Fun Facts About Blue Jays -- Who's in the Backyard?

Rhododendrites / CC BY-SA (

Today we are looking at who is in the backyard and focusing on Blue Jays! Blue jays are very common around our house in Massachusetts. Unfortunately the ones that visit tend to be a little camera shy and I cannot get great shots of them.

Review of The Elephant's Girl

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Today I am sharing a new novel that is the perfect summer read for intermediate readers (ages 8-12). Imagine surviving a tornado and ending up in the elephant enclosure of a zoo. You have no memory of who you are or who your parents are or even your age, but you are a young child. That describes the life of the main character, Lexington, in today's book, The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington.

Picture Books for Sensitive & Introvert Kids

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know a kid who is anxious or a bit of a scaredy cat? Or perhaps you know a kid who is an introvert. He or she needs time alone to recharge and get energy. My wonderful daughter is both of these. Today I am going to share two new picture books that are perfect for these type of kids. We will start with the one for kids who are easily scared. I know Hazel was scared when she saw other kids breaking a rule. Yes, I sometimes had to turn the tv off when watching Caillou or Curious George because their breaking a rule got her all worked up. She is very empathetic but it also made her very anxious and scared. This first book has a character like her. It is Do Not Go In There! by Ariel Horn and illustrated by Izzy Burton. 

Josephine Baker: Performer, Spy & Activist -- #blacklivesmatter

This week our focus for Black Lives Matter is Josephine Baker. She was a singer, dancer, spy and activist. Her story has a bit of it all. Read along to learn more about her amazing life and why it matters to us all.

DIY Wall Art Part 2 -- Crafty Sunday

Last week I shared some DIY wall art that was inspired by home décor that I saw at Michaels. Today I am going to share another one also inspired by what I saw at Michaels--at least the saying is. I picked up a cheap wooden wall art plague that said some summer saying including "floundering around". I then used Mod Podge and a recycled flower paper from a poster calendar from 2017 similar to this one. I bought it on clearance back then so I could use the pages for crafts. I finally used one!

Fun Facts About Finches with a Focus on American Goldfinch and House Finch

Today we continue our Who's In the Backyard? Series with a look at finches. We commonly have American Goldfinches and house finches at our feeder so I am going to share general finch fun facts as well as fun facts about each of these types. 

Two of the Big Six: John Lewis and A. Philip Randolph #blacklivesmatter

As I thought about who to do next for our Black Lives Matter Series I realized I should do John Lewis since he passed away this weekend. He was last of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to die. As I did my research I realized that A. Philip Randolph was as well so today I am going to share about both of them. The Big Six were Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young. They were instrumental in the planning of the March on Washington in 1963. 

Fun Facts about Lollipops with Craft and Recipe Round-Up --National Lollipop Day

I know it is Monday and I usually do my Black Lives Matter post, but today has been a bit crazy and I want to dedicate the time to make it a good post, so I will share it tomorrow. Since today is National Lollipop Day, I thought I would do a quick post sharing some fun facts about lollipops with a quick round-up of crafts, activities and recipes. 

DIY Wall Art (Inspired by Wall Art at Michael's) -- Crafty Sunday

It is Sunday again. Where did this week go? It is amazing how fast time is flying by even though we are mostly staying home. Last week I was looking at Michael's on-line (and then in the store) for a frame for my paint-by-number family portrait that I shared a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it is a weird size so I have to do something custom. But I was checking out the home décor. I found so much inspiration. Even though much of it was on clearance most was not at my local store and I hate paying for shipping if I don't have to plus I looked at some of them and said I can make something similar with what I have at home.  I have a Pinterest board where I pin my inspiration in case you want to see some of the other wall art I loved. I saw two similar blue and white inspirational ones and thought I could make something like them. I am not a talented enough painter but have a supply of beautiful craft papers from Paper Source from my time of working there. They occasionally go on sale and I would buy them on sale. Here are my inspirations.

Fun Facts About Northern Cardinals with Craft Round-Up and DIY Birdfeeders, Bee Baths & More!

During this pandemic we have been finding ways to enjoy our home. One of my favorite things about our home is our backyard and we do not spend enough time in it. Last year we bought some gliding chairs for the small patio off of Hazel's clubhouse. It is one of my favorite places to sit outside. It is almost always in the shade and just comfortable. This year we also added a hammock for me to lay in and read (if Hazel doesn't beat me to it). I also took back some space in our family room so I can sit in the corner and look out the window at my birdfeeders. I found most of the time outside I sat and watched the birds rather than read the book I brought out. Have you made adjustments in your house now that you are spending more time there? Are you spending more time there?

