More Foodoku puzzles!

by Spikey

posted on July 5, 2011 in Foodoku, Puzzle Games

Two versions of another Foodoku puzzle -- the Sudoku-type puzzle that uses pictures of food instead of numbers! Read the rest of this entry →

What’s a fun puzzle game to do with food?

by Spikey

posted on June 30, 2011 in Foodoku, Puzzle Games

How about "Foodoku"? (!)

Have you ever heard of the Japanese puzzle game Sudoku? It looks like a math game, right? But it's not really about numbers at all -- no adding, subtracting, multiplication or division. What it's really about is patterns and logic. So, yeah, that's kind of math -- but it's not arithmetic. So there's really no need to have numbers in the puzzle. You can just as easily have shapes, or colours, or letters, or pictures.

So that got us to thinking, "Hey! Why not make a Sudoku game with pictures of food?" Marian wanted to make one that helps you remember what kinds of foods make a healthy, balanced meal. She started with 6 pictures, one for each of the 6 Vegan Food Groups. (That's why there's seaweed in the first set of pictures -- one of the vegan food groups is for trace minerals and vitamin B12. The other groups are fruit, yellow and green vegetables, whole grains and potatoes, nuts and seeds, and legumes like peas and beans.) For the other 3 pictures, she just used another fruit, another grain, and another vegetable.

Anyway, I said, "Hey! What about dessert??" So I got her to make a whole other set of pictures, this time all sweet treats! Obviously, you wouldn't eat all of these together, the way you would with the healthy foods from the other set. You'd just have one at a time for a dessert or a special snack or something. But isn't it fun to see them all together there and make-believe you're in Candyland or something? Tee hee hee!

Marian's probably going to make some more picture sets later on, and also some more puzzle boards to use them with. Meanwhile, you can start with the first puzzle in either the "healthy foods" version or the "sweet treats" version. These are pdf files that you can print and cut out so they're like a board game.

I think I'll start a Foodoku Caboodle, too, for kids who want to get tips on how to solve the Foodoku puzzles, or talk about the foods. See you there?

Your friend,

More Foodoku puzzles here.

Spread the Word!

by Spikey

posted on June 9, 2011 in Spread the Word!

Hello, kids! Spikey here.

Kids and Caboodles is still pretty new, so not a lot of people know about it yet. Want to help spread the word? You can tell everyone you know... and even people you don't know! Here's how:

Word of mouth

(Isn't that a funny expression?)

Just tell your friends and family when you see them, like "Hey! I found a new website that's going to have some great stuff on it. It's Right now they have a free Standikin you can colour and cut-out" (and then you can explain what a Standikin is).

Hand it out

If you want to have a piece of paper to give people to make it easier, print out copies of the flyer. (That's a PDF file. It's a sheet of 4 mini-flyers - just print out the sheet and cut in 4 along the dotted lines.) This would be a great way to spread the news to your neighbours, teacher, or homeschool group.

(Oh, and "Thanks!" if you do!)

Your friend Spikey

Flat Stanley, Flat Travelers… and now Standikins!

by Marian

posted on June 3, 2011 in Standikins

What's flat and adventurous and travels the world by mail?

What about Flat Stanley? He's from a children's book by Jeff Brown, about a boy who gets flattened by a bulletin board that falls on him. When he wants to visit friends far away, his parents just send him in an envelope!

The Flat Stanley Project

This story gave an Ontario schoolteacher an idea. He started the Flat Stanley Project so that classes from different schools could send each other a paper Flat Stanley and do all kinds of learning in a really fun way. The class that's being the host writes down Stanley's adventures and then sends him and his journal back to the original class.

Flat Travelers

Homeschoolers have (had) their own version of the Flat Stanley project. It's called Flat Travelers (that's the American spelling). Like Flat Stanley, a Flat Traveler is a laminated paper character that gets sent to other families for a "visit" and comes home with a log of their adventures, some photos of them in their travels, outings, and activities, and sometimes some other souvenirs. It's a fun way to learn a bunch of stuff  -- and make some friends at the same time!


The Flat Travelers Homeschool group was where homeschool families could find other homeschooling families from around the world, who all want to send and host Flat Travelers. But it was a Yahoo Group, so it's no longer at the link I posted before. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else, like on Facebook, so maybe it's gone now.

... and now Standikins!

The thing is, though, that Flat Stanleys and Flat Travelers really are totally flat. They need to be propped up when they have their picture taken in the real world. I thought it would be a good idea to make “flat” travellers who could stand on their own. So I went ahead and created a new kind of Traveller, with a stand. I call them Standikins.

The first Standikin that is available is the same kind of creature as my friend Boopity. What do you think? Is it a boy or a girl? A visitor from another planet, or a creature from a magical place? What’s its name? The great thing is, YOU get to decide!

Here's where you can download the sheet to colour and cut out (save the image file). The copyright is still mine, but you have permission to make as many copies as you want as long as you don't sell it or change the sheet before you copy it (especially the copyright and URL information). The only change you can make to the file is if you don't want to colour by hand, you can colour it in some paint software before printing, instead.

Enjoy! ...and feel free to spread the word about Standikins and other free stuff here at Kids and Caboodles!

Boopity’s Welcome

by Spikey

posted on June 3, 2011 in Spread the Word!, Standikins

Boopity wants to be the one to introduce us, so I'll step aside and let Boopity speak:

Here's a message from Boopity

Hello! I'm Boopity! I'm here to welcome you to the Kids and Caboodles site, where there will be lots of fun things for kids to do: crafts, games, and probably some activities for Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic (they call them the 3 R's even though they don't all start with R -- isn't that funny? I made the R's big just to show you).

Since we're just starting out, I'm the only one here so far (except for the hosts, that is). I'm the model for the first ever Standikin!

What's a Standikin? Well, my creator, Marian Buchanan, explains it all in her post about Flat Stanley, Flat Travelers... and now Standikins!

You can have a Standikin friend just like me, if you want. Just download, print, colour, and cut out my Standikin look-alike.

Oh, and will you let me know its name and tell me about where you send it on adventures? I'd like it if you'd share some pictures we could put on this site!

You can also participate in the Standikin Caboodle!

...Okay, now you're probably wondering, "what's a Caboodle," right? Well, it's basically a Group -- kind of like a club. You'll see what I mean if you go to the Caboodles page...

So come on in, check it out — and have fun!