Category Archives: Monkey Stuff

#Watchitude: 10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success

10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success & a Review by My Crafty Zoo

Time management is a very important skill to have.  Being successful in life is quite difficult for those who are always late or miss appointments.  I’m pleased to introduce you to Watchitude so we can get those Monkeys on the road to success!

Watchitude is a company that sells slap watches with a twist.  They are designed by, well, anyone!  Since the designs can be submitted by anyone, there are some really special one of a kind bands!  They have a huge variety of different designs that I honestly haven’t seen anywhere else.  You can get watches with some really cool designs such as animals, sports, foods (I have a love hate feeling for the pepperoni pizza watch), nature, and so much more.  I had the privilege of getting the #145 Lightening watch, which was designed by Chris S from Texas!   The slap watch band is plastic and, of course, slaps right in place.  For those of us (especially the kiddos) who hate getting ready in the morning, that certainly helps with the getting ready time!  The watch face is printed rather large, making it easy for kids to learn to tell time and for everyone to tell the time with a quick glance!  They are the perfect gift for any kid!

Want Your Design on Watchitude?WatchitudeArm

Yes, you read that right!  You can get your design made by going to Watchitude and uploading your photos.  You can upload one for the watch band and another for the watch face.  Then you share your design and get votes via your special link.  Designs with the most votes will be put into production and if yours is one of them, you’ll get your design for free with your name on the back for design credit!  How cool is that!?!10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success Featuring Watchitude

  1. It prepares them for the future. When school starts, they’ll need to be up on time and in class on time.  When they get older, they’ll need to be on time for work and meetings for the rest of their lives.  Good habits start early.
  2. It can help with patience, which cuts down on whining and other bad behaviors. We’ve all experienced the ‘is it time for *insert whatever here* yet?’ times and those moments where we tell them that we’ll be doing something in ten minutes.  Problem is, until we teach them they have no concept of ten minutes so they keep asking.  So, as a great solution, we can get a clock and show them that when the minute hand hits here then it will be time.  Just make sure that when that time hits, you are on it so they’ll get it quickly!
  3. It helps them learn their numbers faster as they become familiar with the numbers in a functional way while learning to tell time.
  4. They are able to more easily able to learn skip counting when the time comes as they’ve already been doing it!
  5. According to parents.com, children start being taught problems with elapsed time by third grade. Why not help them have a strong grasp on the concept long before the challenge starts!
  6. Many of the self-help books and articles on how to be successful emphasize the importance of time, being on time, time management, etc. Perhaps learning to tell time and be good about being on time early will help our babies succeed!
  7. They’ll learn that everything has a place and a time. It ensures they know what is expected of them and they learn how to manage their time properly. A dear friend, who contributed this benefit, pointed out that her children have a schedule and they are able to make decisions regarding activities, responsibilities, etc that are reasonable to their schedule.  Having watched her children and their interactions, I have to give her props because even her 7 year old was reasonable with these types of things!
  8. Studies show that routine and schedules gives children a sense of security and structure. This leads to confidence which will reflect in all areas of their life.
  9. Children on set schedules tend to be less grumpy as they know what is expected of them and what they need to do so there is no attitude (most of the time, haha)
  10. Having a schedule helps make it known that no one person’s life is more important so they learn to be more selflessness by thinking and considering other’s schedules and commitments when they want to do something.

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Originally posted 2016-08-16 00:27:04.

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Looking for great ways to make science blast off in your child’s life?  Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

If so you need to check out STEAM Lab For kids! Its an amazing book filled with incredible at home experiments, activities, art projects and much more all geared toward making science and math so fun that your kids don’t even realize they are learning! With step by step guides, material lists, and side notes to help parents educate and become more involved, this book has everything you need to make a huge impact on how even parents view learning! We have all heard or have at least been told by someone that learning through play is the best way. There is a lot of, you guessed it, science backing up that old saying!

Steam Lab Learning!

Hands On Learning with Steam Lab for Kids!

Having a hands on experience is more meaningful and memorable which makes the lessons learned unforgettable.

Here are some expert opinions on why hands on learning is the most effective style, and why parents should get more involved with their childrens playful learning.

 

  • Busy Hands, Busy Brains
    As students put projects together, create crafts, or use familiar materials in new ways, they’re constructing meaning. “Kids learn through all their senses,” says Ben Mardell, PhD, a researcher with Project Zero at Harvard University, “and they like to touch and manipulate things.”

 

When you combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. “The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information,” says Judy Dodge, author of 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom (Scholastic, 2009). “If you’re only listening, you’re only activating one part of the brain,” she says, “but if you’re drawing and explaining to a peer, then you’re making connections in the brain.”

