Parents' Choice Foundation http://blog.parents-choice.org Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978 Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:25:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Announcing: Parents’ Choice Fall Toy Awards! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/10/announcing-parents-choice-fall-toy-awards/ http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/10/announcing-parents-choice-fall-toy-awards/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:25:11 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8850     Fall 2017 Toy Awards! There’s much to celebrate in the Fall 2017 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards! For almost 40 years, we have honored toys and games that exemplify playful learning. We know that hands on learning through play resonates. Lessons are sticky – […]

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Parents' Choice This Week
 

 

Fall 2017 Toy Awards!

There’s much to celebrate in the Fall 2017 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards!

For almost 40 years, we have honored toys and games that exemplify playful learning. We know that hands on learning through play resonates.
Lessons are sticky – in a very good way.

From eye-rolling pandas and virtual beasts of the 4th dimension, the art of spare parts, a paper doll revival and a very creative robot are just a few of the latest Parents’ Choice Award winners.

There are marble runs for preschoolers, the fidgety and the environmentally conscious. There are bridge building kits and magic tricks, creatures to code, blocks to build and pieces to connect.

And that’s narwhal! There are elephants to pull and others on parade, games are on boards, beyond tablets, and a playhouse that’s digitally driven.

Click here for the full list of Parents’ Choice Award winners!

 



 

 

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National Pancake Day! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/09/national-pancake-day/ Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:38:09 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8843 Celebrate National Pancake Day with these three Parents’ Choice Award winning products!   Pancake Pile-Up!™ Relay Game Ages: 4 & Up Manufacturer: Educational Insights Price: $17.99 Review: The Pancake Pile-Up Relay Game is a relay game in which children use spatulas to carry pancakes, in a specific order, to […]

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Celebrate National Pancake Day with these three Parents’ Choice Award winning products!

 

Pancake Pile-Up!™ Relay Game

Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: Educational Insights
Price: $17.99

Review:

The Pancake Pile-Up Relay Game is a relay game in which children use spatulas to carry pancakes, in a specific order, to a plate and top with a pat of “pretend” (plastic) butter. The game includes 10 pancakes (sized 2.5 inches in circumference) in five different flavors; blueberry, strawberry, banana, chocolate chip and plain, two pats of butter, two plates, two spatulas, 10 order cards, a griddle game board and a user guide. The pancakes are just the right size and weight for toddlers to manage and manipulate. The cards depicting how to stack up the pancakes are clear and the pictures were identical to the pieces included.

Another benefit is that the griddle game board is attached to the bottom of the box, making one less piece to lose. This thoroughly enjoyable game helps children develop sequencing abilities, visual synthesis of physically copying what they see, and gross motor skills. The Pancake Pile-Up Relay is great fun for two players or groups of toddlers playing in teams. The game even inspired us to have pancakes for dinner.

 

 

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure

Ages: 4 – 8 yrs.
Author: Matt Luckhurst
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $17.95

Review:

It’s true. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox loved pancakes. Lots of pancakes.

Matt Luckhurst grew up on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada where his grandfather worked as a logger and then as a sawmill owner. Living near the river, the forest and the mill, and eating his Mom’s Sunday morning pancakes, Luckhurst was captivated by stories about the larger-than-life lumberjack called Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox named Babe.

When as an adult author-illustrator Luckhurst decided to explore the story for a possible book, he devoured as many stories of Paul and Babe as he could find. Combining historical documents with oral histories, Luckhurst’s interpretation followed the trajectory of the tales of Paul Bunyan that became taller and more spectacular with every telling. As the author notes “It is in the tradition of exaggeration and hyperbole that I interpreted the tales of Paul and Babe.”

And it is in the tradition of playful page turning discovery that we applaud Luckhurst’s story. His colorful fun-loving gouache on paper illustrations are propelled by his crafting and sculpting of words. A delicious tall tale for readers and pancake lovers everywhere.

