Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Readers know the classic book for reading your grandchildren to sleep, “Goodnight, Moon.” A new classic has been introduced, “Can I Just Take a Nap?” A bowl of Cheerios (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Ron Rauss, architect, poet and first-time children’s book author, decided to enter a contest in 2010 that Cheerios hosts every year for new children’s book authors. He won, beating out more than 8,000 entries. Simon and Schuster published his book and General Mills, owner of Cheerios cereal, put a small, paperback version in three million boxes of Cheerios. Now, it’s out in hardback. Although... (Read More ...)

It was the first time I was going to meet my boyfriend’s extended family. Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue Powder Compact, H. Liebes, Portland Oregon (Photo credit: France1978) We had been dating 11 months, together at Michigan State for the first four, then from a distance. I’d met his parents and sisters nine months before. I’d decided to transfer schools to be near where he’d gotten a job after graduation, Washington, DC. But, this was between the end of fall quarter and the beginning of second semester, so I was still staying with my parents in Macon, Georgia, where they’d moved from Texas... (Read More ...)

My grandparents always lived far away. One grandmother lived in New Mexico, Louisiana and Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was growing up, as she followed her son, a petroleum engineer. The world’s first commercially produced Christmas card, designed by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My other grandparents lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then, retired to St. Petersburg, Florida. We saw them on family vacations about every five years. After my other grandparents moved to Florida and were too far away for family vacations, they made the grand tour of the U.S., visiting each... (Read More ...)

My mother, born April 14, 1917, came of age during the Great Depression, raised by a single Mom of two kids. Colorful bars of soap on white towel (Photo credit: Horia Varlan) She was 12 when the Stock Market Crash hit, starting with “Black Tuesday” on October 24, 1929. My grandmother, Geraldine Stuart Notley, a graduate of the University of Kansas, had a good job as Principal of the in-hospital school for children at the University of Michigan’s medical center when they had prolonged stays that required schooling in the hospital so they wouldn’t fall too far behind. And, as my mother pointed... (Read More ...)

Letter to Santa – 1990 (Photo credit: Valerie’s Genealogy Photos) One year, maybe from talking with friends, or succumbing to the many ads that showed cherubic children writing out their Christmas desires in letters to Santa, my Mom decided to invite my younger brother and me to write out our own Christmas lists. There was only one problem with this plan. She’d never before asked us what we wanted – not for Christmas, not for our birthdays. Gifts were always a mix of practical and fun. We got the usual mittens, scarves and hats. We lived in the North until I was 11, so, pretty much... (Read More ...)

Shapes. Newspaper vendor, Paddington, London, February 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   Materials An assortment of containers with various shapes on the bottom, jars and boxes Crayons or markers, pencil or pen Newspaper or brown paper grocery bags, cut open to lie flat Instructions Using the marker or crayon, draw around each of the containers set down on the newspaper or grocery bag Ask your grandchild to match all the containers to the drawings by setting the container inside the lines Optional: You and your grandchild take turns closing your eyes and letting the other draw around containers,... (Read More ...)

Many of the science experiments in my blog originated with the Steve Spangler science for kids site, so you can imagine my delight when I was browsing the kids’ section of my local bookstore with my grandson and spotted Spangler’s book, Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes. Diet Coke and Mentos geyser. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I haven’t had success with all of Spangler’s experiments – I tried the Naked Eggs, for instance, and, though it works, I had the reaction of “OK, that’s nice. So, what?” For this reason, I didn’t write it up as an activity to do with your grandchildren, but I... (Read More ...)