Let Everyday be an Adventure!

As a parent I know how hard it is to let my kids explore the world and have their own adventures. It gets even harder and more complicated when one of them is different. Society has a history of being unkind, and children are the worst. Or are they?

I’m not talking about bullies here…

I’m not saying you should let your child be bullied. Society has been making huge strides in fixing this, its not a perfect world. It is still very broken. Always step in if you suspect bulling.

However, this is the world that our kids have to live in, and we need to let them live. That means working together on solving misunderstandings. It means helping empower them to deal with misunderstandings. They will have their own stories, their own pain and triumph.

Here is the thing, if we don’t ever let them try, then they won’t every have a triumph. Its our job to encourage, to help, and to eventually step back. Kids are amazing at doing so much more than anyone ever thought possible, when given a chance.

Are you letting your child find his or her own triumphs? My book the Little Purple Porcupine is about a mom’s worry for her child. How she steps back and lets him find his adventures.

If mama’s not happy, no one is happy!

The same goes for worry. If mama’s worried, then everyone is worried. Mom is the security blanket and rock that kids turn to.

This is why I wrote a children’s book about a mother’s fear. Kids know when mom is worried about them. Its not a surprise, so it makes since to read a book about this topic. It makes it easier to open up conversation. Communication is always the best way to move forward.

Order your copy of The Little Purple Porcupine on amazon here.

Want more books from Shannon L Mokry?

All links below take you to their Amazon pages.

DIY Safari Summer Camp Activities!

Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your children this summer? Me too! Well one of my kids, the big kids may join in once they see how much fun we are having. This week the theme is Safari, and with that in mind I have an elephant craft and a book to share.

1. Elephant Masks

To start off Elephant Day, lets make some Elephant masks!

What you need:

  • Download Pattern Pieces HERE
  • One piece of cardstock (I used pink to match my book)
  • 2 pieces of regular printer paper (to match the cardstock)
  • elastic
  • glue
  • scissors
  • printer to print the pattern pieces
  • optional-crayons or markers, but only if your stuck using white paper
  • hole punch (or something to make small holes)

Download and print my pattern pieces. Make sure to print the main mask piece (page 1) on cardstock. It needs to be heavier paper. Cut out the pieces for the mask and the ears. Carefully cut out the eyes. Glue the ears on slight above the holes for the elastic. attach the elastic. Then, cut out the nose piece. Be carful to not cut past the lines down the nose or you’ll end up with a short nose. Glue the uncut sides together forming a tube. Carefully trim along the top edge of nose, fold those pieces up and glue it to the face of the mask. I found it worked easier to put the glue on the mask and press the nose down onto the glue.

Give it a few minutes for the glue to dry then have an elephant parade! End the parade in a story time. I hope you enjoy this mask as much as we have.

2. Elephant Books

There are so many great Elephant themed books. I wanted to give you a reading lists of books available as ebooks. You can cuddle up on the couch to read them, or project them up the TV to read to a group. Of course physical copies are also available for those of you that like to plan ahead.

  • The Little Pink Elephant -www.hyperurl.co/LittlePinkElephant
  • Eyesha and the Great Elephant Gathering – Amazon Link
  • The Last Rhino(Don’t let the title fool you, its got lots of elephants going on-Amazon link

I hope you have fun reading about elephants and doing some arts and crafts. Most of I hope you are having fun spending time together.

Want more DIY Safari Themed Summer Camp Activities? Click HERE!

DIY Art Themed Summer Camp Activity

Our summer is starting to look jam packed with activities. So we are getting a head start on making some practical things to make our summer more comfortable. To start that off we are decorating some tote bags. I’m hopeful that these bags will keep our needed supplies at hand. What your going to need is:

  • Cotton Tote Bags
  • cardboard to go inside the totes
  • fabric paint or fabric markers or both!
  • potatoes, celery, sponges, varies other items
  • stencils?

First, I stuffed the card board into the tote so that the paint doesn’t seep through. Then I cut up the celery, potatoes, and anything else we want to use (we used the tops of mini bell peppers, and some sponges). My daughter took a few minutes to plan her design then we got to stamping!

To get the two toned celery “roses” we used spray on fabric paint. We sprayed the paint directly on the celery. you could also paint directly on the celery. My last suggestion is to spread the paint out on a plate for the child to stamp into them onto the tote bag. I found the fabric spray paint at my local craft store.

We left the bottom corner blank for her to write her name, but a stencil or sponge letters would be more fun! For older kids, you could have them carve the letters into the potatoes, there are as many options as their are kids!

Of course, I know that not all of you can pull out paints at a moments notice. That is okay, too. Or, you may have a child with sensory issues that just can’t handle the feel or the disorganization of paints. You can still do this project with stencils. Stencils help create a sense of control. Not only do the markers control the mess, the stencils create a set pattern.

I hope you enjoy this craft and have a wonderful summer making memories!

I’ve teamed up with some other talented bloggers to bring you even more DIY Summer Camp Activities. You can check them out by clicking HERE!

Book Review and Craft: Little Narwhal’s Day

A friend and fellow author is getting ready to publish a new book and I’m just as excited as she is! Well close anyways, we love narwhals! So when she posted that she had her sample book in, I jumped right in and made a craft to go with it.

photographed by Angela Castillo

I can’t wait to get my own physical copy to read with my daughter. If you have a love for arctic animals like the Narwhale then help make this dream a reality by supporting Angela’s Kickstarter campaign. The sooner the better, the campaign ends on May 11 and when its gone, the special values go with it.

I hope you and your child enjoy the book and craft as much as my daughter has! We love to read about this fun character and the arctic waters he lives in. After reading the book, dive into this cute painting project. We dug into our recycle bin and pull out some bubble wrap and learned about curves, and how that impacts the stamping abilities of two different shaped bubble wrap, we used different shades of blue and talked about why you layer lighter or darker first. We cut drew and cut out the shape of our Narwhal. Then discussed how paints mix when wet and layer when dry. But most of all we had fun and made a memory!

http://whimsyandpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NarwhaleArtProjectPage2-2.pdf

Art and books pair so well together. If you haven’t done art projects based on books you read with you child, I highly recommend giving it a try. I also suggest painting with your child, they love seeing our work, mistakes and all. I thought about making a more perfect example, then realized, that my work would just be different, not more perfect. Child art has a special appeal that we need to encourage.

Free Elephant Coloring Pages

Elephants are everywhere right now.

You may have noticed that I have a new book out! The Little Pink Elephant. You may also be able to guess who my inspiration was? Well inspiration or not, my little one wanted more elephants. Even after illustrating the book, I was happy to provide them. That means you get them too!

I’m not the only one with elephants on the brain. With an upcoming movie, and the general popularity of elephants in the baby section of most stores, I hope you all find my elephants fill a need for your little one, just like they did for mine.

Fun Fact

There really are pink elephants in Africa! I was surprised too, but once I new I had to share the information. No they aren’t born pink, but the dirt in the area they live is bright red, and when it dries it turns the elephants varies shades of red and pink. How cool is that! Click here to find out more about the these elephants!

How to get the free printables

Just head on over to Teacher’s Pay Teachers, log in and select my free Elephant Coloring Pages. It will give your the files to download from there. I want to make this as safe and easy as possible. Since I am providing these at no charge, I wanted a way for you to safely access the pages without paying for anything out of my pocket. Teacher’s Pay Teachers does that for both of us.

Want more?

You can sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll deliver them right to your inbox. If you want to know more about my book, you can check it out on amazon by clicking the link above or here. You can also check out my store on Teacher’s Pay Teachers and see what else is there. Have fun!

I also have Free Elephant Bookmarks here.

Every Person Has Room to Shine

http://www.hyperurl.co/LittlePinkElephant – amazon link

When I first became a mother I had so many ideas on how it would go. We all do, I think. Then , life happens, as any seasoned mother can tell you. Those dreams soon go out the window. They had to, as I got to know each of my unique and precious daughters reality set in. Over the years I have learned so much from them, and been humbled in the process. The enormity of being the right mother for each of them with all of their unique needs was not lost on me.

The Little PInk Elephant

I learned many lessons over the years. The biggest lesson was that each of my girls is very unique, yet, they did have some things in common. For some reason they got the idea in their heads that the world was a musical and would burst into song and dance at every opportunity. This proved challenging as I’m sure you can image.

I’m sure you have seen scenes like this acted out in the grocery store, or some other public place. The first few times it happened to me, I was a little embarrassed. Then, something wonderful happened to my perspective. I challenge you to change your perspective as well. See things from the child’s point of view.

That is what I did. What I saw was my child embracing life, so I embraced it, too. Or, I tried too. It didn’t happen all at once. Oh, how I wish it had.

My daughter was so secure and confident, it was a beautiful thing. I didn’t want to steal that joy, so I made the decision not too. As they each grew out of this phase, I found myself missing it.

That experience, combined with an recent art project with my youngest daughter, was the inspiration for my newest book, “The Little Pink Elephant”.

Shine Bright

How are you shining? I’ve written before about choosing to live without fear (you can read more about that here), but have you taken that thought further? Part of choosing to live without fear, means shining my brightest. To be the best mother, wife, artist, author, person, that I can be. It’s what we all want for our kids, right? The only way for that to happen is to model it. Let your joy shine, if you’ve lost it, don’t worry, you can find it again. Start by remembering your dreams, and take steps to follow them, no matter how scary the idea.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
—2 Timothy 1:7

Support One Another

We teach this concept at a young age, intentional or not. Its not about building up our children’s self esteem, its about building up our friends and family. Lets start doing this with intention! Do your kids see you building up those around you? How about yourself? Its important to remember that our kids learn more by what they see us doing than what we tell them to do. With that in mind, try to sing along with them, encourage your friends, and speak positive things. You won’t believe what a difference it will make a difference in their lives as well as yours!

Other Elephant Posts

Other Books by Shannon L. Mokry

What’s next?

  • The Little Yellow Llama – November 2019
  • The Little Green Fox – February 2020
  • Restoring Gardenia – Fall 2020

Free Spring Coloring Pages

Spring is officially here, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate every day. Pollen fills the air, bugs are out in force and my little one is coloring up a storm.

Change is in the air.

Just like the seasons, what my daughter wants changes and I need to be on top of things, by changing up her travel bag. I still keep a few blank pages, but I pull out last months unused coloring pages and file them away for later. This month I’m putting in my Spring Coloring Pages.

How to get the free pages

Just head on over to Teacher’s Pay Teachers by clicking here, log in and select my free Spring Coloring Pages. It will give your the files to download from there. I want to make this as safe and easy as possible. Since I am providing these at no charge, I wanted a way for you to safely access the pages without paying for anything out of my pocket. Teacher’s Pay Teachers does that for both of us.

Want more?

You can sign up to get my new posts directly in your inbox. You can also check out my store on Teacher’s Pay Teachers and see what else is there. Have fun!

Previous Free Coloring Sheets

Why Arts and Crafts Are Important

Even if your not good at them.

Are you a perfectionist? Or, someone who wants to put their best forward at all times? That isn’t a bad thing, even if I have some trouble relating. Oh, don’t get me wrong I want to put my best foot forward too. I just know that it takes a lot of mistakes to get there, and I’m not afraid of to let my progress be seen. This is where it gets tricky with kids. You need to let your kids see you struggle. So that they understand that it takes time and practice to get good at things. Show them your mistakes.

Why arts and Crafts?


Arts and crafts help children learn all kinds of important lessons. They get to explore their imaginations. Learn small motor skills, and even work through some engineering type problems. Depending on the craft all kids of connections can be made. Learning something new with your child, shows them they are important. It shows them that your not perfect either, and that its okay to struggle.If nothing else, it should be fun and you both end up giggling over how awful they both look! But, your kid may surprise you and have natural talent you never would have found if you hadn’t introduce them.

If nothing else, it should be fun, you both may end up giggling over how awful they both look! And thats okay! But, your kid may surprise you. They may have natural talent you never would have found if you hadn’t introduce them to something new.

