Lady Bug Birthday Party Theme

I am a fan of using literature for inspiration.  When my daughter and I were planning her 5th birthday party, the book Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and David Soman caught her eye.  "Can I be a Ladybug Girl for my birthday?"

Of course!  Thankfully, I already owned a lady bug stamp.  We stamped gift wrap and some red napkins, made some extra large ladybugs for decoration and found the cutest costume at a Garage sale the Saturday before ($3.oo) to complete the theme.  It turned out cute and all the kids had a blast!

Want to Make Your Own Lady Bug Wrapping Paper?  HERE's our Tutorial!

Host an Ocean Themed Playdate

Host an ocean themed, educational play date for your kids and their friends. Choose a location such as your living room, backyard, park or even a rented space in your library.  Pick a time of day and invite your friends.  Prepare the activities ahead of time.  When the children come - play, learn, craft, and connect!

Plan an Ocean Themed Play Date: Craft, Story, Activity and MORE #EDUSpin
These are activities that would be great for toddlers and preschoolers.

Pick a Story: "A House for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle. 

Choose a Craft: Paper Plate Shells

Materials Needed:
Paper Plates
Crayons or markers

1. Have parents pre-cut the shells or let the children, depending on the age and comfort level of the parents.
2. Retell the story of "A House for Hermit Crab" and have the children add stickers to their shell.
3. Let them decorate with crayons or markers.

A House for Hermit Crab Paper Plate Craft

Pick a Learning Activity: GLOBES

To extend learning into our afternoon ocean play date, I set out the globes for an interactive station to learn about the world.  The kids found and named the oceans with parent help. This was a BIG hit!

Learning about GLOBES

Choose an Interactive Game or Activity: Sinking Submarines

We then decided to make our own "Sinking Submarines," so that we could visit the ocean ourselves.  This project is also great for getting kids to work together!!!  Our vision therapist would LOVE this activity as it requires children to track an object from close up to far away.

Materials Needed
scrap paper,
tape and
a paper clip.


1. Free-hand an oval for the body, a squished heart for the tail, ovals for the window, a triangle and a square for kids to put where they want.

Sinking Submarine Craft

2. Glue the pieces together to form a submarine.

3. Tape a paper clip on the back and tied one end of the ribbon to the door.  When I threaded the submarine on the ribbon, it didn't want to move, so I had to take the paper clip off and bend it a little wider.  Yours may be ok if you are using a different string.  

4. Teach your kids how to keep the string taunt and move their hands up and down to make the submarine sink down, down, down to the ocean floor or float back up.  They played this game for over 30 minutes!

Choose a Take Home Activity: Fishing For a Good Book Printable

Keep the fun and learning going with an interactive take-home activity. If you click on the image, it should bring you to google docs with a PDF of the sheet of this reading printable.


10 Ocean Activities For Summer Fun
Exploring the World with Kids
A House For Hermit Crab Activities
Make Rainbow Sea Shells
Alphabet Fun with Sea Shells

Hunting for Sharks Teeth, A Summer Adventure

How do you keep your kids entertained and educated during the summer while staying on a budget?

Money is a big concern for many families these days, including mine.  We want to have fun and educate our children without going over our budget.  The good news is that there are AMAZING things to do with little or no money needed - like HUNT FOR SHARK TEETH!

Searching for Shark Teeth: A Family Adventure

Teacher School Supply Box

Shhhh… What teachers would never tell you is that this is their favorite time of the year. Why you ask? The answer's not what you think.  The middle of summer is the best school supply shopping time! I have not met a teacher who doesn’t love and need school supplies for their classroom. School supply budgets are getting cut throughout school districts in our nation and teachers are finding their own resources to ensure children have everything they need to succeed.

I can't think of a better way to help teach your children to think of others AND show your support for the people who help our children grow and learn each day. For the past few years Amanda and I, with the help of a Mom’s Group, have created “Teacher Supply Boxes” for a few local schools where many of the families are not financially able to bring any supplies for their children. For very little money, we’ve been able to create boxes filled to the brim with school supplies and saw very appreciative Teachers as they received their Teacher Supply Box. 

Our children helped us read the ads from local stores to find the best deals, shop for the supplies, and fill the container. Before delivering the package, we wrote a note thanking them for being a teacher. We talked about the importance of thinking of others throughout the whole process.

The culminating activity was delivering the boxes to the teachers and seeing their very happy faces!

Here are some things to include. The numbers may vary depending on your school districts classroom size. If you only send in 10 - we don't think the teachers will mind =) Here are some suggestions...

Teacher School Supply Box Suggestions 
  • Folders - 25 of the same color
  • 25 Spiral Notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Crayola crayons
  • Washable Markers
  • Erasers
  • Stickers
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • Germ Gel
  • Tissues
  • Handsoap
Our children were involved in this community project to help understand the needs of others. Here’s what our Mom’s Group Donated. We ended up donating to 3 different new teachers who were thrilled to receive their boxes!   

Summer Reading

Has your child started reading
their Summer Reading List for School?

Almost every student receives a suggested Reading List for their summer vacation. Have you encouraged your child to work on it? One of the biggest concerns with your child at home for summer vacation is the amount of literacy skills that can be lost, reading can help maintain those skills and entertain your child for hours. As your child gets older for Middle School and High School they have required reading and will usually be tested on the book the first few weeks of school. Can’t find the list, you can typically find them on the school’s websites. Encourage your child to get it done this month, don’t wait until the last minute. At our house we try to read the books our oldest has been assigned or at least follow up using online notes. It makes great dinner and car ride conversations to ask varying questions about the story. For our children it gives purpose to their reading and helps them to comprehend and create meaning. The more they process that information the more they will remember it.
Check out your local Library for their Summer Reading Program. They always have something fun for the kids each summer and special story times and events planned for them. The theme for many libraries across the nation this year is One World Many Stories. There is so much your can do with that theme from teaching geography or diversity to your little ones.

Click here to watch a video on how we have connected some literature from around the world to our Childrens' Atlas

What has been your child’s favorite book this summer?
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