Monday, September 16, 2013


A recent road trip to Salzburg inspired me to return to our History of Music series. Mozart is up next!

My chapter book readers loved the Magic Treehouse Moonlight on the Magic Flute, which gave them an opportunity to get to know "little Wolfie" as a child. Who was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a very informative picture book, though a little harder for the little ones to stay focused on.  My personal favorite is the hard-to-find Mozart Finds a Melody, by Costanza. Check your local library!

While in Salzburg we made sure to tour the Mozart Residence as well as Mozart's Birthplace. The latter was the more informative and better for kids, as it included Mozarts childhood violin, period furniture and kitchen, and dioramas of opera scenes as well as a room dedicated to listening to his music.

I've gone on and on about the Classical Kids CDs before, but Mozart's Manificent Voyage deserves its own day in the spotlight. We love listening to the young opera stars as they travel through time to see major events from the composer's life. I'm a huge fan of audio adventures anyway, and it's a fantastic format for including musical masterpieces in the narrative.

For more audible fun on Mozart, check out the Classics for Kids radio show's five different episodes on him and his works. They're short, sweet, to-the-point and informative.

How does Mom celebrate the end of Mozart Week after the kids are in bed? Why, whip out the ol' Oscar-winning Amadeus movie, of course! It's only rated PG, though, so it won't be long until I can share it with my eldest.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Monsters!  Not just for nightmares anymore. This week's bookworm fun centered on the fun, loveable monsters that have become popular in books like Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster and Helen Ketteman's Goodnight, Little Monster.  Monster Math, by Anne Miranda, is a fun way to sneak the kindergarten number work in, too.

We did two art projects this week because monsters are a great creative inspiration. Anything goes! 

 This first project explores symmetry and the mixing of colors. We blobbed red, yellow, and blue paint onto one half of a folded sheet of paper and gently mixed them together in the spaces between the blobs. Fold the paper, squish, open and add eyes/ legs as desired.  Voila! This project also fulfilled several requirements for the Cub Scout Art Belt Loop.

Our second craft consisted of making paper bag monsters. I really gave the kids free reign with this one. 

Our monster music playlist includes favorites such as Maybe the Monster (The Wiggles), Monster Boogie (Laurie Berkner), Monster Mash (Pickett), and If You're Scary and You Know It (from the CD "Spooky Favorites"). Check them out, they're lots of fun!

For Pizza, Popcorn and a Movie Night we plan to expand on the monster theme by finally watching Monsters, Inc.  Just have to wait for our hold at the library.