Kid Lit Love Series Resumes!

Hello Picture Book Lovers!

I am pleased to announce that my Kid Lit Love Series will resume very soon with a focus on new picture book releases in 2020 both fiction and non-fiction.

The entire Kid Lit Community is so amazing and I’ve been fortunate to connect with a number of authors who are releasing picture books this year. Kid Lit Love posts will be on Mondays. I am excited to say I have a bunch of wonderful books to share. So if you are looking for something new this year to read with the children in your life, come and visit my blog on a Monday and you just might find a new picture book that is exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are just a few of my favourite picture books!

Some of the books are fun, some are whimsical, some share important historical information, some deal with social and emotional issues, some feature diversity, some have themes related to caring for our world or each other. And with each book, you will learn a little about the making of it and how it came to be.

Curious? Follow my blog or like my facebook page where I share the posts. And if you love a book, I encourage you to leave a review, add it to your ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads, recommend it to a friend, request it at your library, or share it on your social media.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! I hope you’ll leave a comment and visit again. Have a wonderful day!

And if you have a moment, sign up for my newsletter!

Be Gone, Dreadful Cold!

If you’ve been paying attention to my past posts, you know I have been looking forward to the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference in Vancouver, B.C. that happens Thursday, Friday and Saturday. https://authorcynthiamackey.com/2020/02/17/counting-down-to-hundred-ways-of-thinking/

And of course, as timing would have it, I’ve come down with a nasty cold just days before the event. Sigh.

Green Tea with honey to soothe the throat

So now to make the cold go away as fast as possible…

I have done the following:

  • – 3 vitamin C boost drinks with 1,000 mg of vitamin C in each one
  • -warm salt water gargle twice
  • -breathing steam in the mornings
  • -eating oranges
  • -spoonfuls herbal cough syrup ( I had run out so I bought some today)
  • -drinking tons of tea

And I’m out of days to get better as tomorrow I get to take the ferry! Living on an island means lots of ferry travel. Here’s hoping for a restful sleep tonight.

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Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. You are welcome here any time.

Have a wonderful day!

Counting Down to Hundred Ways of Thinking!

Okay, how many more sleeps until the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference? I am so excited! Woot! Woot! And spring is almost here…

Spring is coming to Victoria!

Join Suzanne Axelsson from Sweden at our 2020 Conference for two days of playing, learning and reflecting! 

As luck would have it, I seem to be developing some mild flu symptoms just days before this wonderful conference. Ugh! Though I feel lucky for the family day weekend and the extra day to rest. I am filling up my body with vitamin C and hoping for the best! I did get the flu shot so fingers crossed.

Here’s the weather forecast for Vancouver. I know there’s been some snow so I am grateful for the slightly warmer temperatures. Looks like we will see Vancouver in it’s typical rainy fashion on Friday and Saturday.

Looks like we won’t see much sun over the weekend.

These conference organizers are amazing! Just look at what they sent out to everyone. They are so thoughtful. Which Vancouver restaurants should we try?

From the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House organizers!

Four more sleeps and I get to go and visit my hometown! Yay! Though sadly, I won’t make it to North Vancouver, which is my absolute favourite place to visit. Not enough time. Sigh.

Stay tuned for more conference updates on the way!

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Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are welcome back any time!

Daily Gratitude Practice

About six months ago, I switched from my regular position as Early Childhood Educator and Manager of a preschool to casual Early Childhood Educator at several different child care programs. I made the switch because of burnout and because there is a huge demand here in Victoria for qualified ECE subs so I knew I would never be short of work.

When I worked every day in my program, I wasn’t feeling appreciated. I am sure that my work was appreciated but I just didn’t get that feeling each day. Maybe because I was overwhelmed and burned out, I couldn’t see the appreciation anymore.

Here’s a rare photo of me. I prefer being on the other side of the camera!

So how are things now? Six months later, I often am greeted with a “we’re so glad you’re here today!” or even a hug from the staff, who know that if I’m not there, their day could be a lot more difficult. Parents whose children I have only worked with for a couple of weeks have given me gifts. I feel I am making a difference and that’s important to me.

