I have some more to report on the cameras we have been experimenting with.
Bart took the Vivitar Vivicam 5024 5.1 MP Digital Camera, 8X Digital Zoom, 2.4 screen, SD card. It already had everything and he got some great shots with it. It cost $39.95 and he said it was worth every penny.
The next camera came in a vivid purple and Flora Preen scooped it up before anyone else could (or would). It was also a Vivitar Vivicam 5018 5.1 Megapixel Digital Camera, 8X Digital Zoom & Red Eye Reduction. This purple gem cost also $39.95. It really did work at getting the red out the people’s eyes, which was a good thing because she liked to get very close with her camera and left everyone seeing stars, not the musical kind neither.
Crystal went after the coral Polaroid CAA-3300CC 3MP CMOS Digital Camera with 1.8-inch LCD Display. For what it looked like, I thought $36.52 was high, but this plain-looking camera had some surprises. It had 8 MB of built-in storage and a workable web cam. It was a little slow about how long after you pushed the button it would take to take the picture. But Crystal loved it. I would have screamed.
See you next time.
If you’ve ever ended a hard day at work by blasting heavy metal through your car windows or flopped onto the couch by the fireside with a glass of wine to unwind while listening to some soothing tunes, you don’t need statistics to tell you how relaxing music can be. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but your kids can also get the same comfort you do from a little musical recess – minus the fireside and the wine, of course!
That’s why we started Kidzter, a new website dedicated to helping kids and families share the love of music. Why make music a part of your child’s life? Playing music with other kids is not about your child becoming a star or prodigy, but about learning such fundamental things as teamwork, organization, and responsibility, while stimulating creativity, self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment. Listening to and participating regularly in music has more benefits than you might think! Kids who are actively involved in music:
• Do better in reading and math when they start school
• Are better able to focus and control their bodies
• Play better with others and have higher self-esteem
• Have less stress
In fact, a study published in February of 2005 showed that playing a musical instrument can actually reverse existing stress! By actively participating in music, kids can experience a calming effect more powerful than with reading or TV. Unlike watching TV, music is more than just a momentary distraction; it actually helps your child’s brain develop! Providing a “rich sensory environment” for children to actively participate in music and song forges more pathways between the cells in a growing child’s brain. Goodbye SpongeBob, hello xylophone!
One of the best ways to do this is through Musical Play Groups, where kids get together to make music. Whether they are toddlers, pre-schoolers or older children, everybody can have a good time making music together! Ready to start getting with the musical program?
Check out www.kidzter.com to find out more about our music teacher database and our tools and tips for finding and starting Musical Play Groups. Looking for idea closer to home? Try these other idea for ways to stimulate your children’s love of music:
• Sing With Your Child – It’s fun and it doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune. A little off-key harmony will only make the experience more memorable.
• Make Music With Ordinary Household Stuff – What is there around your house that you can transform into a musical instrument? If you are creative you can make music with almost anything.
• Start Early Music Lessons – Children as young as 4 are able to learn how to play an instrument. At Kidzter.com, we have one of the most extensive searchable databases of local music teachers.
Music Education for Elementary-aged Kids
You hear it on the news at night. Thousands of teachers to be laid off. Your son is sitting in the room with you and asks what is going to happen to his music teacher. What do you tell him?
Budget cutbacks are forcing the schools to cut back on programs like music and physical education. In recent years the research on the importance of music education has accelerated, even as the schools are forced to decide that music classes must go.
Here are some of the ways that music education helps children today and into the future.
Math skills are developed through music. At an early age music helps our children’s brains develop in such a way that later they have a better ability to understand math. With math as the main part of technology, we must be able to focus on math so we can use it to further the positive elements of our economy. If we don’t teach the kids music, we may be keeping them from learning an essential element needed to compete with other countries.
Reading skills require a mind that can concentrate. Music classes teach children how to concentrate. With this skill come enhanced memory and recall skills. The illiteracy rate is going up in the United States. We need to enhance reading skills and music education is a good method to help.
Science skills also benefit from music skills. Music education enhances our children’s reasoning abilities. Through these they can understand how science works, which will make our county competitive down the line.
Social skills seem to be on the decline as children text instead of talk to one another. They play solitary games and spend endless hours alone in front of their computers. Music allows the children to work in teams to create music as a community. When your child is in a music class, he learns how to cooperate with others for a common goal. Music class helps the solitary child associate with others and belong to a group. It helps enhance self-esteem and also may be a step in reducing the incidence of violence in the schools by bringing different groups of kids together.
Music classes have also been associated with an increase in IQ. Music education has helped children with breathing and speech difficulties and those with learning disabilities. Who know what else music helps? By removing music from the schools, we are robbing our children of the necessary proficiency for their and our future. I don’t need to remind you that our children will be running things in a few years. Do you trust your future to someone with an inadequate education? Music education is essential. Be aware if your school is planning to drop the subject.
If you don’t share this opinion, that’s OK, but please try to understand our side in this debate.
What can you do? If you find that your school system in considering dropping music classes, be assertive. Do your best to stop the school from doing this. If you fail? Then try to get the classes reinstated. And in the mean time, if you have children who would have benefited from school music education, consider enrolling them in private classes. One or two lesson a week are enough to get many of the benefits of music classes.
Hello there Boys and Girls,
Mort here with a different sort of Cinderella story.
This one is a graphic story called, “Pigling: A Cinderella Story: A Korean Tale” told by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Anne Timmons.
Many of you have stepparents and know that they aren’t that bad, but everyone is afraid that someone new will be a wicked stepmother. So many stories are written about them so that you can compare your own stepparent and realize that things could be a lot worse.
