10 Ways to Bring Books to Life…for Little Ones!

I am always trying to bring books to life for my kids.

I’m a firm believer that literacy activities can happen in everyday life!  Whether it’s pointing out signs on the highway, writing (or scribbling) a “list” for the grocery store, or using books to make bath time more fun, there is always a chance to learn more about sounds, letters, and words.  That’s why I was thrilled to hear about Gymboree’s new Eric Carle clothes line.  The moment my toddler put his polar bear Jammies on, he started saying new words immediately, but I’ll get to that later…

In full disclosure, Gymboree is a Happily Ever Mom sponsor.  But if I were sitting having a cup of coffee with you right now, I would still be gushing about Gymboree – we have been a fan for years and we’re thrilled about this line of clothing!  

Bringing books to life for kids can be really simple!  I never thought about how I could...

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DIY Watercolor Pens

I can’t tell you how much we love our DIY watercolor pens!

I almost always choose watercolors for my kids to paint with because I have a four year old {who loves to paint} and a one year old {who loves to eat paint}.  It would be easy to stop painting, but we found a super easy solution that has stopped my son from eating the paint…as enthusiastically! <—BUT our watercolors are safe for him to put in his mouth anyway!


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{DIY Photo Lace Cards} Building Fine Motor Skills

We love using family photos with kids activities!

Wether we are building with family photo mega bloks or making our own family photo night light, I’m always on the hunt to find an interesting way to use all of our photos.  My daughter was showing a great interest in prewriting and writing small words, so I wanted an activity that could build those muscles she needs to write.  So, we printed our favorite family photo and made these quick and easy photo lacing cards to build her fine motor skills!


Today, we are back with the light and reflection series.  I love this series because there are so many ways to learn with light – especially with our light table.  These photo lace cards could be used off of the light table, but the light shining through the photos made this activity irresistible!

What You Need to Make Photo Lace Cards

  • Photo printed on plain paper instead of photo paper (so that light can pass through more easily)
  • Contact paper
  • Hole punch
  • Thread <—given to us by craft project ideas!


How to Make Lacing Cards to Build Fine Motor Skills

Cut out your photo to whatever shape you’d like.  Place the photo on one side of the sticky contact paper.  Then, like you’re closing a book, fold the other half of contact paper on top to seal the photo.  Make holes around the photo with your hole punch.

We tied our thread to one of the holes and wrapped a piece of tape around the other side of the thread.  It almost looks like a needle once you’ve wrapped it around a couple of times.  This gives kids something to hold onto (that’s not a sharp needle) so that they can thread the lacing card with something more stable.


There you go!  You’ve got your own, personalized photo lacing cards!  My daughter wanted me to make more and more and more of them <—don’t say I didn’t warn you!! :)

Here are some more quick and easy activities to build fine motor skills:

Light and reflection series for 2014

Don’t forget to check out the other activities in the series.  You’ll find more great ways to use light to build motor skills!

Ball in a Box from And Next Comes L

Giant Window Calculator from Still Playing School

Weaving with Straws on the Light Table from Where Imagination Grows

Follow Katie Joiner | Happily Ever Mom’s board Light and Reflection for Learning on Pinterest.