What's New
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... . ... Here are new items and links to the latest additions to our site:
Bigger Illustrations!
We've been busy updating various areas of the site. In particular, we are enlarging the illustrations of our earliest stories and activities. Check out the Pigmoose stories to see the dramatic results. See:
Pigmoose On The Loose,
Pigmoose On The Loose, Again, and
Pigmoose's Halloween Surprise.

90 New Circus Pages
Le Cirque Bleu was created in 1989 and introduced to the World Wide Web in 1996. The circus has grown since then and we just took new photos. It is simply amazing. Plus, there are detailed instructions for you to use to build a similar circus for your family or classroom. Don't miss it!

More Fun With A Beach Theme
Going to the seashore is a delightful experience for everyone. We've added five new buildings and a bunch of people to our Miniature Village. Everything you might expect to find at the beach from a lifeguard stand to changing rooms and little shops.

COPPA Certification
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a Federal Trade Commission rule designed to ensure that parents remain in control of personal information collected from their young children online. Meddybemps.com has undergone a rigorous evaluation and certification by the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) to assure our users that it provides a "safe harbor" for young children.

The Young Explorer of Lost Lake
A pleasant walk in a state park turned into a delightful half hour of discovery as we followed a small, dark creature who seemed to be exploring the lake shore. Fortunately, we had a camera. Meet The Young Explorer of Lost Lake.

The Bean Cellar
If you have visited the Bean Cellar pages on our site, you are familiar with the legend of Chateau Meddybemps and the marvelous jelly beans that grow in the chateau's vineyards. You might also recall the curse that if you eat too many jelly beans, you might turn into one. Our latest Miniature Village structure is a candy store named The Bean Cellar. A close look will show you that some customers ate too many beans and turned into Beano Sapiens (human beans)!

Miniature Village Additions
Add a Cheery Pies shop and a Public Library to your collection. There are now 46 Miniature Village buildings that are perfect for playtime with those little wooden trains, cars, and trucks. They are useful in classrooms, too, for learning about communities.
-all FREE for you to download, print, and assemble.

20th Anniversary Exhibit
Meddybemps.com was 20 years old at the end of October, 2015. To celebrate the occasion, we assembled an exhibit for the Ohio Township Central Library in Newburgh, Indiana, that described many of the learning activities and stories that have been added to the site since it was launched. Framed photos and illustrations from the site accompanied the exhibit, which was be on display through October 30. It was interesting to see the contents of the website (and 20 years' worth of creative work) represented this way.

Parent's Guide, Teacher's Guide and Store moved to new Companion Site

We moved content intended for parents and teachers to a new site called
the Meddybemps Guide (www.meddybempsguide.com) to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) established by the Federal Trade Commission.

The purpose of the act is to eliminate opportunities for personal information to be gathered online about young website users. Meddybemps.com did not collected this kind of information, but we did have links to advertisers, to book descriptions and pricing at Amazon.com, and to our own online "Store" in conjunction with Zazzle.com and CafePress.com. Visitors who went on to these sites from ours could create situations in which personal information could be gathered.

Income from advertising and Amazon sales referrals, and royalties from products designed by us and sold through our online "stores" helped pay for hosting, software, and other costs associated with maintaining and adding to Meddybemps.com. By moving content for parents and teachers and our store to the new Meddybemps Guide we can continue to have some revenue sources (on that site) while removing them from Meddybemps.com and eliminating opportunities for third parties to collect user information from children. You may still find some ads on the site through the month of September.

For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The following material has been moved to the Meddybemps Guide:
Parent's Guide
Teacher's Guide
Recommended Books
Meddybemps Store
Downloads Store
Meddybemps Blog

Easier Assembly!
Finally, all of our Miniature Village buildings except the Central Station and Platform now have tabs and bigger bottom flaps to make assembly easier. You no longer have to use tape or glue, but you may for permanent construction. A redesigned menu and two new buildings make this FREE resource better than ever.

If your children love playing with little wooden trains, make a few paper buildings for them (and with them). It's fairly easy and lots of fun.

No fences. No walls. No cages.
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to see animals in their natural habitat? Travel to South Africa with Jeremy and Nicole's African Safari. Enjoy an exciting collection of photographs and learn about eighteen fascinating creatures.

ALA Site of the Week
Chateau Meddybemps was named Site of the Week in early January by the American Library Association's Great Websites for Kids! Visit this site to see all the websites these literacy professionals recommend. They have listed us for many years. We're very pleased to be named Site of the Week.

