Kids: Here are Some New Year’s Resolutions To Think About

Nearly everyone on this earth, kids and adults are challenged to become better people.  Many do not wait until the New Year to change for the better, they do it on a daily basis.  However, there is something exciting about a New Year.  We can remember the good that we did and continue to improve on it.  As for mistakes, we can learn from them and try not to repeat them.

Adults will tell you that they have broken resolutions soon after they made them.  Sometimes, it is because they made a promise to do something that is very difficult.  For example, giving up smoking is very, very hard to do (so don’t start smoking).  Adults sometimes do something that is hard too often.  For example, they might try to work out the gym every day.

The secret to success is to pick a couple of things that you think you can do.  For example, improve things like saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ MORE OFTEN.  You can challenge yourself to saying these words, say 5 times a day or 10 times a day.  You can say ‘thank you’ for food that is cooked for you or the laundry that is done so that you have clean clothes.

Try saying ‘hello’ to a senior or older person every day or every second day.

Give one compliment a day – maybe up to three.

You can Pick from Some More

Decide not to bully anyone.   Decide not to lie.    Decide not to cheat.   Decide not to steal.  Share.

If you are in a religious family – thank God for food, clothing, shelter, seeing, hearing, walking, talking etc.

So when 2017 comes along – be a better person that last year.  You can do it!



Children and Adult Plant Nearly 50 Million Trees in India

Map of India with Pakistan in green

It was Pakistan that set the record for planting trees in 2013. Children and adults planted 847,275 trees in 24 hours.  Pakistan has a population of approximately 182 million.

This was a great idea and it motivated next door India to try and break the record.

India Breaks Pakistan’s Record
In 2016, Indian children and adults beat Pakistan’s record by planting 49.3 million trees on July 11, 2016 and it was done in 24 hours.

This is great competition between the two countries and it benefits the entire planet.  Of course, India has nine times the population of Pakistan.

India has a population of approximately 1.25 billion people.  So there are 9 extra people in India for every one person in Pakistan.  India with its massive population needs to plant more trees.


The Largest State – Uttar Pradesh.

It is reported that around 800,000 volunteers from Uttar Pradesh worked for 24 hours and planted 80 different species of tree saplings along road, railway tracks and on public land.  The saplings had been raised in local nurseries.  They will require watering and constant care if the trees are to survive.

How Trees Help the Planet

Humans pollute the air by driving cars and trucks.  Factories pollute the air.  This pollution is called “greenhouse emissions” or “global warming” because it heats up the atmosphere and causes problems.  The pollution is in a gas called carbon dioxide.  Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, so we personally pollute ourselves.  Now, trees can come to the rescue and here is how they do it.

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen and it is oxygen that humans and the planet needs to get rid of pollution.   Trees help us.

For some time now, environmentalists are desperately trying to stop people cutting down huge amounts of trees like in the Amazon jungle.

A Climate Conference in Paris, France

Most of the world’s countries met in Paris in December 2015.  They all wanted to stop climate change and do their best to stop pollution in their own countries.  India promised to spend $6 billion dollars to replant (reforest) its land.  Since it has the second largest population after China, India has had to cut down trees for housing, schools and factories, and turning more forested areas into fields for grazing cattle.  It was time to replant those cut down trees!

What Can You Do About Pollution?

Make sure that your family recycles waste.  Ask mom or dad not to let the car run when someone goes into the store.  People who stay in cars can pollute if they keep the engine running and use the heat or air conditioning.  In  countries like Germany, people turn off their engines when waiting for trains to pass.

Ask about tree planting in your school or community.  Often Scouts, Guides, Brownies or Cubs plant trees – join them for a day.

Do your best to stop pollution.




“Forever Young” Song by Bob Dylan for His Son – Inspirational

“Forever Young” by Bob Dylan


Written for his son, Jakob

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.


May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.


Jabari and the African Animals




Dear Reader,

I am taking you on an African ranger patrol.  They look after the animals on the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania.  They are also watching for poachers who kill animals.  In this story, there will be a shoot-out between the rangers and the poachers.  It is better that we are invisible so we won’t get hurt.  Being invisible allows us to travel with three great rangers named Jabari, James and Ahmed.  Jabari is the leader and he likes to sing and tell great African stories.  You will learn that there was a time when humans had no stories.  They belonged to the Sky-God and Anansi the Trickster-Spider wanted them.  The Sky-God gives Anansi three great challenges.  Later, around the campfire, Jabari will tell about the fight between two volcanoes that lived on Mount Kilimanjaro.  This is the highest mountain in Africa.

Another story is about the great fight of two volcanoes on Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa.  Are you ready to travel with the rangers and see African animals: elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos and wilderbeest?

Getting Ready to Travel

First, let’s look at the map of Africa. We will be travelling in the country of Tanzania.  Our plane will land at the capital city of Dodoma.  Make sure that you have your passport, camera, suitcase and Tanzanian money.


