DIY – Bat Silhouette Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of bat silhouettes for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat silhouette pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin(s)
  • Pom poms
  • Sunset colored paints (I used red, orange, purple and yellow)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this bat pattern I’ve created and cut the bats out.
  2. Break off several small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the bats where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  3. Pour non-toxic sunset colored acrylic paints into a pie plate (or something similar) and set out a pom pom for each color.
  4. Use a clothespin to grab one pom pom at a time, or one clothespin per color.
  5. Allow your little one to dab the paint around and over the bats to their heart’s content.
  6. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the bats to reveal their silhouettes!
  7. Hang it up and enjoy! 

DIY – Ghost Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of a ghost for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Ghost pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin
  • Pom pom
  • White paint
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this ghost pattern I’ve created and cut it out of it’s frame, then set the frame aside.
  2. Cut the eyes and mouth out of the ghost shape.
  3. Break off three small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the eyes and mouth where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  4. Pour non-toxic white acrylic paint into a pie plate (or something similar) and use a clothespin to grab ahold of a pom pom.
  5. Place the ghost pattern’s frame around the edges of your cardstock page and dab the pom pom in the white paint, then dab it around in the edges of the ghost’s shape to create a dotted pattern for your little one.
  6. Remove the frame and allow your little one to dab the paint away to their heart’s content.
  7. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the eyes and mouth to reveal!
  8. Hang it up and enjoy!

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! I see much play dough in our future, and while buying it is always a viable option, how fun and cost effective is it to make some on your own?

So let’s make some homemade play dough!

SUPPLIES
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper
  • Gloves
  • Sandwich bags
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the cream of tartar, flour, and salt in a large saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Slowly add the oil and water, stirring until well incorporated.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until the mixture thickens into a dough.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the dough to cool slightly until it can be handled comfortably.
  5. Divide the dough into equal portions based on how many colors you would like, and roll into balls.
  6. Put on gloves and press an indentation into each ball of dough, then add 15 drops of food coloring to the indentation of each ball to start, you can always add more later. 
  7. Knead each ball of dough until the color is well incorporated. If the color is not as bright as you want, you can add more food coloring and knead again.
  8. Enjoy!

*This can be stored in sandwich bags, one for each color. Just be sure to remove all the excess air for longevity of the dough!

Family Friendly Christmas Children’s Books – Ages 5 and Under

Family Friendly Christmas Children's Books - Ages 0 to 5

Welcome to the cozy and magical month of December my friends!

To inspire you and your little ones into the Holiday mood, I’ve curated a list of Christmas-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are simple and festive, while remaining short and sweet for the younger audience.

There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.

If you have a favorite Children’s book for children ages 5 and under that you do not see here, please let me know! I would love to add it to this list!

Family Friendly Holiday Magic Playlist

Holiday Magic Playlist

Welcome to the cozy and magical month of December my friends!

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

This year we’ve decided to focus more on music from all our favorite Christmas children’s movies and specials, with a few other songs sprinkled in that fit the mood.

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

THE POLAR EXPRESS

  • Spirit of the Season
  • When Christmas Comes to Town
  • The Polar Express
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Suite from the Polar Express

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

  • A Holly Jolly Christmas
  • Jingle Jingle Jingle
  • We are Santa’s Elves
  • Silver and Gold
  • The Most Wonderful Day of the Year
  • Christmas Medley: The Night Before Christmas
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  • There’s Always Tomorrow

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN | Frosty the Snowman

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY | The Little Drummer Boy

OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE

  • Ring in the Season
  • That Time of Year
  • When We’re Together

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS

  • Belle’s Magical Gift
  • As Long As There’s Christmas
  • A Cut Above The Rest
  • Deck the Halls
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • O Christmas Tree
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel / Joy To The World
  • Silent Night
  • The First Noel
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • What Child Is This?

