March 12 – It’s Spiritual Wellness Month


About the Holiday

The definition of spiritual wellness is unique to each person. When you think deep down about what gives your life purpose, meaning, and happiness, what do you find? This month encourages people to discover if their beliefs, activities, work, family relationships and friendships are all in harmony. It’s also important to take care of you, by taking time to reflect each day and to plan fun and relaxing activities. Springtime and Easter are opportunities for renewal, making March a great time to consider your spiritual wellness.

Zonderkidz sent me a copy of today’s book to check out. All opinions are my own. 

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story

Written by Jan and Mike Berenstain


On the way to Sunday school one spring morning, the warm sun was shining, daffodils were blooming, and birds were feeding their babies, but all Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear could think about was Easter candy. As they entered their classroom, Brother said his favorite Easter candy was chocolate bunnies, Sister said hers was marshmallow chicks, and Honey Bear cried “‘Jelly beans!’” Then Missus Ursula revealed that her favorite was black jelly beans, but also that Easter is about more than candy.

Brother and Sister said they knew that. Easter was about “‘stuff in the Bible,’” Brother told Missus Ursula. “‘Yeah,’ agreed Sister. ‘Bible stuff.’” And Honey Bear added, “‘Stuff!’” Missus Ursula thought the cubs’ understanding could use a little more rounding out, so she took them into the next classroom, where the older bear cubs were putting on a play.


Copyright Jan and Mike Berenstain, 2012, courtesy of Zondervan.

The stage was set with props of palm trees, rocks, and buildings from the Holy Land, and cubs were dressed in costumes. One of the performers began telling the Easter story. “‘Long ago, in the Holy Land, there was a man named Jesus. He traveled the countryside teaching about God and what God wanted for his people.’” The narrator went on to tell about Jesus’s miracles and how “‘he could do these wonderful things because he was the Son of God.’”

Because many people listened to Jesus and followed him, government officials and others were angry. They didn’t believe he was the Son of God and were afraid that Jesus wanted to become the king. One day Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey and crowds greeted him with shouts of “‘Hosanna!’” The leaders of Jerusalem believed Jesus was becoming too powerful.

One night while Jesus was praying in a garden, “‘soldiers were sent to arrest him. They took him away to prison.’” Later, he was questioned by a “‘wicked judge…who wanted to show everyone that Jesus was not a king.’” Then “‘he ordered for Jesus to be put to death by hanging on a wooden cross.’” On the day Jesus died, the skies became black and the wind howled. Everyone was afraid.

After Jesus died, he was taken by his friends and put in a tomb. A huge stone was rolled in front of the entrance. For two days Jesus lay in the tomb. “‘On the morning of the third day after Jesus died, some women who knew Jesus came to weep at his tomb.’” When they got there, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. Jesus was no longer in the tomb. “‘An angel told the women not to be afraid. He told them that Jesus was alive once more.’”


Copyright Jan and Mike Berenstain, 2012, courtesy of Zondervan.

In the days and weeks after Jesus rose, he visited his friends. “‘They were amazed and fell down and worshiped him. Jesus told them they should spread the good news about what had happened.’” After visiting with his friends, “‘Jesus rose up to heaven to be with God, his Father.’” Following the play, the cubs understood that Easter is about more than candy. But “‘does this mean we shouldn’t eat any Easter candy?’” Brother asked.

“‘Certainly not!’ laughed Missus Ursula’” and confessed that she’d miss her jelly beans too. But she reminded the cubs that after they got their Easter baskets, they go to church to celebrate the real meaning of Easter. “‘Hooray!’ the cubs said. ‘And Hosanna!’ added Missus Ursula. ‘He is risen!’”

A page of colorful stickers depicting images from the story are included, and discussion questions and fun activities related to the book follow the text and may inspire kids to put on a play of their own.

Since the early 1960s, the Berenstain Bears have been delighting readers with their shenanigans, wit, and always-close family relationships. In The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, part of the Living Lights series, these beloved characters talk about and reveal to children the deeper meaning of Easter, with a focus on Jesus’s resurrection. The straightforward telling of the Easter story through a Sunday school play is welcome for parents, caregivers, and other adults who are looking for a book to share and a way to talk about both the religious and the fun aspects of this holiday with children. The dialogue-rich structure also lends a personal touch to any reading, letting the adult sound as if they are telling the story themselves.

The illustrations of Bear Country are bathed in the warm glow of spring as the sun rises over the Bear’s tidy treehouse home. Brother’s, Sister’s, and Honey Bear’s dreams of candy will enchant little ones as will the familiar scene of walking into church on Easter morning. Depictions of the play are vibrant and detailed but with a homey and childlike feeling to the props and acting.

For adults looking for a traditional, Bible-centered telling of the Easter story with engaging  characters that children will respond to, The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story is a superb choice for home and church libraries.

Ages 4 – 7

Zonderkidz, 2012 | ISBN 978-0310720874

To learn more about Bear Country and all of The Berenstain Bears books as well as to find fun activities visit the Berenstain Bears’ website.

You can follow the Berenstain Bears on:

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Spiritual Wellness Month Activity


Sweet Bunny Candy Jar


A little bit of candy makes Easter or any spring day sweeter! With this Sweet Bunny Candy Jar, you can give a child, a friend, or even yourself a special treat that will make you hoppy!


  • Printable Hat Rim and Bunny Ears Template
  • Baby food jar (I used a Beech-Nut Naturals jar)
  • White fleece, 8 ½ inches by 11 inches
  • 1 piece of purple foam (Or any color you’d like to make the hat)
  • Small piece of pink foam or felt for nose
  • Googly eyes (I used oval)
  • Medium pom-pom
  • Multi-surface paint, purple (or whatever color you’d like to make the hat)
  • Fabric glue (I used Fabric-Tac)
  • Black ultra-fine or fine tip permanent marker
  • Large nail or ice pick
  • Hammer
  • Scissors



  1. Remove label from baby food jar
  2. Clean and dry jar and lid
  3. Trace the hat rim template onto the purple foam
  4. Cut out the rim of the hat and remove the center
  5. Trace the ears template onto the white fleece and cut out

To Make the Body and Face

  1. Cut a 2-inch wide by 7-inch long strip of white fleece
  2. Glue the strip of fleece to the jar under the lip and leaving about ½ inch of glass showing at the bottom
  3. Glue on the googly eyes
  4. Cut a little nose from the pink foam and glue to the face
  5. Make the mouth with the permanent marker on a little piece of fleece, cut out and glue under the nose

To Make the Hat

  1. Paint the lid with the purple paint. Let dry.
  2. With the nail or ice pick and hammer, make a hole on either side of the lid to insert the ears. You can make the hole a little bigger with a phillips head screwdriver
  3. Flip the lid over and hammer the edges of the hole flat
  4. Trace the hat rim template onto the purple foam

To Insert the Ears

  1. Pinch the end of one ear together and push it through one hole in the lid.
  2. Pull it through the hole a bit to form the ear
  3. Repeat with the other ear

Finish the Bunny

  1. Add the foam rim to the lid
  2. Glue the pom-pom to the back of the jar for the tail
  3. Add M&Ms, jelly beans, or other small candy

Picture Book Review


July 11 – World Population Day


About the Holiday

In 1989 the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program established this date as a time to focus on urgent population and humanitarian issues. Each year revolves around a different theme. This year the theme is “Investing in teenage girls.” Education, health, and safety issues for girls around the world is an emerging issue that demands serious attention.

P is for Passport: A World Alphabet

Written by Devin Scillian | Illustrated by nationally acclaimed artists


One of the best ways to learn about the world’s diverse population is to travel—either in person or through a great book. P is for Passport is your own personal guide to the myriad people, landmarks, animals, natural resources, modes of transportation, and other things that make up our world. Each letter of the alphabet introduces readers to a concept that begins with that letter (A for animals, B for breads, etc.). A short definition of the place, event, object, or idea is given on one page, and the facing page contains a poem that cleverly and lyrically describes it with examples from around the globe.


Image copyright K.L. Darnell, courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press

After getting the right Currency with the letter C and filling K’s Knapsack, armchair travelers will traverse the world’s varied terrain. E takes them to the “epic elevation” of “mighty Mount Everest”; for the letter I they will sail to the Emerald Isle of Ireland, the Isles of Greece, and the Isle of Skye as well as to chilly Greenland, warm Tahiti, and green Iceland; J will find them in the densest jungles; of course, “O is for Oceans that “roll and roar and sway”; and D is for deserts:

“We’re in Dakar and it’s dreadfully dry, whipped by the sand in the breeze. / Or it’s a day in Death Valley, dangerously hot at 120 degrees. / A dazzling sun dries out the Gobi, a harsh and punishing land. / The largest on earth is called the Sahara, nine million miles of sand….”


Image copyright Gary Palmer, courtesy of Sleeping Bear Press

By now readers will be hungry, so B provides buttery buns, bagels, baguettes, biscuits, and more. Feel like something else? Then flip to G for Grain found in pasta, porridge, dumplings, ramen, couscous, wheat, and rice. While travelers eat they can peruse the languages at L:

“Polish is spoken in Poland. In Japan, it’s Japanese. / In Brazil they don’t speak Brazilian, but rather Portuguese. / L is the list of Languages, so many ways to speak. / Like English and Spanish, Italian and Hebrew, Arabic and Greek. / So pack a handy phrase book and learn a few things to say. / A friendly ‘Bonjour!’ or ‘Buenos dias!’ can go a very long way.”

Q is your Quest “…both large and small, from climbing Kilimanjaro to seeing Niagara Falls.” You’ll cross countries by R—Railway and “…rise right through the Rockies , or across the French Riviera, / or rumble across the Australian outback making your way to Canberra.” Along the way you’ll be entertained by M—Music from mandolins, marimbas, maracas, and many different musicians—and S for Sports, such as soccer, surfing, sailing, skiing, and so many more.

Lastly, T stands for Travel as “you see, each trip a traveler takes is a moment that you spend / getting to know a whole new world. And that world becomes your friend.” And from your travels you’ll remember P, the People:

“They laugh, they eat, they sing, and they dance. They work, they sleep, they play. / They smile when they’re happy, cry when they’re sad, and teach their children to pray. / We wear different clothes over different skin, but it’s always seemed to me / that with all of the things we have in common, how different can we really be?”


Image copyright Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

As today’s date also hosts the holiday International Town Criers Day, honoring those early “news reporters,” it’s appropriate that Devin Scillian is our featured author. Besides authoring this and other books, he is a television journalist. His childhood spent living in cities across the globe and his work make him a perfect traveling companion for P is for Passport and its introduction to the marvels of the world around us. Delivering the sights, sounds, aromas, play, and people of foreign lands through fascinating rhymes and facts is a wonderful way to get kids excited about travel and geography.

Twenty-four artists from around the United States and Canada lend their unique talents to depicting each letter. Beautiful two-page spreads burst with color and bold, up-close views of representatives for each letter-inspired text. Brilliant red and blue parrots share space with violet orchids, blue poison dart frogs, a coiled green snake, and a stealthily creeping jaguar in Karen Latham and Rebecca Latham’s painting for the letter J. Susan Guy’s soft watercolor of a frozen landscape cut only by a sleek train and its glowing headlamp transports readers to cold northern regions for the letter N. Volcanoes steam and spout while hot, golden lava burns a path through forestland in Ross Young’s vivid painting for the letter V.

Each illustration is equally compelling. Children and adults will want to linger over each page and will find P is for Passport just the beginning of their world exploration. The book would be a welcome home library addition for geography enthusiasts of all ages.

Ages 7 – 12

Sleeping Bear Press

Hardcover, 2003 ISBN 9781585361571 | ebook, 2013 ISBN 9781627533577

World Population Day Activity


All Aboard for Travel! Word Search


The best way to meet your fellow citizens of the world is to travel! Today’s word search is shaped like a train—one of the best ways to see the countryside. So hop on board and start exploring! Get your printable All Aboard for Travel! puzzle.

July 3 – Compliment Your Mirror Day


About the Holiday

Take a peek in the mirror and who do you see? That’s right—a fantastic person with inner and outer beauty! Today is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating that person in the mirror!

Why’d They Wear That? Fashion as the Mirror of History

By Sarah Albee


Whether you’re a fashionista or an “any ol’ thing will do” kind of person, there’s no denying that clothes make a statement. Sarah Albee’s fascinating look at human wraps spans history from 10,000 BC to the modern era. Along the way she exposes both historical facts as well as the often repugnant, laughable, and can’t-look-away fashion fads and disasters that have brought us to “wear” we are today. 

In Chapter 1: That’s a Wrap, Albee reveals facts about the first needles and thread, silk production, the Mayan tradition of forced elongation of skulls (this was considered attractive, denoted social status, and was intimidating), the first pants, warrior wear, and much more.

Chapter 2: Keeping the Faith exposes the influence religion had on clothing in the Middle Ages. White or russet colored robes were worn by men traveling on pilgrimages while penitents could wear a hair shirt made of itchy, bristly horsehair as punishment. Medieval armor, Samurai dress, why modern men’s loafers are decorated with little holes, and more are also discussed here as is the job of Wool Fuller – in which the Fuller soaked wool in urine to degrease it and improve its texture.


Image courtesy of National Geographic

Chapter 3: Going Global covers the Age of Exploration, which changed fashion as explorers from Europe came in contact with Native peoples in the New World. Red dye, rubber shoes, and the leather Moccasins were all adopted by Europeans. And if you think the search for remedies for wrinkles and other vestiges of older age is a modern pursuit, you’ll learn about Ponce de Leon and his quest for the fountain of youth.

Chapter 4: Ruff & Ready takes a look at the Renaissance. You may have seen fur stoles with the head of the animal still attached and wondered, Why? This fashion statement goes back to “Flea Furs” which were dead, stuffed animals that people draped over their shoulders in the belief that the fleas that were munching on their skin would transfer to the animal instead. Unfortunately, people discovered that fleas prefer warm bodies. Another curious fad was the ruff collar. While people may have thought they looked swell, these collars hindered physical movement and even led to the invention of the long-handled spoon because people could not get food to their mouths any other way. One “benefit” perhaps: when the first American settlers ran out of all other food options, they ate their collars, which were stiffened with wheat paste. And there’s so much more!

In Chapter 5: Lighten Up! readers will discover facts about the dour dress of the Puritans and the ostentatious dress of the French court. The tradition of men’s wigs is explained, and today’s face-painting has nothing on the unusual solution for facial blemishes—black velvet, leather, or silk patches in various shapes.


Image courtesy of National Geographic

Revolutionary Times take center stage in Chapter 6: Hats (and Heads) Off. During this time clothes began to fit the task. There were clothing items to protect (walking canes became popular as a way to ward off marauding wild dogs), uniforms to highlight the good looks of running footmen, elaborate costumes for Venetian parties, and homespun clothes that became a sign of protest from the American colonists. And if you think “bumpits” and hair extensions are new, women trying to keep up with Marie-Antoinette wore their hair (real and artificial) “cemented upward over wire armatures into two-foot (0.6-m)-high coiffures that made the wearer stand 7 ½ feet tall!”

Chapters 7 through 9 bring readers into the modern age, taking them from a time when children were dressed as young adults and boys wore elaborate gowns until the age of 7 to the textile innovations of the Industrial Revolution and the popularity of bustles that put fanny packs to shame to the fads of the 1960s and today.


Image courtesy of National Geographic

Albee’s Why’d They Wear That? is much more than a book about fashion. It’s a humorous, fabulously entertaining way to learn about so many aspects of history, from social revolution to inventions to cultural differences. Enlightening side bars, especially the fascinating “Tough Job” entries, and full-color illustrations, paintings, and photographs depicting every concept make Why’d They Wear That? an essential book for school libraries as well as for home bookshelves. Readers of all ages will want to dip into it again and again…and will “Oh!” “Ah!” and “Ewww!” over every page.

Ages 7 and up (children on the younger end of the range will enjoy the facts and pictures during a read-along session) 

National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015 | ISBN 978-1426319198

Learn more about Sarah Albee and her books on her website!

Watch the trailer for Why’d They Wear That? Fashion never looked so…good? unsettling? hilarious? You decide!

Compliment Your Mirror Day Activity


Mirror, Mirror, What Shall I Wear?


In this magic mirror word search are 20 fashion-related terms from history. Find them all! Here’s the printable Mirror, Mirror, What Shall I Wear puzzle and the Solution.

April 19 – It’s Mathematics Awareness Month

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős by Deborah Heiligman and LeUyen Pham picture book review

About the Holiday

If you think numbers are numero uno then Math Awareness Month is for you! During April mathematicians, engineers, and all techie types are honored for their contributions to the advancements in science, medicine, computer technology, environmental concerns, and other areas. It’s also a great time to explore and experiment and discover all the benefits of being a numbers-oriented person. This year’s theme is “The Future of Prediction.” Activities will explore how math and statistics are the future of prediction, providing insight and driving innovation. 

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős

Written by Deborah Heiligman | Illustrated by LeUyen Pham


In Budapest, Hungary a boy is born who loves math. His name is Paul Erdős and he lives with his mother, who loves him “to infinity” just as Paul loves her. When she goes back to work as a math teacher, she leaves Paul with Fräulein, his nanny. Fräulein loves rules and tries to get Paul to sit still, eat all his lunch, take a nap—to obey. But Paul hates rules.

At three years of age he teaches himself to count the days until his mother will be home with him 100 percent of the time. Knowing the number makes Paul feel better as his head is constantly full of numbers and what they can do. One day when he is four years old, he meets a woman and asks her two questions—what year she was born and at what time. When the woman tells him, it only takes him a moment to reveal how many seconds she has been alive.

He continues to play with numbers, learning more and more about the various types. He decides he will be a mathematician when he grows up. When Paul is old enough to go to school, he once again encounters rules he can’t abide. His mother decides he will be schooled at home, and even though this means more time with Fräulein, Paul considers it the better option.

There’s just one thing – while Paul thinks about numbers, Fräulein and his mother do everything for him. At meals they cut his meat and butter his bread; they dress him, and tie his shoes. When he becomes a teenager, he goes to high school and meets other kids who love math. He and his friends spend all their time doing math and by the time Paul is 20 he is famous around the world for his math equations.

There’s just one problem – even as an adult, Paul is so focused on numbers and math that he still doesn’t know how to do basic things for himself. When he is 21 he’s invited to go to England to work. At his first dinner there he stares at his bread and he stares at his meat. What is he supposed to do? With a little experimentation, he figures it out, but he also figures out that he sees the world in a different way.

He doesn’t want a normal life with a family and a house and a regular job. He designs for himself a very unusual lifestyle. Everything he owns fits into two suitcases, and with a little money in his pocket he flies from city to city to do math. He knows so many mathematicians that wherever he goes they invite Paul to stay with them. These families take care of Paul just as his mother and Fräulein had! They do his laundry, cook his meals, and pay his bills.

But even so, everyone loves “Uncle Paul!” He brings people together and shares his knowledge. His work in mathematics has given the world better computers, better search engines, and better codes for our spies to use. He was so admired that even now people represent their relationship with Paul by giving it a number – the “Erdős number.” Paul was a unique person who counted numbers and people as his best friends and experienced the world in a way that added up to a very special life.

Reading Deborah Heiligman’s The Boy Who Loved Math is a liberating experience. Her biography reveals not just what Paul Erdős did, but the quirky genius he was. It also honors all the people around the world who embraced his personality, allowing Erdős to focus on the work he was born to do. Heiligman’s engaging patter, full of interesting anecdotes, humor, and personality, is storytelling at its best and provides an absorbing look at a very unique life.

LeUyen Pham’s illustrations perfectly complement the text, exposing Erdős’s chafing under rules, his delight in math, and his development from youth to old age. Each fascinating page cleverly represents the way Erdős saw the world as numbers, equations, and geometric shapes appear on buildings, domes, and even in the very air! The text too is infused with numerals and mathematical symbols (“Paul loved Mama to ∞, too!), making this a prime book for any math lover!

Ages 5 – 9

Roaring Brook Press, 2013 | ISBN 978-1596433076

Mathematics Awareness Month Activity

CPB - Math Mystery Phrase


Totally Cool Mystery Phrase! Puzzle


What plus what equals an equation that can’t be beat? You and numbers, of course! Complete this Printable Totally Cool Mystery Phrase! puzzle to discover a coded sentence! Here’s the Solution!

March 21 – World Poetry Day

Nasty Bugs by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Will Terry Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

World Poetry Day, an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, recognizes the important role poetry plays in people’s lives across the world and over time. The day promotes small publishers of poetry as well as oral poetry traditions and works to strengthen the connection between poetry and other forms of expression. Another objective is to “support linguistic diversity thorough poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.”

Celebrations on this day include poetry readings, school lessons focused on poetry and poets, poetry writing sessions, and poetry readings by professional and amateur poets in schools and other venues.

Nasty Bugs

Poems Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins | Illustrated by Will Terry


Who in the world can resist bugs? They’re in every country, every city, every town, even every house! And they have so much going for them—lots of legs, pincher mouths, transparent wings, amazing survival skills, and so much general creepy-crawliness! Bugs may be a little (or a lot) icky, but you can’t deny that they’re fascinating.

Nasty Bugs brings together 16 poets to turn the traits of all kinds of insects, from stink bugs to chiggers to water bugs and more, into creative odes that tickle the funny bone as well as teach. Readers learn from Cynthia S. Cotton’s “Stink Bug” that “Some spread their wings in flight, / Some look scary, / some taste bad, / some use camouflage / to blend in just right.”

Rebecca Kai Dotlich exposes the boll weevil: “I am an evil weevil, / a cotton-craving beetle / whose reputation’s rotton / ‘cause I gobble crops of cotton, / yes I do.” And the Colorado Potato Beetle? Among other quirks, X. J. Kennedy reveals its name is a bit of a misnomer: “His other name’s Potato Bug. / This munching desperado / infests our gardens coast to coast. / Not just in Colorado.”

April Halprin Wayland gives voice to the fire ants’ tribal cry “All for one and one for all!” as they jump into action when “Flood waters rise! / Quick, form a ball—/ our larvae, pupae, eggs, and Mother Queen inside! / We roll this writhing globe, / take turns on top / so all breathe air, so all survive.”

“Spoiled Rotton” by J. Patrick Lewis may make grammarians squirm with this pointed description: “I’m a comma / in a drama / of disgusting devastation.” while readers will be itchin’ to know more in Rebecca Andrew Loescher’s “Ode to Chigger” with lines such as “You hatch with six small legs for running, / then grow two more—for leaps most stunning,” Poems about flies (Ann Whitford Paul), wasps (Michele Krueger), fleas (Marilyn Singer), lice (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater), ticks (Kami Kinard), termites (Alice Schertle), cockroaches (Fran Haraway), and bedbugs (Kristine O’Connell George) also contribute to the buzzzzz of this anthology.

