Creativity Class Song and Video

Tom Sturges and I run a Creativity Class every year at our local elementary school, Grandview Elementary, Manhattan Beach, a wonderful school all three of my children attended.

A group of 5th graders,  along with Tom and I, write a song each year.  After 5 short sessions together, we go to a recording studio and record the song.  This version is inspired by the much more famous song.  We were also lucky enough to have Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers perform a guitar solo in the song.

Bailey Tibbetts, my thirteen year old, produced, directed and edited this music video.  As you might guess, I’m just a little proud of her.

I hope you enjoy “Wild Things”!

 

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Happy Birthday “The Cat in The Hat”!

Today is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America Day.

Here are some upcoming “Cat in The Hat” shows.

 

The Cat In The Hat Thursday, March 2nd Malibu Library 3:30 pm

The Cat In The Hat Saturday, March 11th, Montebello Public Library 1:00 pm

The Cat In The Hat Tuesday, March 14th, Studio City Library 4:00 pm

The Cat In The Hat Thursday, March 16th, West Valley Library 4:00 pm

I thought I would share some of my favorite photos of The Fab Cat!

Truth?

TRUTH?

Tell the truth. It’s always best to tell the truth. I was taught this as a child and have passed it on without too much thought to my own children.

I was born in South Africa and immigrated to England when I was eleven. My parents, who cared strongly about education, moved us over at the end of the British summer. This was the beginning of the new school year, which was right in the middle of the South African school year (summer in South Africa is in December). This is relevant for two major reasons. Firstly, I cared more strongly about vacation vs. education (I mean who doesn’t). More importantly, I was in a relatively unique situation of experiencing two different cultures and two very different schooling systems within a week of each other, without a break, school seamlessly continuing.

We were studying the Boer Wars in history the week I left South Africa. For those of you not thoroughly up to date with your Boer War history – this was a series of wars between the British settlers and the Afrikaners/Boers (the Dutch Settlers) at the beginning of the Twentieth Century set in a young South Africa.

Amazingly, the week that school began in London, we also commenced the study of these same Boer Wars. Richly descriptive textbooks described the details of these wars. There was just a “minor” discrepancy in the clearly delineated black and white text – according to the South African textbooks, the Boers won the wars, according to the British textbooks, the British were the clear victors. I was eleven and NOT confused at all.

It clarified that if we look beneath the surface, that all “facts” that we read are to be double checked and then some. But how do we teach our children these concepts? My kids love telling me that I need to stop getting my source information from Facebook – a valid point. However, a lot of breaking news recently has hit Facebook before it hits the main media – for instance the recent “Women’s Marches” were all over Facebook for weeks and only hit the national and international media after the events. My youngest child loves telling me to check my sources, and apparently the Washington Post is the mecca of integrity. I hope you deserve the integrity placed upon you, Washington Post, ‘cos from the Boer Wars onward, I have been wary of all “facts” written in black and white. Winston Churchill’s quote “History is written by the victors” seems very appropriate in this day and age.

So who won the Boer War? I went online. It’s still unclear. Perhaps it’s still being fought between the British, the Afrikaners and the Zulus? (I know my South African readers are probably getting ready to respond with massive opinions about my lack of knowledge right now – had I continued to live there I might want to respond too. However, I am distanced by my move many years ago, for better or for worse.) All that I am left with is that these two cultures came away with two very different truths.

As you know, I am in the storytelling business. I am constantly asked questions by kids like, “Are you real?” or “Is the tooth fairy real?” In the world of fiction, everything is clear. Fiction is fiction.

Back to the world of facts: is a fact a fact? What is fact and what is opinion? Thus I pose this question to you all… How does one teach one’s own child to find the truth? Especially when the majority of us are putting our faith in the school system… And sometimes two different schools in two different countries will teach two opposite truths.

Valentine’s Day Hearts

Wishing all of my friends and followers of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs lots of love and care on this coming Valentines Day!

To decorate your hearts, you will need:

A Heart Shape

Stickers

Jewels

Letters

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Below are some examples of how you can decorate your hearts, but remember however you choose to decorate your heart, is just the right way.

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Have fun!  Get creative!  Send me some photos of your artwork!IMG_5183Here’s a fun fact about Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  Her favorite day of the year is Valentine’s Day!

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And then of course, you can always write out your name with some letter stickers.IMG_5188 (2)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Disney Rain

I’m sitting here on a stool at the La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney. The rain is pouring down outside in “Sunny Southern California”. It is wonderful after these many years of drought. I am enjoying a warm cup of Mocha – which in this case is really a large expresso with an infusion of chocolate. Seriously delicious on a rainy day.  It’s a day to step away from the overwhelming politics and enjoy the fantasy of Disneyland.  Actually, that’s what my teenage girls are doing.  I am writing a new story about “Puddle Ducks” and enjoying the warmth and aroma of fresh baked croissants and muffins wafting over me.