 

 

Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs

Ages: 4 – 7 yrs.
Producer: Sterling Publishing
CD Price: $14.95

Review:

Ten silly, fresh, and fun tracks, each with Lisa Loeb’s signature talent and perspective, fill this book with song and style. From the opening “Opposite Day,” to the closing “Found A Peanut,” every page beckons readers to sing and join the fun. Loeb and friends Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty created the collection of songs. The book includes the lyrics for each song, which are paired with recipes, games, and activities. “I’m a Little Coconut” shares page space with a recipe for Coconut Cream Pie. “Fried Ham” comes with a formula for singing its verses in different silly voices. “Chewing Gum” offers a reminder to keep chewing gum in your mouth (unless you’re having a bubble blowing contest), and “A Co Di By Doze” offers instructions for playing the telephone game. Throughout the collection, featured musicians are top notch, and performances are perfectly matched to the lyrics. The hilarious title song, “The Disappointing Pancake”, features brilliant banjo playing by none other than Steve Martin. We hope our friend Mindy knows about this book. She’ll love it.

 

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Announcing: Parents’ Choice Audio Awards! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/09/announcing-parents-choice-audio-awards/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:39:16 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8832   Fall 2017 Audio Awards! Today we’re pleased to announce the Parents’ Choice Audio Awards.   Whether playing in a big back yard, living life on a trampoline, or traveling in a time machine guitar, our judges have proclaimed this list, “my kinda music.”   Celebrate art, walk around the block, and […]

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Parents' Choice This Week
 

Fall 2017 Audio Awards!

Today we’re pleased to announce the Parents’ Choice Audio Awards.
 
Whether playing in a big back yard, living life on a trampoline, or traveling in a time machine guitar, our judges have proclaimed this list, “my kinda music.”
 
Celebrate art, walk around the block, and sing along with mömandpöp. So go ahead, open a little box of happy, and say everyone’s welcome at my house.
 
See the full list of music and audio book winners here.

 



 

 

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18 Ways to Make Math Fun! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/09/18-ways-make-math-fun/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:43:02 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8818 6 Toys & Games Tiny Polka Dot (Ages: 3 & Up) Smart Numbers (Ages: 3 – 6) Laser Maze™ Jr. (Ages: 6 & up) Logic Dots (Ages: 7 & up) Math Dice® Chase (Ages: 8 & up) Geometry Strategy® (Ages: 12 & up)  + 10 Apps DragonBox BIG Numbers […]

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6 Toys & Games

  1. Tiny Polka Dot (Ages: 3 & Up)
  2. Smart Numbers (Ages: 3 – 6)
  3. Laser Maze™ Jr. (Ages: 6 & up)
  4. Logic Dots (Ages: 7 & up)
  5. Math Dice® Chase (Ages: 8 & up)
  6. Geometry Strategy® (Ages: 12 & up)

 + 10 Apps

  1. DragonBox BIG Numbers (Ages: 6 -9)
  2. Math Bakery 1 – Start Counting (Ages: 2-8)
  3. 123 Awesome Park (Ages: 3 & up)
  4. Jump Numbers (Ages: 6 and up)
  5. Tiggly Math (Ages: 3 & up)
  6. Todo Math (Ages: 4 to 7)
  7. Montessori Math City (Ages: 5 to 7)
  8. Curriculum Associates’ Door 24 Plus App (Ages: 5 to 13)
  9. Dragon Shapes: Geometry Challenge (Ages: 6 to 8)
  10. Attributes by Math Doodles  (Ages: 7 & up)

+ 2 Television Shows

  1. Peg + Cat (Ages: 3 to 5)
  2. Cyberchase  (Ages:6 to 11)

__________________________________

 = 18 Ways to Make Math Fun!

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Parents’ Choice This Week: The Power of Weather http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/09/parents-choice-week-power-weather/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:06:48 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8813 Weather or not… Harvey and Irma were quite the couple. These back-to-back historic hurricanes caused unprecedented damage and forever changed the lives of many. What can we learn about – and from these hurricanes? How can we help the children of the storm? How can […]

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Parents' Choice This Week

Weather or not…

Harvey and Irma were quite the couple. These back-to-back historic hurricanes caused unprecedented damage and forever changed the lives of many.

What can we learn about – and from these hurricanes? How can we help the children of the storm? How can we help our children help others?

Scroll down for:

A number of ways to help children cope with and understand a natural disaster and its aftermath.

Suggestions for how to help the victims of the disasters and a round-up of organizations that are aiding in the recovery effort.

Four Parents’ Choice Award winning books that center around the aftermath of a natural disaster through the eyes of a child, and two Parents’ Choice Award winning products that teach kids the “why’s?” and “how’s?” of weather and its effects.

And last but not least, a video from Crash Course Kids that defines the differences between weather and severe weather.

