Tag Archives: martha speaks

Martha Speaks About Animal Shelters

PBS KIDS’ Martha Speaks is partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to celebrate the great work done by animal shelters around the country.

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To celebrate this partnership, PBS will be airing a special week of shelter dog episodes, beginning Monday, October 3, 2011 on PBS KIDS (check your local listings).

Previewing the Martha Speaks episodes this week has led to many conversations and questions from my kids.  We’ve been exploring and learning a lot this week about animal shelters and the Humane Society.  Check out what we’ve learned on our video!

My kids and I have celebrated Martha’s great cause this entire week.  We got a sneak peak of the new episode, “Carolina Picks a Lily,” and loved it.  This new episode will premier on TV this Monday, so check your local listings!  There will be special episodes every day to celebrate shelter animals.  You won’t want to miss it!  This is such a great opportunity to teach your kids in a really fun way about the great work of the Humane Society.

It’s a great thing to adopt an animal from an animal shelter.  You never know what fun things will happen.  I found it inspiring when I discovered that Susan Meddaugh, the author of the original “Martha Speaks” book series, was inspired to write the books because of a stray dog she adopted and named Martha.  “[The real-life] Martha has given me more than I could have ever imagined,” Susan explains. “What if we hadn’t adopted her? We would have missed so much. And it makes me sad to think of all the dogs in shelters, and all the love and surprises they could bring to a forever home of their own.”

When you adopt an animal and bring them into a “forever home,” it surely is a cause for celebration!  It’s like welcoming a new family member!  Here are some ideas to help you celebrate . . .

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These tasty dog bone cookie snacks are a sure crowd pleaser.  Make extra for the party goers, they will definitely want to take home a doggy-bag.

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We made these tasty treats the easy way!  We made brownies from a mix and sugar cookies from a mix.  Just get your favorite frostings, sprinkles and a dog bone cookie cutter and you will be set.  I like how the little dog bone sits on top of the brownie.

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By the way, these are just people treats.  You should never EVER feed a dog chocolate.

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Unless it’s this kind of dog.  Then it’s okay.

Make some tasty treats that Martha and your own dog would love.  Here’s a recipe for some great doggy-safe treats: http://www.dogtreatrecipes.org/the-perfect-dog-biscuit-recipe.html

More fun with Animal Shelter Printables!

I thought it would be fun to have some printables for the upcoming week, so I created these for the great celebration.  Just click the pics below to view the full-size PDFs and print!  These are great for a fun activity to color while watching the Shelter Dog Adoption episodes of Martha Speaks this week!  Also, find a fun Martha Speaks bone bracelet activity printout at http://www.pbs.org/parents/martha/pdf/MarthaHA_BoneBracelet.pdf

To find out more about helping animals and for more activity ideas, visit http://www.pbs.org/parents/martha/helpinganimals/index.html

DogCollars

HelpDogsFindOwners

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Martha Speaks. Martha Decorates.

Mary just got her Martha Speaks canvas art in the mail!  She loves Martha and she was very excited when she opened the package.

Since the time I took this photo, Mary has hung and rehung her art on nearly every space she can find in the house–like the bookshelf, the banister, and next to the refrigerator!  She’s tried to hang it in the entry way, the family room,  my room, and even the mini van.  But so far it hasn’t actually been hung at all yet because she just likes to look at it.  She still hasn’t decided where to hang it, but I’m sure (because a mommy knows these things) that it will eventually end up on the ready-to-go-nail already in her room.  But just for now, Mary is having fun thinking about all the great places it could go.

You can get these fun licensed, personalized canvas’ and banners here at Ty’s Toy Box.

Lunch with “Martha Speaks”

“Mom, I want this one!” “Mom, it’s my turn!”  “Mom, I can’t see the pictures!”–this craziness is called bedtime stories with three kids and a tired mom!  I can’t read to all of them at the same time.  So, with a sudden stroke of inspiration one night, I asked Anne to read Mary a book and I read Eliza a book.  (Why hadn’t I thought of that before!?)

Everyone loves that routine now!  Anne and Mary will often fall asleep reading to each other.  One of Mary’s new favorites for Anne to read to her is the  “Martha Speaks” chapter books.

There are a lot of beginning level chapter books out there.  I tend to love the ones that are entertaining and imaginative, and where the kids in the story are, well, NICE!  I really don’t go for the bratty kids books. (It would be like giving my kids a textbook on how to be a brat! Why would I do that!)

Anyway, “Martha Speaks” books are great and are taken from the PBS show.  My kids mostly came to love them by first playing the Martha games on www.pbskids.org.  They were excited when we found the books at the school book fair.  They are a lot easier than Anne’s reading level, but she is still entertained by them and mostly loves reading them to Mary.  They also have a lot of pictures, which is another great thing for Mary or any four-year-old.

Here they are opening some of the new books that came in the mail…

…they pretty much devour them.

So about “Martha Speaks.”  Martha is a dog that belongs to a girl named Helen.  One day Helen fed her dog some alphabet soup and by some crazy phenomenon, the alphabet letters traveled to the dog’s brain instead of her stomach!  So now Martha the dog can speak, and she gets into fun and imaginitive adventures with her one-of-a-kind talking talent.

The Martha Lunch

Since the kids have been loving these books lately, I thought it would be fun to have a ‘Martha lunch’ and have ABC Chef Boyardee.

They’ve never really had anything like this before, and when I explained it was like ‘Martha’s alphabet soup,’  Mary looked down and said… “You mean it’s dog food?”

No Silly!  I told her it was like the alphabet soup that made Martha talk.  Then she was excited.  We started being silly and pretended that maybe the soup would make us talk like a dog instead!  Or that maybe we would speak Spanish or German!  After that, Mary and Eliza just had fun finding the letters of their names, or just sounding out the letters before eating them.

F is for “Fun.”

M is for “Mmmmm.”