Railway Magic
People of all ages like trains. Little wooden trains and tracks are great developmental toys. Train rides can be adventures for young and old. Writers, photographers, musicians, and artists have all been fascinated by the lure of journeys by rail. Business and industry depend on trains. Many travelers enjoy them.

We added notes and photographs from five more great train rides to our Fun With Trains area give you a sense of the pleasures of scenic railroads. We also wrote a short history of the man who invented Thomas the Tank Engine and an essay to encourage you to take your children to see a real steam engine.

Frogwart and the Tooth Fairies New Illustrations:
Frogwart and the Tooth Fairies
Frogwart Witchet was introduced to the world on this site in 1996 in the story Frogwart and the Tooth Fairies. She was quite a sensation and the story offered a humorous explanation to an age-old question about a mysterious thing that happens to all of us every night. Jerry just finished a beautiful new set of illustrations for today's bigger computer and tablet screens. It's a great tale to read to or with young children. Grownups are welcome to read it for their own amusement, too.

Halloween Ghostwalk
The Halloween Ghostwalk was added to this site in 1998 and was an immediate hit with young children. Every page brought humorous surprises for them to discover and play with. Computer and tablet screens offer greater resolution today, so we enlarged our images, added a bit of animation, and simplified navigation to make Halloween more fun than ever!

Fun with Boats and Ships
We are pleased to present a boatload of new nautical topics on a level that should interest children in grades one to three, plus a few precocious preschoolers. Explore Tall Ships, ships in bottles, a cargo ship quiz, a detailed look at how locks work, cruise ships, river boats, and more. Welcome aboard, Mate!

Dreaming of The Beach
As winter finally melts away and we can imagine some relaxing time at the beach, we're designing some summer fun products for you. See shell-themed mugs, wall clocks and playing cards on our Meddybemps Store page. Look for some playful new products featuring kittens, too.

Refreshed and Expanded:
Fun with Sea Shells
Study beautiful shells from around the world and learn about the animals who made them. Discover shells on a beach. Create shell art. Turn your next trip to the ocean into a treasure hunt. Fun with Sea Shells is super!

Beautiful Wildife Photos
We've added dozens of photos of Sanibel Island's fascinating birds to our Beach Snaps pages. Some are simply stunning!

Top Ten Pages
It is sometimes difficult to describe our site briefly. To help people see the variety and quality of our content, we made up a list of the ten most popular pages. We hope some of these are (or will soon be) your favorites, too.

Trick or Treat?
How about a short, spooky story for Halloween? Ghoul Bus has a sweet surprise for young readers and listeners.

Zoo Planner
Our newest drag and drop mouse skills activity gives kids a chance to organize a zoo. They are invited to serve as a Zoo Planner and arrange 18 animals in the zoo grounds. They can be serious or silly. It's all about decisions and coordination.

Once the animals are in place, zoo visitors and signs identifying the animals can be positioned. The final image can be printed and/or serve as a story starter.

Parent's Guide Update
We've reviewed, redesigned, updated, and refreshed our Parent's Guide pages on MeddybempsGuide.com. They explain how children develop, describe activities that will help them build learning skills, and link to related areas of this site that children and parents can enjoy together for deeper understanding and practice.

Transportation Riddles
Because our Animal Riddles are so popular, we created a new set of riddles on a transportation theme. Try out Transportation Riddles. Catchy name, huh? They're fun, regardless.
Improved SuperMenu
Our SuperMenu provided handy, illustrated links to content but it did not include a way for users to know the intended interest or skill level of the activities and stories. So we added colored jelly beans to help children, parents, and teachers find content appropriate for their use.

Also, the letters "F" for "Flash" and "SF" for "Some Flash" designate content that requires a Flash plugin for all or some of its operation. Most computers have the plugin. Some tablets and smartphones do not.

More Fun in the Deep Blue Sea
When we created Fun in the Deep Blue Sea 13 years ago, we paid more attention to the fish illustrations than to what healthy coral reefs look like. We've corrected that oversight with new artwork. We also added nine fresh videos to help viewers compare the different ways sea creatures get around.

Roadside Attraction
Smiley's Crocodile Farm is a bit of classic Americana. The latest addition to our Miniature Village can be used for matching and color games as well as a playful feature along a toy road or railway.

Buttons for You
Creating links to our content just got easier. We are creating sets of images you can use as "buttons" to send visitors to the activities, topics, and stories on Meddybemps.com that you recommend. Choose from four sizes. Copy to your server or link to ours. Easy! (Thank You!)

Great Books
Susan has added to her list of especially good books for young children. Now you can read her reviews of many of them on MeddybempsGuide.com, and link to publishers' descriptions and Amazon pricing for almost all. See: Book Reviews and Recommendations . Watch for additions in coming months.

A Letter is Missing!
Which letter is missing from our alphabet? Where can it be? At work, of course. L is busy at work in many of the words we use every day. Our newest activity, Missing Letter/ Busy Letter, encourages beginning readers to find letters and see them at work in words and sentences.

Hurricane Stories

A teacher in Newark, New Jersey, sent us seven Hurricane Sandy stories written by her nine- and ten-year-old students. We couldn't pick only one or two to share with you. Every one had its own special charm and/or excitement. Enjoy them all and be inspired.

A Christmas Story

If you know how much fun cats can be (or if you have wondered), this little Christmas story is for you. Based on many wonderful cats who lived with us over the years, we hope you will be amused by Kiss Krinkle and her lively "puppies". It was written for children, but grown-ups can enjoy it, too.


We gathered three groups of fall photographs. One captures the beauty of Indiana's Brown County State Park. Another explores leaf shapes. The third presents a collection of spectacular leaf colors. Enjoy Fall Colors.

Less or Fewer?

You may not cringe when someone says "less" when they mean "fewer", but we do. When Jerry saw a famous luxury carmaker's television ad for a new model that proclaimed, "less doors", he started thinking about helping young (and old) people understand the difference. See The Less and Fewer Game.

The boy who learned to fix clocks.

We looked for someone to repair an antique clock. We found an interesting story about how a childhood interest can lead to a career. See Curiosity and Clockworks.

Harry and Larry
were curious apes.
They wondered about
the things we call shapes.

Shapes with Harry and Larry is a short rhyming story for preschoolers that introduces circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares in a highly amusing way. Read it aloud to yourself to become comfortable with its rhythm before you share with a child. Then, loosen up and have fun. Listening to you read really helps children build language skills.

Starters And Finishes

We recently added a page called Starters And Finishes that helps you compare different endings to four of our most popular Story Starters written by 17 different children. Enjoy.

In January, we published our 93rd, 94th, and 95th authors in the Young Writers Workshop. We happened to receive stories from three young ladies in the same family and we thought we would celebrate the family's creativity by presenting all three stories. Read the stories by Phoebe (8), Priscilla (4), and Paula (3). Our 96th author is Ellery (9).

We published our first Young Writer in 2005. The parents of five-year-old Isabella I. from Bradenton, Florida, submitted her story based on a Story Starter about Aga Panthis.

Printable learning aids

The high cost of traditional publishing makes it very expensive to produce printed materials related to our content. Advances in "ePublishing" remove that barrier. By publishing digital files, we can offer useful products at very low prices.

For example, our Spatial Concepts is a very popular online learning tool. It is great for use by a child in front of a computer, but may difficult to use with a group of children unless you enlarge the images. A printed version could be more effective for groups.

To meet this need, we created printable versions of:
A Game of Opposites,
Spatial Concepts,
A Rainbow of Frogs,
Crocodile Smiles,
Mix and Match Vehicles,
Mix and Match Nutcrackers and
Animal Riddles

Each set is available as a pdf file in an 8.5x11 inch format that you can purchase, download, and print. Visit the Meddybemps Download Store on MeddybempsGuide.com to preview the products and for more information.

Where to go if you've lost any marbles or if you simply need cheering up

We sometimes find what might best be called Travel Treasures. These are people, places, or things that are so interesting and/or delightful that we feel the need to tell you about them. We decided to introduce you to some of our favorites. Our first Travel Treasure is The Moon Marble Company.

Note: We were not paid or compensated in any way for this recommendation.

Pumpkin Pirates Tour Germany

Follow the Three Pumpkin Pirates as they tour royal castles, explore ancient towns, and cruise down the Rhine. Look over their shoulders at cuckoo clocks, hay ghosts and a very pretty sunrise in Bavaria. 60 page German Tour

A fresh look at the voyages of the ghost ship Compass Rosie

New content and a new look means new fun with the Pumpkin Pirates and their voyages of discovery. Australia is the first stop, with more destinations appearing soon. Read the Legend, tour the ship, and view 42 fine photos of Australian subjects. Set sail with The Ghost Ship Compass Rosie.

A church steeple rises above our miniature village

The Meddybemps Minature Village now includes 33 structures you can print, cut out and assemble. The latest is a church complete with wedding party.

