Summer Festivals Around the World {Little Passports}


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Yesterday I told you about the fun my family had at our local Bastille Day celebration and I imagine that many of my American readers celebrated the Fourth of July earlier this month.  But, France and the United States aren’t the only places with exciting Summertime festivals.

There are fascinating and fun festivals all over the globe!

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Indiana Bastille Day (local living and a lesson about community)


Bonjour! This past weekend, my family and I attended Indiana Bastille Day, an amazing free family event that was held right in our hometown.

We ate crepes, participated in the French Revolution (well, okay, the Fishers RenFaire actors participated and we watched on with appreciation), learned a bit about French culture and history, and got to know our neighbors, local police force, and firefighters.

In an inspiring mix of global and local cultures, we saw a marionette show, learned about the game petanque, and were impressed by the many talents of our area’s local artisans that were on display.  We discovered some new-to-us local businesses and we made some new friends.

What does a small town in Indiana have to do with the French Revolution, you ask?  Well, admittedly, not much at first glance.  But, here’s the most wonderful part about all of this:  Indiana Bastille Day is a lesson about what can happen when friends and neighbors come together.

You see, Indiana Bastille Day began just a few short years ago as a celebration in a local couple’s backyard. The wife is from France and the family held a Bastille Day event at their home to share French culture with their friends and neighbors.

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Time to Create: an interview with author Christie Burnett

Time to Create blog tour

Note:  I was given a copy of this book to review and there are some affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Hooray!  Simple Kids is participating in an international party!  Fancy, right? The reason for the celebration?  The launch of Time to Create: Hands On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children by Christie Burnett.

The kids and I have received a review copy and the resident artists, ages almost two to eleven, have been flipping through the pages with me marking projects to try and discussing ideas for our never-ending crafting table and art supplies.

This bright, colorful book is full of pictures showing the projects, of course, but it also has some thoughtful and well written pieces about:

  • what process art is
  • why giving children time to create is important
  • practical ways to give children opportunities to create on a daily basis

Christie Burnett, the author and founder of the popular blog Childhood 101, presents a variety of artistic mediums from drawing to print making to collage to textiles.  There”s also digital photography and exploring art with natural materials.

I had a chance to ask Christie some questions about the book and her book writing process.  Read on to see what she said …

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Unplugged Play: Jump Rope


I mentioned last week that over the Fourth of July holiday we spent a few days at my parents’ place in rural northern Indiana.

It was wonderful to spend some time with my folks.  I think one of my favorite perks of parenting is getting to see my parents as grandparents.  In some ways, it gives me a chance to get to know them in a new light.  It is such a cool thing to see my parents and my kids enjoy each other’s company.

One of the highlights of our trip was that my kids learned how to jump rope under Grandpa’s careful tutelage.  Who knew that, not only was my Dad a fantastic jump roper as a kid, but that he is such a good jump rope coach?
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Simple Solutions for Stain Removal

laundry room

This Summer I’ll be re-running some of my favorite Simple Kids posts as Summer ReRuns. Today’s post is one of the first ones I ever bookmarked from SK, way back from 2009 before I was the editor here.  Megan shares some tips on stain removal that are timely during the Summer when there are so many wonderfully messy opportunities for fun. – Kara

Nature is inviting all of us to come outside and play.

No one wants to interrupt a glorious game of tag or bring a delicious and juicy dessert of fresh strawberries to a premature end for fear of stained clothing, but we also want to be good stewards of the material possessions we have by taking good care of them.  Yesterday, Asha at Parent Hacks shared her Almost Sure-Fire Clothing Stain Removal tip, and it reminded me that I have a few ideas of my own to share on summer stains.

1) Whenever possible, set aside some of the summer wardrobe for “play clothes” – for children and adults alike.  If everyone is playing outside in clothes that have been purposed for play, no one (not even the grown-ups) will give a second thought to rolling in the grass or indulging in a drippy, melt-y chocolate ice cream cone.

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