Everyone Makes Mistakes

Many petites really struggle with making mistakes.  Often times it is a fear that they will get in trouble, or embarrassment that they didn’t get it right the first time, or perhaps they just don’t like to be wrong.  Whatever the reason may be many kids struggle with making mistakes and how that makes them feel doubt or shame.

As a teacher and a mom of two young girls teaching about making mistakes is a priority, how we react to making those mistakes can determine quite a bit.  Making mistakes helps to build stamina as well as provides learning opportunities.  However, if your petites are too concerned about making mistakes that they don’t take risks, or adventure or an opportunity for new learning then that is when problems can arise.

Stickley Makes Mistakes Cover.png

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time reading Stickley Makes a Mistake: A Frog’s Guide to Trying Again by Brenda S. Miles and illustrated by Steve Mack (Magination Press); this book will be hitting shelves next month on August 16th.  This book is all about a young frog named Stickley.  He, like most petites doesn’t like to make mistakes, he strives for perfection and when he doesn’t attain it, well he doesn’t want to try again. As a teacher this was something that was all too familiar with little ones who struggle and make mistakes.   This book is filled with encouragement and support.

 Nobody’s perfect and good things can happen –  even when you make mistakes!

Stickley Makes Mistakes offers subtle ways to support children as they naturally make mistakes.  We love that the suggestions are to ask for help, feel proud for trying, practicing, how mistakes can sometimes be happy surprises and huge successes and that nobody is perfect.  This is incredibly important for our young girls.

Stickley Makes Mistakes

This book was published by the American Psychological Association and offers a parents, caregivers and teachers guide in the back of the book.  I love this approach, because the book is fantastic and with the incredibly helpful tips in the back the learning can be extended beyond the pages of Stickley.

I think that Stickley Makes Mistakes is a important book, one that should be in every single kindergarten classroom; because making mistakes and navigating challenging situations and problem solving skills are so incredibly important.  This book is a perfect read for preschool through third grade.  The tips in the back are ones all lower elementary teachers and parents should read and learn more about.

Thank you to Magination press for this wonderful book and use of the images for this post.  I received this book from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts about Stickley Makes a Mistake are my own.  Magination Press, publishes many books to support the social and emotional well being of petites check out their website to learn more about these titles.


It’s all about the Paci

When my oldest was 2 years old we took her to the dentist and to say I got scolded is an understatement.  I was told that pacifiers were the worst and that by allowing my petite to suck on one whenever she wanted I was basically ensuring she would need braces in her future.  What?  But they give them away at the hospital, how could they be so bad?  Well apparently they can cause teeth to shift and well you guessed it, future issues.  So after getting scolded we decided that it was probably time for her to give up her paci.


This was not as easy as I hoped it would be, I wanted to share our struggles and overall triumph with you all just in case there are some of you our there struggling with this same dilemma.  Let me first start by saying, I think that as parents we all do the best that we can especially when it comes to our newborns.  We do what we need to to stay sane, to get babies to sleep or stop crying.  I am in no way judging – just wanting to share how we got our petite to kick her paci habit.

After the scolding from the dentist (who we no longer see by the way) we decided to wean her off of it, we decided to only let her have the paci when she was taking naps or going to bed – not all the time, no exception.  She used a snuggly when she slept before and we heavily reinforced it and made sure we always had it for naps and bedtime making it a more prominent part of our nighttime routine.  A few days later we took away the paci at nighttime.  I would love to tell you it wasn’t a big deal that she didn’t fuss or ask for it or cry.  But let’s be honest, it was sort of a disaster.  Over the next few days she would ask for it at night and we would just say we are all done with the paci and hand her the snuggly.  It worked, she was rather sneaky though and would pull paci’s out of places, she had a secret stash in her carseat and it seemed like every time I would turn around driving she would have one in her mouth.

We also used some really cute board books with her to talk about her paci.

No more pacifier as a piggy

No More Pacifier for Piggy! (Ducky and Piggy) this book was a total lifesaver, piggy and ducky are so cute.  Piggy always has a paci and when Ducky wants to play a new game with him peekaboo it is hard because when he tries to play the paci falls in the dirt.  In the end the friends are able to find a solution to their problem.  Hooray.  My petite loved this book.


Bea Gives Up Her Pacifier: The book that makes children WANT to move on from pacifiers! this is a really cute book about Bea who doesn’t want to give up her paci, her parents convince her to give it to a paci fairy!  How cute is that?  I am in love with this idea.

Good luck to all those who are eradicating pacifiers,


Tinkerlab: a hands-on guide for little inventors


I have been waiting for a really long time to get my hands on Tinkerlab, when I heard about this book I immediately put it onto my library hold list, and it was like Christmas morning learning that my hold was ready to be picked up!  Yes!  However, as soon as I opened this book I realized one thing immediately.  I should have just bought it, because it is AWESOME!  Have I mentioned recently I love quotes, well I do, I knew that this book would be awesome when this was how the introduction began.


Rachelle Doorley’s Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors is filled with helpful tips, inspiring quotes and really great parenting advice.  I found the message within the pages to be refreshing.  Rachelle Doorley explains her rationale behind how she sets up her tinker-space and immediately it made me think of the Montessori school that my husband worked in when we first met.  There was discovery, easy to accesses, but incredibly thoughtful well planned spaces and activities.  I loved the chapter all about the Ten Tinkerlab Habits of Mind, it just makes sense, is so important and thoughtful.

There is a mindfulness that is so present in this book.  Recently I saw a pinterest pin that was this beautifully displayed art tray from IKEA.  Immediately I thought of all the reasons why it wouldn’t work out and justifications to go along with it.  However, I decided to pull out all of the art supplies the petites use regularly and put them on a tray on the table and see what happens.  What happened you might ask?  Creativity.  Cooperation.  Inspiration.  As it turned out the pin that I was looking at was from this book!  Setting up your own tinkerlab might seem a little overwhelming at first, but once again, Doorley has made it so simple here is a list of her resources.

This book is not just an arts and crafts book.  It is a book that has rationales, developmental milestones and supporting ideas to get petites creating, it has encouragement and inspiration on every page.  As if Rachelle Doorley isn’t brilliant on her own, she has contributors that are professors, culinary experts, art directors, educators, directors of nursery schools and parents.  Seriously brilliant people have come together to make a handbook to inspire young minds.

Can’t get your hands on this book for a few days?  Don’t worry you can hop on over to Tinkerlabs facebook page and Pinterest to tide you over until your book comes.  If you like this post and want to know more about the books we read at The Petite Stag follow me!  Or check out The Petite Stag Facebook Page.





Petites Pick: Louise Loves Art


Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light is an incredibly cute book we stumbled across at the library (published in September) and was so cute we are currently maxing out our renewals on this superb book.  First of all let’s start with the best first line I’ve read in a while.

I love Art!  It’s my imagination on the outside.

Are you sold yet?  Let me tell you a bit more, Louise is adorable, she loves to draw and one of her favorite subjects to draw is her cat, Louise perfectly captures the cat-ness.  She is a very confident young lady and is creating masterpieces for her art show.  Her little brother Art, like most littles, wants to be a part of what she is doing, he wants to create a masterpiece too. Although, his masterpiece causes a little bit of tension.  Louise is a fabulous big sister and realizes what Art was trying to do and makes him feel special, because clearly he loves his big sister.

I love this book because sometimes it is hard to remember that little brothers or sisters just want to be with you.  This book is a nice reminder of what it looks like to be a great older sibling.  It is also a great story because Louise is confident, she creates masterpieces and inspires her little brother.  In the end they work together to create their art.

