You Can Do It: Sharpie Seashells

You’ve been to the shore and inevitably you’ve come home with bags of shells that the kids have collected. Here’s a fun and beautiful project that is appropriate for most any age. All you need is a selection of shells (shells with ridges work best) cleaned up and dried off, and a thin-tip Sharpie marker. Take a look at this photo for inspiration, and let your imagination run wild!

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Guided Creativity for Summertime Fun

This month we have a suggestion for unique summertime fun. Guided creativity books provide fabulous quiet-time entertainment.  Nurturing creativity with a series of prompts, these books help to spark imagination, foster inventiveness, and encourage your child or teen to perhaps start looking at the world a little differently.  

Our teen recommendation is a book by Austin Kleon called The Steal Like an Artist Journal. It is an interactive journal, a place to get creative juices flowing and a fun way to keep a log of ideas, thoughts and discoveries. This is not a kid’s book at all, parents might want to purchase one for themselves and explore the prompts that lead the reader to think about things in an all new way, to let their creativity run wild and unfettered. 

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For younger children, Ed Emberley Drawing Books, is a series full of fun items to draw and definitely is not a “color within the lines” experience. You may want to sit next to your child to help explain the various activities, but the books are designed to be easily understood by even the youngest child and are full of activity examples for each exercise. Each book explores a different topic, so parents will easily find a book to suit their child’s fancy.  

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These books are readily available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble or you can find them at your favorite local book shop, so pick one up, store it away and pull it out when school lets out and summer vacation begins!

Amazing Butterflies of New Jersey

There are 134 species of butterflies and moths in New Jersey. 134! The spring and summer months are the perfect time to get outside and take a butterfly ID hike. Bring your camera!

Here’s an interesting fact: the monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home in Mexico.

Here are some really beautiful butterflies you should search for:

 American Copper

American Copper

 Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

 Least Skipper

Least Skipper

 Luna Moth

Luna Moth

 Monarch

Monarch

 Northern Metalmark

Northern Metalmark

 Northern Pearly Eye Satyr

Northern Pearly Eye Satyr

 Red Spotted Purple Admiral

Red Spotted Purple Admiral

 Silver Bordered Fritillary

Silver Bordered Fritillary

 Silvery Blue

Silvery Blue

 Zebra Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail