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Zoey and Sassafras Book Review and Printable Bookmark


Have a curious kiddo who loves to ask questions and seek out answers?  Looking for a great book series for young kids?  If so, I'm excited to share a new book series called Zoey and Sassafras.  We were given the first book, Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows, in exchange for an honest review from The Innovation Press.  After reading it, I hopped online and ordered the next two books! 

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zoey and sassafrass review bookmark

I am always on the lookout for good books for my children.  There are just too many books out there where the main character acts like a kid, instead of being a kid to emulate-- know what I mean?!   So, when we read Dragons and Marshmallows, I was thrilled to come across a strong female character who loves to learn without the drama.

About Zoey and Sassafras:

Zoey is like all kiddos- curious about the world around her.  Sassafras is her full-of-personality cat that takes part in all her adventures. In Dragons and Marshmallows, Zoey learns that she can see magical animals as a baby dragon comes to her looking for help.  Zoey makes observations and uses her scientific knowledge to help the baby dragon get better.

More Zoey and Sassafrass Adventures:

Zoey and Sasafras Book Review

Why we love the Zoey and Sassafras series:

  • Zoey is a young girl who can see magical animals!
  • The font is larger so it is easy for beginning readers to not feel overwhelmed
  • great illustrations throughout the book help readers understand what is happening
  • chilren will expand vocabulary with STEM related words
  • great storyline of adventure

The books are to be enjoyed by children ages 4-10.  They would make a great read-aloud for the younger children, and independent reading for older kiddos.  

elements of a story bookmark

As I mentioned above that it can be overwhelming to sift through the rows and rows of children's books your local library or bookstore in hopes to find a good book without drama.  My 6 year old and I just loved the first book, and the next two books that followed!

I loved that the book, Dragons and Marshmallows, was short and to the point; it didn't contain extra fluff.  It had all the Elements of a Story to make it a fun and captivating read;

The story inspired me to make STORY bookmarks that will help young readers zone in on what any story is about.
S- setting (where does the story take place)
T - talking characters (who is the story about)
O - Oh No! Identify the problem
R - Resolve Attempted
Y - Yes! Problem Solved

(I came across the STORY acronym in Christian Light Education's Reading 500 Program)

zoey and sassafras printable bookmark

Each bookmark includes a loveable character from the Zoey and Sassafras series.  There are four bookmarks per printable.  If interested, add some color to the black and white bookmarks.  Punch a hole at the top and add some yarn or ribbon.

Use it along with any of the Zoey and Sassafrass books, or another book of your choosing!  Enjoy reading a story by recognizing the STORY.

for personal use only.
do not copy, alter, sell, host, or mass distribute printable.
clipart licensed to The Innovation Press

Valentine's Day Secret Message Activity


Send a secret message to your little loved one this Valentine's Day with this fun scavenger hunt!  My preschooler loved finding the hidden colored hearts around the room and discovering the secret message.   Happy Valentine's Day!

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Valentine's Day Secret Message Activity

A sweet book to share with your little one this Valentine's Day is, Guess How Much I Love You.  I received this book at my baby shower with my first born and it has been well loved and read multiple times over in the last ten years.   It is also the Virtual Book Club's (VBC) book of the week.

In addition to reading the book, play this sweet secret message scavenger hunt with your little one this Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt for Kids


This Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt sneaked in letter recognition, writing skills, colors, and movement!  

Setting up the Scavenger Hunt:

Cut out a large heart from construction paper.  Decide what your secret message will be and "write" out the message with lines.  

For our secret message, I used different colored hearts to decode the message.  Each letter was a different colored heart.  On each heart, I wrote the letter and then on the large heart I placed a colored dot under the line where that letter should go.

** Instead of using colors to decode the message, you could use various symbols/ letters/ characters.

Valentine's Day Secret Message Activity

Next, I hid the hearts around the room.  I tucked the hearts into couch cushions, on our play basketball hoop, on the stairs, etc. 

My son's job was to find all the colored hearts around the room and he loved this part!!  What kiddo doesn't love a good scavenger hunt to find things?!   Well, except when it's one of their shoes, ha!

secret message scavenger hunt

Once all the hearts were found, I showed my son that each color had a letter on it.  We identified the colors and letters together. 

Next, we found the matching colored dot on the larger heart.  On that line he wrote the letter that was on the small colored heart that he found during the scavenger hunt.  Great way to sneak in writing practice!!

Valentine's Day Secret Message Scavenger Hunt

So what did our secret message say?  It said:

I love you!

Valentine's Day Activity for Kids

Such a sweet Valentine's Day activity for my preschooler.  What could be more fun than decoding a secret message this Valentine's?!   

Have fun sending a secret message to your {little} loved one!

More Valentine's Day Activities:

Heart Shape Puzzles: Valentine's Day Matching Activity


Planning to add some Valentine's themed activities and crafts for your little one leading up to Valentine's Day?  Here are some Heart Shape Puzzles to add to your shelves!  They would make a great, low-prep math activity for your toddler or preschooler!

