DIY Ninja Game

DIY Ninja Star Throwing Game and more ninja ideas at #ninja #printable

Since I read to my boys all the time when they were babies and toddlers, I really thought they would grow to love reading. But the truth is they don’t. (At least not yet.) So I’ve had to get creative. I’ve been trying to come up with activities we can do that correspond with our current nighttime reading. I’ve found my boys are more excited to read (and even listen to) books when they know the storyline will inspire fun experiments, games, snacks and more.

Ideas for getting boys to read at #reading #ninja #book

Most recently we read Night of the Ninjas from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House Series. Are you familiar with this series? Magic Tree House books are simple chapter books for early readers. The fun, descriptive story lines transport readers to different cultures and time periods as they travel with siblings Jack and Annie.

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Fancy Nancy Craft Idea

Make Fancy Nancy Shoes with #fancynancy #mint #polkadots #kidscraft

I’m sure it is completely unsurprising that my girls love Fancy Nancy. Actually if you can show me a little girl between the ages of two and eight that *doesn’t* adore Nancy I will be far more shocked. While this book has had a steady slot in our bedtime story circuit for a while, it’s taken me too long to get around to making a fun, fancy project with my girls.

Make Fancy Nancy Shoes with #fancynancy #mint #polkadots #kidscraft

I saw white canvas shoes at Target recently and decided it was high time to get out the craft paint and ribbon and make some fantastic tennis shoes.

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Make a DogFish!

Adorable Balloon Goldfish Craft with Free Printable Template at #goldfish #kidscraft #fishcraft

I can’t remember how we came across DogFish, but the first time my girls and I read this book I immediately ordered a copy from Amazon for their bookshelf. Between the adorable retro-modern illustrations and the very useful moral — “If you can’t have what you want, you could try wanting what you have.” — this is picture book perfection! (By the way, when you do read this book, it will be fun for you to know that the mother and son in the story completely remind me of Aimee and her son Liam.)

Adorable Book about a Boy who wants a dog but has a goldfish #goldfish #goldfishparty #book

Adorable Balloon Goldfish Craft with Free Printable Template at #goldfish #goldfishparty #fishcraft

The body of the goldfish in the book bares a striking resemblance to a balloon, and with Miss Modette’s current balloon fascination I knew she’d love making a DogFish of her own.

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Want to have a Nancy Drew Party?

Nancy Drew Birthday Party Inspiration Board

Remember the Nancy Drew books? Well I love a good mystery, and I’ll always have a big soft spot when it comes to dear Nancy, my favorite amateur sleuth. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to inherit my mother’s collection of Nancy Drews (see Exhibit A below) — I believe my mom has had these books since her own childhood.

Aimée and I love receiving emails from readers asking for help. Sadly we aren’t able to answer all of them, but when Corrie S. wrote in last week asking for ideas for a Nancy Drew birthday party fit for a twenty something, my interest was immediately piqued. In fact, I couldn’t help myself — I went straight into party planning mode, no longer able to focus on what I was “supposed” to be doing, and quickly started pinning a bunch of Nancy Drew party ideas.

I just love this party theme. So much, in fact, that Aimée and I are now tossing around the idea of starting a Nancy Drew Book Club with our friends. (Anyone interested?) Turns out Aimée hasn’t read a single Nancy Drew book, EVER?! I think that needs to change.

So to help out dear reader Corrie (and possibly for our TBD Nancy Drew Book Club) here are my favorite Nancy Drew party ideas. Plus, keep reading to the end of this post for our freebie Nancy Drew Printable Party collection! Off we go…

Nancy Drew Birthday Party Inspiration Board

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We Love Ruby Valentine



I first discovered Love, Ruby Valentine just after Valentine’s Day last year. One of my daughters found it in the library, and we checked it out. After reading, I really wanted to share it on the blog, but I knew I’d have to wait until Valentines this year.

Remembering my excitement about this book, when I first pulled it out to prepare my review, I quickly re-read the story and wondered why I’d loved it so much last year. I mean the story is fairly clever and has nice rhythm and rhyming (a characteristic I’m loving in author Laurie Friedman’s work), but last year this book had struck a particular cord, and I just wasn’t really feeling it this year. Wondering if I should still review it, I took another gander through, this time looking at what illustrations I’d want to photograph and share with you.

THAT is when it struck me again. I LOVE this story because Ruby Valentine is me.


Of course I don’t live in Heartland in a sweet little cottage with heart-shaped trees, and Valentine’s is not my favorite holiday (that would be Halloween), but I’m certainly no stranger to the hustle and bustle of preparing for some big party or event.

Love Ruby Love GLITTER!

It looks a lot like this anytime I get the glitter out, (probably why I don’t do it more often)

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