Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! Check out a fun activity you can do as a family below!

Pages from Mason Jar Crafts for Kids interior_Page_1

Pages from Mason Jar Crafts for Kids interior_Page_2

Pages from Mason Jar Crafts for Kids interior_Page_3Pages from Mason Jar Crafts for Kids interior_Page_4



Mason Jar Crafts for Kids: More Than 25 Cool, Crafty Projects to Make for Your Friends, Your Family, and Yourself! by Linda Braden


Mason jars are no longer just for canning. Today we use them to drink from, to cook inside, and—with almost limitless possibilities—to craft with. In this fabulous new book, Linda Braden, author and owner of MasonJarCraftsLove.com and ItAllStartedWithPaint.com, offers up a collection of fun and creative Mason jar crafts for kids. Her ideas include everything from wild science experiments and delicious edible treats to holiday decor and gifts for the whole family. Kids won’t want to miss the fireworks in a jar or the lava lamp jar projects. And who could resist a Mason jar cupcake or a rainbow Jell-O jar? There are instructions for how to make your own lantern jars, snow globes, and even a Mason jar terrarium. This book will keep little hands busy all year round, with dozens of easy do-it-yourself projects.
Accompanied by photo tutorials and helpful step-by-step instructions, these projects are kid-friendly and offer a variety of options for both beginning and more advanced DIY fans. Each project is complete with age recommendations, a list of supplies you will need, and safety precautions. These projects are great for crafting with a big group or alone with your child, and perfect for long summer days, rainy weekends, and holiday preparation. Be inspired and discover the endless possibilities with the world’s most famous jar!


Linda Z. Braden may be a Mason jar enthusiast, but she’s new to the world of Mason jars. She’s making up for lost time by forging new memories with her children and a newfound community of Mason jar lovers she’s successfully cultivated online. Her Mason jar fan base has grown to more than 25,000 strong on Facebook; she’s received more than 130,000 page views on her blog, Mason Jar Crafts Love; and she’s gathered nearly ten thousand followers on Pinterest. She is forever looking for new and unique ways to incorporate Mason jars into her home decor, holidays, gifts, and parties. She lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, Illinois.

Continue Reading

Creative Crayons


In How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney, illustrated by Feronia Parker Thomas, a very resourceful box of crayons saves the day when best friends Sun and Clouds get in a big fight.

Here’s how you can save your broken new crayons, giving them a new life so every day can be full of colorful fun:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Broken/unwanted crayons
  • Oven mitt
  • Refrigerator
  • Dish towel
  • An adult

Here’s what to do:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.melted-crayon
  2. Peel off all remaining crayon wrappers.
  3. Break up crayons into small pieces if they aren’t already broken.
  4. Fill up the muffin tin with broken crayons. You can use multiple colors for a tie-dye affect. It’s okay to fill them right up to the top.How the
  5. Have an adult place tin in the oven. Let bake for about 10-13 minutes.
  6. Using an oven mitt, have an adult carefully remove the tin from the oven. (The wax will still be liquid, so have a steady hand.) Let cool on a heat resistant surface for about 25 minutes.
  7. Place your tin in the refrigerator or freezer for 5-10 minutes. (If you don’t let the tin cool in between, your crayons will probably crack due to extreme temperature changes.)
  8. Remove tin from refrigerator or freezer and flip over on to a dishtowel. The crayons should pop right out.
  9. Get drawing!




How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney, illustrated by Feronia Parker-Thomas




The Sun and the Clouds are best friends. Together they keep the world warm, the gardens growing, and the sky full of beautiful rainbows. But one day they get into a fight and refuse to be in the sky together. And that means there are no longer any rainbows. Without rainbows, the colors start disappearing until Earth was left with no color … except for one little forgotten box of crayons in one little school desk.

