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Updated: May 15, 2020

My girls love to be super heroes. They love to wear their blanket capes and "fly" through the house, saving the day. So I was thrilled to find Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime by Lisa Manchev with illustrations by Samantha Cotterill. I love the simple text. I love the cute comic book style illustrations. I love that it portrays such an endearing relationship between siblings. The book is a quick read, which is great for the small attention span of my two year old. But it also has great attention grabbing text and illustrations for my ever book loving four year old.

And it was the perfect match for a fun super hero activity.

You'll find that I love doing three things with my girls: reading, creating, and playing pretend. So as often as I can make all three happen in a day, I do. And I'm not talking just getting them going and watching them play. Or starting an activity and heading to tackle a household chore. (Though let's be real... that does have to happen.) I'm talking running through the house right alongside them, belting-out-a-theme-song-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-fun. We play hard around here, unapologetically.

For Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime, I wanted something simple but fun to bring the super hero play up a notch. So I created these fun super hero masks. My girls had a blast coloring them! While we colored we talked about different super hero names, what our super hero powers would be, and how we would conceal our true identities. And when I say "we," I really mean me and the four year old. The two year old mainly exclaimed "yeah!" and "fight crime!" while scribbling on her mask. But my four year old decided that she would be Super Kidtastic with super speed. But she also said she would have a cool cell phone that would let her change super powers at any time. When I asked my 2 year old what her super power was, she said uuummmmm..... MONEY! haha! I would definitely call on her to fight crime.

To make your super hero mask, you will need:

Heavy cardstock


Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (unless you prefer to print directly on colored cardstock)

Hole Puncher


First, grab THIS free download, print on heavy cardstock, and cut out the masks. I find it easiest to cut out the eye holes if I first punch a hole in the center. If you don't want to color the masks, you can simply print on heavy colored cardstock. If you want a longer lasting mask, you can use these as patterns to trace onto felt.

Color the masks.

Punch a hole in each side of the mask.

Tie elastic through each hole using a surgical knot.

Super easy!

These masks aren't intended to last forever, but they are definitely a lot of fun and a quick and easy project that you can do with the kids. Paired with Jinx and The Doom Fight Crime, my girls played superheroes for an entire afternoon.

So what are you waiting for? Go Fight Crime!

Updated: May 15, 2020

You guys. You need to stop what you're doing this instant and go pick up a copy of Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin and Ebony Glenn. It is stellar. It is more than stellar. It is just. so. good. Please. Run to your nearest bookstore or library and grab this book immediately. Not Quite Snow White follows Tameika, an acting and singing sensation who dreams of playing a princess one day. But when the other kids think she might be too tall, too chubby, and too brown, Tameika must learn that she is "just enough of all the right stuff." The book has such a timely and perfect message in a world where kids need to know now more than ever that they are perfect just the way they are. And anyone can be a princess. My girls ate this one up. We read it multiple times a day. We played princesses and talked about the things that make us special. And we talked a whole lot about kindness and love.

For this book, we obviously needed to do a princess activity. We could have easily run to the dollar store to grab some cheap crowns, and they would have worked great. But we're always in the mood for an art project. And any time I can fit reading, art, and imagination into one day, I love it! So we decided to make tiaras and crowns.

Click the images below to download the printables you'll need for this week. Just download, print on a heavy cardstock, cut out, decorate, and glue together (in the case of the crown), or add some elastic (for the tiaras). We printed some tiaras on colored cardstock and some on white so that we could color them ourselves. We added some fancy sequin stickers we had on hand, and had a great time!

Now for some fun imaginative play ideas:

- Take turns being the queen/king/ruler and come up with new laws. (My four year old decreed that Peter Piper Pizza shall have gluten free pizza--she has celiac disease).

- Talk about what it is that makes a princess (kindness, love, etc. rather than body type etc.), and play princess.

- Have princess play. My girls loved performing like Tameika and being "Just enough of all the right stuff."

In all, this was a fantastic picture book. I hope you will all pick up a copy and know that you, too, are "just enough of all the right stuff."

Updated: May 15, 2020

I'm absolutely thrilled to be kicking off this blog! If you missed my welcome post, you should know that every week I will be sharing a picture book and a pretend play activity to go with it. I hope this is as exciting for you as it is for me! Because we love books and imagination around here. This week, we were very excited to read Moon's First Friends by Susanna Leonard Hill, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. This one has been on my read list since its release, and I was thrilled to finally pick up a copy. I was not at all disappointed. Moon's First Friends was a stellar telling of the Apollo 11 visit to the moon, told from the moon's perspective. It was fun and fresh, while still providing facts and history. Narrative nonfiction is pretty great, friends. The illustrations are gorgeous and you close the book feeling like you yourself have a new friend in the moon. My four year old was completely mesmerized. And of course, we had to play astronauts for days.

And a good game of astronaut needs a proper space helmet. We had a blast making these super easy helmets. All you need is a large brown paper sack, some colored paper, and these templates for the face cutout, buttons, antenna, and star. Unless of course you, unlike me, have art skills and can just freehand a great star. Then obviously, go for that!

Just download the templates, print, trace the star, antenna, and buttons onto different colors, and cut out.

Trace the large circle onto the brown paper sack and cut out.

Glue on the buttons, start, and antenna.

Blast off!

Some ideas that can expand this activity:

Build a rocket ship out of old boxes and let the kids color and design it any way they like.

Pretend that you are walking on the moon by taking long, slow steps/jumps.

Pretend to be floating in outer space.

Pretend that you are Mission Control while the kids play astronaut. You can send commands and instructions to your crew.

My girls especially loved when I pretended to be their Mission Control. We had so much fun sending them to the moon and various planets to complete different missions. My favorite was when I sent my 4 year old to Venus and she came back reporting that there is no life on Venus, and no water on Venus. So you have to buy water bottles at a vending machine for $7. haha! I sure love her imagination. And I love this simple activity and how easy it is to throw together.

So go on and pick up a copy of Moon's First Friends and blast off on a great adventure with your little ones!

Let me know about your outer space adventure in the comments below!

I'm also extending the window for our blog kick off giveaway, so just follow and retweet this post for a chance to win my entire set of Book quotes, including this fun quote from Alice In Wonderland about imagination. Enter by next Wednesday, September 18th.

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