A grocery store and filling station were added earlier this year. These buildings are just the right size to use with those popular little wooden trains.

Word Puppies, Pirates, and Fun with Vocabulary Words

Once in a while we wonder, "What if...?" How could a teacher or parent present vocabulary words in a new and playful fashion? What if the words were on bones and the students were like hungry puppies, eager to "chew" on new words? Understood words could be collected and put in the individual puppies' dog houses. Sound like fun? See: Word Puppies to see how it turned out.

Join the Three Pumpkin Pirates as they discover new words in Alaska in a sample lesson.

A "Super Menu" featuring 151 llustrated Links

We wondered if a page of illustrated links would make it easier for children, parents and teachers to find their favorite activities, games and stories on Meddybemps.com and to discover some they haven't tried. So, we're launching a Skills Development Super Menu.

The links are arranged by skills development category. See if it's helpful to you and let us know. Write to Jerry at bananas@meddybemps.com.

It's time to decorate the Christmas tree

We just completed a new drag and drop game in which you pick a tree and cover it with your choice of ornaments. It's simple Christmas Tree Fun. There is also a link to an original song (and a video) about decorating Chrtistmas Trees, written by Humberto Almaraz.

Three Pumpkin Pirates-The Movie

Our second video features Susan's wonderfully expressive reading of Three Pumpkin Pirates. I reworked the original artwork and added a few new illustrations to the original 1998 poem and the new video. Lots of fun!

Two Brave Pixies - The Movie

Many visitors have asked for stories "with sound". So we added music, narration, sound effects and "camera movement" to Two Brave Pixies and created a YouTube video. What do you think of our effort?

What would you do with a pile of leaves?

This new set of activities invites children to sort leaves by color or shape, match shapes to photos, mulch and bag, even imagine jumping on a pile of leaves. Try Leaf Games with someone young and dear to you.

A new Garden Pixie story with spectacular fall colors.

Sometimes a career choice takes a little courage. Meet Two Brave Pixies who desire change in the midst of their Fall gardening tasks.

More photos from the beach!

Tippity Witchet presents an expanded collection of Beach Snaps for your enjoyment. See herons nesting in the tops of trees, pelicans sunning, sanderlings scurrying, a blue crab hiding in the sand, a ghost crab climbing out, and tiny coquinas exposed by the waves. It's almost like a day at the beach!

Make mouth-watering pizzas!

The chefs need help keeping up with demand at Pepper's Only Pizza. Fill customers' orders or make one for yourself. Pick a size and then cover your pizza with seventeen delicious "normal" toppings or an equal number of Frogwart's "Special" (and wonderfully quirky) toppings. Yummy!

A cart full of pastries.

Our activities that allow you to move pets or flowers around the screen have long been big favorites. Now children can arrange cupcakes, muffins, cakes and pies in the window of Bobby's Busy Bakery. They can also decorate birthday, wedding and theme cakes, or build a miniature bakery. You can almost smell the goodies in this cosy shop!

A monster you never knew existed.

Wonder where this winter's ice came from? Perhaps you've had an overnight visit from The Terrible-Tempered Ice Dragon.

Don't be alarmed.

Learning opposites is fun. Understanding opposites is an essential language arts skill for young children. There are forty words and playful illustrations for parents and teachers to work with in our new Game of Opposites.

Dust off those Nursery Rhymes!

Rhymes play an important role in language development, yet fewer children learn them today. Are they old-fashioned, too violent, or not politically correct?

Phooey! See what we did to give six classics a fresh reason to be heard in Rhymes and Reasons. You can make up stories like these, too. So can your children.

Look up! There are mice, moose, dragons and dinosaurs floating over your head!

What do you see when you look up at the clouds? Try our Cloud Imagination Game yourself or with a child. Move your mouse pointer over the cloud photo at left. See what we saw?

Learn something new about Protective Coloration

You are invited to play a quick Protective Coloration Game before or after you read the new Pigmoose story (see description and link below).

Due to the clever use of Protective Coloration, you probably can't see a Pigmoose in this picture.

But you will have no trouble following his latest adventure, It's Hard To Hide A Pigmoose!. The story is in our Beantime Stories section.

Even Garden Pixies have to work at interpersonal relationships.

Keeping a garden neat and tidy can be hard work for pixies and sometimes the wrecking crew feels the need to clown around. See what happens in our latest tale, Red Wrinkler and His Rowdy Cousins.

2016 Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved. Revised 11/07/2016