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I’ve been coveting terrariums for some time now (These ones from Frog, Goose and Bear and Pollyposs are particularly beautiful), but I’ve been far too afraid to try one myself. You see, I am NO green thumb. But I just knew they’d make perfect gifts for my mum and mother-in-law who both love their gardens. [...]

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Kid-made Gift Idea: Personalised Pen Holder

Kid-made, practical and structurally sound! One year on, these pen holders are still in mint condition and are used on a daily basis; which means they tick all the boxes for an ideal Father’s Day gift.

Personalised Paddle-Pop Stick Pen Holders. Perfect gifts that can be handmade by kids. My Little Bookcase

These paddle-pop stick pen holders are ideal as gifts for dads who work at a desk,  but they’d also look right at home at the kids’ writing station too.

How to make a Paddle-Pop Stick Pen Holder

You will need:

  • An empty, clean can (We used a 400g tomato tin to make a large pen holder and baby apple puree tins for mini pen holders)
  • Strong adhesive (We used Mod Podge)
  • Paddle-pop sticks
  • Textas, glitter glue, sequins, stickers etc.

Simple instructions:

1. Prepare your materials.

Kid Made Pen Holders by My Little Bookcase

2. Liberally apply glue to the can and attach each paddle-pop stick vertically, one at a time (Hold each paddle pop stick in place for a few seconds before moving on to the next paddle-pop stick).

Kid-Made Paddle Pop Stick Pen Holder_ My Little Bookcase3. Repeat until the can is completely covered in paddle-pop sticks.

4. Leave to dry

5. Once the glue is dry and the paddle pop sticks are secure, you can start decorating. There are many opportunities for creativity here. Cammy used glitter glue and sequins to add colour to her pen holders then used foam letter stickers to personalise the pen holders for Daddy and her two Pas.

6. Fill your pen holder with a selection of stationery items (pens, scissors).

7. Add a simple ribbon to the pen holder before giving to a loved one or wrap it with a DAD THEMED PICTURE BOOK to create the perfect gift.

More Father’s Day Gift Ideas:

Kid-Made Father's Day Art_ My Little Bookcase Father's Day Cookie Mix

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase


Over the past three years, The Reading Hour has become an event that my family and I very much look forward to.

We love books every hour of the day, so we always go the extra mile to make The Reading Hour a little bit more special than our average storytime.

This year we’re planning a quiet evening at home together as a little family. Mainly because Cammy and I already have a late night planned for Wednesday; Jane Godwin and Anna Walker will be attending Cammy’s kinder for a special Book Week evening event.

We might start the night by viewing I’m a Dirty Dinosaur on Story Box Library (free for anyone to view on Tuesday 19 August), then we’ll read a few books from our collection that are fantastic for reading aloud, especially by torch light. We might re-enact a few scenes from these adventurous tales and enjoy some reading snacks and a hot chai-chocolate drink before getting ready for bed.

What are your plans for The Reading Hour?


5 Great Read Alouds from My Little Bookcase

These are our favourite read alouds at the moment, full of rhyme, repetition, suspense and exciting page turns. They’re a little more lengthy which maintains Cam’s interest.

Scary Night by Lesley Gibbs and Stephen Michael KingScary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King (Working Title Press, 2014)

Go ‘tip-toe creeping’ on a mysterious midnight walk with a hare, a cat and a pig.

The subtle rhyme and use of alliteration and prepositions make this story fun to read aloud. The snapping, roaring and screaming have us in suspense, but it’s the questions Lesley Gibbes directs at the reader that my kids love the most.

‘Were they scared? You bet they were.’

Purchase this book from The Kids’ Bookshop.

I am Cow Hear Me Moo by Jill Esbaum and Gus GordonI am Cow Hear Me Moo! By Jill Esbaum and Gus Gordon (Viking, Penguin Group 2014)

Nadine has her friends fooled in this story. Pretending to be brave is hard work, but Nadine’s efforts pay off in the end and she keeps her fearless reputation.

This is an edgy rhyming story with witty illustrations by Gus Gordon. There are scary moments that will make you jump and others that will make you giggle.

‘Three cheers for Nadine!’ someone hollered.


Did she tell them she wasn’t a hero? Um, no.

Purchase this book from The Kids’ Bookshop.

The Frog Who Lost His UnderpantsThe Frog Who Lost His Underpants by Juliette MacIver and Cat Chapman (Walker Books, 2013)

Go on a search through the jungle to find a pair of underpants that have been stolen.

This book is nothing short of hilarious. Put simply, the tongue-in-cheek humour, rhyming stanzas, action words and plain nonsense make it fun to read aloud.

‘Now please don’t think me rude, but I am shocked to see a frog so plainly in the nude.’

But just try holding back a chuckle when you see how Frog tries to stand out from the crowd at the end of the story (I’m giggling now just thinking about it)

Purchase this book from The Kids’ Bookshop.

Between the PagesBetween the Pages by Joan van Loon and Chantal Stewart (New Frontier Publishing, 2013)

This book is a clever one, and demonstrates what wonderful adventures stories can take us on.

Two twins find themselves in all sorts of prickly situations: they fall into a python’s nest, come cheek to cheek with a monster and paddle to the top of a waterfall. The only thing that stops them from disaster is the quick turn of a page.

The illustrations are detailed and show how much the boys love their book, as do the creatures in the story.

‘Don’t stop. Just turn the page. Quick!’

Purchase this book from The Kids’ Bookshop.

The Great Snortle HuntThe Great Snortle Hunt by Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley (Simon & Schuster, 2012)

Brave the after-dark sounds as three friends take a walk to a scary-creepy house in an attempt to spot a Snortle.

The illustrations and fun typography are also great additions to this story, which thankfully ends sweetly.

‘The wind whistles- eeek! Tall tree branches creak.’

Purchase this book from The Kids’ Bookshop.

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Be sure to join one of our communities for more literacy-based inspiration, or subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on future posts.

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase