Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

The Shape of Things

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

love this shape book for kids - it goes beyond identification and encourages kids to pair shapes together to create new characters
The question isn’t when is a circle not a circle? It’s when is a circle more than a circle? The second question goes beyond identification and requires a healthy imagination. And that is the type of question author and illustrator, Joyce Hesselberth, wants to help our kids answer.

Joyce has a brand new book out called Shape Shift. If Joyce’s name sounds familiar it may be from her previous shape study PrestoBingo Shapes, or her work on They Might Be Giants video, or her illustrations for the New York Times. She’s a woman whose work gets around…because it’s awesome!

Her latest book, Shape Shift, helps kids identify circles, squares, crescents, diamonds, triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and ovals. But where it goes beyond the traditional shape book, is when (more…)

Posted in Features, Play + Learn, The Reading Nook | No Comments »




A Small Good Thing: Live with a Sense of Meaning

Friday, January 8th, 2016

a doc about the power of community

Filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll believes three things. First, in order to live well you have to know yourself. Second, once you know yourself you can create an authentic community. And finally, to build an authentic community you have take care of the earth it’s built on.

If you’re a fan of documentaries, you may recognize Boll’s name. She was a producer on Born Into Brothels and made her feature length directorial debut with Who Does She Think She Is? It’s clear she’s a filmmaker who doesn’t shy away from big questions. (more…)

Posted in Features, Movies Worth Watching | 1 Comment »




The “S” Word

Monday, August 31st, 2015

talking to kids about sex
*Quick heads up: This post is about sex. Read at your own level of comfort.

I was 11 years old when George Michael told everyone he wanted our sex. I remember it clearly. As soon as George’s first note hit our car’s antenna, my mom turned the station. She was lighting fast. I still marvel at her reaction time. How did she know? But even with deft censoring, my curiosity was piqued. I had already heard the song somewhere—either at a friend’s or on the bus or anywhere pop music was played—so I wondered why my mom turned the station so fast. Why didn’t she want me to hear about wanting someone’s sex? And what was sex anyhow?

Experts agree we should start talking to our kids about sex at younger ages than we think. But how young are we talking here? My husband and I were forced to have the talk when our daughter heard from a kid on the bus how babies were made. “He said it’s when the mom and dad rub their private parts together.” She was in first grade. I know, some of you are feeling very uncomfortable right now. (more…)

Posted in Features, Parenting, The Tween Years | No Comments »




Quite Possibly The Cutest Socks Ever

Friday, August 28th, 2015

These socks are the cutest things ever

Ahhh! How cute are these socks? They’re called Pals Socks and they’re intentionally mismatched friends. Think dragon and unicorn, t-rex and triceratops, space robots and earth robots. I think the whole concept is fantastic and fun. I even love their hashtag #defeetthenorm.

Since I love these socks so much that I thought you’d love them too, I asked Pals Socks if they’d offer you guys a discount. They said, “Heck yeah!” So they’re offering Classic Play readers 20% off their purchase using coupon code “classicplay” at checkout. Happy back-to-school shopping!

ps. they have adult sizes too.

love these socks for the kids!

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Play With Your Food! Tangram Puzzle Sandwich

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

these tangram sandwiches are a fun twist on the classic puzzles

This is my 48th Adventures in Learning post! For this one I adapted a project from a great book about math. It’s a classic twist on tangram puzzles. I love it because it’s creative, whimsical, and dead simple. Plus, it helps challenge kids to think about things differently—geometry is all around us; a sandwich can become art; some rules should be challenged (e.g., a sandwich doesn’t always have to come in halves).

Click here for the full post!

ps. I’ve been working with PBS Parents for nearly two years now. Time has flown and I’ve learned some surprising things. First, I write a lot about math. I was not an exceptional math student in school. I didn’t love it. It stressed me out. I’m sure that’s why I try so hard now to think of ways math would have appealed more to me as a kid. Second, the general public is way harsher than I give them credit for. Like, Whoaaaaa, settle down now people and step away from keyboard. Third, I’m a seriously lucky blogger.

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Happy 4th!

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

sea to shining sea

We’re heading south this week to the shores of North Carolina. We have one post while we’re away that I’m super excited about (it’s a new video), so keep your eyes peeled. But my priorities next week look like this: a little reading, maybe some writing, but above all else, relaxing. Also, I’m staying the heck out of the water. The sharks can have it. I’ll just appreciate the ocean from afar.

Have a wonderful week, friends! Oh, and I’ll make sure to share some photos on Instagram. :)

ps. a few happy beachy posts…
-shell memories
-summer sand art
-things to do in the outer banks: nags head

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Hair Story

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

hair

Oh, hair. I’ve been through every emotion with mine—love, rage, fear, awe (as in what the ???), and yes, grief.

I’ve been scarred by my hair. In fact, I can recall with such vivid intensity two hair-traumas, it’s like they happened earlier today. The first was the summer before my freshman year of high school. My aunt took me to a salon hidden inside JC Penny for a perm. The first clue something terrible was about to happen: the salon was empty. Second: it was located inside a department store. (more…)

Posted in Features, Style, this is 39 | 3 Comments »




Classic Play + Sprout by HP = Summer of Fun!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

love this modern twist on the classic scavenger hunt game

This post is sponsored by Sprout® by HP

We have just a few weeks left of the school year and the kids are already amped. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out what we’re going to do all summer. We aren’t ones for camps (they’re so pricey!) or pool memberships (I’m too impatient for the waiting lists, also, I have a fair amount of sun damage already eek!), which leaves us with lots of hours of… oh boy.

Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of different things. While I’m a huge fan of ‘slow summers’ I’m also a fan of setting up some fun things now and then. Basically, guided experiences. I set something up and let the kids take the reigns from there. It gives them a sense of independence, and I get the feeling that I’m kickin’ butt in the parenting department. Also, I like knowing that when they bring me up in therapy later, they’ll discuss how I was an amazing parent that damaged them just enough to make them interesting, but not enough to be the source of all their problems. I’m trying to nail that parenting sweet spot.

My goal for this summer is to encourage creativity and frivolity, both the kids’ and my own. I have lots of plans for guided creative experiences—journaling, building, drawing, games, etc. There are so many ways to express creativity. Oftentimes, it comes down to the tools we use. This summer, I am beyond psyched to use the Sprout® by HP. The kids have already claimed it as their own. It makes creative expression easy.

the sprout by hp

Since I’ve declared this the summer of Creative Expression, we’re kicking it off with a scavenger hunt that combines a creative exercise for me (a bit o’ painting), a creative exercise for the kids (tuning into their environment), an easy set up, and an activity that gets the kids out of the house (and yes, out of my hair for a minute). It’s a win-win-win! And the Sprout will make easy, and fun work of it. Ready?

Painted Block Scavenger Hunt

You’ll Need: (more…)

Posted in Camp Classic Play!, Features, Play + Learn | 2 Comments »