• My affiliate links won't hurt you, but they might help feed my kids. See my full disclosure policy in the main menu.

Hold an Outdoor Book Tasting for Kids

An Outdoor Book Tasting is a fun way to get kids interested in books and reading!

Summer means getting outside for learning.  What better way to take the classroom outside than to hold an outdoor book tasting for kids?

I mean, this stuff is fun.  It’s  an incredible way to get kids engaged in reading and excited about my favorite-ist thing in the whole wide world–BOOKS!

If you have kiddos who are interested in one genre and like to stick to it, a book tasting is a great way to introduce them to new stuff. If you have some friends you can invite over to take part, ask them to bring books with them so there’s a large variety.  Your kiddos are sure to find something new to read, even if you just check out new books from the library to use.

A book tasting is very like a wine or food tasting, but a lot easier to put together.  And nobody gets drunk or fat as a result!

Continue reading

Story Time: Rocky Hill Fireman–Fire!

4 free firefighting printables for Story Time: Rocky Hill, Fireman - Fire! for homeschool or classroom

Welcome to 10 Days of Summer Reading Activities!  Today kicks off 10 straight weekdays (come on, guys, I need my weekends!) of reading activities from your very own Lit Mama.  And you gotta love it, because this series is part of the even larger 10 Days of Tips for Homeschool Moms series that includes tips from 16 other bloggers!  So if you’re getting ready for the upcoming school year and you want to be in the know, make sure you check out all the amazing blogs at the bottom of this post and start the year off right.  Also,  scroll down to enter the $110 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Now.  To kick things off.

I know you know it, but my favorite thing ever is discovering new books and authors to introduce to you.

Last month, I told you about Katie Spivey Brewster and her wonderful picture book, Aunt Louise Comes to Visit.

This month I want to tell you about Katie’s husband, James Burd Brewster, the main guy at J2B Publishing and writer/creator of the Glad to Do It series of picture books.

Because they rock. Hard.

I’m not making that up.

Continue reading

Story Time: Where the Wild Things Are

Story Time: Where the Wild Things AreFirst of all, let me apologize for the lateness of this post.  Between my host server and my internet server, I have had The Weekend From Hell.  Can I get a hallelujah?

Never fear, the activities for this all-time best picture book ever are worth the wait.

But you don’t want to wait any longer, so let’s get to it.

What kind of wild things mischief can we make?

Oh, veritable tons, my friends.


One of the brilliant things about this book is the sparse wording.  In fact, the wild rumpus is not described at all, but shown in pictures.  However, those pictures can inspire entire worlds in a littles’ mind.  Which is kind of the point.

I think it would be terribly fun to have your littles write a story about what happens during the wild rumpus.  So I made up a pretty printable for them to write it on.  Because I’m cool like that.

Let the Wild Rumpus Start


Okay, so I love this.  This science project will allow your littles to use their imagination again and it doesn’t require a lot of clean up from you.  There are many different wild things in the story and none of them are fully explained.  Here’s your littles’ chance to pick one wild thing and imagine how it might be classified.  What is its habitat?  Feeding habits?  Behaviors?  We do these animal studies All The Time, but we never get to use our imaginations to fill them out.

Wild Thing Nature Study

wild things nature study


I have a couple for your littles to enjoy, and they are both fun and easy peasy.

Max’s Wolf Mask

Wild Things Wolf Mask

He felt he was waaaay too old to showcase this for you

What you need:

wild things mask supplies

  • White cardstock
  • Lit Mama’s Wolf Mask Template
  • 2-3 black chenille stems
  • Paint stir stick or large craft stick
  • glue
  • tape

What you do:

  • Print out template on cardstock
  • Cut mask out
  • Cut out inside of mask for face

Wild things wolf mask whisker holes

  • Use a pencil or other sharp object to poke 4 small holes in each side of mask for the whiskers

wild things wolf mask whiskers

  • Cut chenille stems into different links and push them through the holes you’ve made

tape whiskers to wild things wolf mask

  • Tape them to the inside of the mask

Wild Things Wolf Mask

  • Glue or tape stick to inside of mask where the chin would be
  • Enjoy being a wild thing

Make your own Wild Thing

Make Your Own Wild Thing

What you need:

Make Your Own Wild Thing Supplies

  • Lit Mama’s 4 PAGES!! of wild thing templates, including hands, eyes, feet, mouths, ears and horns, and a body to attach them to
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

What you do:

wild things body

  • If you want, use the face and body template to cut a colored wild thing from construction paper (or just cut it out and color it)
  • Choose the eyes, ears, mouth, feet, and hands you want to use and cut them out

add body parts wild thing

  • With the glue stick, add the parts to your wild thing however you want

color wild thing

  • Color the wild thing’s parts

You can also use the parts as templates to cut them from colored paper.  There are so many awesome, creative ways to do this craft!  Talk about a wild rumpus!


