We’re Dreaming of Salamanders and Summer

Salamander Rescue by Pamela McDowell and illustrated by Kasia Charko

Winter seems to be sticking around–here on the West Coast we’re up to our ankles in snow (something we’re not used to!). So we’re turning to books about summer to remind us that the cold will end soon.   We’ve got Pamela McDowell‘s Salamander Rescue open right now, reading about Cricket McKay and her animal-saving, environmental-friendly initiatives. Cricket has lived in Waterton all her life, so she is surprised to discover an animal she hasn’t seen before: the long-toed salamander. She finds a band of them migrating from the pond to their hibernation grounds at […]

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The Dark Side of the Moon

Stargazing on a clear night, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot cocoa is so beautifully serene. Sorting out constellations among all the stars, finding planets, and, over the course of a month, watching the moon grow and diminish. This craft put us in mind of our picture book In the Red Canoe, by Leslie A. Davidson and illustrated by Laura Bifano, follows the peaceful canoe ride between a granddaughter and her grandfather, gliding along the water and watching the animals around them. They dock back home at night, when they seem to be in a […]

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Spelling is Hard

Spelling in sand

Spelling is hard. And English words rarely sound as they spell which makes it even more complicated. But we have an easy-to-make and on-the-run way for teachers and caregivers to get kids to practice their spelling. 3 things are required for it: Sand — it can be kinetic sand, which is more easily malleable and stays in place better. An old pencil case Flashcards with words for kids to spell. Making this fun practice tool is easy. Simply put the sand in the bottom of the pencil case. Kids practice spelling and reading the words […]

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Mason Jar Aquarium

There’s a whole watery world beneath the surface of the sea. To begin deep sea explorations with your little ones, try this make-your-own aquarium craft found on hello, Wonderful. What you’ll need: 1. Mason jars 2. Blue food coloring 3. Filtered water (tap water tends to give a cloudier look) 4. Aquarium plastic figurines 5. Aquarium rocks and plastic plants (you can buy these at any fish or pet stores) 6. Blue and white glitter (optional) 7. Glycerin (optional – this makes the glitter move more slowly when you shake the jar) Now, once you […]

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