Festive Nuts Recipe + New Years Eve Traditions From Around the World.

If you need a last minute snack or treat to bring to a party, try this EASY recipe for FESTIVE NUTS. The kids can help, since it is mostly measuring and stirring.  The spices give the nuts a nice tang, and they are not too sweet.  You can adjust the sugar to suit your own tastes as well.  Try using all kinds of nuts – I used ALMONDS and WALNUTS.

Ingredients: 2015-12-21-01-32-13FOR 8 OZ. of NUTS:

1/3 C sugar, 1/2 t. each of the following: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves.  Set aside.

IN a second bowl, combine an egg white and the nuts and stir until nuts are coated:   2015-12-21-01-36-34


Now toss the nuts with the sugar-spice mixture until coated.

Spread nuts on a baking sheet, separating them as much as possible.

2015-12-21-01-39-23 BAKE for 15 minutes.  Scrape up the nuts and break apart.  Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to dry them completely.

Let them cool to room temperature.  Serve with dried cherries, cranberries, or other dried fruit.



While the nuts are baking – or while you’re EATING them, take a look at some of the ways people around the world celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE..


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL, and to quote a well-known Vulcan: MAY YOU LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

We Are All Multi-sensory Learners

Today’s post is a re-blog from 2013 from a friend Gail Terp who does a fabulous job providing books, activities, games and links using a multi-sensory approach to learning.

We Are All Multisensory Learners!   by Gail Terp

How do you learn best? Would you rather to listen to an explanation? Read about the subject? Watch a demonstration? Conduct some trial-and-error experiments on your own? Perform a combination of the above? This last choice is an example of multisensory learning.

Multisensory learning is when we use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile ways to learn and to remember what we learn. We link our visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear), and kinesthetic/tactile (movement/what we feel) pathways.

Multisensory learning works for everyone and it especially works for children. As adults, we have learned how to gather information using whatever modes are available to us. When we are presented information in just one way, such as in a book or through a lecture, we’ve figured out, more or less, how to get what we need. Children usually haven’t learned how to do that.

Multisensory teaching, providing learning experiences that combine more than one sense, is often recommended for students with learning difficulties. But really, it’s important for all learners. Why? There are several reasons. Using more than one sense:

·     helps to compensate for a weaker sense

·    is more engaging

·    helps overcome distractions (they’re everywhere!)

·    opens up more ways to gather information

·    helps build memory of what is learned

·    taps into nonverbal reasoning skills

·    is more fun

The Lexicon Reading Center  http://www.lexiconreadingcenter.org/what-is-multisensory-teaching-techniques.htmloffers many multisensory techniques that can be used to assist in learning. Here is a modified list:

To stimulate visual reasoning and learning:

·        Posters, computers or flash cards

·         Using color for highlighting, organizing information or imagery

·         Student-created art, images, text, pictures and video

Auditory techniques

·         Books on tape, paired reading (read text together, either simultaneously or taking turns) and computerized text readers

·         Video or film with accompanying audio

·         Music, song, instruments, speaking, rhymes, chants and language games

Tactile teaching methods (using the sense of touch)

·         Sand trays, raised line paper, textured objects, finger paints and puzzles to improve fine motor skills

·         Modeling materials such as clay and sculpting materials

·         Using small materials (manipulatives) to represent number values to teach math skills

Kinesthetic methods (using body movements)

·         Pair jumping rope, clapping, or other movements with counting and singing songs related to concepts.

·         Pair large movement activities (dancing, bean bag tossing), with rhythmic recall and academic competition such as quizzes, flash card races and other learning games.

 Additional resources to look at:

Reading Rockets  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/6332/

Lexicon Reading Center  http://www.lexiconreadingcenter.org/

International Dyslexia Associationhttp://www.interdys.org/

This Reading Mamahttp://thisreadingmama.com/2013/06/09/multi-sensory-activities-teaching-reading/

Heidi Songshttp://www.heidisongs.com/ (Be sure to check out free downloads)

Gail is a retired elementary teacher. She writes kids’ books and is currently working on a non-fiction series about animals and nature.   She also runs a blog for kids who hate to read.

You can visit her at: http://www.gailterp.com

                     gail photo








Keeping Kids Busy During the Holidays.

With all the excitement and preparation that takes place BEFORE the holidays, our kids often seems to bounce around, get bored, or underfoot.  If you’ve exhausted the usual “let’s decorate or bake together” options, try some of the great activities found on the BuzzFeed website:


Here is also a quick and EDIBLE Gingerbread Play Dough option that kids will love.  This recipe comes from Hannah Holt at Lightbulb Books:

Gingerbread Playdough


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 packet unsweetened orange […]

You may view the latest post at:  (It also includes a recipe for peppermint snow

Hannah Holt

Remembering Animals This Holiday Season.

For many of us, our furry and feathered friends are just as much a part of our family as humans are.  You can show other animals how much you care in a special way by adopting a pet longing for a home.  Visit Home 4 the Holidays for more information.  http://www.Home4theHolidays.org

The NATIONAL DISASTER SEARCH DOG FOUNDATION recruits rescue dogs, trains them and then pairs them  – free of charge – with firefighters and other first respondents to help find victims buried by natural disasters such as earthquakes.  To donate to this worthy cause:  http://www.searchdogfoundation.org

Remembers the Critters this holiday season!

50+ Easy Ornaments and Crafts For Kids.

Every year, when I take out my many Christmas ornaments, I relive the moments I shared making many of them with my kids.  The collection has grown over the years and my son and daughter now have boxes of their own to take with them when they are ready.

If you haven’t already, why not start a tradition of crafting some simple ornaments this year.  There are  plenty of sights with numerous ideas to get you started. Here are some of them.

From Play Ideas:  http://www.playideas.com/25-christmas-ornaments-kids-can-make/?utm_content=buffer4636d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

From Red Ted Art:   http://www.redtedart.com/category/christmas-2/

The walnut owls are easy and delightful.

From Family Fun:  https://family.disney.com/crafts/

There are crafts for every skill and interest, using on hand materials such as paper, felt, pipe cleaners, walnuts, yarn and more.

Why not create some holiday memories with a few hand-made ornaments.  Here is a sample of my own from past years.     2015-12-10-00-24-21

If you’re interested in a specific one, leave a comment and I’ll send directions.


Book Giveaway – The Warden’s Daughter – Jerry Spinelli

Writing and Illustrating

Newbury Award Winning author Jerry Spinelli has a new book, THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER hitting the book shelves on January 3rd. He has agreed to join our Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza. I loved it. It’s a rich, heartwarming middle grade story that is perfect for children and adults. It was so much fun being taken back to 1959 with hula hoops, black and white tv’s, the music of the day, Bandstand, and Sputnik. If you enjoyed reading Maniac Magee, then you will love returning to Two Mills – I know I did. Jerry delivers a well written diverse book. Don’t miss this one. Here is the link to pre-order.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you…

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