VIVIAN KIRKFIELD PRESENTS:#50 Precious Words For Kids Contest

A Children’s Book Week Activity:  #50PreciousWordsforKids

Celebrating Diversity in Imagination

A writing contest for kids from all over the world.  Writing a story in 50 words or fewer.  Contest runs from April 30 through May 6, 2018.

 GUIDELINES:

  • Each child, grade K-6, writes a story of 50 words or less.
  • Title not included in word count.
  • Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Happy or sad, silly or serious, true or make-believe.
  • Teachers/students choose one story to submit per class.
  • Homeschooling parents submit one story per child.
  • Please email story to: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by May 7 at 11:59pm EST. This challenge is INTERNATIONAL.
  • Stories post on my blog: viviankirkfield.com on May 11.
  • Teacher receives a certificate to copy and present to each child who wrote a story
  • Giveaway of seven mini-Skype author classroom visits.

Picture 158 B 2

Picture 158 B 2

Here’s the link from last year’s contest: https://viviankirkfield.com/2017/05/11/50preciouswordsforkids-international-writing-challenge-stories-are-here/

Questions? Contact Vivian Kirkfield at:  Viviankirkfield@gmail.com

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Get Crafty For Easter.

With spring finally here, and Easter and Passover right around the corner, there are lots of ways to celebrate the season with crafts and egg decorating. Some of the easiest and festive kids crafts can be found on the RED TED ART sight.  There are 40 Easter crafts using eggs, pompom balls, and readily available materials.  http://www.redtedart.com

When I was a kid, we died eggs by dipping them into cups of colored water.  You can still  do that, but now there are many other ways to decorate eggs for the holiday. You can use non-toxic water color paints to create works of art.  Try paint daubers to make dots, Crayola or other non-toxic markers to draw designs. The Red TED sight has many other ideas for egg decorating.  If you wish to try the Polish art of PISANKY egg dying, you can order your own kit from: http://www.chinaberry.com

I decorated this egg at a workshop on how to do PISANKY.

I decorated this egg at a workshop on how to do PISANKY.

Here’s a unique way to give out chocolate treats for the holiday:  Create egg-shaped baskets out of balloons and dazzle family and friends with your talent.  Check out the how-tos for MAGIC BALLOON TREATS  at: http://www.thewhoot.com.au

Happy Easter and Happy crafting!

Winter Olympics – Backyard Style

With the Olympics taking place in SOUTH KOREA this month, it’s easy to get the urge to want to go outdoors and have some winter fun. While it’s still cold and – maybe snowy – you can try a few games of your own and enjoy some homemade Olympics.  Check out these sights for winter snow fun.

1.  How to stage your own backyard winter Olympics:  Check out this site from PARENT MAP.  Everything from luge, to curling, all in your own neighborhood.      http://www.parentmap.com/article/backyard-winter-olympics-for-kids

2. Got snow?  Try these Olympic inspired activities at home:    http://rainorshinemamma.com/5-olympics-inspired-backyard-games-for-winter/

Watch ski-jumping. Skate, ski, jump and slide on the ice.  Or, are you a bob-sledder?  Curling?  Try sliding smooth rocks across a frozen driveway or sidewalk.  (NEVER ON A POND OR BODY OF WATER!!!)  Enjoy the games and be inspired to create some winter fun as well.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese Zodiac DogEven though 2018 celebrates the DOG, DRAGONS are always popular symbols of the celebration.  Here is a great and easy DRAGON BOOK MARK  craft you can make with your kids to join the celebration.

Here is the link to the step by step video directions for this fun craft:

https://www.redtedart.com/dragon-corner-bookmark-design/

Get Messy Making Valentines + The Benefits of Messy Play For Pre-schoolers.

The idea for today’s post comes from the wonderful website Red Ted Art.  This site is a treasure trove of art and craft projects with videos for kids of all ages.

PRE-K activity:  SHAVING CREAM VALENTINES:   https://www.redtedart.com/valentines-cards-for-kids/

Materials:  trays, shaving foam, red and pink non-toxic acrylic paint, craft sticks, hearts cut from white copy paper.

1. Squirt shaving foam into a deep tray and drizzle red and pink paint over the top of it.

2.Take Popsicle sticks and gently swirl the mixture around until the paint leaves a trail behind it through the shaving foam.

3. Press large paper hearts down into the mixture leaving them to completely dry.

Valentines Cards for Kids - easy and quick

Benefits of Messy Play for your Child

Whether you love to get messy or not, there is no doubt that the benefits of letting your kids enjoy messy play at home, definitely outweigh the post-session clean up operation.

With careful planning and preparation, there is no reason to stress the mess of setting up a messy play activity for your child. Instead sit back and enjoy watching them learning as they play.

  • Exploring different materials and textures with their hands provides an excellent work out for their developing fine motor skills.
  • Allowing your child to take charge of how they use the activity is great for their confidence and self-esteem.
  • It can be used to stimulate all of their senses or just a few at a time.
  • Listening too and talking to your child about what they are doing, works not only on building their language skills, but it is also helping to expand their growing creativity and imagination. It may look like a pile of mush to you, but listen to how your child’s imagination can bring it to life.

 Credit and thanks for the benefits of messy play go to:  http://www.craftykidsathome.com/horsie-horsie-messy-play/ 

Pay it Froward With a Day of Service.

Since today is a federal holiday – in honor and remembrance of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King – many of us have the day off.  As we go about our errands and enjoy a bit of extra time, get the whole family involved in small acts of service.  It doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life: pay the toll of the person behind you, buy a cup of coffee and a sandwich for a person out on the street, let the person behind you have that coveted parking space, let someone in line ahead of you.  You and the kids can visit a hospital and read stories to children, spend time with seniors who don’t often get visitors,  shovel snow or do yard work for a neighbor unable to do it, bake cookies or muffins for a shelter.  Leave an anonymous bag of treat on the doorstep of someone who lives alone or might need such a thing to brighten up the day.

Possibilities are endless.  The warmth and good feeling you and your children will get is guaranteed to last beyond the day.   Spread kindness.

Easy, Kid-Friendly Ornaments to Keep and Give.

My daughter came across these simple – yet festive – ornaments that are perfect for even young kids to make on their own.     

Shower Curtain Ring Wreaths:

  • shower curtain rings
  • chenille/pipe cleaner stems of assorted colors
  • tacky glue
  • buttons, beads, ribbons for embellishment          

Step One:  Using two pipe cleaner stems together, wrap around the ring to cover it as shown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue until the entire ring is covered.  Tuck ends of the pipe cleaner into the wreath to hold tight. Repeat as many times as you wish, making each ring different…or a matched set…your choice.

Step two:  Decorate with buttons, beads, etc. Tie with ribbon or string to hang.