You can check out more on this by visiting http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3751901

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

  • Students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests, according to a new UChicago-led study.

This study went even deeper into what it means to have hands on learning by using brain scans to back up their theories. Check out these brainiacks have to say about it:

https://news.uchicago.edu/story/learning-doing-helps-students-perform-better-science

  • Experts believe that by involving students in a total learning experience (i.e. learning by doing), their ability to think critically is significantly enhanced. It teaches them to rely more on evidence (observed data), encourages them to think independently, and reduces their dependence on authority.

There is a lot of information available to back up this once “fad” I education styles. Read more about it here, and decide for yourself if hands on is beneficial for your little ones:

https://info.gbiosciences.com/blog/hands-on-science-as-a-teaching-advantage

  • Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences. They gain skills, interests, knowledge, aspirations and motivation to learn more.  

https://www.paesta.psu.edu/article/science-nation-hands-learning-research-benefits-economy-environment

Getting interested yet? I certainly am!  So, come on parents! Let’s jump in and get our hands dirty with our kids! We can all agree that their education holds precedence to most other values, and its equal is your involvement with your kids and the memories they will have to look back on. so if you are looking for fun ways to make lasting memories that build your child’s knowledge of the world around them, or if you are just looking for ways to have some fun all year long; check out this book for some amazingly fun and educational ideas!

STEAM LAB for Kids…get your learning fun on!

Steam lab for kids, make science fun, hands on activities for families, fun learning activities

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

Bling: Free Movie

Bling

The superhero adventure BLING has something for the whole family! Action! Comedy! Romance! Robots! Big Robots! Monkey Robots! Evil Robots! (did we mention robots?)  For a limited time, you can download Bling for free on Google Play.

Full of silly slapstick comedy that fills little ones with giggles, Bling is an adorable animated cartoon full of love, laughter and adventure.  At times, it will even have you feeling bad for the villain, but don’t worry that passes quickly. LOL.

Lowly theme park mechanic Sam dreams about his childhood sweetheart Sue. With the

misguided belief that only a bling ring can win the girl of his dreams, Sam plans the most

perfect night to propose to his one true love. But when super-villain Oscar shows up with

an evil scheme involving a ring of his own, Sam’s plans are thrown into utter disarray.

After mistaking each other’s rings for their own, Sam teams up with his robot

superheroes to track down his engagement ring and save the city… learning that it’s not

about the size of the bling, but the size of your heart.

If you don’t have a google account, don’t worry.  You can easily set up a gmail account and you’ll be ready to go.  No need for iphone users to miss out!

Click here for Your Free Copy of Bling on Google Play

blingprize

 

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Originally posted 2016-03-16 12:59:22.

The Legend of the Easter Robin #EasterRobin #FlyBy

EasterRobin

With Easter fast approaching, this book has come out at a perfect time!  The story is adorable and sweet and even teaches us a few Dutch traditions.  The illustrations are very well done and a sense of love is emitted from each and every page.  Written for children ages 4-8, I think this book is perfect for Easter baskets and to keep on the bookshelf to re-read all year long!

About the book:
In the center of the nest lay one perfect egg, the color of a spring sky. The father robin sat on a branch nearby, guarding his family. Tressa spotted raccoon tracks below and a blue jay eyeing the nest. “Gran, how are we going to keep the egg safe?” “We’ll have to leave that one to the Creator,” Gran said. Robins have built a nest on the window ledge at Grandmother’s house! Tressa is thrilled―and concerned. What will happen to the sky-blue egg laid by the mother robin? As more eggs appear, Tressa witnesses the daily drama of the robins’ nest and learns how God cares for all creatures. Besides watching the birds, there are Easter eggs to color. And there is a very special story to hear―a tale of long ago about one small bird with a very big heart. How did the robin get its red breast? Tressa is about to find out as Gran tells her the story of the Easter robin. Brought to life with colorful, tender illustrations, The Legend of the Easter Robin will captivate and teach your child about compassion and faith.

Originally posted 2016-02-24 08:00:13.

#MercyMe Christmas CD: It’s Christmas!

mercymeMercy Me It’s Christmas​ CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations beginning November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  It has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.  Each CD will be sold for $5 plus tax.  Pizza Ranch will give away the CD with a $25 gift card purchase as well as sell the full album at each of its 200 locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states.  “We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch” said Bart Millard with MercyMe. “Pizza Ranch is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God. It’s the perfect gift to give this Christmas season and the perfect CD to get you in the Christmas spirit.”

My Thoughts

Everyone loves Christmas music, right?  The only problem is that over playing thing they do around the Holidays.  So, before you get played out check out Mercy Me in their CD done for Pizza Ranch.  With great voices singing all these wonderful songs, you’ll definitely want to add this CD to your Christmas music collection!!!

