Jul 252018
 

My homeschooling friends and I are all abuzz with plans for the upcoming school year: the best curricula, favorite planners, new approaches to challenging subjects, and tips to get organized (for real, this time!) Now that we’re entering our fourth full year of homeschooling (if you don’t count the co-op preschool we did when my oldest was small), I have a better sense of what we’ll need to get ready for the new year, so I’ve compiled some of my favorites in this back to school guide for homeschoolers. Share your favorite resources in the comments!

This is part of a back to school crafts and school supply guides blog hop be sure to check out all the great ideas at the bottom of this post!

Back to School Guide for Homeschoolers | 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.

Back to School Guide for Homeschoolers

Organization

I love these Magazine File Holders! They are an easy way to organize books, papers, and files by subject and/or child. (We also use them to organize the kids’ magazines and comic books). They are colorful and sturdy and easy to label. They also help maximize space because they can be set on top of a dresser or bookcase if (like us) you never seem to have enough shelf space.

Expanding file folders are another great organizational tool, which is also easy to take with you if you need to go to a meeting or want to take your planning to a coffee shop or on the patio.

Where would I be without my planner? There are so many out there, including great printable planners. This year I’ll be using The A+ Homeschool Planner: Plan, Record, and Celebrate Each Child’s Progress, which I really like because it makes it easy to track progress of multiple children. (Just wish it were spiral bound!)

Arts & Crafts

By the end of the school year, most of our crayons have been lost or used up, and the caps to all the markers disappeared, so it’s always nice to start out fresh! This Crayola Inspiration Art Case comes with everything – loads of crayons and markers, and even drawing paper!

My younger two adore doing crafts, so this ALEX Toys Craft Giant Art Jar would be perfect! It would also be a great way to keep them engaged while I work one on one with their older brother.

My kids love drawing! Honestly, most of the time we use reams of loose leaf paper, but a Melissa & Doug Drawing Pad is perfect to have in the car or to take when we’re waiting for one to finish with karate, etc.

Sciences

We bought the Learning Resources Magnifier & Tweezers a couple years ago and have gotten so much use out of them! We take them on nature walks and use them with our discovery tray. Perfect for little hands!

If you are doing nature studies or just want to explore outdoors with your kids, try this Adventure Exploration Set by Ninja Kid. It comes with binoculars, flashlights, compass, telescope, magnifying glass, whistle, and bag!

Many of us are familiar with Little Passports for their amazing geography tools, but did you know they also have science subscription kits? I love everything by Little Passports, and a friend of mine has used really enjoyed using the Science Expeditions subscription with her daughter.

Another great science tool to have on hand is Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit. It is a great kit to get your child doing some hands-on science learning. Although the age says 8+, both of my boys were able to enjoy it by age 5 with supervision.

One of my son’s enrichment teachers – and a longtime homeschooler – once told me that one of her regrets was not buying a microscope for her kids sooner. There are so many out there, that which one you buy just really depends on your budget and your child’s level of interest. This AMSCOPE-KIDS M30-ABS-KT1 Beginner Microscope Kit is a good basic microscope for kids, and I love that it comes with accessories and a sturdy carrying case.

My kids are really into coding, so this year we’re purchasing a Kano Computer Kit. You actually build your own computer – what a great way hands on way to learn about how computers work! Plus afterwards you can practice coding on the computer.

Related Posts:

Back to School Stress Saving Tips

Creating a Morning Routine that Works for Everyone

CHECK OUT THESE BACK TO SCHOOL IDEAS!

I hope you enjoyed this back to school guide for homeschoolers! Here are even more Back To School Guides and Craft Ideas
! Click on photos!

back to school guide for kindergartners & teachers EMOJI SCHOOL SUPPLIES_DIYS back to school guide for homeschoolersback to school lunch time essentials kids back to school supplies

Back To School Blog Hop

Back To School Guide For Kindergartners & Kindergarten Teachers

Emoji School Supplies | DIY Emoji Back To School Supplies

Back to School Guide for Homeschoolers

Back To School Lunch Time Essentials

Kids Getting Ready To Go Back To School

Jun 142018
 
 June 14, 2018  Book Reviews, Father's Day Comments Off on New Children’s Books About Dads and Daughters

There is no doubt that the relationship between dads and daughters is a special one, and one that is formative to a girl’s growing sense of self and her future relationships. (No pressure, Dad!) So this Father’s Day, celebrate all that is beautiful and goofy about this relationship with these wonderful new picture books about fathers and their little girls.

New Picture Books About Dads and Daughters | Alldonemonkey.com

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.

New Picture Books About Dads and Daughters

With My Daddy: A Book of Love and Family (Growing Hearts) is a lovely keepsake book from the author of All My Treasures: A Book of Joy, also part of the Growing Hearts series (read my full review). It is a celebration of all the ways that a girl can spend time with her father – riding bikes, swimming, or just relaxing. To me, the underlying message it about unconditional love, as her father’s unwavering support makes the main character feel safe and more sure of herself, and more able to deal with big emotions.

For a more silly take on dads and daughters, don’t miss Pet Dad! The cover alone already gives you a hint about where this book will take you! This book takes a familiar disagreement – a child who wants a pet, the parent who says no – to a hilarious extreme, as a girl explores all the ways her dad is (and isn’t) the perfect pet. Kids will love all the silliness as the main character tries to “train” her dad, and parents will notice that she is the one being trained, into asking her father for things nicely!

Related Posts:

Picture Books that Celebrate Fathers

Hand Print Volcano Card for Father’s Day

Jun 042018
 
 June 4, 2018  Sacramento, Summer Comments Off on Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge

The Sacramento area has so much to offer for families! This summer, get out and explore the River City with your kids by taking part in our #SummerFunSac Instagram challenge: You could win one of our great prizes, while celebrating Sacramento summer fun with your family! Read on for more details on this fun Instagram challenge.

Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge June & July 2018 #SummerFunSac

Sacramento Summer Fun Instagram Challenge: #SummerFunSac

Looking for a fun way to get out and explore the Sacramento area with your family this summer? Join in our #SummerFunSac Instagram challenge and giveaway, running this June and July and celebrating all the ways families have fun in the River City in the summertime!

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. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

How to Participate:

It’s easy!

  1. Post a photo(s) of you and/or your family having fun in the Sacramento area this summer! All photos must be family friendly and include the #SummerFunSac hashtag.
  2. Follow me on Instagram.
  3. Follow the sponsor of the week on Instagram, if applicable (see sponsor list below).

Just think: you could go for a hike, stop by your local library, go to a museum, or just relax in the backyard!

Drawings will be held every Monday, choosing a random winner from the photos posted the previous week (Monday – Sunday).

The Prizes

I know, I know – You’re saying, just get to the good stuff already! What could we win?? I’m proud to say that all of the sponsors are local companies or events, so let’s show them some love!

June 4 – 10 (drawing June 11)

Sponsor: Sac Town Kids (@sactownkids)
Prize: a copy of their new book 1,001 Things to Do in Sacramento with Kids (& the Young at Heart) (read my review), plus one of their denim book bags, which reads, “All good things are wild and free.” -Henry David Thoreau.

June 11 – 17 (drawing June 18)

Sponsor: Fandemic Tour Comic Con (@fandemictour)
Prize: Pack of tickets to Comic Con, in Sacramento June 22-24, 2018! (See our review from a previous year)

June 18 – 24 (drawing June 25)

Sponsor: Pure Romance (@sizzlethefizzle)
Prize: Love Story body lotion

June 25 – July 1 (drawing July 2)

Sponsor: Mighty Kong Muffins
Prize: Pack of gourmet bran muffins (read our review)

July 2 – 8 (drawing July 9)

Sponsor: Upside Over Designs
Prize: $20 gift certificate

July 9 – 15 (drawing July 16)

Sponsor: Aerospace Museum of California (@aerospaceca)
Prize: Family pack of tickets

July 16 – 22 (drawing July 23)

Sponsor: Elite Bakery Cafe (@jasminematsoyan)
Prize: Coffee and dessert/pastry

July 23 – 29 (drawing July 30)

GRAND PRIZE
Sponsor 1: Fit4Mom Sacramento (@fitformomsacramento)
Prize 1: free one month unlimited membership for Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre

Sponsor 2: Imagine Play (@imagineplayeg)
Prize 2: Two play passes

Sponsor 3: Usborne Books and More Consultant Christina Garcia
Prize 3: $25 credit to be redeemed through this consultant only (shipping not included), plus a special offer if you choose to purchase more.

So start snapping photos, and you could be featured in my Instagram feed or win one of the fabulous prizes listed above! How will you showcase Sacramento summer fun this summer?

 

Jun 012018
 
 June 1, 2018  recipes, Summer Comments Off on Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade

Lemonade is the quintessential summer drink, so why not whip up a homemade batch? It only takes minutes! Adding strawberries makes it even more special, and now you have a guilt free version that uses honey as the sweetener, so there is no reason not to enjoy a tall glass (or more!) this weekend. Honey sweetened strawberry lemonade is a refreshing drink the whole family can enjoy!

Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade | 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.

Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade

We are blessed with lemon and orange trees in our backyard, so when we found some ripe lemons on a particularly hot day last week, we immediately thought of lemonade! I found this wonderful homemade lemonade recipe and adapted it for our tastes, mainly by switching out honey for sugar in the simple syrup. Also, I used frozen strawberries instead of fresh to make strawberry lemonade because, let’s face it, if we have fresh strawberries we tend to gobble them up right away!

As for the honey, this recipe is very easy to adjust for your tastes and how tart your lemons are. Because you mix it all up in the blender, if you need to add extra honey later, it will mix it perfectly well.

We juiced 4 large lemons with our Cuisinart CJE-500 Compact Juice Extractor to yield approximately 2 cups of juice. If you end up with a different amount, the important thing is to make sure it is roughly a 1:1 ratio with the simple syrup. Again, as you can see, this is a very easy recipe to adjust!

Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade | Alldonemonkey.com

Ingredients

Makes 2 liters

2 cups fresh lemon juice (approx. 4 large lemons)

2 cups simple syrup (see below)

1 cup frozen strawberries

To make simple syrup:

Mix 2 Tbs honey in 2 cups boiling water. Let cool.

Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade | Alldonemonkey.com

In a blender, mix lemon juice, simple syrup, and strawberries until smooth. Add water and ice until you have 2 liters total, then mix again and adjust for sweetness, adding more honey if desired. Enjoy!

Related Posts

Homemade Tamarindo Pops

Egyptian Raspberry Lemon Cooler

Cuban Mango Milkshake

May 172018
 
 May 17, 2018  Education, Summer 2 Responses »

Do you homeschool year round? Or are your children in traditional schools but you want to avoid that notorious summer slide? Here is our summer homeschool plan to balance book learning with hands on activities and simple children fun!

Our Summer Homeschool Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

Our Summer Homeschool Plan

When I first started homeschooling, I looked forward to summer as a much needed break and a chance to take stock and make any adjustments that seemed necessary as I planned for the coming year. Now that I’ve got my sea legs a bit (and my youngest is no longer an infant that requires more devoted attention), I’m ready to tackle the idea of year-round homeschooling.

As a result, this year we have embarked on a summer homeschool plan that keeps the kids’ skills sharp while also still feeling like vacation to them and a break from lesson planning for me.

I really wanted them to enjoy the simple pleasures of a childhood summer – like going to the pool and playing for hours at the park – at the same time as they take advantage of a less busy schedule to take on big projects that interest them.

Our Summer Homeschool Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

So how are we achieving that balance?

Some activities will be ongoing, such as saying prayers together in the mornings and doing our read-aloud at lunchtime. Beyond this, I divided our activities into three areas: Written Work, Projects, and Adventures.

Written Work is what we traditionally think of as schoolwork: math, grammar, history, etc. For each of the boys, I created a weekly checklist of what they need to accomplish. For my 8 year old, he has to complete two tasks off the list each day, while my 5 year old has to complete one.

Thankfully, we found curricula that we love this past year, so they just need to keep going in those. As in, no lesson planning for me, unless there is a project tie-in I’d like to do, such as a craft or engineering project to go with our history lesson.

My eight year old has to do: History, Spanish, Religious, Math (twice), Language Arts (twice), Creative Writing, Coding/Science, and Journal.

My five year old has to do: Phonics, his Kindergarten workbook, Math (twice), and Spanish.

This is less than they have to do during the school year and so still allows plenty of time for free reading and unstructured play.

Our Summer Homeschool Plan | Alldonemonkey.com

Projects are very open-ended and can relate to any subject (however loosely). For example, my five year old loves to build Lego and Knex sets, so we built a castle together. My eight year old loves coding, so he’s teaching himself to do some really nifty things in different coding languages (I expect he’ll be helping me with my website before long!) Other ideas are cooking, crafting, making slime, doing science experiments, and so on. This is the time we can dig into projects that we might not have time for during the school year, when we’re also juggling enrichment classes and sports. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to follow their passions and explore new subjects!

Adventures are a favorite area for all of us! This basically includes anything that gets us out of the house and exploring. It could be going to a park, going on a nature walk, geocaching, trying a new restaurant, or going to a museum. Summers are for exploring!

What does your summer homeschool plan look like?

Related Posts:

Educational Resources to Keep Learning Going Year Round

Homeschooling Multiple Children Without Losing Your Mind

 

May 092018
 
 May 9, 2018  activities, Book Reviews, Geography, multiculturalism, recipes, Spanish, Summer Comments Off on Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles

The weather is finally warming up in our neck of the woods, so we celebrated by concocting some fruity, chocolate-y pops! Inspired by a traditional Puerto Rican treat, these tropical chocolate mango popsicles are full of fruity goodness – mango, banana, and coconut – plus a touch of decadence from the chocolate. What better way to celebrate the fact that summer is just around the corner? Plus, you don’t want to miss our giveaway of a wonderful new children’s activity coloring book all about Puerto Rico!

Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Puerto Rico, the Island of Enchantment 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.

Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles

Summer is coming, which makes us all think about tropical beaches and relaxing by the waves. To bring a little taste of the tropics to our home in Northern California, we decided to make these scrumptious tropical chocolate mango popsicles. I was inspired by Puerto Rican limber, a frozen treat similar to popsicles and often made with fresh fruits and juices. You can do all kinds of combinations, but we were especially interested in mango – which was great because I had a huge bag of frozen mango in the freezer! Of course, if you have fresh, by all means use that, but it is often hard for us to find really good mangoes in our area, plus with kids, it’s so much easier to use frozen since it’s already peeled and chopped for you.

If you want an authentic mango limber, then I highly recommend trying this recipe from Modern Mami, or you can browse this great collection of healthy limber recipes! I wanted to do something a little different, so we added a little twist to our recipe by adding shredded coconut and banana, as well as chocolate. Cocoa powder alone is quite bitter, so I actually used hot chocolate mix (!) but if you don’t have this, just use cocoa powder and sugar to taste.

Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles | Alldonemonkey.com

Ingredients (makes 6+ popsicles)

4 cups of mango (frozen or fresh)

1 banana

honey to taste

3 cups water (add more or less depending on how thick you like it)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup hot chocolate mix (or combination of cocoa powder and sugar)

Combine all ingredients in blender. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Puerto Rico has been on my mind a lot lately, even since the devastation of Hurricane Maria and the excruciatingly long recovery that followed and is still ongoing. So when my friend Melissa López Chaperoo approached me to help edit her beautiful bilingual coloring activity book Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto – Cuaderno de Ejercicios: Puerto Rico, The Island of Enchantment – Workbook, I jumped at the chance.

Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles & Puerto Rico Workbook | Alldonemonkey.com

I am endlessly impressed by the author’s talent as an illustrator but also the depth of her knowledge about the subject. Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto – Cuaderno de Ejercicios: Puerto Rico, The Island of Enchantment – Workbook is incredibly comprehensive, covering topics as varied as history, geography, government, religion, sports, food, and the arts. It contains nearly 200 workbook pages (plus answer keys) appropriate for elementary school and even older (though younger kids will definitely enjoy the coloring part of it!) There is so much to explore here, no matter what your child’s interests, so it is sure to be a hit!

The book is completely bilingual, so whether your kids read/write fluently in Spanish, just un poquito, or not at all, this is the perfect book to expose them to Spanish and the rich culture and history of the Island of Enchantment.

Tropical Chocolate Mango Popsicles & Puerto Rico Workbook | Alldonemonkey.com

Even better, all of the profits from the first year of its publication go to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. This book is a true labor of love, dedicated to the author’s homeland during its time of need. It is a great way to support Puerto Rico and teach kids about this beautiful island that they have surely been hearing about on the news.

Giveaway

And now you can win your own copy! Simply comment on this post, letting us know which topic about Puerto Rico you think your child would be most interested in! Geography, history, the arts, sports, or … ? Let us know!

Contest ends Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at midnight PT. Winner chosen by random selection. US Shipping Only

Related Posts

Cuban Mango Milkshake

Frozen Treats from Around the World

15+ Favorite Popsicle Recipes

Mar 212018
 

Go green this Easter with these easy and environmentally-friendly ideas! Easter is such a fun holiday for kids, but unfortunately many of the products associated with it are meant to be disposable and so produce a lot of garbage. For example, each year more than 8,000 tons of waste results just from Easter egg packaging. Since Easter is a spring holiday, let’s show a little kindness to green and growing things by being mindful about what we use and buy. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with this huge collection of eco-friendly Easter ideas for kids, from upcycled Easter baskets to adorable Easter crafts made with recycled materials.

Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas for Kids

Go green this Easter with these fun eco-friendly Easter ideas!

Easter Basket Ideas

DIY Upcycled Easter Basket for Baby – All Done Monkey

DIY Upcycled Easter Baskets – Rhythms of Play

Homemade Easter Grass – Kitchen Counter Chronicle

Mini Easter Baskets K Cup Craft – Growing Up Gabel

Paper Roll Easter Baskets – The Craft Train

Yoghurt Pot Easter Baskets – The Craft Train

DIY Easter Bunny Tutu Basket – Stylish Cravings

Recycled Tissue Paper Easter Baskets – Red Ted Art

Milk Carton Woven Easter Baskets – Red Ted Art

Plastic Bottle Easter Basket – Messy Little Monster

Berry Box Easter Basket – Preschool Toolkit

Cardboard Tube Easter Treat Holders – Powerful Mothering

Easter Crafts

DIY Wooden Easter Eggs – Rhythms of Play

Nature Craft Easter Eggs – Mother Natured

Felt Scrap Bunny – Mini Pocket Critter – Swoodson Says

Scrap Bunny Doll – Red Ted Art

Easy T-Shirt Yarn Bunny – Red Ted Art

Jar and Cupcake Liner Bunny – Teach Me Mommy

Plastic Straw Bead Easter Bunny Ears – Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

DIY Easter Eggshell Garden – Apple Green Cottage

Egg Grass Heads – Mother Natured

Newspaper Easter Bonnets – Red Ted Art

DIY Easter Chicks Wooden Egg Craft – Rhythms of Play

Toilet Roll Chicks – The Gingerbread House

Tissue Paper Chick Easter Eggs – Red Ted Art

Paper Chick Craft – The Craft Train

Egg Carton Chicken Egg Cups – Red Ted Art

Easter Chick from Recycled Materials – Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

Easter Stained Glass Art from Plastic Lids – Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

Homemade Easter Crayons – Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

And Don’t Forget…

10 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Eggs – from Edventures with Kids

Related Posts:

Easter Dessert from Brazil

Ethiopian Easter Bread

Make an Easter Kite

Mar 012018
 
 March 1, 2018  Mother's Day Comments Off on 10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas to Make Mom Feel Special

This post on Mother’s Day gift ideas is sponsored by RosesOnly; however, my love for moms and all they do is truly from the heart.

Mother’s Day is that special time of year when families recognize the hard work, dedication, and unconditional love that mothers provide to their children. There are so many simple ways you can make Mom feel special this year, whether you are looking for the perfect gift to buy or you’d like try your hand at making something special yourself. However you decide to do it, here are 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas you won’t want to miss!

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas to Make Mom Feel Special | Alldonemonkey.com

10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas to Make Mom Feel Special

Help Mom feel special this year with these Mother’s Day gift ideas! You can find more ideas on our homemade gift ideas board on Pinterest!

1. Let Her Sleep In

Seriously! Most moms I know would give this option top rank. Motherhood requires a lot of energy and frequently demands late nights and early mornings, particularly with young children – although teens often make moms lose sleep, just for different reasons! So give her a break this year by letting her snooze longer than she gets to the other 364 days. This doesn’t just mean not having kids jump on her bed at 6 am, but maybe even taking them outside to play so she can enjoy a quiet house in order to really get some extra sleep.

2. Breakfast in Bed

Once she does finally wake up, have a special breakfast waiting for her! Of course, you can go all out and make a fancy spread, but really you can just keep it simple with juice and toast or maybe pancakes. (Just don’t forget her coffee!) Moms will definitely appreciate any meal they didn’t have to prepare themselves, no matter how simple – bonus if she gets to eat her food while it’s still hot!

3. Homemade Cards

I love homemade cards! In this day of emails and texts, a homemade card is something to be cherished. Again, I tend to go for simple and heartfelt, especially if it’s something made by my kids. There are lots of fun ideas out there for creative cards kids can make, but if you aren’t very crafty, don’t worry! A simple drawing with a loving message from the kiddos is really all that’s required.

4. Keepsake Craft

Moms love keepsakes from their children, so take the time to do an easy craft with your kids that she will cherish for years to come. Anything made with with the kids’ hand prints or thumbprints is a winner – as time goes on, she can look back and marvel that her children used to be so small! Again, when making a keepsake craft, think heartfelt over perfect. This sweet hand print craft is one we originally did several years ago for Father’s Day but works just as well for Mother’s Day.

5. Bath Scrub

Help Mom relax with a bath scrub! You can find some great ones to purchase, but did you know that you can also make your own? Try this orange coconut bath scrub! You could go all out and give her a total “home spa” treatment complete with cucumbers over the eyes and smoothies to drink – let your imagination go wild!

6. Candles

Moms love little things to make the home beautiful. Candles are always a lovely gift, as they can really brighten a room and add a touch of elegance. Don’t forget you can DIY them too! Look for scents like vanilla or apple spice, which are always popular, just be sure to pick one that’s not too overwhelming, especially if she or someone in your family has a sensitive nose. You can even buy or make some elegant candle holders for her to display them.

7. Cooking or Art Class

I have to admit that this is my personal favorite (hint, hint!) Taking a class can be a fun way for Mom to unwind with some friends and learn something new! These days you can find classes on everything from cooking to crafts to painting. Do a search for ones available in your area, or ask a talented friend if she would be willing to put on a class for you! This can be a fun way to support a friend and set up a fun evening out with for Mom with her friends!

8. Quality Family Time

Mother’s Day is a great time to spend quality time together as a family – whether it’s going on a hike or having lunch at a favorite restaurant. Last year we were able to take a trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains on Mother’s Day. To our surprise, it was still snowing, even though it was May! The afternoon we spent playing in the snow together is still one we talk about frequently.

9. Coupon Book

Keep the gift going long after Mother’s Day with a coupon book! We used to love making these for our mom when I was a kid, with coupons for making dinner and helping with the laundry. Customize it to give her the little treats you know the mom in your life will want – like help around the house or a date night with Dad.

10. Roses!

Long-time readers may know that I am in love with roses, and what better way to celebrate Mom than by sending her some of these gorgeous flowers? Roses have long been a symbol of love, so they are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Sending roses to Mom for Mother’s Day is a beautiful way of showing your love for all that she does. You can even pair your roses with chocolate, because, well, does that really need an explanation??

So whether you like to celebrate by spending time together as a family or by making a keepsake craft for Mom with the kids, be sure to thank the mothers in your life this year with these simple but heartfelt Mother’s Day gift ideas!

Related Posts:

Springtime Self Care for Moms

5 Ways to Make a Mom Friend Feel Special This Mother’s Day

Feb 212018
 
 February 21, 2018  Kid Fun, multiculturalism, Purim 14 Responses »

Are you excited for Purim? Here are some ideas for throwing a Purim party everyone will enjoy, including an amazing new Purim album for kids! So whether your kids are already familiar with Purim or learning about it for the first time, here are fun ideas and resources to plan a Purim party your kids will love. And don’t miss the big GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Purimania by Danna Banana; however, all opinions are my own.

Plan a Purim Party Your Kids Will Love | Alldonemonkey.com

Plan a Purim Party Your Kids Will Love

What Is Purim?

The origins of the Jewish holiday Purim go back to the Persian Empire in the 4th Century BCE. After King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed because she didn’t follow his orders, he held a beauty contest to find a new queen. The winner, Esther, was at first careful not to reveal to the king that she was Jewish, yet she was destined to become  heroine for her people.

The problems began when her cousin Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, refused to bow to Haman, the Prime Minister. Furious, Haman influenced the king and set into motion a plan to kill all of the Jews. Yet Mordecai convinced Esther to intercede with the king, a very dangerous task, since anyone who visited the king without being summoned could be put to death. Yet Esther showed true courage by speaking to the king, who turned against the wicked Haman. Haman was put to death and replaced as prime minister by Mordechai. The Jewish people were saved and were finally allowed to defend themselves against their enemies.

How to Celebrate

Purim is a joyous celebration of Esther’s bravery and the triumph of good over evil. Purim starts Wednesday night, February 28 and continues through Thursday, March 1, 2018, in the US (ends March 2 in Israel). Here are some great ways to help your kids celebrate Purim and learn more about this fun holiday. (Read more in this wonderful how-to guide).

Plan a Purim Party Your Kids Will Love | Alldonemonkey.com

Costumes

Purim is perhaps best known for the fun costumes that everyone wears. While traditionally people dressed up only as Esther, Mordechai, or the King, these days you can wear any costume you like!

Food

Try your hand at making hamantaschen, the triangular cookies thought to represent Haman’s triangle-shaped hat. There are so many variations to love! People also send gifts of food and drinks to friends during Purim, to reinforce bonds of friendship and community.

Service to Others

Purim is also a time to think of the less fortunate. Why not do a food drive at your Purim party or collect donations for a local charity?

Books

At the heart of Purim is the story of Queen Esther herself and how she saved the Jewish people. Read more about her as well as other Purim stories in this collection of Purim books for kids.

Crafts

Make your own grogger, a special noise maker to use when you read the Purim story, so you can boo and make lots of noise whenever Haman is mentioned! Another fun activity is to color in and use these printable Purim puppets.  Don’t miss these other free Purim printables, including masks and coloring pages.

Music

And just in time for Purim is a new album from award-winning family performer Danna Banana, writer of classics like “The Goofball” and “Suddenly Summer.” Purimania is a stellar collection of tunes old and new celebrating Purim. (See details below on how you can enter to win your own copy – plus a $25 Amazon gift card!)

Danna Banana is a well-loved performer with six albums out and numerous performances across the country. He is a John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize Winner and named New York Magazine’s Best Party Entertainer. The New York Post called him a ‘ripe talent’ and a mom in New Jersey called him ’a piñata of listening pleasure’. Trained as an opera singer, he sang leading roles all over the country in such operas as La Boheme, Don Giovanni, and Carmen before turning his talents to children’s music.

While most of Danna Banana’s work is non-denominational music for kids, among his earlier albums include Bananukah!, a celebration of Hanukah. That album’s success prompted him to create Purimania.

As in Bananukah!, Purimania mixes traditional songs with his own tuneful originals. Mr. Banana offers lively versions of classics like “In Shushan”, “Wicked Man”, and “Hag Purim” while “The Purimania Song” offers up his own whimsical version of the Purim story. In “Hamantaschen Party”, he uses recipes for Hamantaschen, the traditional cookie of Purim, as his lyric– both regular and gluten-free!

My kids and I have been listening to Purimania over and over – it is irresistible! The songs on this album are sure to add the element of fun to any Purim party and make everyone – adults and kids – want to get up and dance!

Check out Purimania! It’s the funniest, most danceable Purim music ever! Let’s party like it’s 330 B.C.! Here’s the title video:

Visit https://www.dannabanana.com/ for music purchase info.

Social Channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dannabanana123

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dannabanana123

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dannabanana123

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/danna-banana/5049666

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/74v630qTDZTHMNcljo12Kj

Hashtag:

#purimania

GIVEAWAY

And now for our big giveaway! One lucky reader will win a digital copy of Purimania plus a $25 Amazon gift card! All you need to do to enter is comment below with your favorite character from the Purim story.

Giveaway ends Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at midnight PT. Winner chosen by random drawing.

Feb 132018
 
 February 13, 2018  Black History Month, Education, History Comments Off on Harriet Tubman: Learning Resources for Kids

One of the undeniable heroes of American history is Harriet Tubman, that daring woman who not only escaped slavery herself but went on to help more than 300 others escape to freedom as well. Black History Month is the perfect time to celebrate this remarkable heroine and inspire students with her story. I’ve gathered here some wonderful learning resources, including a new picture book that is a wonderful introduction to her story for young readers.

Harriet Tubman: Learning Resources for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Photograph by H. B. Lindsley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of I Am Harriet Tubman 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.

Harriet Tubman: Learning Resources for Kids

Books for Kids

Often adults hesitate about how to approach difficult topics in history with their kids. How to begin to tell them about the horrors of slavery or the harrowing journeys of those that sought to escape it? That’s why I’m happy to introduce a new picture book that does a great job of introducing children to the subject of slavery and the Underground Railroad through the story of Harriet Tubman.

I am Harriet Tubman is part of the popular children’s biography series Ordinary People Change the World. This beautiful series introduces young readers to inspiring people from the past, such as Gandhi and Rosa Parks. I love that there is always an emphasis on the people and events that inspired them to overcome difficulties in their lives.

I am Harriet Tubman doesn’t sugar coat the past, but it does present it in terms that children can understand and, through sharing one personal story, helps them imagine what it might have been like to have been a child during those times. In this way it helps kids really understand just how remarkable Tubman was and the enormity of what she achieved. As always, I love the timeline and photos included at the back of the book.

For older kids I really recommend The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman. This is part of a series of historical graphic novels for kids that my eight year old adores. As with all the books in the series, it presents the subject with incredible historical accuracy and respect and is very engaging for even reluctant readers.

Crafts & Activities

Make this triarama from Crayola to celebrate Tubman’s legacy.

Here is a coloring page about Tubman, recommended for 2nd grade.

Field Trips

Visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Church Creek, Maryland, or drive along the 125+ miles of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in a self-guided driving tour (includes 36 historical sites related to the Underground Railway). This can also be done virtually! Read one mom’s experience on taking this emotional journey with her family.

Lesson Plans

The Women in World History Activity Pack from Multicultural Kid Blogs includes a section on Tubman, with a one page reading passage and reading comprehension questions. Designed for ages 8 – 12.

The Institute for Freedom Studies has a large collection of lesson plans on the Underground Railroad for grades K – 9, including a number on Tubman.

Underground Railroad Resources has a number of lesson plans about Harriet Tubman, sorted by grade level.

Here is a wonderful lesson plan from PBS Learning Media, recommended for grades 3 – 7.

I Am Harriet Tubman Blog Tour

This post is part of the blog tour for I Am Harriet Tubman. Visit all the participating blogs for more!
WEEK ONE
February 12 – Mundie Moms – Review and Series Spotlight
February 13 – All Done Monkey – Learning Activity
February 14 – Payne Lover Reviews – Review
February 15 – Books and Giggles – Creative
February 16 – How Useful It Is – Review
WEEK TWO
February 19 – InRandom – Review
February 20 – Gravity Bread – Review with language and learning tips and free printable for vocabulary expansion
February 21 – Coquette Maman – Review
February 22 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Mini Swoon: Kid’s Review and Mom Review
February 23 – As We Bloom – Review

Black History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our fifth annual Black History Month series! Follow along all month long as we explore the rich history and cultures of Africa and African-Americans.

You can also follow our Black History board on Pinterest:


February 2
Kid World Citizen on Multicultural Kid Blogs: MLK Day of Service

February 5
Great Family Reads: Picture Books for Black History Month

February 7
Mommy Evolution: Must Read Middle School Books for Black History Month

February 8
Colours of Us: 17 New Picture Books About Black History

February 9
GUBlife: 5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month with Your Family

February 12
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Circle Unbroken Children’s Book and Gullah Traditions and Heritage

February 13
All Done Monkey

February 15
A Crafty Arab

February 16
Hispanic Mama

Creative World of Varya on Multicultural Kid Blogs

February 19
Biracial Bookworms

February 23
Growing Up Gupta on Multicultural Kid Blogs

February 26
Crafty Moms Share

February 26
Creative World of Varya

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial