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!

Fostering Creativity in Young Children

What is creativity? The ability to produce work that is both novel and useful.

Why is creativity important? Creativity will allow us to generate and execute innovative solutions. Creativity will influence how we approach a challenge.

How can we foster creativity? I want to share this awesome website with you. Harvard Graduate School of Education has Project Zero, an exploration of creativity. You can learn more by searching age categories or subject categories. There are book recommendations too. There are more resources and professional development too. If you value creativity and want to support that or learn more, check out all the Project Zero has to offer!

If you look under resources, for example, you can download family dinner conversation cards with age appropriate conversation starter ideas for you. And there is much, much more. How do you use your creativity? Are your children creative? Share in the comments! I’d love to see all your creative projects.

Family Literacy Week!

Did you know Family Literacy Week is January 26 – February 2 this year?

Supporting literacy does not require a lot of materials. It can be as simple as having conversations together, going for walks and noticing environmental print, reading a story or making a grocery list.

This year’s theme is “Read Together”.

Bookshelf at The Children’s Bookshop in Sidney, B.C.

Look here for some free downloadable resources you can use to support early literacy.

If you are local, you can also visit the Sidney Museum’s Lego Exhibit or at Mary Winspear, there’s a production of Matilda the Musical based on a story by Roald Dahl. Or look for similar opportunities in your home town. Family events like these are great for promoting literacy too.

How do you make literacy part of your family’s every day life? I hope you’ll share in the comments.

Promoting Physical Activity for Children

A Western University study suggests children attending child care may not be getting enough vigorous heart-pumping activity. In British Columbia, child care centres are now required to have an Active Play Plan to address this issue.

Research indicates that when outdoors, children are 10 times more active than indoors so getting children outside is the first step. Outdoor play has been associated with improved self-confidence. Read more here.

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
-Plato

Based on my observations, there are some children who are less likely to naturally engage in physical activity and may need extra encouragement to get active. I do believe if we find the thing we love and feel successful with, we will participate. This is true for children and adults.

What barriers are there to ensuring children are engaging in physical activity? How can we overcome those barriers? Let’s talk about it!

Cover Reveal!

Drumroll please…. time for the cover reveal of our illustrated early chapter book titled the Lullaby Monsters coming in 2020!

Stay tuned for more information on pre-orders, book swag, release date and more! Go to my facebook page to sign up for my email list and receive notifications. You’ll receive a free downloadable resources for teachers and parents.

Synopsis: In this night time adventure, big sister Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas cannot sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure if she can help. Then Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen and Kelsey must face her monstrous fear. In doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

Illustrations in progress by Paula Nasmith

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” -Joseph Campbell

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The Lullaby Monsters by Cynthia Mackey and Paula Nasmith

In this night time adventure, big sister Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees, and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas can’t sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure she can help, especially since monsters are the one thing she fears.  When Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen, Kelsey must face her monstrous fear and in doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

The Lullaby Monsters are Coming in March 2020!

After a delay in the cover design, we now have The Lullaby Monsters nearly ready for publication, thanks to Paula Nasmith.

Would you like an advance review copy? Contact us to learn how to receive one.

authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Stories from my Childhood

Hi There! I thought it might be fun to share some stories from my childhood. Some of these are my own memories and some were shared with me by parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles. I’ll admit my memories may be off a little, but what the heck. We all love a good story.

MONEY

At the age of four, I walked to and from kindergarten with friends. Not every day, but some of the time. No parents accompanied us. We were independent and free as can be.

One time on the way home, some older kids told us they had lots of money and asked if we’d like some. Of course our answer was…“YES!”

They led us down what I remember as a really long flat driveway. It went way back from the road and there was a small rancher style house at the end. We followed them up to the front door and they asked us to wait outside.

“If you want the money, all you have to do is close your eyes and hold out your hands, palms up,” they told us. They went inside the house ‘to get the money.’

So there we were, the most little, gullible kids you can imagine with eyes closed and hands held out waiting expectantly to be given a fortune. What I imagined I would buy with the money, I cannot tell you but I’m sure I believed it was the key to living my best life ever.

And then SLAP! All they did was come out and hit our outstretched hands. I honestly cannot remember if I cried or just stared at them dumfounded but I do know they laughed and laughed and I’m sure our expressions were hilarious to them.

I was completely shocked that kids would tell me something untrue. No one had ever lied to me before. Ever since then, I find I just cannot lie. It’s just impossible for me, maybe because I know how incredibly disappointing it is to believe in something so whole-heartedly only to find out it isn’t true.

Do you have any memories from your early childhood years?

Help Me Decide!

I’m super excited that my next book is nearing publication! I want your input. What do you think would make the best back cover for my early chapter book, The Lullaby Monsters?

This night time adventure features Kelsey and Thomas who meet a bunch of monsters. When monsters steal Thomas’ most prized possession, Kelsey and Thomas must face their fears in an effort to get it back. Through the story, they learn about fear and friendship in this fun adventure under the stars with an unexpected, funny twist at the end that will make children want to pick up the book and start again.

Here are the back cover options…

1. Kelsey and Thomas
2. The Monsters
3. Kelsey and Thomas Biking

So… which one do you think is best? Let me know!

I appreciate your input and can’t wait to reveal the front cover when it is ready. I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Friends in the Blogosphere!

Here’s my weekly writing update; keeping myself honest about the progress I’m making with writing for children.IMG_2680

This week I watched a free webinar by children’s book author, Arree Chung.  It was so good in that he reminded me that the only way to become a published author is to do the work.  So I got down to work.  I revised a couple of manuscripts and for the first time ever, I requested a critique in the facebook group Kidlit 411, Manuscript Swap.  Wow! what a community!  I couldn’t believe the quick response I got from people willing to read and give feedback.  It is amazing.  And with that feedback, I can learn and grow as a writer. If you are a children’s writer and you’re on facebook,  I highly recommend joining the groups Kid Lit 411 and Kid Lit 411 Manuscript Swap!  They are super helpful in developing your craft.

Visit me on my Facebook Page; likes are always appreciated.  Plus I’m doing a giveaway you might be interested in 😉 Have a wonderful week!