Thursday, February 04, 2010

Bits and Pieces of Our Days

While she was sick, Betsy decided to learn how to fold paper cranes. She was originally shooting for a thousand (editor's note: Sadako influence) but hasn't made it yet. Ramona is in the picture above, helping with the inital count. 



Last night, Betsy and Ramona called Anne-with-an-e into the room to look at something. Anne replied, "It had better be good -- I'm right in the middle of reading about heart malformations." 

This girl is seriously looking forward to upcoming dissections for her biology studies. 


Ramona loves panda bears. Ramona loves crafts. Ramona loves plans.  (Hmmm ... schooliness and crafts ... this is the offspring of the Unschooly, Not-So-Crafty Mom?) Ramona requested a Panda craft, and proceeded to describe her idea: a collage-inspired thing wherein we would cut out black shapes and glue them onto white paper, thus creating her dream panda. Here's the result: 

I'm grateful she comes up with the ideas because my idea of a panda craft would be: "Honey, go cut pictures of pandas out of your Ranger Rick magazine." 
(I did, actually, refer to an old issue of Ranger Rick to do this craft -- we found a panda craft, and I used it as a model for this little guy.) 

Speaking of Ranger Rick, I love both it and Your Big Backyard for loads of Ramona's science. Throw in Kids Discover and National Geographic Kids (thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!) and you've got science, history, social studies and current events, all while cuddling up on the couch with your daughter and a snack. 


Last week for Poetry Friday, I featured a book by Celeste Davidson Mannis, a counting book, packed full of haiku and beautiful illustrations. Unbeknownst to me, another book that I picked up during the same library visit is also by the same author (but a different illustrator -- funny that they both caught my eye.) The second book is The Queen's Progress, ostensibly an alphabet book, but also full of historical facts. I haven't had time to read through it all, but it looks quite lovely.


My time is up for now -- Pancakes for lunch today! The griddle awaits.


tanita davis said...

Anne-with-an-e KILLS ME. Heart malformations!!? Ramona reminds me of my niece, who helpfully would ask for stories and provide the exact details of what the story should entail: Tell me a story about a boy named Nicky, who had a dog named Sparks, and...

What gorgeous cranes. I hope she hangs them.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I love your blog, I've been reading it for a few years now. BUT (you knew it was coming)... Someone gave my 8 yo Nat. Geo. for Kids, and I (without anything but thanks to the giver) just throw it in the trash. So many ads, and even the informative parts are so busy and loud and ad-like, I was very disappointed. As a kid, I liked NG for the maps, the pictures, and eventually some of the actual articles. But it made my head hurt to see the glaring cartoons and collaged images surrounded by soundbites of information. Are the other magazines you recommend like NG for Kids, or are they more like the old regular NG that a stodgy old coot like me might like?

Thank you!


Sue said...

Coming out of lurkdom to say nice cranes! I've been living in Japan for fifteen years, and still can't make a good one - I was surpassed by my kids long ago.

Karen E. said...

Tanita, I love your niece's story directions. :) And, yes, we do want to hang the cranes! I think it will be lovely.

Chris, thanks for your kind words about the blog! I know what you mean about the page clutter in NGK, but it doesn't really bother us and we still find so many nuggets in the magazine that we really enjoy it. You may like "Kids Discover" better. There's less of that kind of clutter, and each issue focuses on a particular theme ("Colonial Life" or "The Constitution" or a science theme, etc.) Your Big Backyard and Ranger Rick are both from the Nat'l Wildlife Federation (geared to different ages) and have gorgeous photography. I can't tell you how many times my kids have quoted science facts to me that they learned from these magazines. But you can get a better idea of whether or not you'd like them from their websites.

Sue, thanks for coming out of lurkdom to comment! I'm not very good with origami ... I tend to lose patience before I finish something or figure it out. Betsy is so patient about that kind of thing. I'm sure my girls would love to hear more about your life in Japan. I hope you'll tell us more!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
I love your blog with the beautiful cranes and the panda! Thanks, too, for the mention of Ranger Rick and our sister magazines for younger kids. We really love it when readers and parents both recognize all the hard work we put into our publications.

Thanks so much and warmest wishes to you and your family,
Libby Schleichert, Sr. Editor
Ranger Rick Magazine
National Wildlife Federation
Reston, Virginia

Liz said...

Betcha, that I have a heart malformation that Anne hasn't read about. E-mail me and I'll explain what it is, how they found it, what happened when they did surgery, etc.

Helenrr said...

Just found your blog via a Facebook friend :) Love it! That Panda looks remarkably like a puzzle I had as a child, made of plastic with magnets to attach to the backing.
I have Old National Geographic for Kids and Ranger Rick. They have certainly changed, especially NG. oh well.
Other magazines I used with my dk were Cobblestone and Cricket (all their buggy mags...they were gifts from grandparents, money well spent).
Take care,