Two-Ingredient Bird Feeders

Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2022 by Katie

Two Ingredient Bird Feeder

Everyone has seen the different ways you can use peanut butter to stick birdseed onto pinecones, cardboard tubes or other small objects to create bird feeders.  These are fun activities for little hands but can get messy quickly and are a concern for those with nut allergies. When I saw a recipe for a birdfeeder that does not involve peanut butter, I was pretty excited. This is a fun way to create bird feeders with little mess, almost no waste and young ones can be involved in almost every step.

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Cookbooks We Love: Arab Fairy Tale Feasts

Posted on Monday, January 17, 2022 by Megan

Book cover for Arab Fair Tale Feasts

Every once in a while, you come across a fabulous cookbook or a wonderful picture book, but rarely are they one and the same! “Arab Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook” by Karim Alrawi is just such a book. Not only does it contain great recipes, but it also has a story to accompany each dish. The intro also gives the reader a bit of the history of cookbooks; did you know some of the earliest cookbooks date back to the tenth century and included recipes for soap? Continue reading “Cookbooks We Love: Arab Fairy Tale Feasts”

Poetry to Ring in the New Year

Posted on Monday, January 3, 2022 by Grae

A new year brings with it a swirl of emotions, in keeping with the month of January’s namesake, the Roman god Janus, who symbolizes both entrances and exits, passageways and transitions. There’s excitement and perhaps a little trepidation in welcoming the glitz and glamor of the new, as well as the bittersweet pang of nostalgia “as the Old Year becomes past tense,” as poet Bobbi Katz writes in her poem New Year’s Eve: A 21st Century Ball Drop.”

To help sort through the variety of feelings you and your family might be navigating this time of year—feelings of reflection, celebration, resolution, affirmation, gratitude, growing pains, grief, commemoration, heartache, hope and more—here is a list of poetry books and anthologies to get you through. May you find a poem or two in the books below to share as you encounter both the old and the new shapes of 2022!


Front cover of Every Month Is a New Year

Every Month Is a New Year” by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Susan L. Roth


Though the modern Gregorian calendar marks the beginning of each year on January 1st, in many places and cultural traditions around the world the year and its beginning is marked differently. Continue reading “Poetry to Ring in the New Year”

Popcorn and a Book

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2021 by Amy

As we head into the colder months, what better way to spend the time than snuggling up with the ones we love — while sharing a big bowl of popcorn and a good book!

Spread a blanket on the floor, cozy up in a warm bed or build a reading fort of your own creation. Pick an old favorite or find a new book to explore.

I’ve included some cozy reading suggestions and my absolute favorite popcorn recipe below.

Yummy things first! POPCORN!

I came across this popcorn recipe years ago through a friend. This is fabulous savory popcorn to make year-round.

You will need:

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Picture Books We Love: Bodies Are Cool

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2021 by Megan

Book cover for "Bodies Are Cool" by Tyler Feder, featuring illustrated people with diverse bodies.

“Big bodies, small bodies, dancing, playing, happy bodies! Look at all these different bodies! Bodies are cool!” Tyler Feder’s new picture book, “Bodies Are Cool,” is practically perfect in every way. I’ve followed Tyler’s social media and books for a long time, so I knew I was going to love it. Each page features all sorts of folks doing all sorts of activities, including my favorite pages which focus on people swimming! Young and old, big and small, moms and dads, all are in swimsuits having a grand time! Her whimsical and bright illustrations will make you want to read this book over and over again. You’re likely to find something new every time you read it. I read it a third time just so I could find everybody with a tattoo!

This book celebrates ALL bodies, and by the end, you may find yourself staring into a mirror admiring your coolness.

Count Down to New Year’s Craft

Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2021 by Katie

It’s common to create paper chains to count down the days until a favorite holiday or highly anticipated event. These chains are visual trackers that can help little ones grasp the concept of time. Recently, I saw where parents were creating paper chains for New Year, and I thought this would be a wonderful activity for families to count down to midnight on December 31.

I love how versatile these paper chains can be. When I started to create my own for this blog, the plan was to just write the time in a 12-hour format using different colors. Then I realized I could also write the time in a 24-hour format. What a great way this would be to introduce and practice this concept to older children.

Then I thought about being super visual with different times and writing out the times with words and drawing little clocks on light-colored paper. (But how amazing would it be to create a rainbow chain! I love the idea of using super special paper to make the midnight chain, such as patterned scrapbook paper.) Continue reading “Count Down to New Year’s Craft”

Create a Cottage Box

Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 by Aimee

Handmade gifts are special for any celebration. In this blog, I’ll teach you how to create a winter cottage box that can be filled with homemade treats or a special gift!

For this project, you will need:

  • Cottage box pattern
  • White cardstock paper
  • Colored pencils or fine tipped markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape (regular or double-sided)

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Winter Read-Alouds for the Whole Family

Posted on Monday, December 13, 2021 by Laura

The holiday season is in full swing, and with this exciting time of year comes plenty of opportunities for quality time with the family! In my mind, there’s no better way to spend these cozy days than sharing a book with a loved one.

A young girl surrounded by stuffed animals falls asleep in bed while her father sits beside her and reads a storybook aloud.

Coming from a family of voracious readers, some of my fondest memories of this time of year involve good books: snuggling with my sister in the back seat as we listened to “A Christmas Carol” on the drive to Grandma’s house, gathering around my grandpa’s easy chair on Christmas Eve to listen to the nativity story, my dad drifting off in the middle of a sentence while reading “Little House on the Prairie” to me. Even as an adult, these memories stick with me, and I hope to share my favorite childhood reads with my own family one day.

Long car rides, snowed-in days at home or the nightly bedtime routine are all ideal occasions for story time! The challenge often comes in trying to find an appropriate book that everyone, from toddlers to grandparents, will find enjoyable and engaging. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the perfect read-aloud book: Continue reading “Winter Read-Alouds for the Whole Family”

Poetry to End the Year

Posted on Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Grae

Photo of an empty field, a yellow and green treeline, road, and sidewalk in Columbia, MO, all dusted with snow.The clocks have changed, the days are getting shorter and here in central Missouri, winter has come with plenty of its characteristic frost and wind. For some, this season and its chill are a welcomed time to gather together in celebration and anticipation, to share stories of the past and make goals for the new year. For others, these colder, darker days are difficult to get through, especially when the previous year (or more) has come with its own challenges and heartaches. Wherever you fall on this continuum, I hope you can find some salve and some brilliance, or even some simple moments of “this gets me” resonance, in the following books of poetry which embody the many reflective moods of this season.


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