Archive for January, 2014

January 13, 2014

Snowed In

by Kathy Higgs-Coulthard38-FE3-KathyHiggs-Coulthard

Remember the trapped-in-a-snow-globe feeling of watching huge snowflakes float outside your window as you drifted off to sleep? And waking with the anticipation of seeing your school’s name scroll across the screen, officially making the day a snow day? In my house, snow days are more than a day off school. They are a magical gift.

Of all the ways to spend those snow-kissed days, here’s our family’s top ten choices:
*        Make snow cream
Grandpa’s snow cream recipe
You need:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1  1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 6 cups clean, freshly fallen snow
To do:
In a large bowl combine half and half, vanilla extract and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Stir in snow, a cup at a time, until ice cream forms.

*        Mix up homemade hot chocolate
Nana’s homemade hot chocolate recipe
You need:
1 lb powdered sugar
8 cups powdered milk
1 container (30 ounces) Nesquick
16 ounces powdered coffee creamer
To do:
Mix all ingredients in large container. When ready to make hot chocolate, add 2 heaping tablespoons of mix to warm milk. (Don’t forget the marshmallows!)

*        Look for animal tracks in the snow (and make our own)

*        Make snow angels and snowpeople

*        Build a snowfort and spray paint it with colored water in squirt bottles (use food color)

*        Make fairy castles by packing snow into gelatin and cake molds & decorate with nature

*        Snow Marbles
In an effort to give our older son something to aim at besides his three little sisters, we invented this winter version of marbles. Use a stick to draw a circle in the snow, then take turns tossing snowballs into the circle. Extra points if you can hit your opponent’s snowball.

*        Blow bubbles and watch them freeze

*        Watch Frosty the Snowman (okay, so this one is a sanity break for Mom)

*        And of course… read snow-related books. Our favorites are below.

Black snowman   Title:  The Black Snowman
   Author: Phillip Mendez
   Illustrator: Carole Byard
   Genre: picture book
   Ages: 7-10 years

Title:Snowmen at Night   snowmen at night
Author: Caralyn Buehner
Illustrator: Mark Buehner
Genre: picture book
Ages: Listening 3 yrs and up; Independent 8 and up

stranger in the woods   Title: Stranger in the Woods
   Author & Photographer: Carl R. Sams, II and Jean Stoick
   Genre: picture book
   Ages: Listening 3 yrs and up; Independent 8 and up

January 2, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions for kids

The count down to the New Year is done, now what? It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions and keeping warm inside with a good book. Have you talked to the kids about setting goals or creating New Year’s Resolutions? I read an article recently that said that around first grade is a good time to introduce children to the idea of resolutions.     Blog Photo

My boys are teens now so they have a pretty good idea about creating goals and resolutions. However on occasion, I like to give them a few suggestions of my own. Here are a few I would put on their list:

• Complete school assignments AND turn them in on time.
• Complete chores at least once a week without being asked.
• Humor mom sometimes and say, “I’ll be glad to do that for you.”

If you have a tween at home check out Amelia’s Must Keep Resolutions for the Best New Year Ever! By Marissa Moss. The book is set up along the lines of a graphic novel as Amelia lists her resolutions and tells how she plans to keep them.

Title: Amelia's Must-Keep Resolutions for the Best Year Ever! Author/Illustrator: Marissa Moss Genre: Youth Fiction Age: 10-13

Amelia resolves to make her 6th grade year of school better with easy steps to less stress. She comes up with fun resolutions such as:

• Never write a boring book report again.
• Never wear an itchy turtleneck when giving an oral report.
• Try to do homework right after school so she won’t have to get up the next morning to do it.This book has a suggested reading age of 10-13 years and is very easy to follow. The author does a good job relating the scenarios to real life



If you have a younger child, Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution, by Pat Miller is a picture book worth reading. The story opens with Squirrel pinning up her “Nut-of-the Month” calendar in preparation of the New Year.

Title: Squirrel's New Year's Resolution Author: Pat Miller Illustrator: Kathi Ember Genre: Picture book Age: 5-8

Title: Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
Author: Pat Miller
Illustrator: Kathi Ember
Genre: Picture book
Age: 5-8


When Squirrel hears on the radio that January first is a great time to make a resolution, she doesn’t know what to do. She wonders whether making a resolution is like making a snack. As Squirrel visits her friends she learns more about resolutions and what each of her friends have resolved to do.

Squirrel’s friends try to help her create a resolution by telling her to think of a way to improve herself or to help others. Finally, after having lunch with friends, Squirrel made her very first resolution.

If you haven’t read Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution yet, you can have it read to you by clicking the YouTube video below.

YouTube Video Credit: babbajessica

If you’re looking for fun ways to introduce New Year’s resolutions to your child, how about throwing a resolution party? As a part of your party you could create resolutions as a family. Cut a piece of construction paper into the shape of a party hat and have your child write his resolution on the cut-out. Post the art work on the fridge with a magnet.

For activities and other resources on creating resolutions check out the Lakeshore Learning website by clicking here.

What do you plan to do differently this year?