Aside from casual, I also have added a daily gratitude practice to my life. Every single night, without fail, I sit down and write five things for which I am grateful. Often they are really little things. But they matter.

Here’s a sample list from my journal a couple of weeks ago:

  • beach walk with preschoolers
  • “I love you, Teacher Cindy.” said one of the preschoolers
  • bakery treats
  • sketching time
  • fireside chat with the family

If you are reading this post and hoping to change your life for the better and if you don’t already have a daily gratitude practice…. start! I highly recommend it! It takes me only little time each night because throughout the day I pay attention to all the things that make me feel grateful. Most nights in five minutes or less, I’ve got my list done. And I find that even when I have more difficult days, I am much more easily able to stay positive.

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Thanks so much for reading my blog! Hope you’ll visit again. Have a wonderful week!

Play, Outdoor Learning, and Raising Physically and Mentally Healthy Children

This video is a wonderful collection of comments on children’s play by some incredibly articulate human beings. If you want to understand why play is so valuable, you must watch this. Adults need to trust children to manage their own play and learning, not try to control it!

If you have children in your life, if you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian or school administrator, I encourage you to take 20 minutes of your time and watch this video. Topics such as risk, outdoor play, natural environments, kindergarten readiness and self-chosen activities are covered.

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Thank you for reading/viewing. Have a great day!

Sidney, B.C. Two Hundred Boxes!

About 5 years ago, when I first began working at Sidney Preschool, I introduced a new and special day to our program. I called it our Cardboard Box Extravaganza! We had our parents collect and bring in boxes and the children were give some simple materials to work with as well as an opportunity to use their creativity to go wherever their imaginations may take them with the collection of boxes. This was a huge hit! And each year proved to be a little different as new children and parents brought their own unique ideas to the event.

Small boxes can be great for creative minds as well.

And that is why it does my heart such good to see this event taking place in Sidney. Two Hundred Boxes is an event for the whole family and takes place February 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. I have no idea how this event came to be but what a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement. Castles, towers, tunnels, neighbourhoods, forts, planes or trains could all be part of your experience as you work with the boxes. This event is totally free of charge. Kudos to the Community Arts Council for organizing!

And because I am a huge supporter of children’s literature, let me add a couple of great picture books that encourage creativity with cardboard boxes. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen. Do you know some other great books on the same subject? Have you and your children created something amazing and wonderful with a cardboard box? Share in the comments.

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Thank you for stopping by my blog! You are welcome any time.

Royal Conservatory of Music: Benefits of Music Education

Royal Conservatory of Music research showed that the brains of musically trained individuals had more grey matter, had stronger neural connections, higher IQ, better memory, better attention, and better motor coordination.

Benefits of music education included

  • improved language abilities
  • increased emotional resilience
  • increased empathy
  • increased attention span and focus
  • increased self-confidence

These are some great reasons to advocate for music instruction in public schools. Keep the music programs going! There’s plenty of research to show this is a good idea.

Royal Conservatory of Music Paper on the Benefits of Music Education https://rcmusic-kentico-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/rcm/media/main/documents/about%20us/rcm_musiceducation

Let's Build Each Other Up!

Hey parents! Have you ever been out in public and experienced the judgement of complete strangers in relation to something you are doing or have done in your role as a parent? I’ve been there many times.

“Your baby has too many layers on.”

“Why isn’t your child wearing a hat for sun protection?”

“Do you always give in when he cries?”

This comes under that category of “if you can’t think of something kind to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remaining quiet would be better than expressing your judgement of a situation in which you likely have limited understanding.

Instead, let’s express some appreciation for the parents we know. How about, “She’s/he’s lucky to have such an attentive, loving parent.” or “I can tell how much you love your child.”

Why is it so much easier to judge than to express appreciation for people? Look for what you appreciate and let a dedicated mom or dad know. Parents work so hard; tell them know you really see them. Let’s build each other up!