How to Help Kids Cope

Click here for FEMA‘s guidance on dealing with disaster and for info and tips on how to help kids understand and cope.

Click here for a special episode from Sesame Street that focuses on coping and helping kids deal with their emotions in the aftermath of natural disaster.

Click here for a list of resources from naeyc on Coping with Disaster.

Click here for a round-up of hurricane related not-so-fun facts and information from our friends at the Children’s Technology Review.

How to Help

The One America Appeal was launched by all five living former American Presidents in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Every cent donated goes towards helping the victims of these disasters recover. Click here for more information.

Click here for a list 100 ways (many of them kid-friendly) to help raise funds for disaster relief.

Click here for a link to a list of vetted organizations aiding in the recovery effort.

Click here and here for articles detailing how to give and how to avoid charitable scams.

Parents’ Choice Book Picks

These Parents’ Choice Award winning books tell the stories of kids dealing with and finding their way in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

 I Survived #8: The Japanese Tsunami, 2011 and Tsunami! are stories of surviving a tsunami.

Zane and the Hurricane and Ninth Ward both deal with life during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Parents’ Choice Picks

These Parents’ Choice Award winning products will inspire budding meteorologists to learn more about weather and its sometimes devastating effects.

The MarcoPolo Weather app teaches kids about different weather conditions and how changing weather variables affect humans and the environment.

The Wind Power 3.0 kit is filled with builds and experiments to teach kids the effects of wind and how to use electricity harnessed from its power.

 

What’s the difference between “weather” and “severe weather”? This short video about severe weather from Crash Course Kids explains.

Have a suggestion, or comment? E-mail Krista Hojnowski, our Newsletter Editor. 

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Announcing: Parents’ Choice Small Screen Awards! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/08/announcing-parents-choice-small-screen-awards-2/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:07:17 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8747   Parents’ Choice Small Screen Awards From the depths of the ocean to the world of 3D, there’s plenty to learn from A through to Z. At the bus stop or desktop, on phone or tv, small screens offer learning both max and mini. Click here to see the full […]

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Parents’ Choice Small Screen Awards

From the depths of the ocean to the world of 3D, there’s plenty to learn from A through to Z.

At the bus stop or desktop, on phone or tv, small screens offer learning both max and mini.

Click here to see the full list of the Fall 2017 Small Screen winners!

 



 

 

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Not An Easy Read: 22 Books about Hate and Prejudice http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/08/not-easy-read-22-books-hate-prejudice/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:00:53 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8726 If we’re not upset, we’re not paying attention. If we’re silent, it will continue. These books may not be lighthearted, but neither were the experiences they describe.   I Have a Dream Ages: All Ages Author: Martin Luther King Illustrator: Kadir Nelson Publisher: Random House Hardcover Price: $18.99 Cited […]

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If we’re not upset, we’re not paying attention. If we’re silent, it will continue. These books may not be lighthearted, but neither were the experiences they describe.

 

I Have a Dream

Ages: All Ages
Author: Martin Luther King
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Random House
Hardcover Price: $18.99

Cited as the defining moment in the American civil rights movement, King’s “I Have Dream” speech called for the freedom and equality of all people, no matter the color of their skin. This picture book features one remarkable image after another accompanying the  sections of the speech as verse.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Through My Eyes: Autobiography of Ruby Bridges

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Ruby Bridges
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Hardcover Price: $16.95

Ruby Bridges played a significant role in the history of civil rights. In 1961, as a tiny first-grader escorted by federal agents, she integrated an all-white school in New Orleans. This is Ruby’s recollections of external and internal events.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Remember the Journey to School Integration

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Toni Morrison
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books
Hardcover Price: $18.00

This book tells a photo-history of the difficult period after the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools unconstitutional.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Blood Brother

Ages: 10 – 18 yrs.
Author: Rich Wallace
Author: Sandra Neil Wallace
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press/Calkins Creek Books
Hardcover Price: $18.95

This story of one of the first white “freedom fighters” during the historic summer of 1965 chronicles the challenges and dramatic dangers Jonathan Daniels faced in those bloody-racist days in Selma, Alabama.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Freedom Over Me

Ages: 6 – 10 yrs.
Author: Ashley Bryan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover Price: $17.99

