Pearls Planner), I also knew that there were other concerns specific to homeschoolers. In this digital Homeschool Supplement, you will find templates for fleshing out your family’s daily and weekly routines, organizing curricula and resources, as well as (of course!) lesson plan templates.

I also know how diverse homeschoolers are! There are so many ways of organizing a homeschool; therefore, I have included several different lesson plan templates, also recognizing that some of you may not use lesson plans at all!

The Homeschool Supplement is designed for you to print as needed. This way you can print only the pages that fit your homeschool. Inside you will find:

Our Daily Routine

Our Weekly Routine

Lesson Plan Templates

Budgeting

Curriculum Planner

On Sale Now!

Coral and Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents 2020-21

Homeschool Supplement

2020-21 Monthly Pages Update (for those who purchased the planner last year)

Nov 132019
 
 November 13, 2019  Book Reviews, character building for kids, parenting Comments Off on Teaching Manners: Books and Simple Courtesy Craft

As parents, we all want to raise children who are kind and treat others with courtesy. Yet figuring out exactly how to do so can be hard! Here are wonderful new books for teaching manners, plus a simple courtesy craft.

Teaching Manners: Resources and Simple Courtesy Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy 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 cost to you.

Teaching Manners: Resources Plus Simple Courtesy Craft

Light of Courtesy Craft

For a recent Bahá’í virtues class, I focused on teaching manners. First, we studied this quote from Bahá’u’lláh, “Well is it with him who is illumined with the light of courtesy.” We discussed how courtesy is like a light: it can brighten someone’s day, just like sunshine can brighten up a room!

Teaching Manners: Resources Plus Simple Courtesty Craft | Alldonemonkey.com
For this simple courtesy craft, you could either cut out the base and lampshade shapes ahead of time, or have the children do it themselves, depending on the ages of the children. The base can be any color, but the lampshade should be yellow, to represent light.

After they glue the pieces together to make a lamp, have them write “Courtesy” on the base (help, if needed) and decorate the lampshade with examples of courtesy. Older children can write things like “please” and “thank you,” while younger ones can draw pictures.

Afterwards, they are free to decorate as they wish!

Teaching Manners: Resources Plus Simple Courtesty Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

New Books for Teaching Manners

As the holiday season approaches, it’s a great time to reinforce the importance of being generous. The Gift Inside the Box is an innovative new picture book that is actually shaped like a box, just like might arrive in the mail this time of year. In the story, various children imagine what might be inside, thinking only of themselves and what they would want. The box runs away from each in turn, until finally he is discovered by a little girl who wonders to whom she could give this wonderful gift. A lovely reminder that giving is even more beautiful than getting.

Kindness Rules! is a hip new board book that is perfect for teaching manners to kids. Fun animal characters demonstrate kindness through real world scenarios kids find themselves in every day, such as sharing toys, meeting someone new, and apologizing. A superhero elephant (wearing “respectables” and “positive pants”) shows how to act, with commentary from a cast of friendly animals. I love that standing up for others is included, since bullying is such a big problem these days.

Related Posts:

Teaching Kids About Generosity

Books That Inspire Kids to Help Others

Teaching Kids to Choose Love

Oct 152019
 
 October 15, 2019  Baha'i, Birth of the Bab, character building for kids, spiritual education Comments Off on Birth of the Bab Activity: Dawn Breakers Worksheet

As a kid, it is sometimes hard to feel like your voice makes a difference. It’s important to show kids that they can change the world, by empowering them in the choices they make on a daily basis, and giving them examples from history of kids who have made a difference. Here is a fun Birth of the Bab activity that helps kids see themselves as the spiritual descendants of the Dawn Breakers.

