The Benefits of Reading to Children

Stack of Children's BooksZoey’s Bedtime Story is a nighttime ritual I started last year, and this year, the adventure continues! I made a New Year’s resolution to read to Zoey every night this year and we have yet to miss a day!

Reading has always been very special to me. I remember my mom reading to me as a child and I believe it had a profound impact on my love for reading and books, not to mention my performance in school. I want to continue that tradition with Zoey. I want her to hear my voice, hear the diction and the pronunciation, see the beautiful images and eventually enjoy the stories. I imagine her sitting in my lap or lying cozy in her bed while I sit next to her and read, her eyes on the book with rapt attention. In reality, she sits on my lap for about five to ten seconds then tootles all over the room while I keep reading and trying to pull her attention back. I keep going because I know tat the more we read, the more she’ll settle in and pay attention.

There are many benefits of reading to children, no matter their age!

  • Increased attention span
  • Bonding between parent/guardian and child
  • Cognitive and language development
  • Creativity
  • Expanded vocabulary
  • Life lessons
  • Listening skills
  • Social and emotional development

So if you haven’t started reading to your little one(s) it’s not too late to start today! And if you’ve started reading to your little one(s) and their attention is anywhere but on you and the book don’t give up! Consistency is the key!

Please come follow along on my Instagram where I post which book we’re reading each night in my story, and every book I’ve read to her has been saved to the highlights on my profile.

I’ve started a Pinterest Board of all the books I would like to read to Zoey or share with her someday. Check it out to get inspired and please let me know if there are any children books you would recommend; we love sharing stories!

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020Welcome to the spooky month of October my friends!

My family and I have created a playlist of family friendly Halloween music for you and yours! Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus more on jazzy halloween inspired music with a few other songs sprinkled in that fit the mood. The Disney and Danny Elfman presence in this list is strong and I found myself wishing I could find more jazz covers of the Disney Villains songs.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly halloween favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020

  •  Linus and Lucy | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Monsters, Inc. | Randy Newman
  • Charlie Brown Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • The Scare Floor | Randy Newman
  • Great Pumpkin Waltz | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • The Piano Duet (The Corpse Bride) | Danny Elfman
  • Overture (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Danny Elfman
  • This is Halloween | The Citizens of Halloweentown
  • Grim, Grinning Ghosts | The Haunted Mansion Happy Haunts
  • Sally’s Song | Catherine O’hara
  • Jack and Sally Montage | Danny Elfman
  • Jack’s Lament | Danny Elfman
  • Ball & Socket Lounge Music #1 | Danny Elfman
  • Remains of the Day | Danny Elfman
  • They Don’t Scare Me | Mickey Mouse
  • Monster Mash | Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  • The Munsters | Jack Marshall
  • Trust in Me | Scarlett Johansson
  • Snuff Out the Light | Eartha Kitt
  • Witchy Woman | The Eagles
  • I Put a Spell On You | Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  • Friends on the Other Side | Keith David
  • Man with the Hex | The Atomic Fireballs
  • The Headless Horseman | Thurl Ravenscroft
  • Superstition | Stevie Wonder
  • Remains of the Day (Combo Lounge Version) | Danny Elfman
  • Cruella De Vil | Dr. John
  • Ball & Socket Lounge Music #2 | Danny Elfman
  • Little Birdie (Instrumental) | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Thanksgiving Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist on Spotify

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg DollPart of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create lasting, meaningful toys for her that are made with love and will be loved! Wooden toys are classic and beautiful, when created and treated right, they can last a lifetime; so let’s make some!

It’s no secret that Cameron and I love Disney. Zoey’s middle name was inspired by one of my favorite Disney princesses, Belle, and that Belle in her name has also led to another Disney nickname, Tinker Bell. I cannot wait to create a whole set of peg dolls for her, but these two characters hold the most significance until she begins watching the classics on her own.

We’ve created a Peasant Belle Peg Doll, check her out!

This week I’ll be sharing the steps I took to create a Tinker Bell peg doll for Zoey.

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

  • Blank peg doll (I used a “small angel” or “girl” shape/size)
  • Small, flat & fine tip paint brushes
  • Paint palette (or a tray for your paint)
  • Green non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Yellow non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light brown non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light blue non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light pink non-toxic acrylic paint
  • White non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Black non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Non-toxic varnish (I used Duraclear Ultra Matte Varnish)
  1. With a pencil, lightly sketch Tinker Bell onto your blank peg doll.

    DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

  2. Begin painting your peg doll with the base layers first. I started with the green of her dress, the white of her wings and the yellow of her hair. Allow this paint to dry before moving on to avoid smudging, then apply a few more layers of each until you’re happy with the colors and textures.

    DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

  3. Paint the very bottom and edges of the peg doll green to signify her slippers.
  4. After the base layers have dried, paint a border of darker green on the edges of her dress. If you don’t have a darker shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of black paint to the original green and blending.
  5. Paint an accent of lighter green on the inner layer of the dark green border of her dress. If you don’t have a lighter shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of white paint to the original green and blending.
  6. The wings can stay matte white, or you can add a pearly white finish to give them a sheen. Once the wings have dried, border and accent them with light blue paint.
  7. Paint light brown accents on and around the hair.
  8. Once the hair has dried, paint a small light blue ribbon around Tinker Bell’s bun.
  9. Taking something small and round (I used the opposite end of one of my smaller paint brushes) dip it in black paint and dot the two eyes. Using the finest tipped paintbrush you can find, give her an eyelash or two on each eye.
  10. Once the eye paint has dried, add a highlight dot to each eye with a fine tipped paintbrush and white paint.
  11. Using the same method as the eyes, dip the opposite end of a slightly larger paintbrush into light pink paint and dot the blush under each eye.
  12. With a little white paint, give her a few sparkles of pixie dust on the hem of her dress or wherever else you feel it will look right!
  13. Allow for all paint to completely dry, then apply a varnish and allow it to dry. You can apply as many coats as you want for the finish you want, just allow them to dry in between applications and before handing her over to your child.
  14. Voilà! Tinker Bell is done and ready to be played with! Enjoy!

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll