Discover here interesting children's books and fun activities that S-T-R-E-T-C-H your mind. Explore great places for kids to visit. Write and share your own ideas, great books, or subjects you want to know more about with Jewel. Check out Jewel Sample's writing for kids adventures.

Monday, August 18, 2008

How big is the World’s Largest Jigsaw puzzle?

In 2007 the Educa Borras factory of Barcelona, Spain made the world’s largest commercially made jigsaw puzzle containing 24,000 pieces. The puzzle measures 14ft 0.5” X 5 ft 1.8” (14 feet 0.5 inches wide by 5 feet 1.8 inches high) and weighs approximately 26 pounds. It sure won’t fit in my 8 ft X10 ft bedroom.

Royce B. McClure painted and designed the artwork for the puzzle, which is titled Life: The Greatest Challenge. McClure found the biggest challenge was eliminating large areas where there was no changes taking place, so the puzzler would not become bored while putting the puzzle together.

It is officially entered into the Guinness World Records!

To find out how Royce B. McClure put together the design for the puzzle and see a picture of the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle visit the question and answer section here

Want to see some more of the world’s largest toys?

The Worlds largest spherical puzzle and other toys can be seen here

A Great Kid's Magazine

Stories for Children Magazine is a free Internet magazine for kids who are 3-12 years of age. Each month the magazine has fun fiction stories, crafts and puzzles that are written or designed by grown-ups and kids. There are also interesting nonfiction stories that tell you about neat stuff like what is windmill language and why pine cones have points.

I found an awesome place called "Storyville" where Stanley Bookman lives and book adventures happen in the most unexpected ways. The Storyville story was written by a creative and imaginative kid too. To check out Stories for Children Magazine visit here

Always Practice Internet Safety

Jewel and her friends practice internet safety while having fun on information exchange cyber-highways.

The Internet safety rules Jewel and her friends follow are:

Never give out personal information like your
(even if they want to give you something free)

Full name
Telephone or cell phone numbers
Parent’s full name
Parents work location or telephone number
School name or address
Friend’s full names or address’
Computer passwords
Credit card numbers
Hospital names you were born in

Never agree to meet with someone you met on the internet with out first checking with your parents.

Always tell your parents or guardian right away if you read something or someone sends you a picture that makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid.

Never send a picture of yourself to someone without first checking with your parents or guardian.

Never respond to messages that are mean, rude, or make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault if you get these messages. Always tell your parents or guardian right away. Your parents can leave a tip about these types of messages at

Always be respectful and do not do anything that could hurt others or break the law.

Always check first with your parents, teacher, librarian, or guardian, before downloading or installing software that could possibly harm or damage the computer.

These rules are modified from, a place dedicated to helping kids stay safe while having fun on the cyber-highways of electronic information exchanges.

For more internet safety information visit

One Giant Sleepover Z-Z-Z

Today I was thinking about some of the things I did while I was in elementary school. When I was in the sixth grade I had a birthday slumber party. I invited six of my friends. We played games, told stories, ate popcorn and of course, we ate birthday cake and ice cream. I remembered someone dared us to eat a dill pickle and mustard sandwich. That was my first introduction into eating something strange. We tried to stay up all night, but did not accomplish it. The one thing I still do from time to time is eat dill pickle and mustard sandwiches.

I was wondering if kids still have slumber parties today. When my children were young they called them sleepovers, but I figured that was because they were boys. So I Googled sleepovers on the Internet and discovered a giant sleepover took place in the UK this past summer. 45,000 children registered for a Save the Children fundraiser. That would be like a whole city of nothing but kids where I live. Awesome!

One group played games and won prizes. Another group slept over in a glass viewing tunnel with sea life swimming over their heads at the Loch Lomond Aquarium. To see what other totally cool stuff they did visit here.

What’s the largest sleepover you have attended? If you could go to the world's largest sleepover where would it be and what would you do?
Post your story by clicking on comment!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Favorite Kid's Places

A cool Bug Guide for kids can be found here. It is hosted by the Iowa State University Entomology, Just click on the picture of the bug in the left hand column and it will take you to read about many things common to that bug, like the bug's common name, where they live, life cycle and pictures of what the bug looks like.

National Geographic Kids has some really cool stuff. This month kids can find out about the mascots of the Beijing Olympics or virtually travel with the global brothers Stefan and Tyler. Plus there is so much more. To check out National Geographic Kids click here.

Jewel's Writing Adventures

Where do I get my ideas to write a story? I get my ideas from the things that happen where I live; or while traveling, eating out or visiting family, or people around a community. Things just happen and WHAM an idea pops into my head. Then I have the desire to write about my idea.

Right now I am writing about two characters who are brothers named John and Logan. The boys set out to go fishing and are surprised by finding something. Will they figure out what it is? Will something else happen too? I use my imagination or sometimes real life events to make my story interesting.

Sometimes I play the “what if” game. My grandchildren and I play this game a lot when they visit. They love to make up funny or weird stories to surprise me.

The game goes like this. Someone will start out asking the question what if and fill in the rest of the sentence with something they are interested in. Just the other day my granddaughter started the game with the question, "what if every time you told a lie your hair turned green?" Then someone one else picked up her question and started telling a story. When that person was through telling what they thought would happen, then another person would take over the story and add to it. We never know how the story will end or what will happen. It is so much fun.

You can play the “what if” game too and write it down. What if your teacher or parents, best friend or class bully, pastor or coach gave you three wishes? Pick one person and write about what those wishes would be. Then write about what happened when the wishes were granted and if you like how things turned out. Before you know it you have a cool story to share with your friends.

Share your stories with Jewel by asking your parents to post your story in the comments section or email Jewel and she will post them.

What's Up

How Long Have Jigsaw Puzzles Been Around?

The first puzzle was produced by John Spilsbury, a London engraver and mapmaker, in 1760. Mr. Spilsbury attached one of his maps to a sheet of hardwood and cut out the borders of the countries with a saw. The map puzzle was used to help British children learn geography.

By 1880 pictures were glued or painted onto plywood, then cut with a fretsaw into different shapes. The word jigsaw puzzle became the popular name for the new favorite entertainment. Sometime in the late 1800’s cardboard was used for children’s puzzles.

Today jigsaw puzzles are made out of wood, cardboard and a variety of plastic materials. They are used to help children learn and for entertainment.

Visit the American Jigsaw Puzzle Society to learn more about the history of jigsaw puzzles.

Books Kids Pick

Want to see your book on Kid's Picks?

1. Write about the books you have read.

2. Ask your parent to send your book review in an email to Jewel.

3. Jewel will post your book here.


by Max Haynes

Read by Chey, Preschool

"This book is funny. I laughed.

I played more tickle monster games. I had more fun.

I read it again.

Kids will like the Ticklemonster."

Stephanie's Ponytail

by Robert Munsch

Read by Emily, First grade

"If I were Stephanie's ponytail I would tell the other ponytails that you are a bunch of copycats!

I like Robert Munsch so much that my teacher gave me The Sand Castle Contest book the last day of school. I have never seen a bathtub full of ice cream before. That was cool!"

"I think everyone should read Robert Munsch books!"

Want to see your book on Kid's Picks?

1. Write about the books you have read.

2. Ask your parent to send your book review in an email to Jewel.

3. Jewel will post your book here.

Jewel's Books


I love to write stories for children. The storybooks listed help kids through the sadness they feel when their baby brother or sister has died.

Flying Hugs and Kisses is about how five children comforted each other when their baby brother suddenly died. They want to tell their baby brother that they loved him. Will they find a way to send their hugs and kisses to him?

Flying Hugs and Kisses won The National Parenting Center 2007 Seal of Approval! That means it is a great book for children to read.

Flying Hugs and Kisses Activity Book is for kids to color, draw, and write in to help answer questions about when a baby brother or sister dies. It has fun things to do like games and puzzles.

Besos y abrazos al aire is the Spanish language edition of Flying Hugs and Kisses
(no longer available)