Friday, August 29, 2008

Tea for Four

So my daughter picked two of her favorite friends and we all went to our local tea house for tea and lunch. Of course, two of her favorite friends (Jan and Hayley) are grown women and happen to be good friends of mine. This just gives you an idea of how my daughter rolls. Of course, I do believe she has excellent taste in friends ;)
This her expression just as our friends arrive:

And then we all get settled in for a nice lunch....

It was a lovely day! Dear daughter put on her tea best. She found some lace gloves in her dress up drawer and a cute dress up hat that was a little too small for her blossoming brain and head. She is still wearing her badge of honor- the bandaids the nurse put on her after her kindergarten shots.

Little tea sandwiches, some scones, fruit and treats. A pot of Raspberry Delight tea. Some sugar cubes and doilies. Little silver spoons. Over the top flowers everywhere. It was just the right amount of little girl fun for us all.

As one article puts it "Being Polite Makes Everyone Feel Good." It seems there is a resurgence of tea houses in America. We must desperately need quality time and a quiet place for enjoying each other's company. I hope a tea house is near you so you can enjoy a little tea with your little smart girl!

And for those of you visiting from Hayley's blog, the kids cooking website Hayley mentioned is Spatulatta. I don't think dear daughter got her recipe from there. I am not sure where she got her coconut bird feeder knowledge. I have trouble keeping up with her. But you can all make your wild birds a Christmas present by following the directions for this coconut bird feeder. I am sure your birds and your smart girls will love this project. Ribbons are optional!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Alice Project

As some of you may know, Randy Pausch (the professor from Carnegie Mellon who gave The Last Lecture) was an incredible soul who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. If you have not seen his Last Lecture- I highly recommend it. He gave the lecture after he was diagnosed with his terminal illness. In every way, his presentation was beautiful, humorous, wonderful and inspiring. After seeing the video on You Tube, I had to know more. He mentioned his legacy- a computer program designed to teach computer programming skills to kids and college students called The Alice Project. The project is a program that uses a 3D modality to create animated stories. Check out the Alice Storytelling version. It is designed for middle school-aged kids. One of his grad students, Caitlin Kelleher, created this version. She did research and found the story-telling format was an especially good way for girls to learn basic computer programming. I am very appreciative of the fact that she investigated how best to teach our girls computer programming skills.

You can download the Alice program and/or the Storytelling Alice for free. My nine year-old son LOVED using the storytelling version. It is really a simple, yet impressive design with drag and drop components. If you make a wrong move, the pop up text will tell you how to proceed. Very creative and smart- just like the smart girls (and boys) I know!
Who knows how many people will be touched by this legacy? Both Professors Pausch and Kelleher get Smart Girls Fun Awards for Excellence!!
All images: Copyright © 1999-2008, Carnegie Mellon University. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sporty Girls and Sporty Moms

Most everyone understands that sports are great for a girl's health and self-esteem. You may not realize how much mothers influence their daughter's attitude about sports and their participation. There is a great website called Moms Team which has lots of great resources for youth sport parents. Currently they have a wonderful article posted:

Raising An Athletic Daughter: Moms Play Key Role
Helping Your Daughter Develop a Love For the Game
Brooke de Lench

Please see the link above for the actual article

She does a nice job pointing out all the little things a mom can do to encourage her girl athlete besides cheering her on during a game: participating in organized sports herself, talking about her own athletic past, going to see professional/college level women's teams play, encourage father's to "play rough", play catch, take girls' sports just as seriously as boys'. The author also encourages parents to talk to daughters about the term "tomboy" and how to overcome the label since it implies that girls who love sports are inappropriately masculine. I always preferred the term "sporty girl" to tomboy. But I really wish that girls were expected to be as athletic as boys so no special term for athletic girls was necessary.

I also wish our local girls' soccer league will stop making the girl teams play in baby pink, lavender or baby yellow jerseys. Why do boys get more colors???? Why do the girls have to have a different palette? I wonder if the rules are the same.......I surely hope so. My daughter is still playing coed under 6 soccer. I hope that soon the sports world will be gender blind as far as uniforms, playing fields, practice times, coaching experience and school support. If you find disparity in your daughter's sports team vs. the corresponding boy's team, don't be afraid to speak up about it.

I have the above design and more sporty girl designs up on my smart girls store. I hope to make many more soon!