Determined to save the rainbows and fix the Sun and Clouds’ friendship, the crayons draw rainbows all over town. Their attempts go unnoticed. Soon they realize that they’re going to have to do something big to get the attention of the former friends. So, the crayons create the biggest rainbow they can and hope it’s enough to bring color back to the world.

How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow teaches the importance of teamwork and perseverance through seven crayons with unique personalities and their desire to see the world in color.

Monica Sweeney loves crayons and rainbows, and always wondered what would happen if the world lost its colors. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Feronia Parker Thomas is an illustrator who loves to sketch and scribble all day. She has a fondness for bears and penguins but would probably prefer a dog as a pet. She lives in London, England.

Continue Reading

Can You Keep a Secret? How to Create Invisible Ink

Close up of a girl asking silence


In Kate Scott’s Spies in Disguise series, Joe has to go undercover . . . as a girl!  And he’s not very happy about it. Whether it’s the perfect hideout, disguise, or a message, every good spy needs to know how to keep a secret, and how to pass on secret messages so important information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Now, you can create secret messages, too!

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your own invisible ink so that your most important messages don’t fall into enemy hands (or your little sisters)!


How to Create Invisible Ink:lemon

What you’ll need:

  • A lemon
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs
  • A bowl
  • A piece of white paper
  • A lamp that’s plugged in and on.
  • A grown-up


Step 1: Ask your grown-up to cut a lemon in half for you.

Step 2:  Squeeze the lemon into a bowl.

Step 3: Add a few drops of water, and stir the mixture together.

Step 4: Dip a cotton swab into your lemon juice/water mixture and write a secret message on your paper.

Step 5: Let your invisible ink dry. Your message will vanish.

Step 6: Put the paper near a lightbulb of a lamp that’s turned on, and it will suddenly appear. Be careful not to get too close to the bulb. It’ll be hot! You might want to ask your grown-up to help with this step.




Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tights by Kate Scott

boy in tights



The day starts out like any other until Joe gets home to find his parents packed and ready to run! His dad hands him a disguise and they’re out the door, his mom driving the family to safety as if she were in a Formula 1 car while his dad works the dashboard like an experienced computer hacker. What is going on?

Joe’s parents are no ordinary mom and dad. As professional spies, they are experts in their field, but they’ve been undercover so long that they thought their secret was safe! Now, their covers have been blown, and they’re going to need to start over somewhere else. This time, Joe’s in on the mission. And he’s going to have to go undercover. As a girl.

“No way,” says Joe. “Absolutely no way!” But his family’s safety is the top priority, and the people who are after them won’t be looking for a family with a girl. Joe is about to become Josie, and it doesn’t matter if the tights itch his thighs or that it’s drafty under his dress. It’s up to him to keep his family safe! He’s on a mission, and there might be some pretty cool gadgets involved. Dive into a new chapter book series that is sure to keep you laughing from page to page.



And coming this Fall: 

Spies in Disguise: Boy in a Tutu by Kate Scotttutu

Joe thought he had the hang of this undercover thing. Sure, he has to dress up as a girl and change his name to “Josie” to keep his family safe, but he can still play soccer, and his new friend Sam knows his secret so he at least has someone to talk to. Not to mention, it’s finally time for Joe and Sam to learn how to be proper spies—gadgets and all! Joe is prepared to prove to his parents that he’s ready for a big mission.

Their first mission isn’t exactly what either of them had in mind, though. Joe and Sam have to go undercover . . . as ballerinas! Joe isn’t thrilled about the idea of wearing a tutu, but he’s more than ready to track down the potential thief of a soccer memorabilia exhibit at the local community center. He will dance like a flamingo if it means keeping the coveted keepsakes of his favorite sport safe.

Unfortunately, Joe and Sam have very different ways of approaching the mission and their tactics clash. Once best friends and partners-in-spying, they now are determined to crack the case without each other. When Joe’s parents get word from HQ that an enemy spy is on their trail, there is no other option for Joe and Sam except to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case.


Continue Reading