March 25th, 2016
Nowruz (نوروز meaning "new day") is the Persian New Year. It starts on the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere. One traditional aspect of Nowruz is called Haft-Seen (هفتسین the seven seens). It’s a tabletop array of seven items that are displayed for the holiday. The seven items displayed are: 1. […]
March 4th, 2016
Afternoon Tea By Kate Greenaway Who wouldn’t like to drink afternoon tea Out in the garden just like these three? With the song of a bird, and the hum of a bee, And the sun-flowers looking all eyes to see. The little girl’s stirring her tea so sweet; Tea in the garden is such a […]
February 18th, 2016
Monique Palomares wrote from France about how people used to embroider in the summer when she was growing up in southern France… "When I was in my early teens, in the Summer, in the afternoon, everybody was required to be quiet to allow the men to get some rest. It didn’t appear in any regulation, […]
January 28th, 2016
Barbie dolls now come in new sizes! There’s a tall one, a petite one and a curvier Barbie. This is major progress… Now girls won’t just have the image of a doll with a shape that’s physically impossible in the real world. Hooray! Image: Mattel
January 16th, 2016
What are the "Four Gentlemen"? From old China, "The Four Gentlemen" is a term used to refer to four specific subjects (orchid, bamboo, plum blossom, chrysanthemum) which are traditionally some of the first subjects the student of Chinese ink brush painting learns. Each subject focuses on a different brush technique and lays down the brushstroke […]
December 10th, 2015
The Museum of Natural History in New York City decorates its holiday tree with origami ornaments each year! The origami ornaments are made to represent many objects that are in the museum… including dinosaurs! Origami experts design complex plans to create some of the more complicated figures. Some are so elaborate it can take weeks […]
August 3rd, 2015
Is pink a girl color in your country? It is in the US! Here’s a video that explains how it came about… Blue is considered a boy color. Please let us know in the comments below if there are any specific colors for boys or girls in your country. -Mama Lisa
April 7th, 2015
May 5th is Children’s Day in Japan! Carp shaped windsocks are flown to celebrate the day. Crafts include origami (おりがみ) of carp streamers (こいのぼり) and samurai helmets (かぶと). Here’s a video showing how to make an origami carp windsock… Here’s a video showing how to make a samurai helmet. (If you make it larger and […]
December 4th, 2014
It’s almost the time of year when many of us will be preparing gingerbread houses with our families! We don’t often think of it but, of course, gingerbread houses are associated with the story of Hansel and Gretel. They’re lured into the home of the witch in the forest since it’s made of gingerbread and […]
December 2nd, 2014
Here’s a beautiful chart that illustrates the relationships between many Western languages. It was created by Minna Sundberg. You can see a larger version here and you can buy it here.
October 30th, 2014
Sadao Makuza wrote to us about Halloween in Japan… Halloween here is mainly a sales strategy in department stores and supermarkets. Children only go trick-or-treating if it’s arranged in school or with family and friends. Halloween first appeared in Japan in the 1970’s by the Kiddy Land Company store in Tokyo to promote Halloween goods. […]
September 9th, 2014
Can you imagine seeing a Giant Rubber Duck floating in a river by you? A Giant Rubber Duck has been sited in some major cities around the world! The Rubber Duck sculpture was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. It’s been part of a tour called "Spreading Joy around the World". The hope is to […]
March 24th, 2014
I love Japanese haikus! Here’s a haiku poem I came across while working on a song about Mt. Fuji. The poem was written by Kobayashi Issa in the Edo period… 蝸牛 そろそろ登れ 富士の山 English Translation: O snail, Climb Mt. Fuji, But slowly, slowly! Pronunciation: Katatsumuri Soro soro nobore Fuji no yama I think these prints […]
January 16th, 2014
Someone posted a picture on Facebook recently of this Fisher Price House from the seventies. It may seem silly, but the floor dropped beneath me and I could remember being little and playing with that exact same house. I was transported back in time for a split second and could remember being four years old. […]
January 15th, 2014
Archeologists in Russia unearthed documents back in the 1950’s that were written on birch bark with a stylus. Some of the documents were doodles by a 7 year old boy named Onfim from Novgorod. Onfim was learning to write, but he doodled in the process. Below you can see some of his drawings. In the […]
November 12th, 2013
I saw this pretty autumn tree craft at our local library’s children’s room. Here’s how you make it… Supplies: Medicine Dropper, Glossy Photo Paper, Watercolor Paint, Straw, Brown Construction Paper (for tree trunk). Drip watercolor paint onto the top half of the paper using the medicine dropper. Use autumnal colors like yellow, orange, green and […]
September 25th, 2013
By Monique Palomares The bear is the symbol of the city of Berlin in Germany. You can see it printed on mugs and magnets. You can find different sized teddy-bears symbolizing Berlin. You can also find a bear map in a subway station showing which train to take. Though this one is not for sale! […]
August 6th, 2013
This summer we brought our kids to see "The Art of the Brick" at Discovery Times Square in New York City. It features Nathan Sawaya’s Lego artwork. Here’s my 12 year old daughter’s assessment of the show… Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures are truly works of art. They are well built and neatly sculpted brick by […]
July 29th, 2013
Etegami is a Japanese style of drawing with a written message on it. Etegami artist Debbie created the drawing here which contains the Japanese phrase "otenki uranai". That basically means "a trick for prophesying the weather." Here’s what Debbie wrote about the weather trick: "When I was little, the neighborhood kids and I followed an […]
January 20th, 2013
A Johnny-cake is a small flat cake (akin to a little pancake) made out of cornmeal, water and salt. They were widely eaten in the U.S. in the 19th century. Johnny-cakes are called hoecakes in the South. The folk tale "Johnny-cake" is almost the same story as "The Gingerbread Man" except that a Johnny-cake is […]
December 23rd, 2012
Cinnamon Ornaments smell great! They’re very easy to make and are a nice early Christmas gift to give. I made ours in somewhat neutral shapes so people could keep them hanging around the house for the yummy smell after Christmas. We made stars, crescent moons, hearts and trees. Below you can find the recipe for […]
December 13th, 2012
MP3 of Twinkling Bugs (Recording of 1st & 3rd Verses) Twinkling Bugs When the sun sinks under the world’s red rim, And the river fades till its shores are dim. And the trees are dark where the shadows lie, Then they go by, By, By– The twinkling bugs go by. They trim […]
December 10th, 2012
"Little Snowflake" is a poem about Christmas by Hannah More Kahaus (1745-1833). You can listen to an mp3 recording of it below and read along with the poem. MP3 of Little Snowflake Little Snowflake Little snow-flake, soft and white, Drops down in the silent night ; Soft she came with steady poise, Making not a […]
December 3rd, 2012
This is cool… Radial symmetry is where an organism has almost identical looking parts if cut into a pie. Only the top and bottom look different. The sea anemones in this print display radial symmetry. The video below shows how to create radial symmetry artwork. It helps teach kids this scientific concept. Check out how […]
November 17th, 2012
Here’s the colorful poem "The Sky Was" by E. E. Cummings (1894 – 1962) with an mp3 recording… MP3 of The Sky Was The Sky Was the sky was can dy lu minous edible spry pinks shy lemons greens coo l choc olate s. un der, a lo co […]
November 15th, 2012
This French song about a church bell ringer is amusing! I guess it’s because we’ve all been in the situation where someone around us was making noise that we had no control over. Below you can listen to the mp3 recording of the song, read the original French lyrics along with an English translation… MP3 […]
October 18th, 2012
Here’s a fun illustration called "A Tour in the Toy Country" by British illustrator Randolph Caldecott (1846 – 1886). Caldecott illustrated many books for children.
September 27th, 2012
There’s a sense of joy in making a Halloween costume for your child… not to mention the pride you feel when you see them wear it. The site No Twiddle Twaddle has links to 50+ easy to make Halloween costumes for kids that you don’t have to sew! Enjoy! Mama Lisa
September 8th, 2012
MoMA Unadulterated is an unofficial audio tour created by kids about modern art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Each piece of art is analyzed by experts aged 3-10, as they share their unique, unfiltered perspective on such things as composition, the art’s deeper meaning, and why some stuff’s so weird looking." […]
September 1st, 2012
Here’s a short video about different sounds instruments make from around the world… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
August 23rd, 2012
Dav Pilkey is the author of the Captain Underpants series… which gave both my son and daughter (and my husband) hours of pleasure. In the video below, you can see him drawing Captain Underpants while explaining how reading gives you superpowers!