A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL

  • Overture
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • It Feels Like Christmas
  • Thankful Heart
  • Bless Us All
  • Christmas Scat
  • Christmas Morning

THE NUTCRACKER BALLET

  • Overture
  • March
  • Waltz of the Snowflakes
  • Sugarplum Fairy
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Candy Cane
  • Marzipan
  • Mother Ginger and Her Polichinelles
  • Waltz of the Flowers
  • Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier Coda
  • Finale

BABES IN TOYLAND

  • Babes in Toyland Overture
  • Toy Land
  • March of the Toys

EMMET OTTER’S JUGBAND CHRISTMAS | Our World / Brothers

KERMIT THE FROG | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

JOHN DENVER AND THE MUPPETS: CHRISTMAS TOGETHER

  • Deck the Halls
  • Christmas is Coming
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish you a Merry Christmas

MISS PIGGY | Santa Baby

A CHIPMUNK CHRISTMAS | Christmas Don’t Be Late

DISNEY’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS

  • Jingle Bells
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • The Science of the Season

DISNEY’S MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • White Christmas
  • Over the River and Through the Woods

DISNEY HOLIDAY MAGIC

  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • From All of Us to All of You
  • Deck the Halls
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas

WINNIE THE POOH & TIGGER | Jingle Bells

HANNA BARBERA’S CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG

  • Brand New Kind of Christmas Song
  • Hope
  • Comin’ Up Christmas Time

LOU MONTE | Dominick the Donkey

GAYLA PEEVEY | I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

  • Christmas is Coming
  • Skating
  • Linus and Lucy
  • Christmas Time is Here
  • Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  • The Christmas Song
  • O Tannenbaum

ELF: BUDDY’S MUSICAL CHRISTMAS | Sparklejollytwinklejingley

ELF

  • Papa Elf
  • Buddy’s Journey
  • Christmas Medley 

A Classic Berenstain Bears Bibliography

Berenstain Bear Classics Bibliography List

The Berenstain Bear Classics, originally classified as the Berenstain Bear First Time Books, are staple series of my childhood.

I fondly remember my mom reading this series to me. Each story taught life lessons and felt so relatable. But the artwork? I loved the artwork and I still do! It’s very unique, warm and welcoming.

I realize now as I research this that as much as I loved the books I knew, there are so many more I’ve never had the pleasure of reading! I am starting to collect these Berenstain Bear books to read to my daughter, so I’ve created this one-page handy dandy bibliography to keep track as I go! Please feel free to use it too if you need it!

Please feel welcome to check out the other bibliography lists I’ve compiled!

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Bibliography

Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama Bibliography

I fortuitously found our first Llama Llama book at a local library book sale. It was October and I collected what halloween-themed children’s books I could find, then brought them home. Zoey immediately fell in love with Llama Llama Trick or Treat, handing it to us over and over again until both my husband and I could (and still can) recite it from memory. 

Since October, we have collected Llama Llama Gives Thanks, Jingle Bells, I Love You and Easter Egg. As I researched the author, Anna Dewdney, I was deeply saddened to hear that she has passed away. Her stories and her artwork are so heartfelt and beautiful; we love them, and will continue to collect and read all of her books.

As we continue to introduce Zoey to more Llama Llama stories, I’ve created a bibliography of Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series. Please feel free to use it too if you need it! Her estate has released some books posthumously and I’ve decided to include those that have the same look and feel as the originals.

Posthumously

Please take a look at other Children’s book author bibliographies I’ve created here:

Mercer Mayer Core Little Critter Bibliography

Mercer Mayer Core Little Critter Bibliography

Mercer Mayer’s core Little Critter books are another staple series of my childhood!

I fondly remember my mom reading All by Myself, Just Me and My Dad, Just Me and My Mom, Just Grandma and Me, and (my personal favorite) Just Go To Bed! The stories felt so relatable and cozy and the artwork, although quirky, was also very warm and welcoming.

As I research this series, I realize that as much as I loved the books I knew, there are so many more I’ve never had the pleasure of reading! I am starting to collect Little Critter books to read to my daughter, so I’ve created this one-page handy dandy bibliography to keep track as I go! Please feel free to use it too if you need it!

See my Bill Peet bibliography here, and my Dr. Seuss bibliography here!

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!