Holiday Video: A Christmas Dream (1945)

In this wild and wonderful stop-motion animation Christmas short made in Czechloslovakia in 1945, a little girl dreams that her dolls and toys have come to life. If it doesn’t weird you out completely, you’ll love it.

The Cinnamon Bear!

Back again by popular demand!

It’s Cinnamon Bear time!

Lots of homeschoolers say that we are responsible for getting them hooked on “The Cinnamon Bear” when we first featured it eleven years ago – though I suspect many of them would have eventually discovered this wonderful old-time-radio children’s program on their own. But one thing’s for certain – over the past decade listening to “The Cinnamon Bear” has become a treasured holiday tradition for thousands of homeschooling families.

There’s just something about popping up some popcorn, warming up the cider, cuddling up on the sofa with your kids, and filling your house with the SAME wonderful holiday season stories and music your grandparents (or GREAT grandparents) enjoyed when they were young too. It is magic. If your family hasn’t experienced “The Cinnamon Bear”, YOU just might need to start the tradition too.

So what is “The Cinnamon Bear”?

First broadcast on the radio way back in 1938, The Cinnamon Bear is the classic tale of Judy and Jimmy Barton, who discover that the silver star which is supposed to go on the top of their Christmas tree has gone missing from their attic. As they search for it, they encounter a teeny tiny bear just two inches high – Paddy O’Cinnamon (aka The Cinnamon Bear) – who shows Judy and Jimmy how to shrink down to his own size.

At that point, the story really begins as the three friends set out on a journey to Maybeland in pursuit of the Crazy Quilt Dragon, who took the ornament. Over the course of the 26 episode series, they encounter a host of delightful characters, including the Inkaboos, the Candy Pirates (who are my personal favorites), The Wintergreen Witch, Fe Fo the Giant, and even Santa Claus himself. It’s a delightful old timey, family-safe fairy tale for listeners of all ages, with lovely music, fun characters, and an engrossing (you-can’t-listen-to-just-one) storyline.

Traditionally, these 15 minute programs were broadcast each year beginning the day after Thanksgiving, right up to Christmas Eve… one episode each day. Of course, nowadays most kids – knowing the entire series is stashed away on your computer or ipod – want to listen to it at a much faster clip than just “one a day”, so many families go through two or three or more episodes per day. (Warning: Once you get started, it’s pretty hard to stop.)

Start your own holiday tradition

Ready to give it a listen? We’ve got  all 26 episodes of “The Cinnamon Bear” series lined up for you, and we invite you to give them a listen and join in the fun. You can listen to each episode or download them to your computer here. Click the link to listen online, or RIGHT CLICK the link to download to your PC. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click the link and save the file.

Content Note: In this 26 part series, the characters do encounter a witch and some magical creatures. These are not “Harry Potter” type realistic characters, but old fashioned cartoony 1930′s versions. However, because some parents wish us to let them know if there are elements of magic in a program in any shape or form, we’re letting you know that now.

If you like this series, we Highly Recommend you pick up our delightful CINNAMON BEAR COMPANION bundle to go along with these programs!  This downloadable resource package includes a terrific 100 page LAPBOOK with activities for EVERY episode of the series, 2 fun BOARD GAMES, 2 COLORING BOOKS and an MP3 “album” of all the great songs from the series… all for just $7. It will definitely add a lot to your kids’ enjoyment of the series this holiday season – or any time you wish to re-visit MaybeLand.

Click here to order your copy now!

“I also have to say what a great resource this was last year. We bought the Cinnamon Bear Companion also and did the lapbook, colouring book and games with our youngest (7 years). I want to add that after 6 years of family homeschooling it was the best project we have ever done :) Meri Kirihimete from New Zealand” – Shelly B.

Here are the Download links to ALL 26 episodes for you. To download each file, RIGHT CLICK  the link, then “save” the file to your computer. Mac users, press the ‘control’ key then click the link and save to your mac.