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heat shape puzzles

Simply cut each heart in half to create a fun and simple matching activity for Valentine's Day!


If you wish (and I highly recommend), laminate the printable for durability and to be re-used at a later date.

Cut each heart in half; to create symmetrical shapes-- cut a vertical line in each shape.  However, you could also cut the hearts in half diagonally, zig-zag, etc!

printable heart shape puzzles

Once the hearts have been cut into two pieces, simply have your toddler or preschooler try to put them back together again by matching the shape in the middle of each heart.

Some shapes included in this printable are:

This puzzle matching activity is a great way to work on shape recognition with your little one!

Heart Shape Matching Puzzles FREE Printable

Enjoy!  Hope your child enjoys learning his/her shapes with these simple Heart Puzzles!

for personal use only.
please do not copy, sell, mass distribute, or host printable elsewhere

More Valentine's Day Activities for Little Ones:

Valentine's Day Counting Math Mats

I love teaching my little ones with fun holiday themed activities.  With Valentine's Day around the corner, I made these Valentine's themed counting mats to practice counting numbers 1-10.  This printable will help build number sense, such as: 1:1 correspondence, counting, and number recognition.

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Valentine's Day Preschool Counting Math Mats

They are akin to the concept of flashcards, but way cuter!  Provide your child with small heart manipulatives and your child will work on fine motor skills, too! 

Valentine's Counting Activity


Print and laminate the printable for durability.  Cut apart the counting mats.

Provide your child with a counting manipulative such as:

Valentine's Day Preschool Counting Activity

Building Number Sense:

Have your child put the number cards in numerical order.

Touching the manipulatives as they add them to each mat will hopefully plant a seed that the number +1 is the next number; ie. 3+1=4.

Valentine's Day Counting Printable Number Mats

Help your child build number sense with the "look and say" method.  I find it helpful to have my children repeat after me when I am teaching a new spelling rule, pointing out unknown word, and/or math fact.

Look and point at the number
Say the number
Count out the number on your fingers
Then, add that many hearts to printable math mats.

Continue for numbers up to 10.

Or, Make a Counting Book:

On another note, you could also make this into a little Valentine's Day Counting Book by using stickers or Do A Dot markers.

Just cut out each number mat and staple the mats together to make a book!

Enjoy this simple math activity with your preschooler this Valentine's Day!

for personal use only.
do not alter, copy, sell, host or mass distribute printable.

More Valentine's Day Preschool Activities:

Valentine's Day Printmaking Process Art Activity

Valentine's Day is coming soon.  Here is a simple process art project that your kids will enjoy!  This Valentine's Day Process Art Activity works in some learning about symmetry and overlapping, too!

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Heart Printmaking Process Art Activity

My two oldest kiddos especially love creating with markers, paint, glue, string.... whatever they can get their hands on! And truth  be told, with 5 kiddos and 10 hands trying to get into things, I am not as quick to pull out the art stuff anymore, but this simple process art project is fun for all involved! 

This printmaking project was inspired by something she saw in the Home Art Studio DVD's.  We switched it up to make some Valentine's art instead!  Have fun with this simple Valentine's Day Printmaking Activity.

Valentine's Process Art Activity


Printmaking How-To:

Begin with a quick little lesson on symmetry.  Fold a piece of paper in half and along the folded side, draw half a heart.  Cut along the line.  When finished, open of the piece of paper and show your child the shape; it's a whole heart!  If interested, practice making other shapes with your child.

With the piece of paper that you cut a heart from, trim it up a bit because you will use that heart, too.  I don't know the "artsy" terminology, but you now have two hearts; one "filled" in and a heart template.  Isn't this called something like positive and negative?!?

Heart Printmaking Activity

Designate a paint color for each heart.

My 6 year old chose to use pink and red; pink was used around the heart shape and red was used to fill in the heart template. 

Choose one of the hearts to work with and place it somewhere on another sheet of paper.  Dab the sponge into the paint and sponge either the inside of the heart template or the around the edges of the heart shape.

Heart Art Project for Kids

Continue creating heart shapes by either sponging paint around the heart or inside the heart template.  Make sure not to leave any white spots when sponge painting either heart.

Also, introduce the concept of "over-lapping" by having the hearts over-lap each other all over the page.

Valentine's Day Process Art Activity

Continue until your child is satisfied with their latest Valentine's Day piece of art!  I love that there is no right or wrong way to do this printmaking activity and it introduced the idea of symmetry and overlapping to my 6 year old.

She was thrilled with the way it turned out!

Valentine's Day Process Art Heart Project

It turned out to be a fun and simple Valentine's Day art project!  And this printmaking idea can totally be used with other shapes, too!

heart process art for Valentine's Day

More Valentine's Day Art Activities: