pen&thimble Picks: Books To Check Out This Summer & Free Color-Your-Own Bookmarks!

Hi! It’s probably not surprising that a woman who sews and runs a business from her home is an introvert. But, to be clear, I totally am. And while I LOVE to be out-and-about more in the summer, one of my ALL-TIME favorite things about summer is…. SUMMER READING!!! As school is letting out around the US and summer is starting, I wanted to share some picture books we are especially excited about right now and share some printable color-your-own bookmarks!

pen&thimble Book Picks

IMG_5051 Our first pick, is Do Doodlebugs Doodle? This book is co-written by a friend of mine and my farm share partner. But that is not why I’m recommending this book. It is TOTALLY DELIGHTFUL! The illustrations are bright and beautiful (and include children of diverse backgrounds which is super important to me). And the book is full of insect facts presented in a super fun way! We can’t get enough! Check it out at your library or grab a copy HERE! Oh and the other co-author of this book is my friend Artemis’ mom! Mom + daughter teamwork! Love it!

IMG_4726 Our second pick is a book written by one of my favorite fabric designers and illustrator, Sarah Jane Wright, and her husband. (There is an unintended theme in our favorite books — families working together!) Lola Dutch is about an imaginative and creative girl! And if you are a fan of fine art or France you will love to point out landmarks and artists while you read! Bonus! The book cover of the hardcopy edition of Lola Dutch is a replica of Lola’s home and includes a paper doll of Lola and her nanny/nurse Bear. So your kids can create their own Lola Dutch adventures after you’ve put the book down!

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 2.49.52 PM.pngOur third pick isn’t a single book but a bunch of books read by astronauts taking a break from their work in the International Space Station to read to you! Whaaaat!?!? Yes!!! You can access it through the Story Time From Space website or search for them on YouTube! It’s as amazing as it sounds. We have especially loved Rosie Revere, Engineer read by Astronaut Kate Rubins. I may have cried at the end of this book. And another favorite was The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home read by Astronaut Tim Peake.

Color-Your-Own Bookmarks Freebie

Want to get extra creative with your reading this summer? Check out the recommendations above and download this month’s pen&thimble freebie! I’ve made some color-your-own bookmarks for pen&thimble email subscribers this month! Not a subscriber? No problem. Join here and I’ll send the freebie to you right after you subscribe. Then download the PDF, print the bookmarks on cardstock, cut, color, and use all summer long!

Bonus Bookmark Game: Reading Hunt

My kids made up a fun game that we’ve been playing for a few days now. After they color their bookmarks, they hide them in the pages of a stack of books we plan to read that day. As I read the books aloud, we giggle and shriek as their bookmarks are revealed in the pages! It’s like an Easter egg hunt only the kids do the hiding and the bookmarks don’t stink up the place if you miss one!

Have a wonderful book-filled and adventure-filled summer!

Preschoolers and Paint

A story with pictures… See more art ideas and tips below!

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Rainy Day Got You Down? Just Add Glitter Paint!
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We Decided To Paint A Giant Piece With Glitter Paint and Finder Paint
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Is There Anything Better Than Feeling That Cool Paint On Your Fingers?
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Art Takes Concentration
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Focus
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Sharing and Negotiation
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And The Result Is Beautiful!

Art Tips:

  1. On a nice day, consider taking your paper and paint outside and paint with leaves and stamp with rocks and other found objects. Nature makes everything even more fun!
  2. Reuse Your art work! My kids create a lot of art. I cut their work and fold to make handmade birthday cards out of them for parties!
  3. Painting at this scale is better with an apron. We didn’t think to put them on and had some regret. Grab a pen&thimble apron today and add your kid’s name to it too!
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Paint All Over… And Paint Caps

Squishy Muddy Spring

Muddy spring got you down? We are definitely in that pre-green spring season in our backyard. And while I can’t wait to see all the green and everything in bloom, my girls recently reminded me that it is far better to enjoy the season we’re in.

And we are full-on in mud season. It is squishy, cool, scoop-able, and fun for hours!

So this is your reminder from the pen&thimble crew to pull on your mud boots, grab some buckets and shovels, and enjoy this squishy season!

Other activities we are loving this spring:

  • Hiking
    • Bring binoculars and magnifying glasses to admire the buds on the trees and shoots coming up!
    • Email insiders: Check your inboxes in May for a fun Spring Scavenger Hunt printable that is great fun on hikes!
  • Blowing Bubbles
  • Visiting Our Favorite Playgrounds
  • Picnicking
  • Collecting Sticks
    • We’ve started a nature table in the mudroom after hearing a friend has one in her house! Our nature table used to be a side catch-all table. Now it is a stick table, I mean Nature Table. 😉

What are your favorite spring activities? I mean right now I’m just loving any excuse to get outdoors! How about you?

Hold up! Are you an email insider? Each month insiders get: 1) A FREEBIE, 2) EXCLUSIVE coupon code, and 3) Activity and NEW Book Suggestions!

Yes, Every month! In May, the freebie is spring lunch note printables and a very fun Spring Scavenger Hunt! (Plus you get panda lunchbox notes right away after signing up!) Grab your freebies and monthly savings here: bit.ly/ampmail

Science and A Snack: The Celery Science Experiment With A Preschool and Toddler

Can science make your kids eat more veggies? Yes! Yes it can!

Celery Science and A Snack!

The other day we did the celery and food coloring experiment. Pretty basic stuff, but it was new to my girls (3 and 5 years old) and I called it a “Celery Science Experiment” with my super enthusiastic voice and they were INTO IT.

To start, we talked about how plants “drink” water, but we can’t see the water travel through the roots and up the stems to the petals or leaves because… water has no color. So maybe if we add dye to the water the plant drinks, we might see how it travels. And we were going to try it with the yellow celery mommy had left over after chopping some up for our special CELERY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!!

The Celery Science Experiment
First the girls chose their dye color. 3 year-old chose blue and 5 year-old chose to color mix to make orange.
Color Mixing With Preschoolers
Science tip: Safety glasses protect eyes and help with laser focus
Color Mixing
Yellow + Red = Beautiful
Kids Science Goggles are great for parties
The girls stirred the dye with their celery stalks and then it was time to wait! And have a snack!

 

Peanut butter and carrots? Okay
3-year-old went for a carrot first!
Healthy Toddler Snacks
And 5 year-old went for the celery first!

Our Celery Science (and a Snack) Experiment was a success! And our healthy snack felt like such a TREAT! By dinner time, the dye had already started to reach the leaves. SCIENCE IS SO COOL!

We think science is way more fun with accessories (and a snack). Our accessories pictured above can be found here: