Category Archives: Bugs and Animals

Encouraging writing skills: Boys edition

It’s a common misconception that boys are better at math and girls are better at writing and language arts. This popular belief, according to developmental psychologists actually has no basis in reality, but is more of a reflection of the beliefs and teaching of society.

These days, teachers and parents of girls are often encouraged to allow their girls the same math and science play opportunities boys have, because there’s no genetic predisposition to disliking bugs or engineering.

But what can parents of boys do to ensure that they are encouraging writing skills for their son in language arts and communication?

One increasingly popular category of children’s literature has emerged for “reluctant readers” and it’s often called “The gross-out book.”  By appealing to a boy’s enthusiasm for passing gas and other bodily functions, these books appeal to a child’s sense of the taboo.  Luckily, most boys have other interests that parents can appeal to, in case they’re more interested in helping their sons develop a social awareness that extends beyond the idea that “Everybody Poops.”

Homeschoolers and other educators remind us that children’s interests can often be used as a gateway for other learning. Put another way, it isn’t necessary to “make learning fun” because learning is already fun. For boys who enjoy playing video games, there are gamer magazines and websites with plenty of cheats and playing advice to help turn a reluctant reader into an eager reader.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that “Hop on Pop” is far less interesting to an 8 yr old boy than “Six tricks for Minecraft world domination.” The lesson here is for parents to find written materials that support the child’s interests instead of boring him to tears.

Another tool for helping boys harness their literary skills is a nice set of boys stationery.  Parents can use stationary as a learning tool by packing notes in lunch boxes and leaving notes throughout the house.  Making a habit of leaving scavenger-hunt-like clues can be fun for kids to decode especially when there’s a prize at the end.  Parents who are in the habit of leaving notes are illustrating the practical aspects of written communication and giving their son reasons to write.  Finding pleasure in written communication can be the difference between “I don’t want to do my writing homework” and “Hey Mom, did I spell Disneyland correctly?”

Some educational reform advocates are concerned that kids are being taught the mechanics of reading and writing at the expense of their enthusiasm. When a child is interested in something and excited about it, it’s difficult to keep them from learning more. One of the best things a parent can do to help their children succeed in reading and writing is to model the importance of communication and provide the child with the tools to use it in his or her life.

Check out our selection of boys stationery to help your little guy embrace his passion for the written word.

Whoooo Loves Owls?

Have you noticed — owls are suddenly everywhere? Owl hats, sweaters, purses, shoes, Christmas tree ornaments — no matter where you look, you’ll see two big owl eyes smiling back at you. It’s also a great party theme. Here are some of our favorite owl cookies, cakes and cupcakes to inspire you.

Owl Cookies:

1. Owl Cookie Pops
2. Pink and Green Owl Cookies
3. Blue Owl Cookies
4. Brown Owl Cookies

Owl Cakes:

Clockwise from top left:
1. Cute Owl Cake
2. Pink Owl Party Cake
3. Festive Feathered Owl Cake
4. Upright Owl Cake

Owl Cupcakes:

1. Pink Owl Cupcakes
2. Chocolate Owl Cupcakes
3. Candy Corn Nose Owl Cupcakes
4. Mother Owl and Owlets Cupcakes

Amy’s owl designs:

Colorful Owl Notes
Colorful Owls Invitations
Owl Folded Notecards

Gaga for Harvey

Who’s the biggest act in Australia this summer? Forget Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. The biggest act of the summer down under is Harvey and the Humpbacks! From July to November, Queensland’s Fraser Coast will be rocking to the tune of Harvey and his band of 7,000 Humpbacks as they drop in during their 10,000km migration and put on a show not to be missed.

Tourism Queensland has launched a $400,000 campaign to attract families to Hervey Bay.

From the press release:

Not only in town to perform to sell-out crowds, Harvey and the Humpbacks will be hard at work on a hit new song that will travel through migrating pods around the world. Researchers at The University of Queensland have found that male humpback whales ‘change their tune’ every year during their migration across the Pacific. UQ PhD student Ellen Garland said, just like rock stars, no humpback wants to become irrelevant. “We believe the song is continually changing because the males wish to be novel or slightly different to the male singing next to them.”

Amy’s New Whale Design:

Whale Thank You Notes

18 Things You Can Learn from a Dog

If you are a dog lover like most of us at, then you’ll love Katie Talks Carolina‘s list of things you can learn from a dog. Here are a few of our favorites. Read the entire list here.

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

9. Be loyal.

13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you

16. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Amy’s Dogs:

Dog Stationery
Peeking Dog Folded Notecard
Peeking Blue Dog Folded Notecard
Little White Dog
Dogs and Cats Folded Notecard