A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Children’s Activities’ Category

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Celebrate National Puzzle Day with “The Tangram Zoo & Word Puzzles Too!” by Bette A. Stevens


Happy National Puzzle Day 2018! This celebration is held every year on January 29th. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those puzzles, games and even challenges in life that we embrace every day but sometimes take for granted. Puzzles also offer us a great way to spend quality time interacting with family. In fact, puzzles are an awesome way to celebrate any day! ~Bette A. Stevens

Looking for some awesome fun with the kids or grandkids? Need some quality ‘together time’ on a rainy day? Visit THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO! (On sale at YOUR AMAZON for only $6.99) … for hours of creative learning and hands-on fun. Solve 18 puzzles and riddles, make your own tangram puzzle pieces; then write your own riddles and add your own animals to THE ZOO! Solutions and project ideas included.

Although, this [The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette A. Stevens] is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!~D.L. Finn, author

REVIEW

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette A. Stevens

January 2, 2018

Very Clever! 

I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make– with clues or riddles as to what they are. Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids! ~D.L. Finn, author

Ready to give Tangrams and Word Puzzles a try?

Here’s the handout the author uses with students.
Click the link or the image below.
Download, print and you’re ready to go…

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How to extend the attention span of your children.


Happy reading with the kids every day! http://www.4writer~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.writersandreaders.com 

Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

Kids today are bombarded with video games as well as fast action cartoons and movies. Picture book publishers are requesting shorter and shorter picture books for young children. No wonder our children have problems keeping their minds focused on one thing for very long.

What can you do to help your kids have a longer attention span? My advice is not some new technical invention or app for your phone or tablet, but something easy and inexpensive that you can do in your own home.

SCBWI_Postcard_sm_sq_WP

You can extend your children’s attention span by reading to them.

What better way to show them you love them and help them at the same time. Kids love getting attention from their parents and grandparents. This one-on-one time without any distractions from phones or TV is important. Children can later illustrate the stories you read together so you have a visual reminder of the time you have…

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November Travelers (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens + Thanksgiving Games & Activities for Families!


November is a month when the last leaves of a glorious season in Maine are soon to be whisked away.  It’s also a month when families and friends gather to celebrate Thanksgiving across the USA. Whether you are planning to travel near or far, or maybe just to stay at home where it’s cozy and warm, I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

November Travelers

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

November travelers

Await an autumn outing

Wind whisks them away

 

Kick back, relax and have fun with the kids this Thanksgiving. Click on the link below to download #free games and activities from KC Edventures for the whole family to enjoy together!

https://www.kcedventures.com/blog/27-free-thanksgiving-games-activities

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Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Celebrating International Haiku Poetry Day!

As I wandered out into the garden with my trusty camera early this morning, much to my surprise, an icy blanket at the edge of the rock garden had melted and a family of opening jonquils greeted me with their smiles. Being the first blooms of the season, they simply made my day and inspired me to write “A Spring Concerto,”  a haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

A Spring Concerto
HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Jonquils awaken

Shaking their heads in wonder

A spring concerto

Personally, I love designing  posters to go with my poems and often use photos I have taken. As a former teacher (now retired) in grades four through eight, I know that kids of all ages love writing poetry and they enjoy illustrating their poems too. It’s simple and it’s so much fun to tell a story in the three short lines of Haiku. Of course, you can write as many stanzas as you wish. Today’s a perfect day for you to give it a try.

Get out your pen, get outdoors in nature, get inspired…and get the kids writing haiku too!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

plural

haiku

  1. :  an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively; also :  a poem in this form usually having a seasonal reference — compare tanka

 

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about International Haiku Poetry Day

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HOLIDAY SALE! Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens—Only 99¢—Limited Time


Looking for that perfect gift—for a special child in your life?

am-limited-time-offer-bas-2016AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens
This 5✰ award-winning children’s book (Ages 4-11) about a Monarch butterfly inspires kids to be all they can be.
ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 through December 26, 2016

Book Summary

When Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be just as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are when you follow Matilda’s adventure from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—they’re all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

  • Readers and listeners (age 4–11) simply adore Matilda. Adults are sure to fall in love with this amazing Monarch butterfly too.
  • Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring AMAZING MATILDA. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the Monarch’s life cycle as caterpillar Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true.

AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 Limited Time Offer

PLUS there’s more…

  • AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens is also available in paperback ($9.49). If you order the paperback from Amazon, the Kindle version is always free via “Matchbook”

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Find out more about the author and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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AMAZING MATILDA Finger Puppets #FREE Download


Finger puppets not only provide a great way for children to enjoy retelling a story, they offer the perfect opportunity for children and adults to talk about books. In AMAZING MATILDA, readers and …

Source: AMAZING MATILDA Finger Puppets #FREE Download

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Have Fun Writing Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Write a Halloween Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!

black-cat-halloween-haiku-bas-2016Midnight—my fabulous furry feline—inspired me to write BLACK CAT, a Halloween haiku (Haiku: a Japanese-inspired three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poetry form) and design a poster to go with the poem. Kids love illustrating their poetry.

What’s inspiring you this Halloween?
Brainstorm your list and get writing.
Have fun—don’t forget to get the kids writing too!

Here are some writer’s tricks (literary devices found in every writer’s toolbox) I used to create BLACK CAT. These tools can set a mood— they make writing and reading memorable and fun.  Check them out and see if you can discover where I used them in my poem.

Read on to find out more about these literary devices.

Black cat waits, watches…
Stalking tricksters in their web.
Spiders are her treats!

Three Writer’s Tricks (Literary devices) used in writing poetry and prose

Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words.

Consonance
Another literary device used by writers and poets is consonance. It is the repetition of the final consonant sounds, usually in the more important words or in the accented syllables.

Alliteration
You put your alliteration tool to work when words that start with the same sound are used close together in a phrase or sentence. The sound is usually a consonant and the words don’t have to always be right next to one another.

Finding “just the right words”
Abundant resources are available in print as well as through online searches. Listed below are the two resources I had readily available in the classroom for my students (Grades 4-8). Paperbacks are inexpensive enough to have multiple copies available, and in my opinion, they are indispensable.

  • The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary by Sue Young
  • Webster’s Thesaurus for Students by Merriam-Webster

                        Happy Writing and Reading Haiku

                                    & Happy Halloween!

                     ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

 

  • Find out more about how to write haiku and other poetry at Reference.Com

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