Jun 03

Father’s Day Fingerprint Art

by Hannah Holt »


Dad’s big day is coming up. Here are a few simple cards that little fingers can put together.

For the scientific dad, use paint and fingertips to create an atom:

science dad

For the gaming dad:

controller dad

For the musical dad:

Dad Day music card2

For the sporty dad:



Note: To set up these cards I printed the text from a Word Doc. Then I sketched out the fill areas with a ball point pen. Finally, I used finger paint to add color to the cards.

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there making a positive difference in the life of children!

A powerful man

May 24

Pinecone Pets

by Hannah Holt »


The trees in our backyard are dropping pinecones at a dangerous rate. Little pinecone missiles have been falling almost constantly for the past two weeks. Between the pinecone land mines and all the tree sap on our deck, one of these days my toddlers will learn to appreciate shoes.

However, in the meantime, I’ll keep scrubbing their feet each night, and we’ll do pinecone crafts during the day.

We’ve found that you can stack the big female cones almost like LEGOs. You can also add construction paper and turn the cones into silly animals:

bear pinecone

But we probably had the most fun just painting them and adding wiggly eyes.

paintint pinecones

In the end they kind of reminded me of the Yip Martians from Sesame Street:

pine cone pets painted

We put them out in the garden. I wish I could say they were defending us from slugs and snails (they aren’t!). But they are sort of cute.

pine cone pets in garden

I’d better watch myself or I’ll start collecting lawn gnomes and plastic flamingos next. :)

May 17

Cowboy Coloring Page

by Hannah Holt »


It’s been a busy week, and tonight I’m headed to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Oregon Conference.

Writing conferences rock. I love chatting with people who feel passionately about oxford commas and third-person-single-reference narration. Plus, SCBWI always brings in fabulous keynote speakers.

The theme for this weekend is Wagons Ho! On the Publishing Trail, so I’ll leave you today with a cowboy coloring page and poem:

Cowboy trail clean

Happy trails, buckaroos!

Apr 11

Life Scientist Paper Dolls

by Hannah Holt »


My family recently visited the California Coastal Redwoods.


Walking among century old trees was a unique experience. It made me feel so very small and yet large with wonder.

One of the things that touched me during our trip was this: without the diligent work of a few passionate individuals most of these trees might have been lost to logging and development. In the picture above, perhaps my boys would have been standing at the drive through of BurgerMart.

A few dedicated people can make a difference in the world, and science is a great way to make that difference. So I put together these life scientist paper dolls about a marine biologist and a botanist visiting the northern California coast.

Life Scients Paper Dolls color  Life Scients Paper Dolls bw

Of course, no life scientist would be complete without a habitat, so I painted two.

Redwood Forest Habitat (for the botanist):

redwood painted values pushed1

Northern California Tide Pool (for the marine biologist):


And here are the plant and animal identification coloring pages for these habitats:

Redwood coloring page  Coast coloring page

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day. “Habitat, habitat. Have to have a habitat…”

Here are the pdfs for easier printing (click to download):

1) Life Scientist Paper Dolls in Color

2) Life Scientist Paper Dolls in Black & White

3) The Redwoods Coloring Page

4) The Tide Pool Coloring Page

Mar 12

Lightsabers for Renn

by Hannah Holt »


A special boy named Renn is back in the hospital for another round of epilepsy tests. This post is part of a blog party to encourage/entertain him during his hospital stay

Hi Renn,

When my daughter was younger, we went to a hospital in Denver, and scientists studied the electrical pulses in her brain.

Char sleep study 1

It didn’t hurt her. In fact, her job was to take a nap. She was good at her job.

I’ll bet you know a lot of different ways that doctors can study the brain. Some of the machines have fancy names. I think it’s fun to learn about all the tools doctors have to help us. Do you?


But I also know it can be boring hanging out in the hospital all day. Another time while my daughter was staying in the hospital, she was bored and kept pulling off her oxygen sensor. Every time she pulled it off, little lights would blink and machines would beep. She may have been small, but she really knew how to keep those nurses running!


You must be very brave and strong and patient to handle all the different tests. But then again, I hear you are training to be a Jedi.

Well, even Jedi Warriors need a little fun now and then. So I made a lightsaber paper craft for you. In the end, you’ll have a finger-sized lightsaber, like this:

free lightsaber printable

I made a few options for you because I’m not sure which might be the most powerful in a hospital (Instructions are included on each sheet.):

1. Luke Skywalker Lightsaber

2. Yoda Lightsaber

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi Lightsaber

4. Darth Vader Lightsaber

My daughter is now a bubbly two-year-old, and thankfully she’s as healthy as can be. Sometimes I wish she and her sister moved a little slower…

babies in flour

I could use a good Jedi around here to convince them they “don’t need to play in the pantry.” Ah, well. Keep practicing and maybe you could do your tricks long distance for me some day.

May the Force be with you, Renn!

-Hannah Holt