In an exquisite palette of muted colors on double-page spreads, the left page show’s each slave’s face illustrated upon a collage of authentic hand written sales documents, captioned only with the price, the name and age of each person. The free verse description of her/his life appears on the opposing page. Turn the page, and bright colors illustrate each person’s dreams in artful text and image. Author/illustrator Ashley Bryan clearly and elegantly contrasts the monetary value assigned to individuals with the priceless nature of their insights and dreams.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March

Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Cynthia Levinson
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover Price: $19.95

This book tells the story of thousands of black children that rose up and stepped into the breach and marched for civil rights.  They were trained in nonviolence. They left schools in droves and marched. They were attacked and arrested by the police. They filled up the jails, and they suffered. Ultimately, the back of segregation was broken, not by adults, but by these heroic children.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $18.95

This book tells us the story of the men and women who decided to boycott the public bus system in Montgomery.  Refusing to ride the segregated buses, they walked and shared rides for 381 days. Walking for miles and miles in the hostile atmosphere of the segregated south, the freedom walkers strode into history.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Cynthia Grady
Illustrator: Michele Wood
Publisher: Eerdmans
Hardcover Price: $17.00

In unrhymed verse, the poet Cynthia Grady explores the emotions of people who were enslaved in the American south.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Come Juneteenth

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Ann Rinaldi
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Hardcover Price: $17.00

This historical fiction book tells us the story of Luli, the 13-year-old narrator in a very personal way during the final months of the Civil War. Fearful of financial ruin and a slave uprising, Texas plantation owners, including Luli’s family, keep news of Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation from their slaves for nearly two years.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Carole B Weatherford
Illustrator: Ekua Holmes
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Fannie Lou Hamer may not be a household name, but she should be. This remarkable woman was the daughter of impoverished sharecroppers and became a major force in the struggle against racism, inequality, and disenfranchisement in the South, raising her voice (and risking her life) as she worked-and sang-for voting rights, for integration, for political representation, and for the poor.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Before There Was Mozart

Ages: 5 – 9 yrs.
Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator: James Ransome
Publisher: Random House
Hardcover Price: $18.99

This book sheds  light on a lesser-known musical talent, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. Joseph was a violinist and composer who performed for Marie Antoinette at Versailles, eventually becoming her music teacher as well. But his life began less auspiciously, in slavery.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad

Ages: 4 – 8 yrs.
Author: Henry Cole
Illustrator: Henry Cole
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

This wordless picture book illustrates the story of a young farm girl and a runaway slave. It’s a moving lesson of ethics for readers of all ages, one that is rooted in a trying period in American history.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Shane E Evans
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $17.99

This large-format, handsomely illustrated collection consists of slave narratives, black spirituals and folktales, and sensitively selected moments in U.S. slave history from colonial times to the close of the Civil War.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Ellen Levine
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $18.95

The Danish people, in one night, rose up against the Nazis. They hid and ultimately saved almost their entire Jewish population.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

More Than a Cup of Kindness

Ages: 10 & Up
Producer: Silver Birch Production
CD Price: $12.00

This CD contains the the compelling true-life account of Holocaust survivor and nurse Luba Tryszynska-Frederick, who, incredibly, while imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, saw to the survival of dozens of Dutch-Jewish children there, many of whom would be on hand to when she was honored in Amsterdam in 1995.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi

Author: Neil Bascomb
Ages: 12 & Up
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Nazi Hunters opens with the experiences of a few Jewish men, who, although their loved ones did not, managed to survive Nazi concentration camps. They later became involved in the relentless worldwide pursuit of the execrable Nazi, Adolf Eichmann.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

The Hiding Game

Ages: 7 – 12 yrs.
Author: Gwen Strauss
Illustrator: Herb Leonhard
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Art and survival make for a riveting mix in this real-life, age-appropriate World War II-Era story for older children about an unusual way station for individuals and families fleeing the Nazis in occupied France.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

This book places its 13-year-old protagonist, directly in the line of fire in this suspenseful and highly dramatic World War II fictional account of a kid spy behind the battle lines.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Somewhere There Is Still A Sun

Ages: 10 – 14 yrs.
Author: Michael Gruenbaum
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover Price: $17.99

This superbly written story of a young Holocaust survivor and his family manages to be hopeful and poignant, without shying away from dark truths.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

The Book Thief

Ages: 14 & Up
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books/Knopf
Hardcover Price: $16.95

This book shows how important small triumphs can be in the most devastating circumstances. Rich characters populate this book throughout but the most profound and important characters don’t move. They’re words.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Flowers for Sarajevo

Ages: 5 – 8 yrs.
Author: John McCutcheon
Illustrator: Kristi Caldwell
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover Price: $19.95

Drasko enjoys helping his father sell flowers in a street market of Sarajevo where Christians, Muslims, and Serbs and Croats mingle and shop. It is the story of a boy who finds the beauty amidst the chaos of war.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

I AM MALALA

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Author: Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $17.00

I Am Malala is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary person, in her own words.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

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Parents’ Choice This Week: Holy Corona! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/08/parents-choice-week-holy-corona/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:00:28 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8718     Holy Corona! It’s the Best Science Lesson in 40 Years! Next Monday, August 21st, for the first time in 40 years, the United States, from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina, is in the path of totality for a solar eclipse. Although only […]

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Holy Corona! It’s the Best Science Lesson in 40 Years!

Next Monday, August 21st, for the first time in 40 years, the United States, from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina, is in the path of totality for a solar eclipse. Although only a small swath (70 miles wide) will experience totality, the entire U.S., even Alaska and Hawaii will undergo a partial solar eclipse.
 
Read below for:
 – News and safety information from NASA

– Check an eclipse tracker to see where you lie in the eclipses path
– Access educational eclipse content from our friends at BrainPop
– Search for a children’s museum near you for eclipse events and activities
– Watch an eclipse Astronomy lesson from Crash Course

NASA News

Click here for an overview of the 2017 solar eclipse, click here for activities to do to mark the occasion, click here for tips on how to view the eclipse safely (including a link to reputable eclipse glasses manufacturers), and click here instructions to make your own NASA approved solar eclipse viewer.
Image courtesy of: NASA

Eclipse Tracker

Click here and type your zip code in the box to see how much of the eclipse you’ll see, when it will start, when it will peak, and how long it will last!
Image courtesy of: VOX

BrainPop!

Our friends at BrainPop have updated their eclipse topic just in time for the upcoming event. Go here to access the animated movie, quiz, and related activities for free!
Image courtesy of: BrainPop

Children’s Museums

Museums across the country are hosting events and activities for kids to observe and celebrate the eclipse. Search here for one near you. Also, be sure to check with your local library and observatory!

Image courtesy of: Daniel MacDonald / Www.dmacphoto.com/Getty Images

 

Watch this Crash Course Astronomy lesson on eclipses!

Have a suggestion, or comment? E-mail Krista Hojnowski, our Newsletter Editor. 

Make sure you don’t miss a newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
And be sure to Like parents-choice.org on Facebook us on Facebook!




 

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Parents’ Choice Summer School: Social-Emotional Learning http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/08/parents-choice-summer-school-social-emotional-learning/ Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:25:00 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8689   Social-Emotional Learning Mastering social-emotional skills is far more than selecting the right emojis. Our friends at Zero to Three describe social-emotional skills as “Making friends. Showing anger in a healthy way. Figuring out conflicts peacefully. Taking care of someone who has been hurt. Waiting […]

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Social-Emotional Learning

Mastering social-emotional skills is far more than selecting the right emojis.

Our friends at Zero to Three describe social-emotional skills as “Making friends. Showing anger in a healthy way. Figuring out conflicts peacefully. Taking care of someone who has been hurt. Waiting patiently. Following rules. Enjoying the company of others.”

Social-emotional learning doesn’t happen all at once. Young children master these skills in small steps over time. Preschool TV shows like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street offer age-appropriate and often charming lessons. As children get older, social emotional learning continues, and the skills become important in different ways.

Look below for articles from publications such as, Fast Company, The Atlantic, and The New York Times that offer history, perspective, and value of mastering social-emotional skills.

In the News

Click here to read about the Psychological Approach to Educating Kids.

Click here to read To Help Students Learn, Engage the Emotions.

Click here to read about how Boston Public Schools received a grant to teach kids social and emotional skills.

Click here to read Can Gratitude Make Our Society More Trusting?

Click here to watch how Thousands of ‘Buddy Benches’ Help Thousands of Lonely Kids Find Friends.

Click here for How Sesame Street Taught Kids About Emotions Long Before Schools Caught On.

Random Acts of Kindness

With these two Renegade Made kits, the message is even better than the medium. The Random Acts of Flowers craft kit teaches children, and adults, the importance of random acts of kindness, as well as the idea that it is the impact of the kindness, not the recognition for doing so, is what matters. Using the enclosed supplies, kids craft tissue paper flowers to anonymously give away and share a kindness.

The Sidewalk Chalk Tagging Kit pledges users to kindness and altruism, using the sidewalk tagging kit to spread messages of kindness and goodwill.

Museums

If you’re in the Northeast, be sure to visit the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. Their exhibit  “Express Yourself” uses art, music, cooperative games and more to help children and families practice expressing themselves and exploring their own emotions.

Director of Exhibit Design and Delivery, Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill says – “We want to give parents, caregivers and educators information, tips and tools that help encourage positive behavior as well as convey the importance of social-emotional learning in a fun, engaging and relevant way.”

Tools for Parents

The Parent Toolkit website, produced by NBC News Education Nation and supported by Pearson, is a great resource for almost all aspects of child development. Their Social & Emotional Development section covers topics such as, Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Awareness and Relationships.

 

From her Parents’ Choice Award winning album Feel What You Feel, musician Lisa Loeb is debuting the music video for It’s All Right to Cry”, featuring Craig Robinson. Watch here!

Have a suggestion, or comment? E-mail Krista Hojnowski, our Newsletter Editor. 

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The post Parents’ Choice Summer School: Social-Emotional Learning appeared first on Parents' Choice Foundation.

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Lisa Loeb Debuts “It’s All Right to Cry”, featuring Craig Robinson! http://blog.parents-choice.org/2017/08/lisa-loeb-debuts-right-cry-featuring-craig-robinson/ Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:43:24 +0000 http://blog.parents-choice.org/?p=8673   We are delighted to debut the video for singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb’s “It’s All Right to Cry” (featuring Craig Robinson)!     Parents’ Choice: Do you remember hearing the original song as a child? If so, what did it mean to you? Lisa: “I remember listening […]

The post Lisa Loeb Debuts “It’s All Right to Cry”, featuring Craig Robinson! appeared first on Parents' Choice Foundation.

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We are delighted to debut the video for singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb’s It’s All Right to Cry” (featuring Craig Robinson)!

 

 

Parents’ Choice: Do you remember hearing the original song as a child? If so, what did it mean to you?

Lisa: “I remember listening to Marlo Thomas’s  “Free to Be You and Me” album with my friend Margaret in the mid-1970s on our turntable and really being engaged by the piano ballad sung by Rosie Grier. It did mean a lot at the time hearing someone singing about how it’s okay for someone to cry, and I think in this case, it was really about a little boy crying. It was one of the seeds that grew in me —  a message about how everyone’s feelings are important and how you need to let them out.  “Free To Be You and Me” inspired so many of my songs and my motivation to spread positive messages in my songs. Even now, when I hear those opening chords and Rosie Grier’s warm voice come in, it feels so warm and inviting and safe.”

 

Parents’ Choice: What made you think to record this song now?

Lisa: “I was in the middle of writing and recording  Feel What U Feel with so many wonderful collaborators. Rich Jacques, Kyler England and I starting writing the disco funk jam, “Feel What U Feel,” which became the title track for the album. I’d wanted to record a song with Craig Robinson for a long time and this funny, silly, but warm and engaging disco funk jam seemed like a duet waiting to happen. Then, as I listened to the track, I realized it almost sounded like it needed a partner, and it popped into my head that not only am I inspired by “Free To Be You and Me,” but we should re-record the song “it’s All Right to Cry” as a duet with Craig.  He has a similar warm, expressive tone and the ability to tell a story through his voice, like Rosie Grier. I realized this song was the perfect companion piece to the upbeat “Feel What U Feel.”

People still need that reminder to express themselves, feel their feelings, and try to embrace and share them in a healthy way.”

 

Craig Robinson says, “Working with Lisa is as fun, fulfilling and friendly as one would imagine. We vowed to do a song together when we first met, so not only is she an amazing singer, she is a woman of her word. Thank you Lisa for allowing me to share in the spread of this beautiful message.”

 

 

 

For more from Lisa, go to: www.lisaloeb.com

She can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @LisaLoeb.

Her new album, Feel What U Feel, is available at Amazon Music at www.amazon.com/FeelWhatUFeel.

The post Lisa Loeb Debuts “It’s All Right to Cry”, featuring Craig Robinson! appeared first on Parents' Choice Foundation.

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