Free Valentine Bookmarks

Are looking for a last minute Valentine gift for the children in your house? I’ve got you covered. Print these bookmarks on cardstock and you give to the sweetheart kids in your life.

Need valentine cards for your kids to hand out, but don’t want the same old thing everyone else has? These are unique and offer something that kids can use beyond Valentines Day. Win win.

http://whimsyandpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Valentine-Printable-Book-Marks.pdf

To print these bookmarks put 8.5 x 11 white cardstock into your printer and make sure it is ready to print. Then click the top image. It should pop up a new tab or page with both pages. Please remember to reinsert each page and print the back so that each bookmark is two sided. Or click the link listed above.

After printing them, cut them apart along the dotted lines and enjoy. The second side of the bookmark has a place for you or your child to right their name. That way if you have more than one child it is easy to remember who’s bookmark belongs to who.

Remember only laminate after they have colored it. Laminating isn’t required, but it does extend the life of the bookmark.

Copyright Reminder

These bookmarks are free for you to print and hand out, but they are for you to sale or post on any site.

You are welcome to share my blog post as long as you give me credit and link back to my site. Thank you.

Shannon L. Mokry

Previous Bookmarks

5 Good Things About Reading Challenges


1. Reading leads to learning.

You can’t help it. When you read something you learn something. It may be reinforcing something you already know, it may be noticing something you didn’t notice before, that is all learning. Reading opens up so many doors to learning new and exciting things. Where will your books lead you?

2. Makes you Smarter*

Reading to your kids creates more connections in their brains. Not just your kids brains, but yours too. Think about it. Your building your vocabulary, reinforcing your vocabulary, you emotionally connect with the character’s, get to visit places you might never see, or revisiting favorite places. All those things make connections in your brain. The more connections the smarter you are.

*I’m not a doctor or a specialist, please don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself. Remember to be kind and that every person is different and has different potential in different areas.

3.Reading out loud helps helps your memory.

The more ways you learn something the more you remember it. Just like writing something out, reading out load accesses a different part of your brain. So if there is something you want to remember try alternating between silent reading and reading out loud. Feel weird about reading out loud to your self, read to your dog, cat, baby, its not about them any way its about doing something for your.

4. Positive Habits

Daily reading creates positive habits for life. Daily habits put you in control, rather than letting life control you. It means that when you set your mind to doing something, you get it done. This translates to way more than just getting your reading in. Conquer daily reading and move on to other things on your to do list.

5. Accomplishing Something

When you set your mind on a goal, and accomplish it, you builds up your self esteem. It’s important to start with small goals. Reading something daily for a month doesn’t mean you reading a full length novel every day. A poem, or quote, a children’s book, even the back of your cereal box if its been that kind of day.

“Bubbles and the Berry Bush” Teacher’s Activity Guide

As a homeschooling mom I understand the struggle to find activities that reinforce the books being read. Whether you are doing a unit study approach or not, children remember more when they interact with a character outside of story time.

As I searched for printables to use with my own daughter I found that the majority of things out there are just copies of the same basic worksheets, simply with different clip art. That just doesn’t work, as children continue to learn their skills change.

This means that teacher’s need different things based on where in the school year they are. My activity guide provides a variety of different activities to cover the different skill levels.

What this means for teacher’s in a classroom

For Preschool and Early Elementary Teachers, this means that they can pull the book out and use it when ever they feel like it will benefit that class of students. They can do this and know there is a worksheet to go with it. It also means that they can have some variety while still meeting the needs of that class of students.

What is means for the homeschool teacher

It means that this activity book is uniquely situation for your multiage classroom. A child that has trouble sitting through story time, give them a coloring sheet that works with the book. Young readers, their are some early readers that help the child connect more with the book characters. Older elementary kids in the mix, they can use the writing pages to work on creative writing skills. Something for every level age 3-9.

Just looking for a summer workbook?

Its good for that too. Everyone knows that kids need to practice academic skills through the summer or they lose valuable time and skill. The book can be used as a workbook for child, offering a variety of activities with characters they love.

Available in more than one format.

This book is available as either a printable or a physical book. You choose. The links will take you to either Teacher’s Pay Teachers, for the printable version, or amazon for the physical copy. I am compensated for your purchase.