Birth of the Bab Activity: Spiritual Descendants of the Dawn Breakers | Alldonemonkey.com

Birth of the Bab Activity: Spiritual Descendants of the Dawn Breakers

This year, to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, I wanted the kids in our community to realize that, as the Guardian so beautifully stated, they are the spiritual descendants of those very early believers in the Báb:

The community of the organized promoters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the American continent—the spiritual descendants of the dawn-breakers of an heroic Age, who by their death proclaimed the birth of that Faith—must, in turn, usher in, not by their death but through living sacrifice, that promised World Order, the shell ordained to enshrine that priceless jewel, the world civilization, of which the Faith itself is the sole begetter. – Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice

Sometimes it can be hard for kids to see how their lives are related to the lives of those incredible heroes that lived so long ago and far away. This worksheet (which can be done individually or as a group) helps them think about concrete ways they are making the world a better place and helping bring about an ever-advancing civilization.

Some examples that our kids came up with at Feast: picking up trash, standing up to bullies, hugs, collecting food for the homeless, and smiling at people! I’d love to hear the responses from the kids in your community!

To download your copy of the worksheet, simply right-click on the image below:

Birth of the Bab Activity: Spiritual Descendants of the Dawn Breakers | Alldonemonkey.com

Related Posts:

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Báb

Character Building Game for Kids for the Birth of the Báb

Gate Craft for the Birth of the Báb

Inspiring Kids to Make the World a Better Place

Sep 052019
 
 September 5, 2019  Baha'i, Education, parenting Comments Off on On Sale Now! Planner for Baha’i Parents

On sale now! Friends, I have been working hard on getting this planner for Baha’i parents ready for you – and it’s finally done! It includes monthly and weekly calendars, plus planning pages for service projects and holy days! If you are a homeschooler like me, you can also purchase a homeschool supplement to get curriculum planners and lesson plan templates. Read on to find out more!

Planner for Baha’i Parents with Homeschool Supplement

The 2019-20 Coral & Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents is on sale now! It has been a labor of love, born out of my out desire to have a planner that would fit my needs as a Bahá’í parent.

In this 42 page planner, you will find pages monthly and weekly calendars, as well as pages to plan service projects and Holy Day celebrations.

This digital planner can be downloaded to your computer and printed as needed. Here’s what you will find:

Mission Statement

Yearly Goals

Monthly Pages (includes Bahá’í holidays and Feast days)

Weekly Pages

Meal Planner

Holy Day Planner

Service Project Planner

Online Parenting & Education Resources

If you are a homeschooler, don’t forget to add the Homeschool Supplement

In this digital Homeschool Supplement, you will find templates for fleshing out your family’s daily and weekly routines, organizing curricula and resources, as well as (of course!) lesson plan templates.

I also know how diverse homeschoolers are! There are so many ways of organizing a homeschool; therefore, I have included several different lesson plan templates, also recognizing that some of you may not use lesson plans at all!

This Homeschool Supplement is designed for you to print as needed. This way you can print only the pages that fit your homeschool. Inside you will find:

Our Daily Routine

Our Weekly Routine

Lesson Plan Templates

Budgeting

Curriculum Planner

On Sale Now!

2019-20 Coral & Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents

plus Homeschool Supplement

Aug 302019
 
 August 30, 2019  Book Reviews, character building for kids Comments Off on Books that Inspire Kids to Help Others

Want your child to give back to their community – or even just pick up their toys? Children have natural tendencies to want to make a difference in their homes and communities. Nurture them with these wonderful new books that inspire kids to help others!

Books that Inspire Kids to Help Others

It is such a classic dilemma: Parents feel like they are drowning in housework, yet their children never appreciate all of their hard work. In fact, they usually just contribute to the mess! In Llama Llama Mess Mess Mess, Llama Llama – like so many other children – ignores Mama Llama’s calls to clean up. But Mama Llama uses an unexpected strategy to convince Llama Llama of the importance of helping out. What would happen if Mama Llama didn’t clean up either? When Llama Llama realizes how chaotic and stressful life would be without Mama Llama’s hard work, he sees that pitching in means a peaceful home – and more playtime! – for everyone. A fun way to teach responsibility to little ones.

If you are an animal lover, prepare to have your heartstrings tugged with Garbage Dog! This is a sweet, beautifully illustrated book about a dog forced to live on the streets. But throughout his struggles, looking for food and avoiding mean animals, Garbage Dog never loses his sense of decency. He makes friends with all kinds of animals wherever he goes, and looks out for others, even sharing the little food he manages to scavenge. But don’t worry, there is a happy ending for Garbage Dog! A lovely book about friendship and kindness to others.

Endangered Species Superheroes is a graphic novel about a teenage girl living with her grandfather and helping out at his wildlife sanctuary. Yet Lindsey’s idyllic life is interrupted when her grandfather’s nemesis, Mace Zagan, escapes from prison. Overcome with jealousy for her grandfather’s many awards and accomplishments, Zagan is determined to get his revenge. After his first attempts to hurt Lindsey’s grandfather fail, Zagan decides to kidnap Lindsey!

Help comes from unexpected quarters. Several of the animals from the sanctuary – loyal to Lindsey and her grandfather – discover that they’ve developed super powers, ironically, thanks to one of Zagan’s evil schemes. Working together, this super team of an iguana, sloth, rhinoceros, and tapir help Lindsey to save the day.

I love that despite the dangers presented in the book, it always manages to stay upbeat and positive. Plus the relationships shown among both humans and animals are very supportive, as the characters demonstrate true friendship for each other. A great adventure story, and one that will spark an interest in the urgent need to help endangered animals.

The Chupacabras of the Río Grande is the latest installment of the wonderful Unicorn Rescue Society series for middle grade readers. (Read my review of the first two books). There are so many things to love about this book: How its heroes are smart, thoughtful, brave (and diverse!) kids; how it centers on rescuing mythical (but actually real, and very endangered) creatures; and how, through their adventures, the children also learn about other culture and very real problems facing society.

In The Chupacabras of the Río Grande, Elliot and Uchenna travel to the Laredo, Texas, on the border between Mexico and the US, to investigate reports of a chupacabra. This book builds on the previous ones of the series, but new co-author (and Pura Belpré winner) David Bowles brings an intimate knowledge of the bicultural & bilingual communities on the border. The book delves into an issue that children will surely have heard about on the news – the border wall – but in a nuanced way that carefully avoids generalizations. In fact, one of the most brilliant plot twists is that in the end, the children find an unexpected ally in a rancher that they had thought they would have nothing in common with.

Highly recommended series for kids with a lot of imagination and a desire to save the world!

Related Posts:

Involving Young Children in Service

5 Ways to Inspire Kids to Make the World a Better Place

Teaching Kids About Helping Others

Apr 222019
 
 April 22, 2019  activities, Random Acts of Kindness, Ridvan Comments Off on Ridvan Coloring Page: Acts of Kindness

The Bahá’í Festival of Ridvan just began yesterday, and this year I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to focus on acts of kindness. Here is a simple activity that families can do together, by focusing on spreading joy during this most holy festival. I hope you enjoy this Ridvan coloring page with your loved ones!

Ridvan Coloring Page: Acts of Kindness | Alldonemonkey.com

Ridvan Coloring Page: Acts of Kindness

Here is a simple activity that families can do for Ridvan to celebrate doing acts of kindness. Just download your Ridvan coloring page by clicking on the image below, then they can color in a rose each time they do an act of kindness during Ridvan.

Ridvan Coloring Page: Acts of Kindness | Alldonemonkey.com

You can find tons of ideas for acts of kindness on my Pinterest board, and I’d love to see yours! Share in the comments below or on my Facebook page, and have a wonderful Ridvan!

Rose image courtesy of WorldArtsMe

Related Posts

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Feb 142019
 
 February 14, 2019  Baha'i, crafts, multiculturalism Comments Off on Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars

This diversity craft is easy to do and uses materials you probably already have! More importantly, it teaches children about unity in diversity, and how we can celebrate our differences while still coming together to create something beautiful. For those getting ready for Ayyám-i-Há, the nine-pointed stars also make a great decoration!

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars | Alldonemonkey.com

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

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars

Today more and more people are coming to appreciate the joys and strengths in our diversity. Yet others confuse this celebration of differences as fundamentally divisive. This simple diversity craft teaches children that this does not have to be the case!

When we recognize our essential unity as a human family, there is nothing to fear from recognizes our differences. Instead, we can celebrate them. After all, what a boring world it would be if we were all the same!

This diversity craft teaches children about unity in diversity in a visual way, and it’s incredibly easy to do.

Why a nine pointed star? First, it lets you use three different colors, so it’s very beautiful! Also, since nine is the highest single digit, it is often used as a symbol of unity.

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars | Alldonemonkey.com

What You Need:

  • Tissue paper in at least three colors. You can also use Kite Paper, which is less likely to wrinkle and so makes for even more beautiful stars.
  • Scissors
  • Tape – regular tape works fine, but if you have double-sided, even better!
  • Nine pointed star template (like this one)
  • Piece of light weight cardboard (like from a cereal box)

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars | Alldonemonkey.com

Instructions:

  1. Ahead of time, trace a nine pointed star onto the light weight cardboard. Separately, use the nine pointed star to trace just one of the star’s triangles. (Just trace the points from the star then connect them to make a triangle). Cut out both the star and the triangle to make your templates.
  2. Use the triangle template to cut out triangles from the tissue paper, 3 per star. (Depending on the age of the children, they can do this step or you can prep ahead of time).
  3. Have the children each pick out three triangles, each triangle of a different color.
  4. Using the star template to see how to position the triangles, have them layer the triangles on top of each other to make a nine pointed star. Use tape between each layer. If you don’t have double side tape, just make a little loop out of the tape so that it sticks to both triangles. Note: I originally used glue instead of tape, but it ends up looking mottled even when dry, so I don’t recommend it.

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars | Alldonemonkey.com

 

Now you have a cute, multicolored nine pointed star! What’s beautiful about them is that the three colors are seen distinctly in each of the points, but – especially when you hold the star up to the light – the colors also blend to make new shades together! A super simple but powerful way to teach children about the beauty of unity in diversity.

Diversity Craft for Kids: Easy Nine Pointed Stars | Alldonemonkey.com

Dec 172018
 
 December 17, 2018  activities, Ayyam-i-Ha, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Diwali, Geography, Hanukkah, multiculturalism, raising world citizens Comments Off on Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids

Take your kids around the world this holiday season by hosting an around the world holiday party! It’s the perfect way for a school club or a homeschool group to celebrate this festive season.

Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids

Last year we started a World Explorers Club in our homeschool group. Each month we get together to learn about a different country with the kiddos. Earlier this month the World Explorers Club put on our second annual around the world holiday party. Everyone had a blast!

Each family picks a country to represent and shows how a popular winter holiday is celebrated there.

At our party this year we learned about Christmas in Sweden, Russia, Italy, UK, and the Netherlands; Hanukkah in Israel; Diwali in India; Chinese New Year in China; and Ayyám-i-Há. (The Bahá’í holiday of Ayyám-i-Há was a bit of an exception, since it isn’t based in any one country).

For their chosen country, each family prepares 1) a craft or activity, 2) a traditional treat. So, for example, last year our family did the Philippines, so the kids made a version of a traditional star decoration and sampled some homemade coconut milk cake. For India (Diwali) this year we brought ladoos to share and helped the kids make paper diyas. For Sweden, the kids crafted some adorable Christmas gnomes and decorated cookies, while for Israel (Hanukkah) they played dreidel to win chocolate coins.

Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Setup

We have done this two different ways, so see which works for your group! Both times, we set up “stations” around the room, generally one country per table, and the kids could spread out and take turns visiting each.

Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Last year, the food and the craft were at each station, whereas this year we moved all the treats to a food table and saved them until the end. They were only able to get the food after completing a quiz about the countries they had learned about!

Host an Around the World Holiday Party for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

The holiday quiz! They had to work together to answer the questions before they could have their treats 🙂

Whichever way you do it, make sure to have their first stop by a station where kids decorate treat bags. They’ll need one to collect all the crafts they will be making! This is a great activity for them to do as people are arriving and setting up.

Next year, we definitely have to add a Mexican style piñata!

Related Posts:

When Christmas Is Celebrated Around the World

Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World

 

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