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My girls, true Southern Californians decided this was the perfect day to go to Disneyland. We are here in the hopes that the rain will keep away the crowds. Alas, I think Disney’s poncho business just spiked up about 90% today. We came prepared, waterproof rain gear, galoshes or wellington boots if you are a Paddington Bear fan. Strangely, from my window’s view, I have only seen one other person with rainboots on. Clearly, there will not be any flashmob stomping in the puddles today. Everyone just looks as though they are enjoying the rain.  Perhaps my ducklings with perform a “Duckling flashmob dance”?

July is time for swimming and making fish!

Come play with us in

Manhattan Village Mall

Thursday July 14th @ 10:00 am

It’s summertime and a great time to make a school of fish

Here are our ingredients:

Cupcake holders

foam rounds or paper rounds

googly eyes

heart stickers

glue

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Choose your cupcake holderIMG_3680

Fold the cupcake holder in half

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Cut it down the middle IMG_3682

Cut up as many cupcake holders as you wish to make the tail for the fishIMG_3683Take your foam round and put on some glue dots

Remember dot dot dot, not a lot

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Glue your tails on your fish, with the crinkly side facing out.IMG_3685

Stick on your googly eyes and your heart shaped mouth.IMG_3686

Choose a name for your fish.

This is Sho Sho the Fish

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Make some fish friends and soon you will have a school of fish.IMG_3691

School is drawing to a close …

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As the school year finishes up I find myself running as fast as I can.

Simultaneously, it feels as though I am running in place and it is all moving as slowly as Molasses,

And I wish that we were already on vacation.

So I thought I would end this school year with Aesop’s fable of

The Tortoise and the Hare

 Please join Ms. Bits N’ Bobs @

MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL

Thursday, June 9th @ 10:00 am

Center Court

This tortoise is inspired by the story,

“The Tortoise and The Hare”.

Our ingredients are:

Styrofoam bowl

Buttons

Googly Eyes stickers

Glue

Pipe Cleaners

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Here are the ingredients for our Bunny Arts N’ Crafts

Bunny Cut Outs

Stickers

Ribbon

Jewels

Feathers

Pom Poms

Markers

Q-Tips

Glue

Googly Eyes

Mother’s Day Fun @ Manhattan Village Mall

2016-05-06 10.38.35 2016-05-07 13.09.47 HDR-2 2016-05-07 13.27.04 HDR-2 2016-05-07 15.18.20COME VISIT US AT

THE MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL

MOTHER’S DAY FUN WITH FLOWERS

SATURDAY MAY 7TH, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Simple ingredients to ensure a beloved Mother’s Day!

A bunch of artificial flowers. 

(If you have a few kids making this craft, buy several sets of flowers and using a wire-cutter, separate them into their individual stems.)

Tissue paper and/or cellophane for wrapping

Ribbon

Card Stock for the Mother’s Day card

Markers

Feathers

Bejeweled Stickers

WE WILL HAVE ALL THESE INGREDIENTS FOR FAMILY FUN@ MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL THIS COMING SATURDAY 1-3 PM

IMG_3368ASSEMBLE AND HAVE LOTS OF FUN!

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Springtime with Bunnies!

MS. BITS N’ BOBS

SPRINGTIME WITH BUNNIES

TODAY!!!

THURSDAY APRIL 14TH @ 10:00 AM

MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL

Here are the ingredients for our Bunny Arts N’ Crafts

Bunny Cut Outs

Stickers

Ribbon

Jewels

Feathers

Pom Poms

Markers

Q-Tips

Glue

Googly Eyes

IMG_3196Find a template and cut your bunny out of card stock.

IMG_3198Assemble your ingredients.

IMG_3201  Time for Bunny Fun!

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Make a friend!IMG_3202

Bunnies have lots n’ lots of friends. IMG_3207

Let’s play hop with Bunny!IMG_3206

Come visit us at the Mall!  We will provide all the makings for your bunny crafts!

St. Patrick’s Day Arts N’ Crafts

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs

The Luck O’ the Irish

Thursday, March 10th @ 10:00 am

Manhattan Village Mall

Monday, March 14th @ 10:30 am

PAGES Bookstore, Manhattan Beach

Our lucky charms for this art n’ craft are:

Foam shaped Shamrocks

Stampers

Lucky coins

Stickers

Glue

 

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Find your luck stamping your golden coins at the end of the rainbow!

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We always love to send some love out to our four legged friends.

Let’s stick ’em on our lucky shamrocks.

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Gold treasure coins from the pot at the end of the rainbow.

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Join us for decorating fun!

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