But if bugs, well…bug you, you may find these lines in Lee Bennett Hopkins’ “Ode to a Dead Mosquito” most satisfying: “You of little brain / didn’t you know / I felt your sting / the instant you / began to drain? / So— / I whacked you. / SMACK! / You dropped.”

Will Terry lends his distinctive talent to making this book as colorful, bold, and eye-popping as nature itself. Each insect, depicted in its favorite milieu, nearly flies, creeps, or chomps it’s way off the page. Brilliant greens, reds, yellow, oranges, and blues give life to these most prolific pests, and their prominent features – whether pinchers, stingers, gnawing mandibles, or even stinky odor – are inspiringly drawn.

More facts about each bug are given in the back of the book, and are a must read. Whether insects make you squirm with discomfort or squeal with delight, Nasty Bugs is fun.

Ages 5 – 9

Paperback: Puffin, Penguin Group, 2016 | ISBN 978-0147519146

Hardcover: Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Group, 2012 | ISBN 978-0803737167

World Poetry Day Activity

CPB - Nasty Bugs magnet II (2)

Rockin’ Bug Magnet or Paperweight


On World Poetry Day it’s fun to write a poem of your own. Whether your creation is long or short, you can proudly display it using one of these Rockin’ Bug Magnets.


Rocks, small and flat work best for magnets. Larger rocks are great for paperweights. You can find rocks in your yard, at the beach or park, or buy them from craft stores or nurseries.

  • Paint in your favorite colors
  • Paint brush
  • Small to medium round magnets, available at craft and hardware stores
  • Googly eyes
  • Strong glue

CPB - Nasty Bugs magnet (2)


  1. Wash rocks and let them dry
  2. Create your own creepy, crawly bug on the front of the rock
  3. Paint your bug
  4. Let the paint dry
  5. If you want to give your insect buggy eyes, glue googly eyes to the rock.
  6. Glue a magnet to the back of the rock
  7. Hang it on the refrigerator or any metal surface


If you love books, you must have caught the reading bug! Check out another great book and craft on March 2—Read Across America Day and make an “I’ve Got the Reading Bug” Bookplate for your favorite books!

CPB - Reading Bug Book Plate (2)


March 14 – National Pi Day

Bedtime Math The Truth Comes Out Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

What would we do without pie, huh? The flaky crust, the delicious filling….What? Oh, how embarrassing! It’s Pi Day! Well, what would we do without pi, huh? All those circles would go unmeasured, the world just wouldn’t fit together quite right…

Pi Day recognizes the usefulness of the mathematical constant Pi, the first three numbers of which are 3.14. In 1988 Larry Shaw noticed the correlation to March 14 and organized the first Pi Day celebration at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. In 2009 The U.S. House of Representatives officially named March 14 as National Pi Day. The day is celebrated by schools and other organizations with math projects, pie-eating contests, and other fun events.

Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out

Written by Laura Overdeck | Illustrated by Jim Paillot


Bedtime has never been so numerical! Oh sure, kids might count the stars out their window or sheep leaping a fence, but how about flavors of astronaut ice cream or towns named for food? Wouldn’t it be fun to figure out how far a marshmallow shot from a rubber band will go? Or how to stop a charging rhino? Or whether a snake can lose its tongue? You bet it would! And that’s the genius behind the Bedtime Math series, which also includesBedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay up Late and Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal.

Bedtime Math goes way beyond simply presenting math problems for kids to solve. Each problem begins with fascinating facts or trivia about topics kids care about, such as space, animals, food, themselves, and the world they live in. Adults will find as much to like about these revealing tidbits as kids.

Reluctant math students will respond to this series, as the presentation is light-hearted, humorous, and educational in the best way. They may not even realize they’re doing higher math as they try to solve these brain ticklers.

Each mind boggler comes with three difficulty levels—Wee Ones, Little Kids, and Big Kids—plus a bonus question that’s more advanced so that everyone can join in the fun. An extensive introduction gives tips and suggestions for using the book and answers any questions readers may have about the approach.

Of course, these cool calculations don’t have to wait for bedtime. They’re a smart way to fill those “I’m bored” moments or to just spend time together no matter when it is. Bedtime Math has expanded to include its own website and a nation-wide afterschool math club, Crazy 8s.

Author Laura Overdeck began using this technique to math learning with her own children and with a BA in astrophysics is well-qualified to take your child’s math skills to the stars and beyond!

Jim Paillot enhances each page with colorful exaggerated and humorous takes on the math teaser at hand, which increase kids’ interest in and even understanding of the concepts being “taught.”

Ages 3 – 8

Feiwell & Friends Publishers, 2015 | ISBN 978-1250047755

National Pi Day Activity

CPB - Pi Day Pie Match


Pi Day Pie Match


All this talk about math has made me hungry! You too? Well, just put these pies together and then you can enjoy a snack! Print the Pi Day Pie Match game here.

March 13 – National Earmuff Day

Earmuffs for Everyone! by Meghan McCarthy Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

On March 13, 1877 Chester Greenwood—a 19-year-old inventor—received a patent for “improvements in ear-mufflers” and forever sealed his place in history—as well as making winter more comfortable for millions of freezing ears! Today we honor Chester and his invention that brought attention to Farmington, Maine and jobs for many people in the area. So if you live in an area where the cold winds are still blowing, wear your earmuffs in pride!

Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs

By Meghan McCarthy


In the mid-1800s inventors were trying to solve the problem of winter’s chill effects on tender ears. William Ware designed an “ear, cheek, and chin muff” that one wore somewhat like a false beard. Ear protecting hats, ear “slippers,” high collars, and other designs followed. But it wasn’t until Chester Greenwood and his sensitive protruding ears came along that earmuffs became practical. While the exact steps Chester took in creating his earmuffs aren’t known, he eventually perfected his invention and received a government patent on March 13, 1877—when he was only 19 years old!

Chester was no one-invention wonder, though. Always on the lookout for clever ways to make money, he went on to improve other products. He applied his foresight to the tea kettle, rounding the edges of the bottom to reduce wear; constructed an interchangeable-tooth rake; and built a collapsible, if cumbersome, tent.

His inventions brought him a comfortable life—a beautiful house for his family in Maine, the first steam car in his town, and a bicycle shop on the bottom floor of his workshop—that he shared with others. His wife, also a progressive thinker, worked for women’s suffrage, and inspired her husband to hire women in his workshops.

After Chester passed away, some people, most notably Mickey Maguire, thought he deserved more acclaim—even a day dedicated as Chester Greenwood Day. Maguire was so excited about this that he became a kind of inventor himself—an inventor of tall tales. Over time he told some whoppers and they were printed, making it hard to separate fact from myth. But even without the made-up stories, it’s easy to say that Chester Greenwood had a very remarkable life

Earmuffs for Everyone goes beyond the story of Chester Greenwood to include other inventors, a discussion of the patent system (using products well-known to today’s kids), and how an inventor’s legacy grows. Meghan McCarthy writes with verve and humor, making the story of Greenwood’s invention as well as others’ creations inviting, accessible, and fun. Her illustrations of the first attempts at earmuffs and other1800s products are sure to delight kids and make them curious about the time period.

In her author’s note at the back of the book, McCarthy expands on the story of Chester Greenwood and the process of applying for and earning a patent.

Ages 4 – 8

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2015 | ISBN 978-1481406376 

National Earmuff Day Activity

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Here’s to Warm Ears! Maze


One muff on each side of the head—Genius! But it took inventors a lot of trial and error to make the perfect warming headgear. Use your own creative thinking on this Here’s to Warm Ears!earmuff-shaped maze. Solution included.