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Kids' Corner

Snow Island: The community Christmas gift giveaway



Beautifully decorated for the Christmas gift giveaway, the Snow Island community hall buzzed with energy and trilled with cheerful voices. Throughout the room, ecstatic children played with presents just received — building blocks, storybooks, musical instruments, board games, and more. As for the adults, they happily chatted among themselves while watching their little ones.

Eight-year-old Orion was closely watching the action unfold as he waited his turn to receive a gift. That’s when he overheard a disturbing conversation between Santa’s helpers.

“There are only 32 gifts left,” the Star Fairy said to Peppy the Elf. “But according to the list, there are 33 children left who haven’t been called.”

“How is that possible?” Peppy exclaimed. “I checked everything myself yesterday. Three times!”

“We must have lost one this morning on the way over from the garage at city hall,” the Star Fairy deduced.

Orion couldn’t believe his ears.

“Did you hear that, Capella?” he asked his twin sister.


“Someone’s not getting a present,” the boy explained.

“Oh no,” Capella replied. “We have to do something!”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the siblings offered to retrace the route between the two buildings in search of the missing gift. With obvious relief, the fairy and elf accepted, but they urged the children to be quick.

Orion and Capella made a beeline for their parents. As they put on their hats and boots, they hurriedly explained the situation. Audrey and Patrick grabbed their coats and followed the kids out of the hall, ready to help on the important quest.

“Hurry up,” Capella urged as they headed outside. “We have to get back before Santa finishes handing out the last of the presents.”

“But if we go too fast, we might miss a clue,” Orion countered.

“You’re right, champ. We need to be quick but attentive,” Patrick said.

Halfway to the city hall garage, Orion raised a hand to signal his family to stop.

“That’s strange,” he said. “Do you hear that? It sounds like bells.”

“It’s coming from over there,” Capella exclaimed, immediately running toward the mysterious sound. “Look, there it is!”

The girl jumped up and down with excitement as her family ran to join her. “Don’t you see it?”

Hanging by its ribbon from a tree branch, the missing gift jingled as it swung gently in the breeze.

“You two make excellent detectives,” Audrey said with a smile as she reached up to retrieve the package. “Now, let’s hurry back before it’s too late.”

When the family returned to the community hall, they were out of breath but proud to have accomplished their mission. The twins bundled the present in one of their coats so they could discreetly return it to the pile of gifts — there were only three left!

“Phew! Just in time,” Peppy murmured.

“You saved the day,” the Star Fairy exclaimed.

Once all the gifts were handed out, the children of Snow Island prepared to head home — including one little boy who didn’t know that his new tambourine had almost been a gift for the squirrels instead of him.

Smiling from ear to ear, Orion and Capella wished everyone a happy holiday before rejoining their parents.


By Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Katya Teague

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Kids' Corner

Spring quiz



Spring is in the air! Test your knowledge of this sunny season with this short quiz.

1. What’s the first day of spring called?

a) The vernal equinox
b) The spring solstice
c) The Easter equinox
d) The Easter solstice

2. On the first day of spring, day and night are nearly the same length. How long are they?

a) 10 hours
b) 12 hours
c) 14 hours
d) 8 hours

3. Is spring considered the year’s first, second, third, or fourth season?

a) First
b) Second
c) Third
d) Fourth

4. Which of the following holidays doesn’t happen in spring?

a) Easter
b) April Fool’s Day
c) Mother’s Day
d) Valentine’s Day

5. What does spring symbolize?

a) Peace
b) Love
c) Rebirth
d) Hope

6. Spring is often associated with allergies. What’s considered the biggest allergy trigger?

a) Mould
b) Dust
c) Pollen
d) Dander




No cheating!

1. a). In the northern hemisphere, spring usually begins on March 20 or 21 but can sometimes start early on March 19.
2. b). The day is slightly longer than the night on the first day of spring.
3. a). The seasons go in order from spring, summer, fall, and winter.
4. d). Spring lasts for about three months and ends on June 21.
5. c). Spring is all about new beginnings and starting fresh.
6. c). Hay fever is what you call a pollen allergy.

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Kids' Corner

3 interesting migratory birds



Migration is when an animal moves from one region or habitat to another during a particular season. Many birds migrate twice a year. During the winter, they go south; in the spring, they return to the north. Here are some facts about three interesting migratory birds.

1. Hummingbirds. Calliope hummingbirds are the world’s smallest long-distance migratory birds, traveling 5,000 miles annually. They leave central and southern British Columbia in late summer, flying south along the Pacific Coast and the American West to reach Mexico. Their long purplish-red throat feathers can identify adult male calliope hummingbirds.

2. Arctic tern. Arctic terns migrate yearly from the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic Circle. This round-trip journey of about 18,500 miles makes it one of the longest migrations of any bird species on the planet. Arctic terns can sleep and eat while gliding. They can also hover in midair, much like hummingbirds.

3. Bar-headed goose. Every spring, bar-headed geese fly from India through the Himalayan mountains and above Mount Everest to their nesting grounds in Tibet. They must cross some of the highest peaks in the world, rising to nearly 23,000 feet in altitude. Bar-headed geese rely on flapping their wings, not on gliding, and can fly over 50 miles per hour without wind to help them.

Which migratory birds do you see where you live?

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Kids' Corner

Spring into action: 4 fun activities



Spring is a great time to get outdoors and have fun. Here are four fun activities that may inspire you to get some fresh air.

1. Go on a nature hunt. Challenge yourself to collect unique items like pinecones, leaves, rocks, feathers, and wildflowers. You can use what you find to make crafts, gifts, and spring decor.

2. Watch birds. Birdwatching is a great way to study nature. Borrow a bird book from your local library and see how many different species you can spot in your neighborhood.

3. Dance in the rain. Spring is often associated with rain showers. Next time it rains, put on your rain gear and play in puddles. Don’t forget your umbrella!

4. Go on a picnic. Spring is the perfect time for a picnic because the weather is mild and there aren’t many insects. Bring a blanket and some delicious snacks while enjoying the sounds of nature.

Invite your friends and family to join you outdoors.

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Kids' Corner

What makes it rain?



Ever wonder why drops of water fall from the sky? Here’s an explanation.

The sun heats large bodies of water like seas, lakes, and rivers, causing the water to evaporate and rise as vapor. As the moisture moves upward, it cools and condenses to form clouds. These clouds are blown toward land by the wind. As the clouds move, they gather water droplets and become heavy. Eventually, gravity makes the water droplets fall as rain. The water returns to earth, and the cycle starts all over again.

It rains more in the spring and summer because it’s warm. Warmth produces more evaporation, producing more clouds that make rain.

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Kids' Corner

How are rainbows formed?



Rainbows are beautiful optical illusions. Have you ever seen one before and wondered how they’re made? Here’s a quick explanation.

Although sunlight looks clear, it’s a blend of many different colors. A rainbow is created when white light enters a water droplet and splits into many colors. This happens because the water scatters the light waves through a process called refraction. The pattern of colors starts with red on the outside and chan¬ges through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet on the inside.

The rainbow effect can be seen when water drops are in the air, like after a big rainstorm or near a waterfall. If you want to see a rainbow, your back must be to the sun. The lower the sun is in the sky, the higher the rainbow’s arc will be.

Keep your eyes out for a rainbow in the sky next time it rains.

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Kids' Corner

Spring craft: an egg carton garden



Do you want to learn about where your food comes from? Planting an egg carton garden is a great place to start.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

• A cardboard egg carton
• A pair of scissors
• A pencil
• Good-quality potting soil
• A spray bottle
• A plastic bag
• Vegetable, herb, or flower seeds

Follow these steps to start your very own garden:

1. Cut the lid off an egg carton with scissors
2. Poke a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg cell using the tip of a pencil
3. Place the egg carton lid under the bottom to create a drainage tray
4. Fill each egg cell about half full of potting soil
5. Drop two or three seeds into each cell
6. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil
7. Write directly on each egg cell to keep your seeds organized
8. Mist the seeds lightly with a spray bottle
9. Place the carton in a plastic bag to keep the seeds warm
10. Water the seeds regularly until they sprout
11. Once the seedlings are about an inch tall, place them in a sunny location

When the seedlings have two or three sets of leaves, ask your parents to help you transfer them to a permanent location outside. Separate each egg cell and plant them directly in the ground with the seedling. The cardboard will decompose in the soil.

All that’s left to do is watch your seedlings grow into mature plants.

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Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

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Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

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The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

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Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

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WCPS Work-Based Learning

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