Don’t know where to start?

Pinterest is a great resource. Just pick a medium or a subject. Painting, paper, yarn, fabric, these are all mediums. Princess’s, cars, horses, dinosaurs, etc, these are subjects. Let your child see you struggle and learn, but most of make sure your both having fun!

Pinterest Win: Fairy Wands

Inspiration

The original inspiration for this was from a post about reading pointers for early or beginning readers. It looked like a fairy wand to me, so I took the idea and ran with it. You can find that post by clicking the image below or CreativeFamilyFun.

picture courtesy of CreativeFamilyFun.net

My criteria for a Win:

  • Can children aged 5-7 do this with only verbal instruction? Yes.
  • Can more than one child do this project at a time? Yes.
  • Does the finished product look like the pinterest picture? Yes, if the same items are used.
  • If not, does it look good? Yes, my changes still looked good.

What I did different:

  • I added ribbons.
  • I found smaller sticky gems and stickers.
  • Different foam shapes are okay. If you are not using it to point at something then you can use what ever shape you want. Hearts anyone?

Groups:

My sample group only had 1-4 kids at a time, but I had over 20 kids come through my tent, with a wide range in ages and genders. They all seems to enjoy this craft, the youngest needing more help, but still had lots that they could do themselves.

I’d say this is great for groups aged 5+. For younger kids it might be best with one on one attention. I also think there is lots of room to make this craft personized for a specific group or event.

Be Aware:

My indorsement in no way implies the safety of this item. You must use your own judgement and take responsibility for your own choices. Follow the age restrictions for the items you choose to use and never leave a small child unattended with anything made from popsicle sticks or anything similar in shape or size.

Pinterest Win: Origami Dragon Bookmark

Are you like the rest of us? Scrolling Pinterest looking for a craft or project to do with a group of kids. Maybe you have a theme, maybe not, but you just need something that will fill 10-15 minutes and come out in one piece? Hey I’m on kid three I’ve seen what a classroom or group of kids can fail at. Truth be told its not the kids that failed, its the quality of the craft supplies. Still we want wins for all the kids.

The Craft: An Origami Dragon Corner Bookmark

You can find the original post here: https://www.redtedart.com/dragon-corner-bookmark-design

The Pinterest Effect:

It looks so good on Pinterest. Tons of people are pinning it. But will it really work? Can I really get a group of kids to follow along and end up with a cute craft? Pinterest says you can but we all know Pinterest lies.

I set out to see if this craft was worth doing, by doing it myself. Then I had my 7 year old do it. So far so good. Then I analyzed the possible problems in a group setting with a wide range of ages. (My group of kids was at a Pfarmers Market, so I had no idea who would show up.)

How I Prepped for Success:

What I learned from my test samples helped me decide the best way to prep for this event. This may be different than what you need. For example if you have a classroom full of 3rd graders, then you’ll want them to do some of these steps themselves, a troop, or classroom full of 1st graders may be different.

  • I used cardstock and cut out the rectangles for this project 3in. x 6in.
  • Color and precut the eyes. (I per dragon)
  • Draw and precut the ear piece.
    (I per dragon)
  • Draw and precut the wings.
    (I per dragon)
  • Precut the spikes as one solid piece. To do this I cut a 2in x 2in square and shaped the outside edge on two attached sides, then cute off a 1in x 1 in square from the opposite corner.
  • Use glue sticks on the dragon , not the individual pieces.
  • Stick the ear on last, with instructions to hold it tight for awhile.

Success is in the smiles

I had about 20 kids stop by my tent and make this project, they ranged in age from 2 – 12. The day of the event it became very clear that the younger kids wanted to participate and just couldn’t do the folding. If I had used regular paper, they still would not be able to fold, but thinner paper would have been easier for the 5-7 year olds. So I quickly folded up a small pile of dragons, and the kids had just as much fun, gluing the pieces on.

The project took between 5-10 minutes per child. I personally could walk a group of about 3 through the process, but my table was small. Everyone left my table happy, even if some of the dragons got an extra eye, or some bling from my stash of sticky gems meant for a different craft.