Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

This is the third week of the Hispanic Heritage Month. We are participating in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway. You can enter the giveaway here by scrolling down as well. We are sharing something we have done to celebrate or learn about Hispanic cultures each week during the month. Today we are sharing the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We discovered this story by reading The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pat Mora. There are however many books that discuss the story and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We also have enjoyed thus far Tomie de Paolo's Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here are some other books we found at the library that share some part of the story or how the festivals are celebrated.

Monday, September 29, 2014

DIY Sesame Street Birthday Party

Have you entered my current giveaway?

My good friend's youngest son turned one last week. For his first birthday party she decided to do a Sesame Street themed party. She bought some decorations, but did much of it herself with some help from me and a few friends and her mom. She had the party at our church. She and her husband have large families, so there are a lot of people. She made some adorable tissue paper characters. They sat on the cake table. She got the idea here.

For decorations she had some Sesame Street tablecloths and bought a couple of decoration kits. Then she made favor bags. She had Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert and Oscar. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the Cookie Monster ones. She got the idea here.
Her mother and she made Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes. They were so cute!!

Then Hazel and I made a bowling game for the party. We were inspired by Sharing the Wealth: Sesame Street Birthday Party. They are very easy to make. We used empty plastic water bottles, construction paper and some printouts of the heads as well as Bert and Ernie's shirts. The heads are copyrighted, so I cannot share them, but I just googled the characters until I found what I wanted. I made them about 3.5 inches wide.

We wrapped the bottle in the paper and then glued on the heads. By the end of the party they were destroyed, but this is because several of the young boys were very hard on them and wanted to just kick and step on the bottles. We used the ball from one of Hazel's toy bowling sets.

She also bought a pin the nose on Elmo game. This would be pretty easy to make yourself. The one nice thing of the bought one is the noses were stickers.

She wanted two crafts for the kids whose ages really varied (one to preteen). The first was to decorate a hat with foam stickers.
Hazel wore her purple hat the entire time. She loved it! The second craft I found for her at Katherine Marie Photography. We decided to use paper cups instead of plastic for the ease of glue sticking.
These were the samples of Cookie Monster, Abby and Elmo that Hazel and I made. We only had pom poms and eyes. The two crafts got combined by the end and many of the older kids made character hats and used the foam on the cups. They had fun.

So that was the fun first birthday party we went to this weekend!! So many great DIY ideas!! We loved it!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

WordWorld: Kooky Spooky Halloween DVD Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: NCircle Entertainment gave me a copy of the DVD free of charge and is supplying the one for the giveaway free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the DVD on NCircle Entertainment's site for your convenience. You can also find their DVDs at local retailers!

I am so excited to share this DVD with you today. Now before I share it I want to make sure you know a couple of things:
  1. I really do not like the scary part of Halloween. I like taking Hazel trick-or-treating, and seeing the young children in their cute costumes.
  2. Hazel is scared easily and does not like the scary parts of Halloween.
  3. Hazel is learning to read and sound out words at school this year.
Now knowing those three things, I have to say this is one of the best Halloween DVDs for her. She has been asking me to watch WordWorld. When we first saw it on television she was in the Waldorf School and we were already breaking the rule of no media and I was not about to introduce words to her as well. Then when she switched schools we could never find it on any of our PBS stations. So I jumped at the chance to review a WordWorld DVD. It being a Halloween one scared me a bit seeing how even The Wiggles: Wiggly Halloween frightened her a bit last year in parts. However the WordWorld Kooky Spooky Halloween did not frighten her at all. She loved it and so did I.
If you know nothing about WordWorld, the animal characters and many of the objects and scenery are made out of the word of what it is. As you can see on the cover, the pumpkins have the word "pumpkin" on them. The characters can make anything as long as they have the letters for it. In one of the two stories on this DVD, Sheep made her costume elements by pulling out the letters to spell "dust", "crown" and "wings". Once the letters were put together to spell the word, they magically became the object. As she spelled out the word and the magic was happening, she sounded out each word as well.
Character Flashcards Source: NCircle Entertainment

In the other story after some of the characters heard a ghost story and were scared to walk home, but got over the fear by being told ghosts do not exist, Pig sleep walks with a sheet over him. He is looking for B's so he can make his goody bags for Halloween. He has all the -ag he needs, but is out of B's. The viewer gets to watch as he removes the B from words like "ball" and "bike" and when the B is taken the objects become just letters. The other animals are awakened and frightened to see a ghost and are wondering why the ghost is taking the B's. In the end it has a very happy ending.

More Flashcards Source: NCircle Entertainment
Now on the NCircle Entertainment site they have two free WordWorld downloads. One is the flashcards which I still need to fold in half and glue as well as memory game cards (print two copies).

Memory Game Cards Source: NCircle Entertainment
I have not shown them to Hazel yet, but I know she is going to love both of them. This is such a fun video and has some fun and educational games to play with it. I highly recommend it. Now I also get to give a copy of the DVD away to one lucky winner who lives in the USA or Canada. Please follow my giveaway rules and do what the Rafflecopter says.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sharing Saturday 14-39

Sharing Saturday Button
Thank you to everyone who shared their amazing ideas last week (and they really were amazing--thus the large number of features this week) and to everyone who took the time to check out what others shared! (You know we all love to have others check out our posts!) This week was a busy one here. Between meetings at church and a fun apple picking field trip with Hazel's class, I did not get much posting done. Stay tuned this coming week for a new giveaway!! And also make sure you enter the Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway with three amazing prize packs!! There was no most clicked this week, so we have for feature categories Hispanic Heritage Month, Apples and some Fun Favorites.

Hispanic Heritage Month
1) From Discovering The World Through My Son's Eyes: Hispanic Heritage Month Fiesta for Kids

2) From All Done Monkey: Costa Rica Craft: Carretas

3) From Multicultural Kid Blogs (written by Becky at Kid World Citizen): Day of the Dead Crafts and Activities for Kids

(I had a hard time choosing from all the great apple ideas!)
1) From Lou Lou Girls: Apple Cake

2) From Pink Polka Dots & PreK: Edible Apple Sensory Play and Taste Test

3) From From ABCs to ACTs: Textured Apple Craft for Preschoolers

4) From The Classroom Creative: Apple Symmetry Craft for Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade

5) From Mama to 5 Blessings: Fall Apple Crafts for Toddlers/Preschoolers

6) From Tiny Tots Adventures: Playful Preschool DIY Farm

Some Fun Favorites

1) From An idea on Tuesday: Bark Painting

2) From Life with Moore Babies: Cave Painting

3) From Child Led Life: Child's Book List: Birds

4) From April's Homemaking: Easy Air Plant Terrariums

5) From Saving with Shellie: Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

6) From Happy Brown House: Christopher Colombus Activities

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


Featured Button Code:

From Your Hostess:
This week we shared our Grilled Lemon Grass Beef for Around the World in 12 Dishes (we are still doing Vietnam), Hispanic music with Celia Cruz and DIY instruments, a book review of Everyone Prays!

Now for This Week's Party 

A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the Sharing Saturday button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: Everyone Prays by Alexis York Lumbard

Source of Prayer for USA Photograph: By Harley Pebley (Flickr: Prayer for USA)
 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Disclosure: Wisdom Tales gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today is the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Having many Jewish friends, my Facebook feed has been filled with Happy New Year comments the past couple of days. Happy New Year and best wishes for the new year to all who are celebrating! (The holiday started Wednesday night at sundown.) Hazel goes to a Christian school, and we are very active at our church. This summer she learned The Lord's Prayer and is pretty good at saying it without too much help. We talk about praying all the time as well as other religions. One of her good friends is half Jewish, so she always asks questions about Judaism.

With all of this on my mind I thought today was a great day to share this wonderful book, Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Alizreza Sadeghian. This book is beautiful. It has colorful illustrations representing people all over the world. The text itself is simple and leads to discussion and questions. It is the perfect introduction for children to other religions and the fact that many of the world religions pray to the same God. 

In the appendix is a few sentences about each religion mentioned in the book. It includes how long the religion has been practiced, where they worship, who they follow and who started it, etc.  
Source: Wisdom Tales
The book itself shows the many differences in the world and religions yet also shows how we are the same. In this day of violence claimed to be due to religion, it is important for us to realize how similar we all are and our religions are. This book does this in a basic way that is easy for young children to understand. The book is aimed at 4- to 8-year-olds and was released in March. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to help their child understand some connections between the religions and understand some differences. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Around the World In 12 Dishes: Vietnam Part 2: Grilled Lemon Grass Beef

We made one more Vietnamese dish last week. This one needed to marinate for at least four hours, so we did it on a different day. I found the recipe in Cooking the Vietnamese Way by Chi Nguyen and Judy Monroe.
Hazel helped me make the marinade and soak the skewers. First we had fun with the lemon grass sticks though. We played air drums with them.

We pretended they were rhythm sticks.
And we gave ourselves bunny ears.
Then it was on to cutting, measuring and mixing. The recipe called for two lemon grass sticks. I don't know if mine were too big or what, but it was definitely too much. The marinade was overtaken by the lemon grass. I put the lemon grass and garlic into the food processor to get them small enough.

Grilled Lemon Grass Beef or Bo Nuong Xa adapted from Cooking the Vietnamese Way

1 1/2 lb. sirloin tip, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 stems lemon grass, finely chopped (I would only use one next time)
Bamboo Skewers
Optional: 2 teaspoons chopped scallions or fresh mint for garnish

1) Mix the sirloin, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, sesame seeds, and lemon grass together. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

2) Soak the bamboo skewers in water while the meat marinates.

3) Preheat oven to broil or start grill. 

4) Thread beef slices onto skewers accordion-style. Broil or grill for 6 to 8 minutes, turning often so they are cooked evenly.

5) Serve hot and garnish with mint and/or scallions.

Steve and I liked it. Steve really seemed to like it. Hazel thought it was all right, but I think she would have liked it with less lemon grass.

Around the World in 12 Dishes is hosted by these lovely blogs:

Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids' Makings, The Mommy Talks and The Usual Mayhem

I hope you will take the time to check them all out and check out everyone's great explorations of Vietnam. If you have a Vietnamese dish or craft or lesson, please share it here as well!! The Vietnamese placemat and passport pages are coming soon for help with extra learning about the country.
For more posts about Vietnam check out:
Lunar New Year and The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Cinderella, and Beef Pho and Banana Coconut Che

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrating with Music--Celia Cruz and Musical Crafts & Giveaway!!

As Hispanic Heritage Month continues on, we are sharing what we have been doing to learn more about Hispanic Music. A few years ago we made maracas, guiro, and a cajita based on Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou's tutorials. We also made zampoñas and a rainstick previously (thanks to Daria). This year we got a free copy of Daria's latest e-book: 10 Musical Crafts to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage. You can get a free copy this month on her Monthly Song Page (and scroll down to enter a great giveaway). After this month you can purchase a copy on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Since we had made several of the instruments in the past, I decided we would start with the chapchas. First I gave Hazel the chapchas coloring page that was included in the book. She colored while I gathered the materials to make our own chapchas like instruments. Once she saw the supplies, she stopped coloring and wanted to start crafting!
Hazel LOVED making these. In fact I think she has made about ten of them already. They are fun and use supplies around the house (really anything that makes a noise when banged together).
She made one for each of us. On Friday night our house was jingling everywhere.
When she woke up Saturday morning she started making more. She was going to make some for the people we visited this weekend, but she couldn't part with any of them. Here she shows you how one of them sounds.

She really got into the music and loved dancing with the bracelets on.

Celia Cruz 1
Celia Cruz, The Queen of Salsa Source: By Lionel Decoster (Own work)
[GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

We also explored Celia Cruz. Like Juan Quezada, I did not know anything about Celia Cruz. We happened to find some books at the library on her when I searched for Hispanic. We found two picture books. With a bit of further searching in the library network I even found one of them on CD so we could hear some salsa music.

My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown is a bilingual book that shares the life of Celia Cruz from her childhood in Cuba and her move to America. It is a wonderful introduction for children to a woman who changed the music world. Celia is known as the the Queen of Salsa throughout the world.

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers also gives the details of Celia's life. I think one of my favorite parts of the book is actually in the Author's Notes about when she actually met Celia Cruz for an interview. Veronica had always seen Celia Cruz as her role model and she was awestruck by meeting her.

Celia was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She lived in a two bedroom house with her extended family. At times there were 14 children living in her house. She always helped with putting the younger children to bed and she would sing them lullabies. People would gather outside the open windows to listen to her singing. She began to sing more at school and her teachers encouraged her to pursue a career in singing, however her father wanted her to do something like teaching. At one point the most popular band in Cuba needed a new lead singer and they hired her after her tryout. Although their fans were upset to get a nobody as lead singer, they soon fell in love with her voice.  They also called the band Cafe con Leche, coffee and milk because Celia's skin was so dark and her bandmates were  very fair. She left her beloved Cuba and moved to the United States. She was heartbroken that she would not be able to return to Cuba because of the politics at the time. In America she met Pedro Knight and they fell in love. She brought salsa music to the entire planet. Her trademark was a shout of "Azucar," which means sugar. Many say that is the only way to describe her voice. Celia Cruz showed that with a dream and strength even a poor Cuban girl could succeed. She changed the world of music and made a place in history for herself. She has hundreds of albums and here is a collection of some.
Hazel and I have  been loving listening to the upbeat salsa music! We are adding this to the Multicultural Kid Blog's Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop and I am including the blog hop and giveaway information again since both are continuing through the month!

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
MKB HHM Twitter Party 
Don't miss our Twitter party "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids," Tuesday, September 23, from 9 - 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Guatemala purse - Alarcon Restaurants 
Hand woven and leather Guatemala coin purse, a fun and vibrant gift. Given by - from their Gift Gallery in Antigua Real Restaurant, Mukwonago WI.
Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!