8 Things Aspiring Authors Need to Know

So you want to write a children’s book, but you have so many questions, like how to start, do I need an agent, how do I get an agent, what about the illustrations? Then there’s I keep hearing about self publishing, it just seems so expensive. I know I’ve been there. Ultimately I decided to self publish, that may not be the route for you and that’s okay.

I’ll go through the most common questions I see posted in author forums.

1. How do I start?

Whether you choose traditional publishing or self publishing the answer is ALWAYS the same. Write. I know it sounds way to simplistic, that can’t really be the first step. Well you’d be surprised at the number of potential authors that have all sorts of ideas in their heads, but haven’t written a single one down.

Its okay if you don’t know anything about writing yet, if you don’t get the ideas on paper they will flitter away and you’ll lose them. So write, type, whatever, your first step is to get the ideas down.

2. Work on the craft of writing.

You may be an amazing story teller, that doesn’t mean you will be an amazing writer from the get go. In fact, even if you are, finding a critique partner, or taking classes will only make you more confident. Master Artists of all types go through a period of honing their craft. Authors are no different. Take time to build your skills, this will make the editing process much easier for everyone.

3. Study your genre.

Are you writing picture books, or middle grade books? Are you aiming for the preschool crown, the barely mobile and not yet articulate? How about the beginning reader, or those firmly in the chapter book section. This is a starting point. Dig deeper, are you writing fantasy, mystery, rhyme? Go out there and see what is on the bookstore shelves. You want to see what is popular, what is not. Then, if your self publishing your looking for what they are selling for.

Do not forget to check out how long those books are. Yes the number of pages, also the size of the print and the number of words. The average picture book, for example is 30 pages and 500 words long. The goal for this type of book is as close to 500 as you can get but the range is typically 500-1000.

4. Do I need an agent.

This is where the decision to self publish or not finally rears its head. If you want a tradition publisher then yes you need an agent. Can you get published without one? Occasionally, but an agent will make sure you get the best deal, and gives you more options. They are also a cheer leader for you, its someone in the industry that believes your book has potential. An agent shouldn’t cost you anything, they get paid when you get paid.

5. Traditional or Self-Publish.

You will have to decide for yourself. Just be aware that a traditional publisher does not charge you to publish, they pay you. If your approached by a small publisher asking you to split the cost, check and double check that they are not a vanity publisher. A vanity publisher exists to take advantage of the unwary. If you’ve been approached check the list Writer Beware to see if that company is there.

If you want more info on Self Publishing before you decide Here are some good resources.

6. Your going to need to Market your book.

Don’t be fooled with either option, you will need to do your own marketing. Yes a traditional publisher wants to make money, but they don’t exactly set aside big bucks to market a first time author. Publisher’s do give you guidelines to follow. They do set the price points. Some will offer advice and maybe hold your hand along the way. In the end, you will still need to market.

There is no way around it, so go ahead and read up on what works and what doesn’t. Start taking notes. Dig around a little and check out established authors, what does their web presence look like. Once you have a draft of your book done, start marketing.

7. How do I find an illustrator?

If your traditionally published, then you don’t. That is another great perk of the traditional route. They want to pick the illustrator and pay them. The downside, you will have less creative control. In many cases the author and the illustrator never meet, or communicate. The publishing company does it all for you.

If you’ve decided to self publish, then their are several routes to go.

  • Fiverr is popular.
  • Join a writer and illustrator groups on Facebook, and ask there.
  • Giving a shout out to the community you know. (I actually did this with my local homeschool groups and found my amazing illustrator.)
  • Looking into local art schools.
  • Join SWBCI and use their resources.

8. Dollars and Cents

I’ve heard that you can publish for no money down or very little out of pocket, is this true? Technically, yes. Just be advised you get what you pay for. At the very least pay for an editor before you start looking for agent. Yes, a publishing house will do more edits, you want to put your best foot forward. So even if you go the traditional route, you may want to invest in some small way to make sure that your have polished it, and made your story the best you can.

Self publishing can be done for very little. For example if you are an artist and can produce high quality illustrations. Here is my break down on what you need money for.

