Fun Card Idea

We’re standing in front of a tablecloth hanging from the mantle.

This is one of my favorite card tricks (greeting, not magic).

Happy Birthday, Grammy!

If you send cards with any kind of regularity, it’s hard to come up with a heartfelt sentiment for yet another holiday.

But take a picture of your kids holding a sign like this, and all you have to do is sign your name (or theirs).

Grandparents, especially, will coo.

I’ve put similar pictures on homemade cards, store-bought cards and thank-you notes.  Recently, I submitted one to my daughter’s school yearbook for her class page.  Her classmates couldn’t wait to have their picture taken holding a piece of paper that said “Our class rocks!”

It works well for us, too, because my kids don’t like to be photographed.  But they’re usually game if they know they’re making something special for someone, or if they have a fun prop.

Chapter Books for 5 to 6-Year-Old

My 6-year-old daughter is an avid reader and friends often ask us for book suggestions.

Last year, her wonderful kindergarten teacher read the first few Magic Tree Housebooks aloud to the class and used them to kick off lesson plans on dinosaurs, knights and Egyptian mummies.  We found most of the 46 (and counting) books in the series at the library, and Sasha would read an entire book before we got home.

Junie B. Jones was next.  Initially I was put off by the poor spelling and grammar, as well as Junie B’s questionable behavior, but my daughter begged to read them.  I quickly decided that I didn’t want to add a speed bump to her blossoming love of reading.  And while her writing isn’t perfect and she occasionally talks back, not once has it occurred to me to blame Barbara Park!

Below are lesser-known series that have been equally as popular in our house.  Currently, it’s the “B” for Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood.  First published in the 30′s and 40′s, they’re a great option for kids of moms who don’t embrace the Junie B-type of character.  There are multiple books in each of these series and we have found most of them at our library.

Roscoe Riley Rules by Katherine Applegate

Horribly Harry by Suzy Kline

Mary Marony by Suzy Kline

The Pee Wee Scouts by Judy Delton

Keeker and the Sneaky Pony by Hadley Higgenson

Nancy Drew Notebooks or Nancy Drew & The Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

Marvin Redpost by Louis Sachar

Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo by Nancy Krulik

Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy

Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton

Judy Moody & Stink books by Megan McDonald

Ramona books by Beverly Cleary

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrow

Betsy and Penny books by Carolyn Haywood

American Girl Contemporary Fiction