Chapter 1: Paddy O’Cinnamon

Chapter 2: Weary Willy

Chapter 3: Crazy Quilt Dragon

Chapter 4: The Inkaboos

Chapter 5: Wesley the Wailing Whale

Chapter 6: Samuel Seal

Chapter 7: Presto the Magician

Chapter 8: The Candy Pirates

Chapter 9: The Roly Poly Policeman

Chapter 10: Professor Whiz

Chapter 11: Fee Foo the Gentle Giant

Chapter 12: The Rhyming Rabbit

Chapter 13: The Wintergreen Witch

Chapter 14: Queen Melissa of Maybeland

Chapter 15: Snapper Stick the Crocodile

Chapter 16: Oliver Ostrich

Chapter 17: The Muddlers

Chapter 18: The Cocklebur Cowboys

Chapter 19: The Wooden Indian

Chapter 20: The Flying Hat

Chapter 21: The Snowman

Chapter 22: Santa Claus

Chapter 23: The Bad Dolls

Chapter 24: The Parade

Chapter 25: Captain Tintop

Chapter 26: From the North Pole Back to Home

These links will remain available right up until Christmas. Yay!


Making Family Memories – Holiday Edition

Making Family Memories – Holiday Edition

Today we feature another wonderful PDF ebook from our friend Penny Raine, who has this to say about this sweet resource:

Holidays are funny things, folks either love them or hate them. In my Holiday Edition of Making Family Memories I will share with you the importance of recognizing how and why this is so and what we can do to create meaningful Family Memories. Sometimes it is actually more about carefully protecting the memories we have tied up in Holidays more than actually trying to create them.

Read along and you will see what I mean…..

Click here to go to the download page!

“Around the Horn” Board Game + Loads of Crafts Projects

From prolific homeschool writer Alicia Bayer’s Magical Childhood site, here’s a downloadable American history board game you can print and play! Your kids can go back to 1848 and experience their own journey “around the horn” from New York to San Francisco – and learn a lot about this part of our history in the process.

From the description:

“When gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, it set off the great Gold Rush. While many people went overland across the country, many others chose to go “around the horn”.

This meant boarding a ship at New York City, Boston, or another eastern port and heading south, south, south. The ships kept going until they reached Cape Horn, the tip of South America. Making their way around it, they then headed north for San Francisco. In 1849, over 700 ships made this voyage of 13,00 miles, usually in 6-8 months, stopping at ports along the way to resupply.

While it was by far the longest route and was very expensive (around $300 per person), there were many advantages. People could set off in the winter when the overland routes were blocked. They could bring along far more baggage and cargo. And they didn’t have to worry about buying their own supplies or facing any of the many hazards along the way. It is easy to see why ships were so popular…”

Click here to go to the download page!

And while you are there, here is more interesting stuff from Magical Childhood to check out…

An extensive Craft Projects page with dozens of hands-on projects for kids

Alicia’s current blog with lots of neat ideas and links for homeschoolers

Hero Tales from American History – Great Audiobook!

Hero Tales From American History, Volume 1 by Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge

Today’s freebie (exclusively from us!) is this wonderful American history audiobook, read by Hal Young of

Did you know Theodore Roosevelt wrote a book for children?

He did. He wrote this book to teach character and virtue through the stories of American History.

Today’s freebie is Volume One of the book, which includes 5 great audio stories, each 8-11 minutes long, perfect for family listening:

George Washington (Biography)
Daniel Boone (Biography)
George Rogers Clark (Revolutionary War)
The Battle of Trenton (Revolutionary War)
Bennington (Revolutionary War)

Roosevelt’s book is even more interesting in this new audiobook format, with some great added sound effects, too. Ships creaking, gulls cawing, cannon fire, even angry French mobs come together to make history they’ll never forget. Highly recommended!

Click here to go to the site!

101 Lessons, Activities and Printables

Here’s a neat find! The Center for Mathematics & Science Education offers a humongous collection of lesson guides, printables, games and other freebies for students from K – 9 on dozens of science and nature subjects. There is so much variety here we can’t describe it all, so just go look… there’s something for everybody!

Click here to go to their site!

Homeschool for the Holidays!

Our Favorite Homeschool Ideas For The Holidays (PDF ebook)

There’s a very good reason we bring this little ebook back each year. Whether you’re ready for it or not, the holiday season is here! And while we can’t control the calendar, we CAN control what the holidays are going to be like in our own households. Now’s the time to plan how to make the next few weeks the best time of the year for your family.

We surveyed over 800 homeschool families and asked them to share their favorite holiday activities and ideas – what worked for them, and what did not. This is a compilation of the very best responses and ideas we received. In this little collection you’ll find dozens of great holiday learning activities plus tips and suggestions for balancing homeschool & family during the hectic holiday season. This is some of the very best “real life” advice on the subject you’ll find ANYWHERE at any price. Don’t miss it!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” the file to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” button, then click on the above link and save to your mac.