We Have Arrived in Tanzania

Wow, it’s hot now in Dodoma.  There are about 47 million people living in Tanzania and about 4 million wild animals mostly on the Serengeti.  Let’s go to a cafe and order a cold drink.  Have you enough Tanzanian schillings?  You can order your cold drink in English or Swahili which are the two official languages.



Let’s take our cold drink and watch planes landing.  There are planes  arriving from the eight countries that surround Tanzania: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Our Taxi is Waiting For Us.

We will take the taxi to the hotel to get a good sleep.  The next morning we will get into our invisible jeep and follow the rangers.

As we walk out to the taxi, we will pass by the Tanzanian flag and a big poster of the President.


This is President John Pombe Joseph Maguli and beside him is the flag of Tanzania.   There are about 47 million people living in Tanzania.

You walk towards the taxi stand.  A tall slender man shakes your hand and welcomes you to his country.  His name is Enzi.  He laughs and tells you that his name in the Swahili language means “the powerful one.”


Enzi likes to talk and he tells you he is proud of his country.

“ We have the highest mountain of all the African countries.  It is called Mount Kilimanjaro.”

He beeps his horn and waves to a friend.

“Do you know that Tanzania might be the oldest country in the world?”

You ask him to explain.

“Well, scientists say that they foundest the oldest human skull here, so perhaps, the first humans may have lived in Tanzania.”

You are impressed and say, “Wow!”

Enzi laughs, “ We have the largest extinct volcano called Ngorongoro and

the  largest lake called Lake Victoria.  He passes you a map and a picture of Lake Victoria.  On the map you can see the Serengeti Plains and you wonder where the rangers are at the moment.



You look at the window and notice that some people appear to be wearing tribal clothes.  You ask Enzi how many tribes there are in Tanzania and he replies, ‘about one hundred and twenty.’

Enzi turns the taxi into the driveway of a large hotel and you notice that the reception area is filled with African carvings and beautiful wall hangings.  Enzi waves goodbye.  It has been a long flight and you are anxious to have a shower and go to bed.  You pull back the bedspread with its beautiful cover of African wildlife and fall asleep.


It is very early the next morning, when we approach our invisible jeep. It drives itself and the signs point towards the Serengeti National Park.  The sky has not yet turned blue.  Inside the park, the first animal that you see is a majestic female lion.  She blends in with the orange sun and sky.

We arrive at the rangers’ camp.  We park our invisible jeep just feet away from their fire.  We smell the porridge breakfast cooking and Jabari, the head ranger, removes a hot pot of water from the fire.  He makes three mugs of tea.  We watch as his two ranger friends, James and Ahmed wake up.  If we just sit and watch, we will get to know some things about the rangers.

Hey Kids! Give Compliments to One Another but Be Genuine

How did you feel when you received a compliment?  Were you embarrassed or did it feel really good?

Being kind means that you share, say nice things and give compliments when they are deserved.  Don’t overdo it or it will seem fake!  If you give too many, people will think that you are not sincere. Choose carefully.  If you can give one or two good compliments that you can be proud each day.

Don’t be jealous!  If someone on your teams scores a goal, compliment him or her.  Perhaps, you don’t score many goals, but everyone has something that they do that deserves a compliment.  Compliment your mom or dad if they prepare a good meal, but don’t thank them for every vegetable on the plate.

Helping goes with compliments.  If you really enjoyed the meal that was prepared for you, not only compliment the chef, but help clear the table or do the washing up.

Always be the best person you can be – and – forgive yourself for mistakes.  Next time, you can do better.

Source: Acts of Kindness – Advent Calendar

I have adapted it for kids.

Received Gifts This Christmas: How About Sending Out “Thank You” Cards?

If you received gifts from your parents, siblings, relations or friends, how about writing “Thank You” cards.   They do not have to be long.   If you can remember the gift, then write, “Thank you for the wonderful (paint set, gloves, DVD)”  You can write any of these sentences:

  • I really will use this gift.
  • I have showed this gift to my friends.
  • I love to watch/listen to your gift.
  • Your gift is something that I wanted or that I can use.

Think about it!  Someone took time to pick a gift out for you.  They wrapped it and hoped that it would make you happy.  Tell them that it did.

The Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl: Funny Poem

The Dentist and the Crocodile

The crocodile, with cunning smile,
sat in the dentist’s chair.
He said, “Right here and everywhere
my teeth require repair.”
The dentist’s face was turning white.
He quivered, quaked and shook.
He muttered, “I suppose I’m going
to have to take a look.”
“I want you,” Crocodile declared, “to do the back ones first.
The molars at the very back
are easily the worst.”
He opened wide his massive jaws.
It was a fearsome sight—
At least three hundred pointed teeth,
all sharp and shining white.
The dentist kept himself well clear.
He stood two yards away.
He chose the longest probe
he had to search out the decay.
“I said to do the back ones first!”
the Crocodile called out.
“You’re much too far away,
dear sir, to see what you’re about.
To do the back ones properly
you’ve got to put your head
Deep down inside my great big mouth,”
the grinning Crocky said.
The poor old dentist wrung his hands and,
weeping in despair,
He cried, “No no!
I see them all extremely
 well from here!”
Just then, in burst a lady,
in her hands a golden chain.
She cried, “Oh Croc, you naughty boy,
you’re playing tricks again!”
“Watch out!” the dentist shrieked
and started climbing up the wall.
“He’s after me! He’s after you!
He’s going to eat us all!”
“Don’t be a twit,” the lady said,
and flashed a gorgeous smile.
“He’s harmless.
He’s my little pet,
my lovely crocodile.”
Roald Dahl, “The Dentist and the Crocodile” from Rhyme Stew, published by Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 1989 by Roald Dahl.

Dying Dutch Boy Raises Money for Charity By Painting Nails

If you are a young person reading this, you probably know of kids that have gone into hospital – maybe, you have been in hospital.  The majority of  kids get better and return home.  That is why going to the doctor or hospital is important.  However, a few kids do not get better.  This is very sad for the kid and his/her family.   This is a story of a hero, a kid who has just one year to live and he is raising money for other sick kids.  This is an amazing story and he is truly a hero.  A hero tackles difficult situations and this is what Tijn has done.

His Name is Tijn, and he Lives in Holland which is also called The Netherlands.

Tijn – a hero!


A terminally ill six-year-old Dutch boy has raised more than 8.7 million Euros which is (7.4 million pounds) or (over $9 million USA) for charity.

Tijn and his father raised this money in Euros

His name is Tijn Kolsteren and he probably has just a year to live.  Tijn has brain cancer, but he is thinking about others.  He knows that he will die so he set out a “bucket list” of things to achieve in his short time.  A “bucket list,” as you may know, are things that you would like to do, places you might like to visit, or people you might like to meet.  You do not have to be dying to have a “bucket list.”

Tijn’s “Bucket List”

Tinj wanted to raise money for sick kids world-wide.

He appeared on a Dutch radio programme with his father, Gerrit Kolsteren, and asked people to get their nails painted and give money to his donation page. He wants to help stop the deaths of young kids who get pneumonia.

Pneumonia: What Kind of Disease is it?

Pneumonia (pronounced u-mon-ia) is an infection that affects the lungs.  In poorer countries where kids do not get proper food and have to drink unclean water, they are more likely to get pneumonia.  Also kids in poorer countries cannot get needles to prevent pneumonia. Often doctors and medical help is not near to where poor families live.  Tjin’s money can do a number of things.  It can hire people to take immunisation (shots) to poorer villages where there are no doctors.  It can treat young kids who are sick with the disease and help them to recover.

Let’s Paint Nails and Donate Money

In Holland (the Netherlands) Tinj and his family came up with the idea of “paint your nails and make a donation.” Soon famous people were doing this and even the Prime Minister of Holland painted his nails blue.

You can donate to Serious Request which is a collection of music DJs in many European countries. They raise money for charity in many developing countries.

ASPCA Dog and Cat of the Year 2016

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA has chosen the “Dog and Cat of the Year” for 2016.  The following writing is from the ASPCA site.


ASPCA Dog of the Year: Ruthie

Most comfort dogs work in hospitals or other care centers, helping people cope with everyday stresses. But Ruthie, a Golden Retriever, has been called to service during some of the nation’s most tragic and devastating events, including the Orlando nightclub shooting, the shooting of police officers in Dallas, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Newtown school shooting, as well as tornadoes in Oklahoma and wildfires in California.

At those sites, Ruthie has provided relief to both victims and responders, keeping stress levels down, and providing comfort to grief-stricken survivors.

Ruthie’s presence was particularly impactful during her six weeks in Newtown, the scene of the Sandy Hook tragedy, where she helped traumatized young girls and boys—who hadn’t spoken since the shootings—come out of their shells.

Blake, a black cat in Fort Worth, Texas, had no idea what was in store for him when Glen Schallman walked into the Humane Society of North Texas last winter. Blake had been going through a tough time since being rescued from a hoarding situation and undergoing a host of veterinary procedures. But his life changed when Schallman, who suffers from three serious brain conditions and daily intense seizures, showed up simply looking for a new friend. Blake literally jumped up and down to get Schallman’s attention, and the two bonded immediately.

Schallman suffered a seizure the same day he brought Blake home, and Blake reacted by patting Schallman’s arm with his paws. A few days later, Blake proved he truly understood Schallman’s dilemma when Schallman had a life-threatening seizure while sleeping. Blake saved Schallman’s life by alerting him with a sharp bite to his toe. Schallman says that Blake has a sixth sense about detecting oncoming seizures and credits the cat with saving his life.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas or A Visit from St. Nicholas

T’was The Night Before Christmas”

or a Visit from St. Nicholas.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!  On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!