Um, yeah yeah.  These Mallow Monsters are so cute your littles will squeal, even before they get the toothache!  The funnest part is that your littles get to do almost all the work. All you have to do is melt chocolate!Wild Things Mallow Monsters

What you need:

Mallow Monster Supplies

  • Marshmallows
  • Sucker Sticks
  • White Chocolate (for melting)
  • Food coloring (we used blue and purple, but you can use any ol’ color)
  • Nonpareils and other decorative candies
  • Some kind of candy or chocolate chip for the eyes (honestly, we cut the stems off of some candy pumpkins I had stocked up.  It worked great!)

What you do:

  • Set up your dipping station with small bowls of different types of decorative candies and a bowl for each of your white chocolate colors

Mallow Monsters chocolate melting

  • Put two bars of white chocolate in a saucepan with a pat of butter and heat over low heat until melted (or microwave them for about 30 seconds in the bowl)

Mallow Monsters colored chocolate

  • Add 3 drops food coloring to the chocolate and stir until combined, pouring into a dipping a bowl when done (Do the last two steps for each of your colors)
  • Once you have the chocolate ready, push a sucker stick into each marshmallow

Dipping Mallow Monsters in chocolate

  • Holding the marshmallow by the sucker stick, dip and twirl it in the chocolate until the top half is covered.

making hair mallow monsters

  • Now dip just the top of the marshmallow into a bowl of candy to make hair

adding eyes mallow monsters

eyes added mallow monsters

  • Place the marshmallow on a saucer and add the eyes to it

mallow monsters complete

  • Make as many of these cutie-pies as you can, because they will all look different
  • Brush your teeth

Oh, my lovelies, I do so love this book.  I hope these activities make it an even richer experience for your littles.  This one should be remembered always.

The 10 Days of Homeschool Tips series is still going on among my fellow bloggers, too, so don’t forget to visit them.  And if you haven’t signed up for that $150 cash prize to help with your homeschool expenses, all I can say is What Are You Waiting For?

Love wins,






Story Time: Jake Johnson-The Story of a Mule

Story Time: Jake Johnson 4th of July Activities

If you’re looking for something a little different to read for the 4th of July, look no further than this hilarious gem. Jake Johnson  by Tres Seymour is the tale of a farmer taking some fireworks to the fairgrounds for the Independence Day celebration, but he has to convince his mule, Jake Johnson, to pull the wagon. Hilarity ensues. It will have your littles cracking up. But you want some nifty acitivities to go along with the laughter, don’t you? Let’s stick with crafts, science, and food today, and keep it totally fun.

Jake Johnson-The Story of a Mule 4th of July crafts and activities


There’s no better way to get your littles excited for the 4th of July than do some messy, cool science experiments with them, and I have 2 for you that are super simple (you probably already have the ingredients at home) yet still exciting.

Fireworks in a Jar for 4th of July

Fireworks in a jar

What you need:

fireworks in a jar supplies for 4th of july


  • 4 colors food coloring
  • 3-4 Tbsp baby oil
  • Clear glass jar
  • Water
  • Oil

What you do:

  • Fill the jar about 2/3 full with water


food coloring for fireworks in a jar


  • In a separate bowl, add oil and about 4 drops each of food coloring

mixing fireworks in a jar


  • Use a fork to gently mix the oil and food coloring together

pouring food coloring fireworks in a jar

  • Carefully pour the mixture into the jar

Fireworks in a Jar-4th of July


  • Watch the food coloring slowly sink from the oil to mingle and swirl with the other colors

What’s happening:

The oil, being less dense than water, floats at the top, but the food coloring has the same density as water and so will not float.  Once it sinks into the water it begins to dissolve which makes it look like a little explosion.  Cool, huh?  Boom.  You just worked in a density lesson!

Patriotic Vinegar and Baking Soda Experiment

Littlest Patriotic Vinegar and Baking Soda Experiment

You know I adore baking soda and vinegar experiments, but this one has become my favorite.  Why did I never think to heat the vinegar before?

What you need:

Patriotic vinegar supplies

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Red and Blue food coloring
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 equal sized jars
  • Saucepan
  • Tray to contain the mess

What you do:

  • Pour 1/4 cup vinegar into one jar
  • Divide baking soda in half, using 1/4 cup for each jar
  • In saucepan, heat 1/4 cup vinegar to just below boiling (tiny bubbles should appear in the bottom)



  • Carefully pour heated vinegar into second jar
  • Place both jars near the center of your tray (I promise, this Will Be Messy!)
  • Add red food coloring (3 drops) to hot vinegar and blue food coloring to cool vinegar, and stir to mix
  • At the same time, pour baking soda into both jars


Patriotic vinegar20160620_094203

It’s really cool–the heated vinegar causes a quicker reaction that jumps higher into the air (almost resembling an explosion), while the cool vinegar has a slower reaction with a wider range of fizz.  It was kind of hard to capture it with the camera; it happened so quick, but you can see by Littlest’s fast-moving arm that he had to almost jump out of the way.