  • illustrations (unless you can do them yourself)
  • cover art (this can be separate from the rest of your illustrations)
  • editing (the longer the story, the more editing you will want done)
  • Formatting – you can teach yourself, or pay, just decide upfront.
  • ISBN -in the Unites States you have to pay for this, however it is optional if you publish through Amazon, they will give you an AISN. Its not exactly the same thing but it will work.
  • physical books-you can use a print on demand company, but you still want some books on hand to give away, or simply show people. The two most common are IngramSpark, or Amazon’s KDP
  • Marketing -whether is amazon ads, facebook ads, or vendor booth fees you will need an advertising budget.

Want more on Writing? Follow my Q&A Series:

Teaching Personal Responsibility

You may not be aware of doing it, but we start teaching our kids from the time they enter the world. We introduce personal responsibility when we introduce potty training. What I do in my book is take the next step, making children aware of this responsibility.

Setting boundaries.

Once our children start to walk we teach them to not cross the road alone, to hold someone’s hand, etc. As they get older we give them more room to move around this world, its just as important to set boundaries then as it is when they are tiny.

Your child’s boundaries might be the room in school or preschool, the fence, or your yard. It may be stay with your buddy, or stay with your sibling. But what happens when they are outside of the normal boundaries, or their buddy/sibling wants to do something they know you won’t like? That is being personally responsible. They know=not doing it.

At least that is what we as parents would like. So how do we increase the odds of that happening?

Books spark conversation

In my book “Bubbles and the Mermaid Adventure” we delve into personal awareness and personal responsibility. We even introduce real world consequences without, well the real world consequences. By showing kids, hey we know its easy to get distracted, to just go along. Unfortunately, that won’t stop a bad thing from happening.

In my story I give the kids an out from truly facing the negative consequences. I’m hoping it will spark conversation about what could really happen.

Talk while they are willing to listen.

We have just a few short years to have conversations with are kids about important concepts, before we sound like we are lecturing them. Between 3-9 kids are still exploring the world of peer pressure with some adult supervision. This is the time to talk to them! Let them know that just because everyone else is doing it, that is not an excuse for doing something they know is wrong.

How does my book help?

The kids in my book all want to go the beach. You may hear from your kids things like I want to go to the park or just outside with the neighbors. Just like you, they get permission to go, but boundaries are set.

In the book, the kids are told to stay out of the deep water and to be careful of sharks. Okay, so their probably aren’t any sharks at your park or in your neighborhood, at least they don’t look like sharks. We don’t want to scare our kids, but they need to know why you have boundaries. Their are people out there that will hurt kids if they get the chance.

Consequences., in my book the kids get in the water and meet up with some mermaids. Insert, the popular kids, and just like most kids they simply followed along paying no attention to anything but the popular kids. At the end, those mermaids took off and left them in deep water and deep trouble.

Do you have a Bubble Blowing Dragon in your back pocket?

Me either. In my book it was the dragon that saved them. Their are tools you can give your kids to help, a whistle, pepper spray(for older kids), but the best thing you can give them is awareness. Talk to them about how they would get out of a bad situation, and why its so important to pay attention and not get into the situations to start with.

At the end of the day. Tell them you love them.

No matter what happens, make sure your kids know you love them. Once way to do that is to listen. Ask questions and listen to what they have to say.

Free Printable Bookmarks

This one is for the fans of my book “Bubbles and the Berry Bush“. If your not familiar with it you can read about it in another post here. Or check it out on amazon here.

Make it a treat or a reward

Bookmarks are an easy and popular treat to give to book loving kids. Even if you and your kids are not familiar with Bubbles the Bubble Blowing dragon these book marks are sure to be a hit! I find that any gift I give is treated better if my kids think they have earned it. Try sitting through a whole story, or reading one to you!

Printing Instructions.

To print these bookmarks put 8.5 x 11 white cardstock into your printer and make sure it is ready to print. Then click the top image. It should pop up a new tab or page with both pages. Print as you normally would, stopping to flip the page so that it is two sided.

After printing them, cut them apart along the dotted lines and enjoy. The second side of the bookmark has a place for you or your child to right their name. That way if you have more than one child it is easy to remember who’s bookmark belongs to who.


Remember only laminate after they have colored it. Laminating isn’t required, but it does extend the life of the bookmark.

Copyright reminder

These bookmarks are free for you to print and hand out, but they are for you to sale or post on any site.

You are welcome to share my blog post.

Thank you!

Want more bookmarks?

  • Valentines Day bookmarks are here

Free Fairy Coloring Printable Pages

My youngest princess is always asking me to draw coloring pages for her. She has never liked coloring books, yet she loves it when I draw scenes for her to color.

Over time, I noticed that I was drawing very similar pages each time. Her favorite pages all have fairies on them.

Time Saver

I realized that if I draw them up and digitized them I would save time. No more racking my brain for what to draw. No more stopping what I am doing (ex. filling out forms at a doctor’s office, or listening to the preacher in church) to draw a new scene. I keep paper in a folder for this very purpose. In the future I’ll have several printed scene’s ready to go.

Simple

I keep these scene’s pretty basic. This allows for plenty of creativity on the part of my princess. I keep her travel bag simple too. One paper folder, one crayon box and a pen. Now I won’t have to worry about the pen.

Come back for more.

Then throughout the year I’ll share them with you here on my blog. Make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram to get the next set. Click below to get This months free coloring pages.

Word of the Year 2019

Consistent.

I’ve never done a word of the year before. It feels a little odd, like I’m doing something trendy just because its trendy. If you know me, then you’d know that I don’t do that. Trendy is not a word that describes me.

So why am I doing it? It feels right. I really don’t have a better reason than that. Maybe you’ve been doing a word of the year for years, or maybe, like me, your new to this. Either way, I’ve put my word out there.

Why consistent?

At first I was thinking faithful. Only it didn’t feel right. Faithful has to many meanings or uses that have nothing to do with my focus for the year. So I did a search for synonyms of faithful and found consistent. It really fit so much better to what I am praying for and wanting in this year.

What does it mean to be consistent?

It means to be something regularly. I want to become a person with positive and consistent habits. Someone that can be relied upon. In my work life, I want to set goals and met them. In my homeschool I want to have a daily schedule that helps our family stay on track.

According to Webster’s dictionary it means:

Consistent definition is – marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity : free from variation or contradiction.

Do you have a word of the day? Why or Why not?

Helping kids develop healthy social skills

Bullying is a hot topic these days. We all seem to agree that being bullied is a bad thing. It is a bad thing, I’ve been bullied so I don’t take it lightly. What we can not seem to agree on is what bullying is. I’ll try to shed some light on this, so we can have a healthy conversation with our kids about this important topic.

Kids need direction from us to understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not. That means if we, as adults, are confused about a topic, then kids are even more confused by it.

For example, right now it’s common to label any instance of one person being mean to another as bullying behavior. Someone who makes mean or insensitive comments and physically acts out towards others is a bully right? In order to understand that we have to have a solid understanding of the word bully and agree to a definition.

Words have meaning

Webster’s Dictionary puts it this way:
abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc. : the actions and behavior of a bully.

The US government takes bullying seriously enough that they have a website to help explain it. I think it is does a pretty good job. https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html

Now that we have a working understanding of the definition of the word bully, the hard part starts.

What bullying is NOT becomes the next question. Along with how to stop mean behavior before it is escalates that far.

So far we can see that bullying has to do with power between two people. So what happens when misunderstandings occur? Often hurt feelings arise and kids don’t know how to deal with that. Let’s face it, adults don’t always know how to deal with that. So what happens when a child or person, acts out because they are hurt? It can look an awful lot like bullying.

Let’s be clear though. A single instance of mean behavior is NOT bullying, but it can lead to bullying. Kids, just like adults want some control over themselves, their surrounds, and yes other people. Kids figure out pretty quickly that certain words, and certain actions get them what they want.

What they haven’t figured out is that the world does not in fact revolve around them. This is the real cause of misunderstandings. The combination between wanting control, and not understanding that things happening might have nothing to do with them personally.

So what can I do about it?

Here is what I propose. We need to teach kids how to navigate social situations, this means helping kids figure out how to make sense of their own feelings. Only then can they understand the feelings of those around them.

Let’s teach kids that the power of “WHY” doesn’t just extend to driving mom, dad, and teacher’s crazy. It has a real purpose in figuring out how to interact with each other.

“Why” can help us weed out true bullies, from misunderstandings that got out of hand.

“Why” can help us develop empathy, and connect with the people around us.

First, get in the habit of asking yourself, then your child, “why” someone might behave a certain way. Are they tired? Are they mad? You don’t know then ask them. If your efforts are met with more abuse then you have a bully on your hands. Maybe, just maybe, you will find a misunderstanding is the source of mean behavior. “Why” has just become an olive branch.