August 22nd, 2012
"A line is a dot that went for a walk." –Paul Klee (Artist) What a great quote! Here are some videos based on that concept… Here’s an animated one… Here’s one where the dot goes from one kids drawing to another… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
July 31st, 2012
One way to teach children about both art and nature is to bring them on a trip outdoors and create Land Art. Monique from France chaperoned a trip last year and sent these ideas and photos of land art to create with children… How to create land art: 1, Use stones and dead wood to […]
July 18th, 2012
The poem My Bed is a Boat reminds me of being a kid and playing with my friends on the couch pretending it was a rowboat. What fun! You can read the poem below and listen along on YouTube videos. There are 3 renditions: the 1st is recited, the 2nd is sung as a lullaby, […]
July 9th, 2012
In the past we’ve posted many versions of The Hearse Song that our readers have sent in. Recently we received two versions that somewhat differ from the others. They were sent by Richard Smith. Here they are: My mother taught me this approximately 1954… Did you ever think when a hearse went by That […]
July 8th, 2012
Cocoon above! Cocoon below! is a poem by Emily Dickinson. Below you can listen to it while reading along… MP3 of Cocoon above! Cocoon below! Cocoon Above! Cocoon Below! Cocoon above! Cocoon below! Stealthy Cocoon, why hide you so What all the world suspect? An hour, and gay on every tree Your secret, perched in […]
June 16th, 2012
Recently, we talked about the French good luck charm dolls called Nénette and Rintintin that are made out of yarn. In a second post we explained how to make the yarn dolls. Here we present a 2nd way to make them. This version of the Nénette and Rintintin dolls won’t have a tuft of hair […]
June 14th, 2012
Recently, we talked about the French good luck charm dolls called Nénette and Rintintin that are made out of yarn. Here you can learn how to make them. Supplies Some Yarn (including a piece of red or pink yarn for the mouth) 5 inch piece of cardboard Scissors Yarn Needle Black Embroidery Thread & Needle […]
June 11th, 2012
Nénette et Rintintin were originally toy dolls for children that were first produced in France in 1913. The boy doll is Nénette and the girl doll is Rintintin. In the tradition of romance in France, they’re seen as a couple! When WWI came, people started making little Nénette et Rintintin dolls out of yarn. They […]
May 12th, 2012
Here’s how to make a “Wow Mom” Mother’s Day Card… 1. Get a piece of thick paper and fold it in half. 2. Neatly write MOM in bubble letters with the top of the letters on the seam of the paper. Keep the letters right next to each other so they’ll be attached. You can […]
May 8th, 2012
Here’s a link to over 100 inexpensive crafts to do with kids.
April 20th, 2012
Easter The air is like a butterfly With frail blue wings. The happy earth looks at the sky And sings. MP3 Recording of Easter Poem by Joyce Kilmer
April 11th, 2012
“Who Laid an Egg?” is a kids saying meaning, “Who farted?” The cartoon above is a play on the expression by 5th grader Lila Pomerantz.
March 14th, 2012
Today’s Akira Yoshizawa’s birthday. He lived from March 14, 1911 – March 14, 2005. He was a master at origami. Check out the photo of him holding an origami peacock he made in the photo above. Here’s how Google is celebrating his life… Photo: Wikipedia
February 23rd, 2012
Rock – Paper – Scissors is a game used to decide something between two kids… like who goes first, who gets something, etc. Two players say together at the same time, "Rock, Paper, Scissors and Shoot!". Then put their hands out at exactly the same time in one of three signs, "rock", "Paper" or "Scissors" […]
January 28th, 2012
Check out the butter churn from our town’s old General Store! The historical society donated it to our local coffee shop. This was the store’s coffee grinder! What a huge machine for grinding coffee. Very neat to see! -Mama Lisa
January 27th, 2012
A while ago, I talked about how my daughter’s class made drawings illustrating the literal meanings of idiomatic expressions. This is a great way to help children, and people learning English as a second language, to understand these sayings.. One drawing my daughter did was an illustration of the expression "follow your nose". "Follow your […]
January 5th, 2012
To make thumb print guys: Have child make thumb prints with paint. Let dry. Add details like faces, arms and legs with fine permanent marker. Have fun! Mama Lisa
December 17th, 2011
Jingle sticks are inexpensive and fun to make! All you need is an unsharpened pencil, small bells and pipe cleaners. Now you can easily create an instrument (which can double as a pencil or eraser for kids). Here’s how to make your jingle stick… 1. String a large bell in the center of a pipe […]
The poem Santa Claus is from the book Christmas (1907). The author is anonymous. Here you can listen to the poem being read while reading along… MP3 Recording of Santa Claus Poem Santa Claus Anonymous He comes in the night! He comes in the night! He softly, silently comes; While the little brown heads on […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
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Over 125 songs and rhymes. Each includes the full text in Spanish, with translations into English. Many include links to recordings. Order Here!
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