Top TWELVE Books for Tween and Teen Boys (and Girls!)

Many children start their love affair with reading by enjoying picture books, graphic novels, and easy chapter books. Then, after children have gained their confidence and honed their reading skills, they are ready for more advanced stories, characters, and plot lines. Today, I am sharing TWELVE books that were / are some of my boys' favourites.



*NOTE: The links to purchase these books are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase one of these books using one of these links, I will receive a small commission... at no additional charge to you.


1) Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan




2) Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling




3) I Funny series by James Patterson





4) David Walliams books: particularly Mr. Stink and The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams




5) Wonder by R.J. Palicio




6) A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket 




7) Swindle series by Gordon Korman




8) Slapshot series by Gordon Korman



9) MasterMind series by Gordon Korman (My 10 year old LOVED the humour and adventure in this series.)



10) Wings of Fire series by Tui T Sutherland

11) Robert Muchamore books - My 12 year old loved the CHERUB series.



12) Treasure Hunter Series by James Patterson




Do you have books you would like to add to this list? I am always anxious to instill a love of reading in my boys, and good books are the key. If you have a suggestion, please leave it below, and I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

30+ Summer Crafts for ALL ages (Kids AND Adults)

Summer is the perfect time for crafting. It's an excellent way for ALL members of the family to exercise their creative muscles and spend time together. Today, I am sharing OVER 30 summer crafts for ALL ages, and I've included helpful links and templates too!



I've divided the crafts into three categories (younger kids, older kids, and adults), but some of the crafts are fun for multiple age groups. Take a look and let me know what you think!


Summer Crafts for Younger Kids




1) Paper Fan - Paper fans are easy to make, and they are fun to play with after they are made. Kids will love this simple craft, and you can download the paper fan template for free here



2) Paper Popsicle I love this simple little paper popsicle craft. Tape a popsicle stick onto the back of a piece of cardstock, and decorate with markers and stickers. It doesn't get much easier than this cool treat!



3) Toilet Roll Binoculars - Toilet roll binoculars are fun to create, and they are perfect for taking along on summer sight-seeing adventures. Find the "how to" here.



4) Campfire Scene Artwork - Artwork that includes a photo of the child is extra special. Check out how my sun made this simple campfire scene artwork here.



5) Handprint Campfire - Handprint crafts are super-cute, and this one is perfect for summer. You can find the full instructions for this adorable handprint campfire here.



6) Paper Bag Kites - Paper bag kites are easy to make, and they are really fun to play with after they have been completed. This was always a favourite craft with my boys.



7) Under the Sea - Young kids will adore making these sweet "under the sea" crafts. You can find the details for these three fish crafts here.



8) Windsock - You just need a few simple crafts supplies to make this adorable windsock... and kids will love it. Find the full instruction for this fantastic craft for kids here.



9) Suncatcher This one simple crafts involves glue, so young kids will love it.  Pour a thin layer of white glue into a plastic lid, add some "treasures", and allow to dry completely.  Peel out the suncatcher, attach a string, and hang it in a window.



10) Magnet Movers - This is a fun little activity for little ones, and it's simple to make. Start by drawing a road on a piece of paper.  Then, take two "attracting magnets" -- attaching one to a pom pom creature and one to a folded paper "handle".  Put the creature on the top of the paper and the other magnet on the bottom of the paper.  The kids will have a great time moving the pom pom creatures around "like magic".



11) Noisemaker / Kazoo - This craft is perfect for kids because they love things that make noise. To make it, have the kids decorate a toilet paper roll, and then secure some wax paper to the top with an elastic. "Hum" into it, and have fun!



12) Celebrating Frog - This is a craft and a celebration all in one! Draw a basic frog face shape onto a piece of card stock, color it, add some eyes, and cut it out.  Then, cut a slit for a party favor "tongue".  Simple and silly!



13) Handprint Art - The possibilities for handprint art are endless, but this little crab is adorable.  Cover two little hands in red paint, press to paper and add a couple of googly eyes. Cute, right?



Summer Crafts for Older Kids



14) Felt Finger Puppets - Felt is a perfect material for young people learning to sew. It is cheap and super-easy to work with. Making finger puppets is wonderful sewing projects for beginners. They can be given as gifts or donated to a children's hospital! You can find a full tutorial for making felt finger puppets here.



15) Pom pom crafts - Pom poms are a simple yarn craft with several possibilities for further crafting. Pom poms can be played with "as is" or they can be turned into yarn animals, wreaths, flowers, and more. Find the step by step instructions for crafting pom poms here.



16) Nature Inspired Picture HangerWhat starts with a trek through the woods collecting branches, turns into a fun piece of bedroom decor. Wrap a stick with yarn, tie on a yarn hanger, use hot glue to attach two clothespins, and hang a favourite photo.



17) God's Eye Craft - This simple weaved ornament is the perfect summer craft. You can make them with yarn and popsicle sticks (or twigs), and you can find the full step-by-step tutorial here.



18) Friendship Bracelets - This was one of my favourite crafts when I was a little girl. They are simple to make, and they are fun to wear. If you google "friendship bracelets", you can find tons of easy-to-follow video tutorials.

19) Painted Rocks - Painted rocks are fantastic because the materials are inexpensive, and the design possibilities are endless. They are fun for decorating a garden or leaving on a trail for strangers to find and enjoy. You can find a beginner's guide to painted rocks here.



20) Boho Wreath - This wreath isn't difficult to make, but it's a super-cute piece of decor that tweens/teens can make for their rooms. Find the full step-by-step instructions here



21) "No sew" Jersey / T-Shirt Bags - Old t-shirts that are destined for the donation bin can easily be turned into "no sew" bags. Find the full step by step instructions for crafting your own bag from a jersey or t-shirt here.



22) Toilet Roll WeavingToilet roll weaving is simple... and totally addictive. You can use a toilet roll, yarn and popsicle sticks to weave a snake, necklace, bracelet or rug. Once you start this fun craft project, you won't be able to stop. You can find the step by step tutorial for toilet roll weaving here.



23) Tassel bookmarks - Paper bookmarks are fun, but bookmarks with easy-to-make yarn tassels are even better. Find the full step by step instructions for creating these cute bookmarks here.



243D handprint art - Simple handprint artwork can be created with only paper and markers. You can find the step by step instructions here.



25) Jersey Painting - Sporty kids will love creating these jersey paintings to hang in their rooms. They are easy to customize to any name / number / team colours. Find the step-by-step instructions here.



26) Simple beaded key chain - Dollar store beads can be strung and attached to key rings to create a variety of beaded key chains. You can also add words and messages to wooden beads with a Sharpie. Make a bunch of these to hang from backpacks or give as gifts.






27) Placemat Wreath - This is one of my favourite summer DIYs. It's a simple idea, but the result is super-cute. All you need is a dollar store pizza pan, a placemat, some nautical rope, and the instructions you can find here.



You can also try this cheery version. Find the full instructions for the HELLO SUNSHINE wreath here.




28) DIY Planter - I was inspired to make this planter when I saw a similar one selling online for $140. I gathered up some dollar store supplies and make this one for only $10. Check out both versions and the step-by-step instructions here.





29) Turquoise Grapevine Wreath - I made this wreath several years ago, but it's still one of my favourites. I love the bright colours and the simple design. You can find out how to make your own version here.




30) DIY Lemonade Tray and FREE Printable Picture - Yellow is the perfect colour for summer, and lemons are a great source of crafting inspiration. I am absolutely in love with this lemonade tray and free print. Find the instructions and get your freebie here.



31) Summer Themed Tiered Tray - I love having a tiered tray and trading out all the displayed items for each season / holiday. For summer, it's easy to DIY items using dollar store supplies. Find the details for the items on the summer themed tiered tray (below) here.



32) Summer Flower Arrangement - Creating a flower arrangement using dollar store supplies is a fantasstic way to create high-end home decor on a budget. Find the DIY details here.



Are these summer crafts fun? I love coming up with fun crafts that using inexpensive (and easy to find) supplies. I hope I've inspired you to stock up on craft supplies and have some fun getting creative this summer!

♥ 
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)



You may also be interested in these FIFTY ideas for summer fun!

Don't miss any of the fun....