Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, December 31, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR (almost!)  I hope you make a New Year's Resolution to read aloud more books with your kids in 2011!  Check out this great list of Caldecott Medal winners.

Below I've posted a couple of ideas I found from Family Fun Magazine for New Year's Eve.  We used to love opening up our mailbox each month and finding this magazine waiting for us with tons of ideas for great crafts, recipes, parties, and family get-aways.  (Now they have a website too!)

My favorite New Year's Eve memory is when we celebrated the beginning of the 2000's with our close friends who also had three kids.  Every hour, starting around 8:00 PM, we had a different theme until midnight.  We centered the table decorations and food around the themes - we had a teddy bear theme, Star Wars theme, doll theme, etc. When the clock struck midnight, we went outside and did the "bubble wrap stomp" (below), blew horns, and popped little canisters of confetti.

MIDNIGHT BALLOON SHOWER (a bit involved, but fun)
Line up two rectangular paper tablecloths and punch holes every 2 to 3 inches down one long side of each.
Stitch the tablecloths together with yarn, leaving a foot or so at the end for a rip cord.
Tape the cloth to the ceiling on three sides, leaving the side opposite the rip cord open. Tape the cord up separately, so it's accessible. Let the center of the cloth hang down to allow space for the balloons.
Blow up at least 75 balloons. (you can store the balloons in large garbage bags until it's time to fill the cloth.)
Buy thin streamers and metallic confetti (as opposed to paper confetti - you might end up with stained floors, if someone spills any kind of liquid on the paper kind).
Stuff the cloth with balloons, then add the confetti and streamers on top. (Reverse it, and the confetti will weigh down the cloth and filter out ahead of time.) Tape up the last side of the cloth.
Let her rip! At the stroke of midnight, just one strong pull tears through the paper, releasing a cascade of balloons and confetti--followed by stomping feet and a cacophony of pops.

BUBBLE WRAP STOMP (super easy!)
Looking for a way to ring in the New Year that will have the crowd on its feet? Look no further than a packaging supply store. For just a few dollars, you can pick up several yards of large Bubble Wrap (or recycle Bubble Wrap that comes with holiday gifts). Just before midnight, unroll it on a hard surface, such as a wooden floor or driveway, and when the countdown concludes, GET STOMPING on that bubble wrap!

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