Archive for the ‘Edna’s Blog: Thinking Out Loud’ Category

Literacy Centers, Science Experiments, Free Stuff!

Friday, March 15th, 2013

WE  are proud to be a part of Teachers Paying Teachers!

TpT is a market site dedicated to sharing the infinite number of creative ideas teachers have.  From butterflies to  dinosaurs,  gingerbread men to movement activities, you’ll find it all at this site.

On the site, our store is called Lickety Split Lessons and Stuff.  But the quickest way to find us is through the link:

To order things (and there are plenty of FREE things) you will need to register on the TpT site:  They ask what grade you teach (even if you don’t teach you are welcome)  just put in the ages you are interested in) your name and email address.  There are tens of thousands of teachers buying and selling on this site.  It is HUGE!

On TpT you can get information on everything from cooking to teaching Chinese, from teaching toddlers and preschoolers to teaching college classes.

Writing curriculum and traveling around the country giving workshops for teachers was one of my favorite things to do in years past.  I am so excited to be a part of this great communty where all you have to do is click on a link, order what you want (remember there are tons of FREE things that will help you daily in your classroom management or with your lessons plans)  and instantly what you ordered appears in your downloads folder on your computer.

This weekend I will be adding Touchy Feely, A Sensory Unit that is, well, very touchy feely!  Bring Your Teddy To School and Bubble Bonanza:  Science, Literacy, Art and Movement are popular this time of year.

Just as soon as I have a moment, I will be adding a page or two from these books on our subscriber extras page because we appreciate you!

Thanks for reading and have a Fantastic (Almost Spring) weekend!





How Much is too Much? The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

Monday, September 5th, 2011

TheBusyLifeofErnestineBuckmeister9780979974694 c1 150x150 How Much is too Much? The Busy Life of Ernestine BuckmeisterBeing over-scheduled is a hot topic these days.  It’s tempting for well-meaning parents to want to give their children all the advantages possible. But an over-stimulating schedule can leave the whole family feeling frazzled and out-of-control.

A brand new book, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister takes a humorous approach to this topic.  Ir’s written by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated beautifully by Suzanne Beaky.  Ernestine is a busy child–so busy that Nanny O’Dear has to keep her on a schedule every day of the week.  Will it be tuba with Mr. Umpah, yodeling with Little Old Lady Hoo, or perhaps sculpting with Clay Lumpkin?   There’s lots to do in life that’s lots of fun, but when Mr. and Mrs. Buckmeister try to keep up with the rigors of Ernestine’s day-to-day activities, they’re worn out!  They find out the hard way that too much stuff to do and not enough time for play and relaxation can cause anyone to be a bit frazzled.

This is a charming book to share with kids and parents as the new school year gets underway.  There will be many new things kids will beg to get involved in, but wise parents will make room for lots of “free” time as well.

This would be a great book to add to a school lending library.  We will be giving it away soon in a contest.  Stay tuned!

March Birthdays and Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 25th, 2011

We have five family birthdays in March making it a very busy month.  Kind of like a holiday that lasts for a month!  Another special thing about March, both of my grandchildren were born in March and one of them On My Birthday!

We are Pisces along with some very cool people including Dr. Seuss. I found a web site, Read Across America which has all kinds of information about this beloved author.   You can print out a Cat in the Hat doorknob hanger, a word search and browse their Seussville catalog for your favorite Dr. Seuss story.  Me, my favorite is always the one I’m reading at the time!

A Tribute to Mr. Rogers

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

At an NAEYC conference many years ago, Mr. Rogers was the keynote speaker. He was a powerful speaker which was a bit surprising to me because of his TV persona of being so soft spoken. After he began speaking, someone brought him a sweater onstage as a gift. He very slowly took off his jacket and put it on.  He was quite a story teller and could alternately make the entire audience laugh and cry.

When my children were young Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was my pick for them to watch. He said such common sense things. His voice was soothing. He was kind and taught about diversity way back then. Mr. Rogers birthday is celebrated on February 27th. Sweaters on and hats off to him!

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Last year my daughter organized a hiking group for moms.  We have lots of hiking trails around these mountains and the weather is usually favorable.  Today I took off work to go too, and what fun I had and what a great way to start the new year!  There’s nothing like being around a bunch of toddlers who love to explore and find wonder in every tiny little thing they discover. It’s a win-win for everyone.  Moms get to be around other moms, kids get fresh air and lots of exercise and then, hopefully, they follow the plan and go home and take a nice long nap!

A few articles coming up in Parent Pages sing the praises of being out in nature. This quote is from an upcoming issue, “Outdoor activity offers enormous advantages to children, including healthier bodies, stronger muscles and bones, lower rates of stress, reduced cancer risk, and even better eyesight.  Studies repeatedly show that outdoor time enhances imagination and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, outdoor time has a dramatic impact on children’s attentiveness and school preparedness, including a reduction in ADHD symptoms.”

Well, there it is.  Hard to believe that children spend so much time indoors now with that kind of research available to us.  And debating time for recess for school-age children seems ludicrous.  I, for one, am glad I left my computer at the office this morning and took to the trails with a half dozen little ones and a pocket full of snacks.


Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

As promised, my first guest blogger, Terri (Office Manager at Pages Inc.)  gives us some insights from her trip to Israel.  I asked her to share some thoughts and a few pictures of parks and child care centers she encountered.  I really appreciate her taking the time to share with us.  Many of you are probably world travelers and we’re always interested in your perspective.Playground Castle 82 300x225 Israel

Thanks for reading, Edna

Hi All,

I’m just beginning to process my recent trip to Israel.  I’m sorting through pictures and wish I’d had more time for journaling.  But, it’s been said that pictures are worth a thousand words and I hope you find this to be true.

Obviously, this is a beautiful playground called Legacy Heritage Park of Good Wishes.  You could see how a child’s imagination would be stimulated in such a fantasy environment.  caterpillar 77 300x269 IsraelThe kids I saw were typical––they love to climb, swing, slide, and explore outdoors, but sometimes their outside time is limited because of the unsettling situation in this region of the world.  What struck me is how quickly (15 seconds) the parents must move the children to safety if a siren is sounded.  Where do the children go?  They go into a round cement structure, sort of like a tunnel that is painted to look like a caterpillar.  You can see in the picture that it is incorporated into the playground.   At this point you’re probably thinking children are the same everywhere–wow what child wouldn’t want to crawl around inside a caterpillar!

I thought it was a great example of being child centered.

I also visited a child care center on a Kibbutz.

SDC11019 300x225 Israel

This too could have been a center in the United States with children playing happily making lots of noise.  An underground bomb shelter was in close proximity to the play area–another reminder of the unsettling atmosphere the children and caregivers live with.

What I took away from this experience is how innovative and creative concerned adults  can be when they stay focused on the needs of children.  The challenge is to insulate children as much a possible from uncertain and volatile  situations that threaten to take away the joys of being a child.

The food was amazing–the weather was cool at first but cooperated for the most part.  The people I met were very helpful and considering the language barrier I needed all the help I could get!  Does anyone know a good tutor in conversational Hebrew?  If any of you plan on visiting Israel or have visited, shoot me an email — I would love to hear from you and share notes.

Take Care,  Terri

The Week of the Young Child––April 10-17

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

It’s April––that means The Week of the Young Child can’t be far behind!  The week will be celebrated April 11-17 and the theme is Early Years are Learning Years.

When I directed a child care center, we did all sorts of things from displaying children’s creative artwork with a capital C in grocery stores and libraries to celebrating the early years with festivals all around town.  Yes, our mayor did issue a proclamation!  I remember taking kids into his office and them giving him a big hug ( a great photo opportunity as you might imagine) but important to all of us who care about children and the adults who care for them.

This year, we’re offering our Ages & Stages:  Off to a Good Start pamphlets at a discount.  They’re colorful and fun, and a great way to help parents understand the extraordinary journey they are on as they move through the developmental stages with their children.  Another thing I’ve been doing is finding great sites online and reminding them to put the dates of WOYC on their calendars.  I think it’s an important way to raise awareness for a tradition that’s been around for what– 3o years or more!  If you want some fresh ideas on how to make the celebration special in your town, visit

Martin Luther King

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I keep words of Dr. Martin Luther King close at hand.  On my office walls, in desk drawers for quick inspiration, and on my computer.  He was an awesome thinker and speaker!  Every year on his birthday I get out old magazines and books describing his amazing civil rights journey, and my children grew up understanding how important that struggle was for our country.

I think I was particularly impacted by his death because I was a college student in Nashville, Tennessee when Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis.  The news was shattering.  I’ve visited his memorial in Atlanta twice and find it peaceful and inspiring.

My personal goal is to celebrate his life not only on his birthday but every day.

Our Holiday Traditions publication offers more information on Dr. Martin Luther King as well as activities that relate his life to children in a hands-on approach.

Happy New Year––Watch Out for The Guilt Demons

Friday, January 1st, 2010

For me, the guilt demons start circling in full force at the beginning of every new year.  You know the ones, “You should eat more carrots.”  “You should walk more.”  “You should recycle more.” “You should help more people.”  These little voices are not helpful because guilt only motivates me for a few minutes at best.  But over the years I have learned that what I really need is a plan, a strategy.

Take for example today.  It was a great day, but busy.  I wanted to post a blog for the beginning of 2010, but, you know, busy, busy, busy.  So I came up with a plan.  Pick up the computer,  lift the lid, turn it on, click on blog, start writing.  And it worked.  I am now wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!

Now if I could just get to the carrot eating, the walking, the recycling, the helping . . .

NAEYC Conference

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I just returned from the NAEYC conference in Washington, DC.  I planned to do a “Live From NAEYC Conference” blog, but that didn’t happen!  All of you who have attended the conference  know how much there is to do and even with adrenalin running high, it’s always impossible to check off everything on my “to do” list, but I sure gave it my best try!

This was the first time I’ve attended when I wasn’t presenting, exhibiting, promoting my book, receiving validator training––you get the picture.  I was excited, but I didn’t know what to expect.  My husband, Dick was with me and believe me, I think he met and talked with more people than I did!

The exhibit hall was at times so crowded I could hardly find room to walk as I baby-stepped along trying to balance my NAEYC bag, my purse, coat and the program with carefully highlighted numbers of the booths I just had to visit!  What great organizations were represented!  I love visiting the huge mega companies, but it’s also such fun to discover the new kids on the block who offer  exciting, safe products for kids and families.  The ones that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  And I love learning about the non-profits and what they’re planning on unveiling in the future.

But the people.  I always meet the nicest people!  People who have been getting Parent Pages for twenty years, people who have never heard of us.  Presenters who are (knees knocking) presenting for the first time and the presenters like Bev Bos, Alice Honig, Mimi Chenfeld Brodskey, and Marian Wright Edelman who inspire year after year!

It’s hard to think of the conference without thinking of the Washington, DC framework.  What a beautiful city.  And celebrating the city where our first African American family now resides––Wow!