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February 3, 2016

Make a Monkey Chain for Lunar New Year!

Check out my Lunar New Year newsletter and please sign up!

As part of my Lunar New Year Story Time  for my newsletter subscribers (I'm starting to shift most of my stuff there, so please sign up!), I suggested that readers make a monkey chain decoration!  Isn't it super cute? This is how you do it:

You need:
-a 4.25 x 11 sheet of paper (a normal 8.5 x 11 piece of paper cut in half the long way). 
-a ruler
-a pencil
-this monkey template, printed out, preferably on cardstock
-maybe some tape


1. Measure 2.2 inches from one side of the paper and mark:

nice straight line, don't worry if it's not exactly 2.2 inches, it all gets fudged when you fold

2. Fold on your marking and then use that width to accordion fold the rest of your paper. You should be able to make 4 folds (which will equal five monkeys after cutting).

accordion fold is like making a paper fan

3. cut out the template and trace the monkey onto the folded paper.  It's pretty small, so you might want to use a small piece of tape to help hold the template down while you trace. Make sure the arms of the monkey go right to the edge, if not off the edge of your paper.

a little bit of tape helps it from moving around, but just tack it on gently as you want to take the template off!

it should be traced like this!

 4. Cut out the monkey from you folded paper, making sure you cut all five layers. Do NOT cut along the folds where the monkeys arms touch the edges of the paper (that is where the chain connects!)

When finished, unfold and...Ta-Dah!

Five monkeys to go with the Five Monkeys Rhyme I made Lunar New Year!

*Want to make this a craft with kids?  Consider:

-Enlarging the paper and the template proportionally so that it's easier for them to cut.
-If the kids are young, pre-measure the folds for them
-If the kids are very young, make the chains for them and let them color them red (to go with the rhyme)

See how you can use this monkey chain for a Monkey New Year Story Time in my newsletter! (and please sign up for future editions).

December 22, 2015

Hear me, hear me!

So, I'm super excited (and nervous)  that I will be one of the presenters at TedxNatick on Jan 23rd! I'm writing and polishing a whole new speech--"The Mirrors and Windows of Your Child's Bookshelf"--I am really hoping it will be good. If you love Ted talks, here's your chance to go to one and hear some awesome speakers--tickets are on sale now!

Did I mention I was really nervous about the speech? So, since practice makes perfect, I'm doing a dress rehearsal of the speech at an event at the Eric Carle Museum on  Saturday, January 16, at 1pm! Constructive criticism and encouragement welcome!

Hope to see you!

December 17, 2015

memory pearl

"I am Rudolph and these are my extra noses," she says, "I need them in case my old nose runs out of batteries."