How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle – Review
Six Fun Video Shorts for Families
Sing, Play, Learn with MacPhail Center for Music at Your Local Library

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle – Review

We got the family out to The Red Balloon Bookshop this weekend to see David LaRochelle and Mark Fearing with their new book, How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans. This is a feat for us these days. Someone always decides the nap they didn’t want two hours ago is now necessary right when we need to leave; or we have a diaper blow out; or we are just subjected to a general break down. However, the stars aligned on Sunday and we got out and got to The Red Balloon only a little late for the start of the reading.

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Six Fun Video Shorts for Families

These fun video shorts were originally screened in April of 2013, at Hennepin County Library’s former Childish Films program. This library program introduced families to several short independent films that are both family-friendly and engaging selected by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), and specifically chosen for kids.

If, like mine, your kids like to watch their favorite videos over and over and over. You can find them here. We enjoy most of these short films enough that sometimes, we have short film nights at home. If you like these videos, search the filmmakers profile to find more videos. You can also find more independent and international films for kids each spring at the MSPIFF.

Papa Cloudy: Heartfelt Stories of a Gentle Cloud (Akiko McQuerrey, USA, 5 min).  If you like this, there are several more Papa Cloudy videos on Vimeo, too. Read More

Sing, Play, Learn with MacPhail Center for Music at Your Local Library

What is Sing, Play, Learn?
MacPhail Center for Music - Sing, Play, Learn

Chances are, if you’ve taken your kids to storytimes at libraries and bookstores around town, you’ve noticed that many spend nearly as much time engaging the children in singing and music as they do reading aloud. Music is a wonderful tool that can be used in early childhood to enhance literacy. I took advantage of MacPhail Center for Music’s free outreach program at my local Ramsey County Library branch today, bringing along my youngest daughters (ages 3 and 17 months). Titled “Sing, Play, Learn”, the class is a full 45 minutes of connecting the rhythms of music and language.

sing, play, learn macphail center for music

MacPhail brings their lineup of six themes to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities Metro. During our class, we explored ways in which musical play promotes body awareness. Naming parts, moving them to the beat and playing simple start-and-stop games with them highlighted both literacy skills and impulse control. It was also just plain fun watching my toddler daughter try to imitate the instructor!

How to Sign Up for Sing, Play, Learn

The program is free and, consequently, very popular. Advance registration is required at most locations, strongly suggested at others. Make sure to call ahead. Classes are easier to find during the school year.

Check with your local library for upcoming dates

About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.

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