We Are Power -- a Timely Book for Kids Aged 10-14

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This has been a crazy year. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and then the protests over the death of George Floyd and others began. I know Hazel has been watching the protests and riots with curiosity and questions. Today I am sharing a book about nonviolent activism suggested for kids aged 10-14. This book shares history as well as how nonviolent activism works. The book is We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World by Todd Hasak-Lowy. 

Mamie Phipps Clark -- #blacklivesmatter -- the Black Psychologist Who Helped End Segregation in Schools

Today we are continuing our Black Lives Matter Series. Today we are getting to know about Mamie Phipps Clark. She and her husband, Kenneth B. Clark, helped end segregation in public schools. Kenneth often said he piggybacked on his wife's research and tried to give her more of the credit, but he often is the one who is credited still, so we are focusing on Mamie. I find her work and life so fascinating. She dealt with racism and sexism throughout her life and worked towards what we are still fighting for--equal rights. Even now her husband gets more credit for the work that was originally hers which he decided to participate in after she started it. Plus her most famous study was a doll test involving white and brown dolls. Now I have shared one of my biggest regrets of not saying something to a young Black girl at a store when she thought the white doll was more beautiful than the Black doll. This one hit me personally. Plus her work was used to end segregation. I think back to my own years of schooling and think of how much learning about other cultures from my friends of other races added so much to my life and still does. Plus to my own classrooms and how the mixed races always made the classes more interesting and a better experience. So with those thoughts, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark.

Hoops Hooray! -- a Crafty Sundays Review
Disclosure: Leisure Arts sent me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

Hoop art is extremely popular these days. It is so easy and fun to do too. I don't know if you ever caught any of the ones I featured in Crafty Weekends in the past. There have definitely been some creative and beautiful ideas shared! Today I am going to share a book with tutorials to make your own hoop art. It is Hoops Hooray! by Ashley Millhouse.

The Prettiest -- a Middle School Must Read

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.

Tell me when was the last time your middle school age daughter read a 300-page book in a matter of hours? That is what happened the day I received the book I am sharing with you today. I literally opened the package and showed the book to Hazel and she couldn't put it down. She read it all before she went to bed. I was surprised until I got my hands on the book and started reading it. The book is The Prettiest by Brigit Young. 

The Discovery of Anime & Manga Review as part of our Explore Japan

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Back in May we explored Japan with various posts to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Due to one of those posts Immedium contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing their newest in The Asian Hall of Fame Series, The Discovery of Anime and Manga by Phil Amara and Oliver Chin and illustrated by Juan Calle. I have reviewed many books from Immedium previously and have enjoyed them.

Claudette Colvin -- #blacklivesmatter

Do you know the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott? Who do you think ignited the Black people? If you say Rosa Parks, you are incorrect. There were actually two teenagers before Rosa Parks. The first was Claudette Colvin. At age 15 Claudette Colvin refused to give her seat up on the bus. She was arrested and put in jail and this was about nine months to the day before Rosa Parks does the same thing. Today I am going to share a bit about Claudette Colvin and her important role in the Civil Rights Movement as part of our Black Lives Matter Series. This post is late today because our public library now has curbside pickup and I was able to get a middle grade book about Claudette and I wanted to read it all today. It was amazing to learn so much different than I have been taught previously.

Winnie's Picks Paint-By-Number -- Crafty Sundays Review

Disclosure: I was sent a custom paint-by-number kit in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you remember color-by-numbers and paint-by-numbers from your childhood? I do. I use to love them. Recently I was asked to review an adult paint-by-number from Winnie's Pick. They said I could pick whichever one I wanted and I was excited to see the Photo to Custom Paint-By-Number option. I thought it would be neat to paint a family portrait. A childhood friend, who is a professional photographer, took a photo of us at another childhood friend's daughter's wedding last summer that we love. I sent it along.

New Picture Books About Dad's Love

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share two new picture books about dads. They would have been perfect for Father's Day but alas I got them after Father's Day. They are however wonderful books and it is great to see some books with dads in them that have some substance.