China’s School in a Cave – Operated for 23 Years.

CAVE SCHOOL:  The school closed, but the kids still don’t have a school!

How do you get to school?  Do you take the school bus, walk, ride your bike or are you driven by car?  Do you like to learn?   Here is a story about kids in a poor province of China that were willing to walk up to three hours to get to school.  When they got to class – it was in a CAVE.  The school had been going for 23 years, but then the government closed it down.  They said that “China isn’t a society of cave men.”  They have not opened another school.  Maybe this will make you feel more grateful to have a school in your neighbourhood?

School had its own basketball court

How the School Started

Donzhong is in Guizhou which is one of China’s poorest provinces.  When the government was slow to provide a school, the local villagers started a school in a local cave.  In 1984 the school started with 8 teachers and 186 students.  The school was shut down in 2007, but the ex-principal has great memories of it.  The cave had great acoustics so that they had one of the best choirs in their province.  He said that they needed need books for biology as the cave had bats and rats.

Closed Down but No School Yet.  Where was the school?

It is 2017 as I write about this cave school and I have not been able to find out if the villagers have another school.  Let’s hope that the eager children of this village will be able to get an education.  Every child in this world deserves to have an education.

Bite me! Mosquito Facts for Kids


Bite me is really incorrect.  A female mosquito actually pierces your skin.

This female mosquito is piercing your skin.

Only dragonflies and birds like mosquitoes.  They attack this annoying insect that measures from 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch and has wings and an antenna.  As a human, you may have felt the mosquito before you saw it.  Only the females “bite” but the biting is really a piercing of your skin with their “proboscis” that sucks out your blood.  If you look at a mosquito closely you will find that it is mainly a pale brown with shitish stripes across its abdomen.  It has six legs.

The Tiny Draculas of the Insect Kingdom

Like Dracula, the female mosquito wants to suck your blood.  It uses the protein in your blood to be able to reproduce.  The males feed solely on plant juices.

The Dangers of Mosquitoes

The red colouring on the world map shows countries where there are dangers of getting a disease from a mosquito.

You and I have been bitten many times, but in some countries a bite can result in deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow ever, encephalitis and dengue.

Types of Mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes seem to like to annoy EVERY living creature.Some mosquitoes feed only on snakes, frogs, lizards or other cold-blooded animals. Other mosquitoes prey on members of the bird kingdom, while others prefer to attack cows, horses and other farm animals.

Eyes that Stay Open

Mosquitoes cannot focus their eyes like humans.  Their eyes remain open to help them detect quick movements.  And they do rest or sleep.  They have two compound eyes.  Each eye contains thousands of six-sided lenes that point in all directions.  The great seeing is helped by the fact that their wings beat more than 1,000 times per second.  This results in the ‘buzz’ we hear.

How to Cut Down the Population

If a female mosquito can find water that is stagnant (does not move) it will be happy to lay up to 200 eggs.  Stagnant water is found in swamps and marches and tree holes.  Humans need to cover containers such as water-filled barrels, buckets, wheelbarrows so that females do not lay eggs.  Swimming pools that are poorly maintained are also a breeding ground. Eggs hatch within three days.  We should never hurt dragonflies because these clever insults fly and hover like helicopters as they eat mosquitoes and black flies.

The spray with DEET does not kill mosquitoes, it makes them dizzy and they go somewhere else for food.

Panda Facts for Kids with Adorable Pictures



In the Chinese languages, the giant panda means “black and white catfoot or big bear cat.”  It is a lovely animal with its large black patches around its eyes, over its ears and across its round body.  Early fossil remains show that the giant panda has been around for between 1 to 2 milllion years.

mountains of bamboo forests, China

The Panda’s Diet

The panda used to have a larger area to roam, eat and breed, but people have started to cut down bamboo forests.  The map  shows what was once a large roaming area (in pink) and what it has been reduced to today in (red).

Bamboo is the panda’s favourite food and its diet consists of 99% of this plant. Giant pandas in the wild will ocassionally eat other grasses or even a little meat in birds, mice, fish.  Giant pandas in zoos or breathing shelters will eat honey, eggs, oranges and bananas as part of their food.  The paw of the giant panda’s consists of a sort of thumb and five fingers.  The thump or bone helps it to hold the bamboo while eating.

Pandas Live in Just Three Chinese Provinces.