It. Was. Awesome.


Crafts for the 4th of July

Craft Stick 4th of July Flag

Craftstick Flag

What you need:

Craft Stick 4th of July Flag Supplies

  •  8 craft sticks
  • red, white, and blue craft paint
  • glue

What you do:

pencil-marked craft sticks

  • Cut or break one of your craft sticks in half, making sure the pieces are as equal in length as you can get them.  These are what you will attach the other sticks together with.  Set them aside.
  •   You will only be painting one side of the remaining craft sticks.  Paint 1/3 of 3 of the sticks blue.  I put the sticks together and mark them with a pencil so it’s all even.

Blue field of craft stick flag


red white and blue craft sticks

  • Alternate painting the remaining 2/3 of those four sticks red and white.



  • Paint 2 of the remaining sticks red and the final one white.
  • Allow to dry




  • Once the paint has dried, turn the sticks over, being sure that your blue field will be on the left-hand side and your top stick is blue and red.  Also, alternate the red and white sticks so you have a true-looking flag.  Line them up so that they’re straight at all edges.
  •  Now it’s time for the stick you cut in half.  Run a line of glue along one side of one piece and place it about 1/2 inch in from the end.  Be sure it touches all 7 of the flag sticks.  Now glue the other piece the same distance from the other end.  It should look like the bottom pic.

Stars on craft stick flag

  • Now that you have assembled your flag, you can paint a white star in the center of your blue field, or make 13 white dots to represent the original colonies ( you could try for 50, but it sounds like a lot of work!)


Fireworks Pom Poms


These are also really easy to make, though younger littles may need a bit of help with the scissors.  You can make a bunch of red, white, and blue pom poms, or you can mix up the colors for variety.  You can make the pom poms a little fuller by adding another strip or two of crepe paper, but don’t use too much–they stop looking like fireworks and start resembling flowers.

What you need:

4th of July Pom Pom Supplies


  • Red, white, and blue crepe paper
  • Small dowel rods or kabob sticks
  • Scissors
  • Tape


What you do:




  •  Cut a 6-inch strip of each color of crepe paper.
  •  Stack them atop one another.


  • Fold the stacked crepe paper in half once.  Fold in half again.





  • With your scissors, cut thin strips on one long edge of the folded paper.  You should leave about a 1/2-inch strip along the bottom for attaching it to your dowel rod or kabob stick.
  • It should look like the bottom picture




  • Place one end of the dowel rod or kabob stick onto the uncut edge of the paper.  Roll the paper up from the short edge, making sure your cut edges are above the stick, which you are rolling up in the paper.



  • Tape the bottom edge of the pom pom around the stick.




  • With your fingers, fluff the cut edges until they resemble a firework.

Not too hard, huh?

4th of July Butterfly

4th of July Butterfly

What you need:

4th of July Butterfly

  • 2 coffee filters per butterfly
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Chenille stems in color of your choice
  • Dropper or spray bottle

What you do:

food coloring 4th of july butterfly


  • Place coffee filters on a tray to keep the mess from spreading
  • Drop food coloring randomly onto filters


water dropper 4th of july butterfly

  • Use a dropper or spray bottle to spread the food coloring

drying filters 4th of july butterfly


  • Move to wax paper to dry (your tray will be wet, so it will take longer if you leave them on it)

fold stem over filters 4th of july butterfly

  • Once dry, fold 2 filters in half.  Place one atop the other with the rounded sides on opposite ends
  • Lay a chenille stem under filters
  • Fold stem up, gathering center of filters together

twist tem 4th of july butterfly

  • Twist ends of the stem together
  • Cut off to antenna size

finished 4th of july butterfly

  • Spread filters out until you have wing shapes

Just a small aside here–our wax paper stained with food coloring while the filters were drying.  We’re thinking of using it to make sun catchers tomorrow.  Win!



What’s better on a hot July day than ice cream?  Here’s a fun way to sneak some fruit in on your littles with their cold snack.

Red White and Blue Ice Cream

4th of july ice cream

That’s right, scoop out a big ol’ bowl of vanilla ice cream, surround it with strawberries and top it with blueberries.  Um, yum!!

Littlest and Middle both loved it.  I bet your littles will, too.

Independence Day is an important historical anniversary here in the States, but it is also just a whole lot of fun.  So settle in with your littles, enjoy this hilarious book, and go ahead and do all these activities while you eat berries and ice cream.  I can’t think of a better way to spend the 4th of July.

Love wins,