Kid Lit: Books About Friendship

This month’s Kid Lit column is dedicated to books about friendship, aimed at elementary school aged children.

Friendships aren’t always easy for adults to navigate, let alone children. For some children, friendship skills come naturally, but for others who are shy and timid, it can take a bit more practice. A great way to help children grasp the dynamics and importance of friendship is by reading books about being a good friend. Children’s books about friendship can offer powerful lessons about communicating, sharing, appreciating differences and just plain getting along.

Here are some of my favorites:

THM-KidLit-Friendship-BigFriendsBig Friends
By Linda Sarah and illustrated by Benji Davies (Henry Holt and Co.)

Birt and Etho climb up Sudden Hill and sit in cardboard boxes every day. Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, and astronauts, but they are always big friends. When Shu, another boy with a box shows up one day, Etho welcomes him, but Birt is wary. Birt who loves the “two-by-two” rhythm that he and Etho have, becomes upset because he feels like he’s losing his friend, so he smashing the cardboard box and hides out in his house, avoiding the two boys. But what do friends do? They don’t give up, and Etho and Shu are determined to play with Birt again and make him the most amazing monster-creature box thing. Can the two friends become three?

This book is recommended for children aged 4-8 years old.

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Inexpensive Ideas To Show “I Love You” & Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Which do yvalentines-dayou think is more important in life: to love someone or to be loved by someone?

I think that most of us would agree with the poet George Eliot (who was a woman – Mary Ann Evans, but that’s another story) who said: “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved.”

That is never more evident than on February 14, better known as Valentine’s Day, when love is in full swing!

But you don’t need to break the bank with gifts of diamonds, five-star meals or dozens of roses – though all are lovely ideas – to show someone you love them. Some of the best gifts one person can give to another involve sharing time along with a little thoughtfulness.

Here are some simple, creative and inexpensive ideas to show your loved one how much you care for them this Valentine’s Day:

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How To Create A Winter Care Package For A College Student #MeAndMyTea

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Sending a child off to college might be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences ever for a parent. Luckily I have at least a decade before I sent my oldest off. It’s a different story though for my children’s sitter. She has a daughter who is a freshman in college.

Sending her off to college in Boston last fall was tough, but I know it was even tougher the first time her daughter called her and told her she wasn’t feeling well. It took every ounce of her being not race immediately to her school and nurse her baby back to health! It’s in a mother’s nature to take care of our kids, but at some point, we have to let go and let them take care of themselves.

So to help my sitter’s daughter survive the cold and flu season, I thought I’d send her a winter care package. What college kid doesn’t love getting a care package? It’s a fun way for them to stay connected to family and friends who care about them back at home.

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Easy Weeknight Meal in Less Than 30 Minutes – Light Chicken Pot Pie #EatLightEatRight

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Have you ever made something that was so simple but so delicious that you surprise even yourself? That’s how I feel about my light chicken pot pie recipe.

During the cold winter months I love nothing more than to eat a piping hot and hearty bowl of soup for dinner, but as a mom who works full-time outside the home, I don’t have the time or energy to make one from scratch.

Most weeknights I’m busy helping the kids with their homework, sports, and activities or attending meetings, so I’m lucky if I get 30-40 minutes to make and eat dinner! I look at it as sort of my personal version of “Chopped” – what items do I have in my pantry and fridge that I can combine in a short amount of time to make something for The Hubs and me that is not only delicious and satisfying, but also conscious of our waistlines.

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5 Things You Need To Know About…Winter Car Care

THM-5-Things-WinterCarCareThe last thing any driver, but especially a parent toting around a carful of kids, needs is to break down in the cold, harsh winter weather. Cold, wet and snowy weather conditions make your car work harder and in particular on the charging and starting systems, headlights, tires and windshield wipers. So it’s important to check your vehicle to make sure your car is in peak condition during frigid winter weather.

Don’t let the cold temperature wreak havoc on your car, here are 5 Things That You Need To Know About…Winter Car Care from the experts at the American Automobile Association, better known as the AAA:

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Easy DIY Christmas Centerpieces Using #DumDums #Holiday2015

Looking for a cute and literally sweet centerpiece for your table this Christmas?

Then check out my super easy tutorial to make this Dum Dums Holiday Lollipop Tree.

#DumDums, #Holiday2015, Christmas Centerpiece, Christmas Craft, Lollipop Tree, Lollipop Christmas tree, lollipop snowman, Dum Dums Holiday Pops, craft, kid craft, fun activities with kids

This is a fun craft that you can do together with your kids or loved ones. I think the hardest part for me in making this craft was not to eat all the Dum Dums Holiday Pops before I finished making the tree! Dum Dums Holiday Pops come in 8 limited edition flavors — Merry Cherry, Sugar Plum, Hot Chocolate, Sugar Cookie, Gingerbread, Apple Cider, Green Apple Grinch and Polar Punch.

Here’s how I made my Dum Dums Holiday Lollipop Tree:

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Minions Mango-Banana Smoothie #MinionsMovieNight

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Family movie night is a big deal in our house. After a busy week filled with school, work, and various activities, it’s a chance for us to slow down and spend some fun time together as a family.

Now that there’s a chill in the air, we build a fire, snuggle up on the couch, eat some snacks and watch a movie.

For our next family movie night, we want to watch a comedy, so it was perfect timing that on December 8th, Illumination Entertainment’s animated comedy Minions came out on Blu-ray/DVD.

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How To Make A Graham Cracker Holiday House #PeepsHoliday

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All opinions are mine alone. #PeepsHoliday

Tis the season for holiday sweets and treats! Gingerbread houses are one of those Christmas traditions that I look forward to every year. However, I’m not a fan of spending hours in the kitchen making the actual gingerbread. So this year I decided to try something new and make a graham cracker house that would save me time, effort and lots of aggravation during this busy holiday season!

Even better, I was sent a very generous assortment of PEEPS® and PEEPS & COMPANY® products that I could use to decorate my graham cracker house.

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I was surprised at how easy and quick it was to make my graham cracker house and decorate with different types of PEEPS® and PEEPS & COMPANY® items. Here’s how I did it:

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How To Put Together A Car Spa Themed Holiday Gift Basket

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At this time of year, there is no shortage of gift options out there to choose from.  The trick though is to find the right gift, for the right person.

My favorite gifting option during the holidays is to give a gift basket.  Gift baskets are one of those universal gift ideas that you can make for anybody — close family and friends, for teachers and neighbors.  They not only work for holidays, but for other occasions as well such as a birthday, teacher appreciation, a house-warming party, a baby shower, or even a new job.

The key to making the perfect gift basket is by adding a personal touch.  You should tailor your basket to the particular interests of or to a special event in the life of the person you’re giving it to so it’s not only a gift they’ll enjoy but also find useful and thoughtful.

Here’s how I made a holiday gift basket for a friend in four easy steps:

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DIY Christmas Crackers #HolidayMoments

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It’s no secret that Christmas is my favorite holiday.

The minute Thanksgiving dinner was cleared from the table last week I went straight to decorating. I love how our home looks during Christmastime – it’s filled with such warmth, coziness and special traditions that make this time of year truly magical!

One of my all-time favorite #HolidayMoments is opening Christmas Crackers with my family and friends around the table right before digging into our holiday meal.

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