There are less than 300 pandas living in captivity in China plus those on loan to zoos outside the country.  As for wild pandas, there were about 268 living mostly in the mountainous areas of China.  The panda has now joined the dragon as China’s national symbol.

How big is the Giant Panda?

Length: 1.2 -1.9 m ( 4 to 6 ft)

Tall at shoulder:   60-90 cm (2-3 ft)

Male weight:     160 kg (350 lb)

Female weight:  125kg (276 lbs) or less.

Keeping Warm

Living in the mountains can often be cold and so the giant panda has a warm wooly coat.  He or she can live for up to 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.  Jia Jia the oldest giant panda so far, lived to be 38 years of age.

The Young Pandas

Any giant pandas born in zoos outside of China are the property of the Chinese government.  They have to be returned with their mother when the lending period is over.

Young giant pandas are usually born in August.   Some pandas are not born black and white.  They can be brown and white but these are rare.

When they are just born, babies are furless and pink and three weeks later, they get their black and white fur.    I will be travelling to China this year and hope to see some pandas in the wild.


Eastern Africa home of the first human beings?


The first humans lived on the plains of East Africa about 4-6 million years ago.


People lived simply under trees and in bushes, while some lived in caves.


Later, some used mud and sticks and grass to build shelters.

The first cities were built by Sumerians on the floodplains of the Mesopotamia and along the Indus Valley between what is now parts of Pakistan and India.

The Indus Valley


These were built around Alexandria in Egypt and the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.

After many years, the Romans were able to carry water through pipes and add drainage so that the cities were cleaner.  They also made primitive central heating.


If we go back 9,000 years, experts tell us that there is evidence of farmers growing barley, millet, wheat and oats.

They would have used digging sticks to plant the seeds.  A longer and sharper tool would have been used to cut the grass.  It was called a scythe.



People living in Mesopotania (modern day Iraq and Egypt invented the plow.  It might have been pulled by humans until they hitched up aniamls such as horses or oxen.


About one million years ago, early humans discovered fire.  They became healthier as they could cook their meat and avoid germs when meat was left uncooked.  They used the fire for heat and to scare away wild animals.  Later, fire was used to melt metal for spears.


The first wheels were used by potters to make vases and pots.

This was about 3,500 BCE in Mesopotamia.   About 3,200 BCE or 300 years later, the wheel was used in a wheelbarrow and in chariot wheels.


Early humans heated up stones and then chipped away at them to make blades and tools that were sharp that could penetrate things.

Archeologists working in South Africa have discovered a cave that shows these skills some 800,000 years ago.   About 100,000 years ago in several countries there are examples of fire being used to make ceramics.

Metal working with fire seems to have taken place 100,000 years ago.  These metals that came from fire heating could be used in the making of spears or for knives that could have been fitted into wood and secured there.

Story of Peter Rabbit: Read it for Free on My Children’s Site

Enjoy this free story on behalf of the Gutenburg Project.

Mrs. Rabbit gives Peter camomile tea





Peter Rabbit





First published 1902
Frederick Warne & Co., 1902
Printed and bound in Great Britain by William Clowes Limited, Beccles and London



Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—

and Peter.

Rabbit family home

They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.

Mother gives a warning

‘Now my dears,’ said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, ‘you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.’

Be good little bunnies

‘Now run along, and don’t get into mischief. I am going out.’

Mrs. Rabbit goes shopping

Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.

Bunnies picking berries

Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries:

Bad boy Peter

But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden, and squeezed under the gate!

Peter pigs out

First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes;

Peter ate too much

And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.

Peter is discovered

But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!

McGregor chases Peter

Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, ‘Stop thief!’

Peter loses his shoes

Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.

He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.

Peter is caught in a net

After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.

Sparrows offer advice

Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.

Peter escapes McGregor

Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.

Peter chooses a wet place to hide

And rushed into the tool-shed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.


Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the tool-shed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.

Presently Peter sneezed—’Kertyschoo!’ Mr. McGregor was after him in no time.

Peter tips over pots

And tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.

Peter looks around for the exit

Peter sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.

After a time he began to wander about, going lippity—lippity—not very fast, and looking all round.

Peter asks the mouse

He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath.

An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.

Peter encounters a cat

Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some gold-fish, she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he had heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.

Peter finds a vantage point

He went back towards the tool-shed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe—scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!

Peter dashes for the gate

Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow; and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.

Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.

Scare-crow of rabbit clothes

Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.

Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.