This story comes from Korea. When Pear Blossom was born, one of the ways to honor her was to plant a pear tree. Both grew and became more and more beautiful.
Sadly Pear Blossom’s mother died and her father remarried a lady with a daughter of her own. This mean woman called Pear Blossom by the name Pigling and asks her to perform impossible jobs.
Magical creatures appear and quickly finish the chores. After the garden is weeded by a magic ox, Pear Blossom goes to attend the festival in town. On her way, she loses a slipper and gets frightened by the magistrate’s caravan.
The magistrate falls in love with the girl and sets out to find the one missing a slipper. They marry and Pear Blossom is surprised to find the Magistrate’s courtyard filled with Pear trees.
I’m sure we all wish we had magical animals help us with our chores. Then we could go play sooner; but whether we have stepparents or not, life doesn’t really work that way. This is a beautiful graphic novel. I hope you enjoy it.
I am Crystal Canary and I just love collecting autographs, watching videos and singing with the Rockabyes.
You will never believe who I got autographs from recently. The new video “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2” DVD set was set to come out and there was a “before party” to celebrate it. I was amazed that I got an invitation. Then when I went to the party, I got both Papi and Chloe’s autographs. I was so excited. Then all the guests got to see the movie before it came out.
I was so glad that Papi and Chloe get married and have five adorable pups: four are girls, named Pep, Lala, Ali and Rosa, and one boy they name Papi Jr. These cuties keep getting into trouble, just like most little brothers and sisters.
Then the family moves from Beverly Hills to where their human Sam lives in a very different part of town. The dogs have to help Sam’s parents save their home so Papi and Chloe decide to enter the Beverly Hills Dog Show. It is very sad, but lots of people are having the same trouble as Sam’s parents. I wish we could hold dog shows to help everyone out.
The dog show part of the movie is the best part. It’s like a real beauty pageant with talent competitions all the way to a bathing suit competition. I was rolling in the aisles. It was so funny. Other party guests agreed that it was a two-paws-up great film.
If you don’t have the DVD yet, you’re going to love “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2” as much as you liked “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”
See you all,
Hello Children, Sean Seal here.
A few days ago a friend of mine asked me some interesting questions.
He asked, “The other day I saw a commercial for a green car, but the car was white. I saw a green house that didn’t have lots of windows and plants inside. At the store I saw light bulbs that said they were green, but they were white lights. What do these things have that make them green.”
I explained that “green” is a quick way of saying “something that keeps our environment from getting used up and making us sick.”
The green car runs on electricity and saves gas.
The green house has energy-saving devices like solar panels to heat water to save electricity or gas. It’s different from a greenhouse in which people grow plants.
The light bulb was made in a way that used less electricity.
After I explained all of this, he understood why things were green.
I hope it isn’t fall yet. I try real hard to stay awake, but I start to hibernate in the fall anyway. Maybe the spring time honey this year will be more powerful and I can stay awake longer.
I took a nap awhile ago and something woke me up. There was this little kid, jumping up and down and yelling “Yay!” I thought at first he was just a dream; but when I opened my eyes, there he was. He had an iPhone in his hand and he must have just won a game or something.
I ambled over slowly since I wasn’t sure I was really awake yet to see what he was doing. Before I got there I saw him flick his finger at the phone screen. What in the world, I asked myself.
Then I asked him, “What in the world?” He showed me a game he was playing by PlayScreen called Bocce-Ball. I remembered that Grand-pop used to play a game with that funny name. He’d hang out with a bunch of men in the park and throw big balls close to a little one.
The game the kid was playing looked like what Grand-pop used to play, but without the real balls. I could tell that the kid wasn’t as good at it as Grand-pop and his friends, and I guess I was a little rude. The kid told me that people get better at the computer game just like they get better at the real game. And then I remembered I wasn’t very good when I played with Grand-pop. So I said I was sorry.
Then I watched and it looked like fun. He let me play a little and it was fun. Now I want this game and I hear that it’s free. Whoopee. When I get more awake, I am going to get it on my iPhone and download it.
Today I am going to talk about fashion for girls. So you boys can go out and play ball, but come back and check my blog next week. I will have some cool fashion stuff for you, too.
Girls, do I have the dish for you. Anything goes with anything.
Back when I was a Spring Chick, we had to be color-coordinated. Everything we wore matched and I mean everything. If I was wearing my favorite pink, which is still my favorite, BTW, I had matching pink sweater, skirt and socks. I might wear a white or darker pink blouse, but everything matched.
That was then. This is now. And now you can wear any color with any other color you want. Be creative. Just reach into your closet with your eyes closed and grab stuff. It helps if you have things on hangers and a section for dresses, one for skirts, another for blouses or tee shirts. You know what I mean. Then just haul things out. You can do the same with socks, tights or leggings. Then you can reach for any pair of shoes.
There you are ready to rock and roll.
Tweet ya’ later,
It’s me, Gizmo.
I want to tell you about the cameras we used when we took all pictures around San Francisco and the Bay area. We were experimenting with digital photograph and video cameras that cost less than $50 each. We had seven different ones and we liked them all for different reasons.
I thought I wanted the most expensive, but I changed my mind and chose the cheapest just to see if it was any good. Mort took the Vivitar V7024 7.1 MP Digital Camera. It cost $37.99 from Amazon.com, where you can buy all these cameras.
Mort’s camera had 8X Digital Zoom, which gave him a great range that he could get close to a person without really getting close. While he had this great zoomability, he had to add an SD card to put more than one or two pictures on the camera at a time. This made the camera cost more than any of the others. In the end I was glad I didn’t take it. Mort wasn’t as interested in taking pictures as he was in meeting every one so it was all right.
I’ll tell you more next time,