This book would be really fun to read to a class who is creating their own masterpieces.  Another reason why I love this book is the vocabulary that Ms. Light uses: masterpiece, pose, capture, fierce, feline, piece de resistance and gallery.  These vocabulary building words and great!  I love that my petite learned some new words reading this book.  Even more I love that after reading it she wanted to get into her art bin and start creating her masterpiece.

Gallery Ideas:

  • creating your own gallery of art – these are some gorgeous examples of gallery walls
Wire Hanging

Source: The Style Files


Source: The Imagination Tree


Source: Clean & Scentsible

Get Creative: need a little art inspiration?  Here are some projects that you and the petites can create.


Source: No Time for Flashcards

For the Love of Princesses

I find that as a mom of a five year old I am surrounded by princesses anything with frills and lots of glitter.  Seriously, glitter is everywhere.  When my petite was first born I gave her Nana strict shopping rules for nothing pink, nothing princess and certainly no Barbie’s.  My aim was to make sure I had a strong, independent, free thinking petite and not just another princess loving pink wearing petite.  What I found out was that the more I fought the princess and the pink, the more it was an ever present topic.

In the last five years I’ve learned to embrace pink, frills and glitter…even a large amount of princesses.  What I also learned is that there are princesses who are super fun to watch, but rely on princes to save them.  Princesses who seem a little naïve and again need men or princes to spell it out for them.  However, in this very same mix there are qualities that I want my petites to have and at the risk of letting them turn into hopeless romantics – I acquiesced.

I thought this quote from Meg Cabot pretty much sums it up:

 “I think it would be a shame for parents not to let [their daughters] have [princesses] just because they don’t believe in “the princess thing.” Because the princess thing is amazing. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, protecting the people you love, and never letting the bad guys win. It’s about rescuing yourself, and yet risking your heart when you meet someone who seems worth giving it to.”

With all that said, here at the Petite Stag there are princesses that I love and promote whole heartedly.  First up Tiana from The Princess and the Frog – she is by far my absolute favorite.  She works hard, she is determined, she has goals, and she knows that it is okay to wish for things, but you have to work hard to get them too.

We also love Merida from Brave – what’s not to love about a fiery redhead?  She is very independent and speaks her mind freely.  Okay, so she is defiant and pretty reactionary, but in the end she learns a really important lesson – family bonds are the strongest and often times most important.

One princess that we love is Belle, she’s a Petite Stag pick because she loves to read books!  Even reading them more than once.  My petite can be found pretending to be Belle walking and reading at the same time.  Not to mention, she just told Belle at Disneyland that she loves her because she likes to read books….if that doesn’t make you swoon then Belle’s perfect response will Wow, that’s amazing, reading can take you on so many new adventures, keep reading little one. Well done, Disneyland Belle!

Next up, I bet you can guess what I am going to say, Anna and Elsa from Frozen – it would be nothing short of a miracle if I were able to have a frozen free household.  Instead, I am going to embrace the message and promote it – when Anna needs an act of true love – who does she need?  Her sister!  Yes please, promoting the bond between two sisters.


Thankfulness and Kids

I think it is pretty important to have children who have manners.  As a teacher and a parent it happens all to often that you have rude little petites, who don’t say please and thank you and becomes terribly refreshing when they do – which I think is sad.  Teaching little ones through modeling has worked for our five year old – she is pretty polite, in fact it is usually what people remark about her when we are out and about.

Recently we found a book that I think is less about Thanksgiving and more about just saying thanks, and being appreciative of what you have.

Karma Wilson has put out these amazing Bear Books and Bear Says Thanks is our new favorite.  We are trying to teach our almost 18 month old to say thank you and she loves bears and animals so this book was a hit!

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

It is an incredibly cute story with a big lesson.  Bear has company and they keep bringing food for a feast, he doesn’t feel he has anything to contribute, but in the end he learns that saying thanks is what it is really all about. He enjoys a fabulous feast with all of his woodland friends and is so thankful.

The illustrations by Jane Chapman are fabulous.  This is a story about being thankful and grateful for your friends and time spent together.  A perfect book to share with your petite on Thanksgiving or any other day.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Petite Stags

It’s Back to School: Homework Station

Oh my goodness, as a teacher this is one of my favorite times of year.  This year, like last year, I will be sitting it out.  Being a stay at home mom is incredibly rewarding, but I will be honest, I miss seeing my “kids” and that first day of school, that feeling when all is new and possibilities are endless.

With that said, this is a big year for us. The Petite has started kindergarten!  Words cannot even begin to describe how I felt sending her off that first day.  She has been my co-pilot for the last year and it is a strange feeling to not have her around during the day.  Good news is that she loves her new school, friends and teacher.  Yay!

I don’t like kindergarten, I LOVE kindergarten!

These were the petite’s words on the first day of school.  I am in love with her enthusiasm and joy for learning.  One thing that as a mom, who happens to be a teacher, is that there are a few recommendations I would make on back to school night that now I actually get to do myself.  The first one is setting up a homework station or area.

Homework Station

This is something that will save time, stress and headaches in the weeks to come.  Having an area where all of the items you need to complete assignments helps students to be responsible and organized.  It shows them that homework and learning are important and gives them an area or place where doing homework is the expectation.  Can you tell I’ve talked about this to parents before?

A homework area varies greatly depending on the age of the student.

Homework Station Items

Pre-K through 2nd grade:

White computer paper, ruler, eraser, glue stick, pencils, crayons, highlighters, scissors, writing paper and a timer for tracking reading times (I just use my phone).  Items that can be helpful but aren’t necessary: dry erase board and markers, and whiteout.

3rd grade – 5th grade

White computer paper, ruler, eraser, glue stick, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, highlighters, whiteout, scissors, binder paper, dictionary and a timer.

Middle School

Binder paper, pens, pencils, calculator, dictionary, highlighters, post its.

High School

Yikes, I’m guessing its been years since you’ve been able to convince your teen to do homework out in the open….and they’ve made it this far so…keep up the good work.  🙂


Now is a great time to get all of these items, because they are still on sale.  The critical part to all of this is to have something to hold it in so that it is easy to access.  One of my main goals for recommending these things is  to make doing homework less of a scavenger hunt and more so a learning experience.  Starting a routine around when homework is done, also where it is done is so helpful.  If there is a routine it helps kids to be accountable even kindergarteners.  After all, kids love routine, even if they tell you otherwise.

I hope this helps ease you back into the school year, start a homework routine and have stress free nights while helping the kids get homework assignments completed.




Just How Big Can a Petite Dream?

My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? and My Name Is Not Alexander are two books that I ordered for my daughter from scholastic last year.


Okay, back to the two books that my petite is loving at the moment by Jennifer Fosberry.    What is so cool about these books is that they are about strong, smart, brave, daring people and Isabella and Alexander embody these characteristics of the famous people who are highlighted throughout the story.  My petite loves to know more about the real life people they are talking about and in the back of the book there is a little biography about the women and men discussed.   Another terribly cute aspect is that at the end of the story Isabella and Alexander are not themselves, but Mommy and Daddy.  I find this to be so incredibly nice that a child can look up to their parents as a hero and want to be like them.  I love books that inspire petites to dream about all the possibilities that are out there for them.  These books do just that.  Not to mention that Mike Litwin does a fabulous job with the illustrations.

Sally Ride - My Name is not Isabella


Isabella Girl on the GoI’ve also seen these two but have yet to add them to the petites shelves. Isabella Star of the Story

Isabella: Girl on the Go
In looking through these I am again in love.  Isabella is off on a magical journey around the world, she travels through her yard in her sandbox to the pyramids of Giza and on and on.  It gives a sense of adventure for any petite who likes to dream of far off places.
Isabella: Star of the Story is so incredibly cute.  Isabella starts her day out at the library and then she travels into the world of the story books that she is reading.  What is not to love about that?  So cute!  Again the illustrations are just adorable.