PizzaRanchAbout Pizza Ranch:
Cultivating its mission “To give every guest a legendary experience” since its inception in 1981, Pizza Ranch connects with its communities in a way that provides bridges for friends, family and colleagues to come together. Today, Pizza Ranch is based in Orange City, Iowa and owns, operates and franchises over 190 locations in 13 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, salads and desserts, and is delivered with an unmatched service quality.  “We are extremely blessed to have a very close connection with our guests,” said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch. “This project extends the brand’s essence to a new dimension beyond our four walls and into their lives. It’s a new kind of way for us to relate to our loyal fans.”

SOCIAL • CORNER

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Be Sure & Check Out These too:

Christmas Tracts & Ten Must Do Christmas Crafts

Christmas Love Letters from God 

Originally posted 2015-11-17 23:04:24.

Classic Kids Songs #LaurieBerkner

FavoriteKidsSongsAt the risk of sounding old fashioned, I miss the simple songs of my youth.  The ones sang with joy and happiness and no known sinister message or lesson.  It seems like these days the songs teach our children the wrong lessons, or at least the songs we sing with them from the radio and such.  I have greatly enjoyed hearing these kids songs, most from a much simpler time.  I think they’ll make you feel the same as you sing along with them.  Take the time to listen to this adorable collection and you’ll be singing and dancing along with your little ones without ever having to worry about any negative side effects (aside of course from constantly hearing the same song over and over, as children tend to do).  Check out the Laurie Berkner Band and you’ll find a new love for these old classic songs of our youth.

LaurieBerkner

Laurie explains, “I made my first recording, Whaddaya Think Of That? because I wanted families to have a way to listen at home to the songs I was singing with their kids in the classroom, especially the ones I had written, which they wouldn’t have know otherwise.  I included traditional songs, too, because I wanted some of the music to be very familiar.  With each consecutive album, my own originals became more and more of what the kids wanted to sing, so I got away from recording the traditional songs I grew up with.  Now, with Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs, I’m doing the opposite and exploring many of the songs that were so formative for me and helpful in my early days as a music teacher.”

A former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the “kindie” music genre and was crowned “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, “Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”

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Originally posted 2015-11-16 00:01:49.

Children’s Book of Adventure

What a fun andChickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy Willow Trees and Two-and-A-Half: A Children's Book of Adventure exciting book!  I enjoyed going through the book and enjoying the adventure!  It was wonderful to share with the little one!  So many opportunities to teach her about traveling, friendship and adventure of course!  While the time hasn’t come where I can take her physically on adventures, I love that I can take her with words and pictures.  Through these pages we got to go to see many things, both real and pretend.  While this fun little book is targeted toward ages 4-9, I feel like it is never too early to expose my little Cub to any appropriate book.  I want her to have the best chance I can give and a huge part of that includes books.

Children love to explore; it’s intuitive. And they tend to struggle when asked to confine their activities and behaviors to our adult-imposed rules and paths. Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is a vibrantly and exceptionally well-illustrated adventure book meant to inspire children to follow their urges to explore and to appreciate diversity. The book starts off when “One day a little brown monkey with dazzling olive green eyes, a friendly smile, and a long curly tail asked his father if there was more to the life than just hanging around with other monkeys and eating bananas.” Before long he meets a lovely grey cat and a majestic blue pelican each on their own quests. Together, they explore a foreign island and when their journey takes them into a private swath of land, they befriend a local dog who takes them further than they ever imagined.

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half emphasizes several significant values, which help us subsist and ultimately thrive: learning through independent exploration, the need for friendship, the importance of respect and tolerance for other cultures, languages, and lifestyle diversity, along with a healthy understanding of the powers of mother nature.
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Originally posted 2015-11-15 00:01:09.

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 3 #GalaxyBuck Review #FlyBy

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector Three!My Thoughts:

What an adorable film for the little ones!  From the creator of VeggieTales Phil Vischer comes Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9!  It is an adorable little film with an all puppet cast who embark on quite an adventure and learn some very valuable lessons!  Vischer teaches some very special things about God’s love and purpose for our lives and my favorite thing he teaches with this film is that we can all do something for God, even if we aren’t super heroes because God loves us.  He even tells us how to know if we are doing that.  Myself and many other adults I know could certainly benefit from this little reminder!

Kids will enjoy Buck Denver’s latest adventure with his friends from What’s In the Bible? and parents will appreciate the humorous nods to Star Wars and Star Trek.  Galaxy Buck communicates important Biblical truths that will add to everyone’s faith foundation, whether a life-long Christian or a new creation in Christ.

About the movie:
Buck Denver has a simple dream – to save the galaxy.  Working for the Galactic Mission Board, Buck dreams of carrying God’s love to every corner of the Milky Way!  Except he doesn’t have a starship.  Or a crew.  Or even a captain’s license.  He just needs a chance.  But when that chance comes and Buck finds himself leading a real mission into deep space, things don’t go at ALL like he imagined!  If he’s doing what God wants him to do, why is everything going wrong?  From VeggieTales® and What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God with everything – even our dreams!
Run time: Approximately 40 minutes

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Originally posted 2015-10-15 00:00:48.

Dev & Ollie

Devon
Dev has just unwrapped his favourite birthday present…a cool new kite! But there’s a
problem. He doesn’t know how to fly it! Grandpa claims to be an expert and promises
to teach Dev tomorrow but Dev is too impatient.
Ollie, Dev’s magical bedtime owl, comes to the rescue. Together they set off on an
action packed journey to one of the largest kite festivals in the world in Gujarat,
India.
The pleasure of kite flying doesn’t come easy though. Along the way, he encounters a
couple of mishaps and a few bumps on the head. To his surprise, Dev has to work hard
to get his hands on a kite and learn the skill of kite flying.

Finally, fighting through all the hurdles, Dev emerges victorious. When he returns
back home in the morning, he beats Grandpa at his own game!

Dev and Ollie books can be enjoyed by children aged 4+ from any background. They are a truly unique combination of festival experiences, hilarious adventures, and ‘virtual’ sightseeing in India. What’s more, all this is beautifully wrapped around the magical relationship of a child and his bedtime cuddly toy.

My Thoughts

Full of color, wonder and adventure even my 8 month old enjoyed the pictures as I read the story to her!  I greatly enjoyed the imagination in the story as well as the little tidbits of kite knowledge dropped throughout the book.

The book is full of brightly colored, well drawn pictures giving the eyes plenty to keep them busy!  Even my 6

month old was fascinated with the pictures!

I will be giving away 1 copies to 2 lucky winners!!!

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About the Author

author

I created Dev and Ollie following a ‘light bulb’ moment at
a festival in Watford, England.
Indian by origin and having grown up in Japan, I now live
in England with my family. My upbringing has been that
of a global citizen. And after having children, I am keen
for my children to be global citizens while also to be
proud of their own culture and heritage.
As a mother of two young children and a British Indian,
I’m forever exploring ways to impart cultural knowledge
to them. Also, my children are avid readers and adding
variety to their bookshelf is something I actively work on.
My mission is for children not just to be reading well, but
to be well read. Realising that this can be easily
achieved if children can relate to the characters in a
book, Dev and Ollie were created – Dev, a cheeky,
curious and sometimes clumsy boy and Ollie his magical
bedtime cuddly owl.
What sparked their conception was an Indian cultural festival experience in England. Festivals
evoke the best of any culture! Colour, noise, excitement, family, laughter – all are perfect
ingredients for children’s stories with a universal appeal.
During my time in India from 1995 to 1999 for my undergraduate degree in computer science, I
traveled extensively within India. That’s when I experienced an array of amazing festivals.
Kite Crazy is about one such experience. One of my most cherished memories is the annual
kite festival in Gujarat, India…flying kites on the rooftop with cousins from dawn till dusk. Food,
drinks, piles of kites, everything would be planned for. We’d fight to have a go (because we had
fewer kites remaining than the number of cousins!). Then seconds later, we’d be ganging up
and competing against others on neighbouring roof terraces.
I’m working on many more Dev and Ollie books to be released soon, not just about festivals in
India, but unique festivals around the world that haven’t been discovered on an international
level…festivals that children will love to read about! In fact, I’ve had tremendous fun researching
such festivals, so much so that my bucket list now includes some of them (Tomatina Festival in
Spain and Snow & Ice Festival in China)!

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Originally posted 2015-09-16 00:01:27.

#BiggestStory

TheBiggestStory

About the book:TheBiggestStory2
Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Crossway (August 31, 2015)
In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung – a best-selling author and father of six – leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heave and new earth.  With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message-how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden-will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think.

KevinDeYoung

About Kevin DeYoung:
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books, including Just Do SomethingThe Hole in Our HolinessCrazy Busy, and Taking God At His Word.  He lives with his wife and their 6 children in Central Michigan.

DonClark

About Don Clark:
Don Clark is an artist and the cofounder of Invisible Creature, a widely respected and award-winning design studio in Seattle that has worked with clients such as Target, Nike, LEGO, and WIRED magazine.  He lives with his wife and their 3 children, 4 goats, 12 chickens, and 1 crazy dog on a farm just outside the city limits.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Originally posted 2015-09-15 00:00:05.