Peter is back home

He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!

Petered out

I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.

His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!

‘One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.’

Eating the berries they picked

But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.


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Poems to Make Children Laugh by Wonderful Egar Lear



There was an Old Man in a tree,

Who was horribly bored by a bee.

When they said “Does it buzz?”

He replied “Yes, it does!

It’s a regular brute of a bee!”




There was an old man on the Border,

Who lived in the utmost disorder;

He danced with the cat, and made tea in his hat,

Which vexed all the folks on the Border.



There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, “It is just as I feared! —

Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard.



There was an old person of Nice,

Whose associates were usually Geese.

They walked out together, in all sorts of weather.

That affable person of Nice!




Indian Schools – On a Train Platform or Under a Bridge


After China, India has the biggest population of any country.  The Indian government and parents want all children to be educated, but this is not possible for a number of reasons.  There are more children than schools!

Imagine a country with more children then schools.  Some families are so poor that children have to work, although this is illegal.  Schools are incredibly overcrowded, but to escape poverty and get good jobs in the future, parents and students are willing to suffer this overcrowding.

Train platform schools

Children attend school on train platforms across India

These schools across India help the poorest of children to get an education.  There are over 4,000 students whose classroom is a railway platform.

Under the bridge 

This school is based beneath a very busy road

This school in India  is organised by volunteers for poor children who aren’t enrolled in the school system. It is located in the city of New Delhi and situated beneath an overpass. Volunteers teach children the basics of reading, numeracy (numbers) and English. The school has been going for 10 years and has about 300 students.

So what do you think about these two stories?  Remember that India also has excellent schools that graduate doctors, engineers and other professional people.  India is a country that has rich and poor and those who fit in between.   Make sure that you appreciate school.  And maybe, in the future, you might like to volunteer or help as a professional person in developing countries.

When Teachers are Absent – I go to Work

I have been coming in for teachers who are sick or have emergencies that require them to take a day off.

Here are some of my encounters with young primary kids (Grades/Year 1,2,3)

l. Mary.

“Miss, I want you to know that Samantha cannot run in gym because she has

had her tonsils out.”

2. “Miss, I have designed this great idea to make baseball harder.

There is a field force at each base.   The runner has to bend his back

and fit through a space if he is to reach the base.”

3.   “Miss, can you help me get ready for home?”

Nicholas:  “I can’t undo the knot in my shoe.

Me:  “Let me help.”

Nicholas:  “Miss, you told us stories about your adventures in Australia

with koalas and kangaroos.”

Me:  “Yes, I did.  Did you enjoy them?”

Nicholas:  “I really liked them.  Could you tell us more?”

Me:  “Well, maybe if I come to your class again.”

Nicholas:  “What  if you gave me your phone number and we could

talk about more of your adventures?”

Me:   “I am not allowed to give out my phone number.”

Nicholas.  “O.K, so how about giving me your home number?”

Me:   “I’m not allowed to do that, so maybe I will come back.”

Nicholas:  “I hope so.   My teacher doesn’t speak about kangaroo!”

4.   student:   “John cannot eat peanuts.  If he does – he gets sick.  He gets

so sick that you have to phone for an ambulance.

Me.          “Has this ever happened?”

Student:     “I don’t think so, but we all have to be prepared.”

5.   Student:   “Miss, have you ever had a wish and wanted it to come true?”

Me.           “Yes.”

Student:    “Me, too!’

6.    Student:    “Did you ever wish that you could fly away when things got


Me.           “Often.

Student:    “Oh, that must have been a lot of times!   I’m not that bad!”

Dog Jokes for Kids: Enjoy

Q. Why do dogs run in circles?

A. Because it’s too hard to run in squares!

Q. What dog loves to take bubble baths?

A.   A shampoodle!

Q. Why did the dachshund bite the man’s ankle?

A.  It  couldn’t reach any higher!

Q. Why did the snowman call his dog “Frost”?

A.     Because Frost-bites

Q. What type of markets do dogs avoid?

A.  Flea markets!

Q. When is a black dog not a black dog?

A. When it’s a greyhound!

Q. What do you call a great dog detective?

A.  Sherlock Bones!


Q. Why is a tree like a big dog?

A.  They both have lot of bark!

Q. What did the dog say when he sat on sandpaper?

A.  Ruff!

“I have my ball, let’s play!”

Q. What did one flea say to the other?

“Should we walk or take a dog?”