Book of the Week: The Flower Man by Mark Ludy



“This beautiful, wordless story told visually from beginning to end features a small, meek man who transforms a small town through simple moral principles. The characters’ stories are woven together to create a tale that spans borders and nationalities and will refresh the human spirit with principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, and generosity. Children will also delight in searching for Squeakers the mouse, hidden somewhere on every page.”

The Flower Man is an absolute GEM! The book is about an old man who travels to a dark, dreary town and slowly begins to transform it through acts of kindness. It’s a wordless picture book, which means it’s great for any and all ages. The illustrations are magnificent and you could spend forever poring over the pages, discovering all the separate story lines.

Because summer is just a few weeks away, now is a great time to start thinking about how our #sensiblekids are going to be occupying their time this summer. One idea is summer service projects! The Flower Man is the perfect introduction to this type of activity.

There’s a great blog called Pennies of Time that a mom started to share the acts of service she and her kids do every day–I am so excited to share some of my favorites that are easy to do with sitters and parents alike! Read on!

March 2013 002Busy Books for the ER

Creating simple coloring book kits for emergency rooms is an easy, cheap project that is also a great introduction to doing service projects! Just get several coloring books, a few boxes of crayons, ziploc bags and a stapler. Rip 4-5 pages at a time out of the coloring book and staple a ziploc baggie with 4 crayons in it to one corner of the pages. Check in with your local ER to see if they accept donations, and then take a trip down and let the kids deliver the coloring kits. What a simple way to make a difference in the lives of anxious parents and the nursing staff!

ec_breakfast319191x004_r940x635Free Water Bottles on a Hot Day

This was part of Pennies of Time’s Summer Service Ideas post. There are lots of great ideas in that post, but this one is my favorite because it’s so easy to do here in NYC and takes no prep work. If you don’t want to haul water bottles around town, get your $1 bills ready! You can get ice-cold water bottles at any hot dog stand–they are located on every major street corner and all throughout our beautiful parks! Have the kids buy water bottles (if you didn’t bring any with you) and hand them out to the thirsty homeless, or anyone else that looks like they could use a refresher. It’s a guaranteed way to make someone’s day!

treasuresBuried Treasure at the Playground

This one is definitely my favorite! What kid wouldn’t be thrilled to discover buried treasure in the sand? It’s as fun to bury as it is to watch other kids discover! You can find “loot” at any toy store or party store–and it doesn’t have to be just coins and jewels. Some suggestions on Pennies of Time include little plastic dinosaurs or parachute men. Just take your loot to the sandbox and let kids have fun burying the treasure! Talk about how good other kids will feel when they find the treasure and after it’s buried, wait and watch for it to be discovered!

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