Finally, the most important step, talk with your child about these difficult topics. Find out what they think. Modelling healthy relationships, is great, its big, but it doesn’t replace conversation. Kids need to know they matter, and they feel that the most when you talk to them.

How to start

Don’t know how to bring it up without feeling awkward. Well, I wrote a book that helps with that. Check out “Bubbles and the Berry Bush” here on amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998711209/?tag=smarturl-20

I hope this was helpful. Please remember that I don’t know your situation and I don’t think that bullying is ever acceptable. I do believe that misunderstands happen and we need to learn to identify them. Kids need to know that their parents are listening and care about what is happening in their lives.

Extra’s

I have Free Printable Bookmarks that go with this book available here.

From Fear to Now

Have you ever sat at church and felt like every lesson is directed straight at you?

I find it happens the most when I am arguing with God about something. It isn’t always about a conflict in my life, just a direction I am fearful of. Sometimes it is during a difficult time, making the fear even worse. When will I learn that God’s timing is always perfect, while mine is so flawed?

All of these things came to me while listening to a lesson on growing in Christ. We were talking about not standing still in our faith. We are called to grow and mature. After the lesson, my children joined me in my pew. I looked at my three girls and knew that I could no longer live in fear. Instead, I wanted to set an example of living my faith.

I went home that day, and the conviction grew.

Have you heard the phrase ‘running scared’, or ‘paralyzed by fear’, I think we all have. Strange as it may sound, they both represent standing still in life. Everyone else is moving forward and you– you’re afraid to make a decision. If you do make a, the decisions you make take you far away from where you need to go. Fear can paralyze you, spiritually and emotionally. It’s like the world is on fast forward and you’ve hit pause, then you got stuck there.

I was stuck, and it was setting the wrong example for my girls. It was hurting my marriage, it wasn’t glorifying anyone, least of all God.

Some people spend their whole lives afraid. Stuck. I woke up one day realizing that living in fear was a decision. It was a decision that I made every time I gave into to fear, giving it more power over my life than any other thing. Once I recognized it, I then had a different perspective on the terrible things I had been fearful of.

You know what? They didn’t seem as scary anymore.

I admit, I’m one of the blessed. When I was lost in fear my life looked, well not normal, but good. I had already shaken the fear of not following societies standards. First I made the decision with my husband to be a stay at home mom. Then we made the decision to stay out of public school. At first we went with private school then homeschooling. My life was weird, but a good weird. Jesus carried me. d already shaken the fear of not following societies standards. First I made the decision with my husband to be a stay at home mom. Then we made the decision to stay out of public school, first with private school then homeschooling. My life was weird, but a good weird. Jesus carried me.

It wasn’t always so good. My years at school left me scared. I never felt good enough, or worthy of love. Another lie meant to tear me down and keep my light hidden.

I had faith that God would see me through to the end. Being with me during the peaks and valleys of life was not the same as seeing that I didn’t get hurt. Like many of you, I saw that as my job. I was so wrong. By being so fearful of what people could and did dish out, I held back. I could stand up and fight for you, but I kept myself hidden.

Fear is a learned reaction, I was not always afraid. Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice, shame on me, mentality. Then it hit me in the heart, those were worldly ideas. I could not be a light if I kept myself hidden. By my actions, I was passing that on as a legacy to my girls.

We are told in the Bible not to keep track of the sins against us.

We are told to turn the other cheek, to keep forgiving, just as our own sins are forgiven. These are not idle concepts. Jesus knew what he was asking of us. I needed to decide was if I was up to the challenge.

It all comes back to fear. If I want to find the freedom in life that salvation in Jesus promises, then I have to let go of that fear. If I don’t let go, then I can’t grow in my faith. I won’t really be living. I’ll still be on pause, watching as life goes by.

That is what the path to publishing my writing is about for me. It’s about living my faith, stepping out and being a light. It’s about being an example of living and using the gifts I’ve been given. The legacy I want to leave my girls, is the example of living my faith. How best to live my faith, than to use my gifts!

Follow me as I write about life forging forward through the fear.

Are you fighting the fear? If you are then know you are NOT alone!

This post was originally shared on my facebook page on November 16, 2016. It has been updated it and reposted it here on www.whimsyandpurpose.com by the Author Shannon L. Mokry.