These books are just fantastic reads and so much fun to look at new vocabulary that go with the people they are discussing; my four-year old is now gliding around the kitchen and trying to whirl her little sister around like Fred Astaire.  I think I am going to have to go and get Girl on the Go and Star of the Story to add to our shelves.
Happy Reading,


If you enjoyed this post check out some of my other book recommendations

Tilly and Friends Books | Let’s Go on a Journey Together | Ordinary People Change the World: Biographies for Petites | A Cute  New Addition to the Book Shelf






Let’s go on a Journey Together

Journey by Aaron BeckerJourney, a 2014 Caldecott Medal Honor book written and illustrated by Aaron Becker is stunning from the first to the last page.  This is a wordless story which allows for your petites’ imagination to soar.  A sweet little one is armed with a red crayon and in using her imagination she goes on, you guessed it, a remarkable journey to far away places.  The illustrations are just amazing.  With her crayon she escapes her boredom and travels to far off places and having some quite extraordinary adventures.

Journey 1Journey 2

This book provides the opportunity to talk about making predictions and problem solving.  What’s not to love?  For children to be able to make predictions and identify problems and possible solutions are fabulous talking points to prep little ones for critical thinking and school.  Really fostering the use of imagination is such an amazing skill that I think is all too taken for granted; but when you have a book like this it is such an amazing platform.  All you need to do is get this book and embark on your own journey.

I thought some cute activities would be to have your petite use this as a platform to talk about or draw about the journeys that they might like to go on.  I love using stories like to this have kids think about things that they would like to do and places they would like to go.  After all, it never hurts to dream a little now does it?

Happy Reading,


Ordinary People Change the World – Awesome Biographies for Petites

I am Amelia Earhart


Brad Meltzer has created a new series of books called Ordinary People Change the World.  These books are amazing.  The illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos has created these comic book type images that make these books so enjoyable to read and look at.  Recently my petite went to the museum of flight and we learned about Amelia Earhart.  I am Amelia Earhart was so much fun to piggyback on our experience at the museum.  She just loved looking at this book and learning more about Amelia and how she was adventurous, brave and curious.  She loves the silly images of Amelia trying to fly as a little girl and then going on adventures.



Abraham LincolnI am Abraham Lincoln is another title in this series.  Lincoln is my husbands favorite president; and our petite even has a Lincoln stuffed doll.  So this book purchase was a no brainer.  This book talks about how Lincoln as a little boy loved to read and loved animals.  About how he stood up for what was right no matter what.  These books cover pretty complex issues, like slavery and social injustice.  Meltzer does it in a way that is easy for young readers to understand; this is something that I think is not always easy to do.  These books are character builders, fostering traits that you want in your children


I’ve seen many books about Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln in the last few years as an elementary teacher and these books I think are just great for kids.  They don’t “dumb down” the content, it is just written in a really accessible way for kids to understand.  Which as a mom and a teacher I find incredibly appealing.

The next two books for Ordinary People Change the World are I am Rosa Parks  (released in June) and I am Albert Einstein (released in September).  So exciting. I am really excited to see what Meltzer comes up with for Einstein and even more so to see the illustrations of his hair.

Albert Einstein Rosa Parks

I have always thought Brad Meltzer was a thought-provoking guy and I love watching his Decoded TV show.  But now after exploring his website and reading the rationale behind why he created these books, I am even more of a fan.  When he was asked how he came about this and why he chose these books to write this is what he said:

For me, this isn’t just a book series.  It’s my dream for my daughter. My dream for my sons. My dream for all of us who need to see the power of an ordinary person…and the power – and potential – in each of us.

Look around. We live in a world that is starving for heroes. This is my solution.

– Brad Meltzer

I think that this is so true.  I am so glad that these books are available and that there will be more to come.  Let me know if you get them and what you and your petites think.  If you like this post, check out some of my other posts about books my petites and I love.

books on gardening | St. Patrick’s Day Books | Valentines Day Books | Tea Rex

Happy reading.