Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars – The Ultimate Grandma Handbook

Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars A Grandma's Bag of TricksGrandparent’s Day is upon us and that means it’s time to celebrate all the wonderful memories we’ve shared with them. I no longer have any living Grandparents but they all hold very special places in my heart. Memories of my Gramma N. are filled with bits and pieces of crafting, sewing, cooking, gardening, birdwatching, thrift store scouring and endless tips and tidbits of advice. All of these things build upon a relationship with grandchildren and has a bonus of some good old fashioned bonding time to create memories that will last forever. I love that our children have a similar relationship with their grandparents.

When I’m not feeling up to certain crafts, Grandma & Grandpa oftentimes are ready to have fun with our children! Usually Grandma’s ideas are plentiful (and very creative!) but if she ever does run out of things to do she can flip through the pages of the award winning Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars book by Sharon Lovejoy that I’m passing on to her. Subtitled “Grandma’s Bag of Tricks”, it is packed full of 130 grandchild friendly activities. Everything from making a solar oven out of a pizza box (recipes included!) to making Firefly lanterns and your own Floral paper! I love the large section on gardening with the grandkids! This book reminds me of times I’ve spent with my own grandma and makes me want even more for my children to realize how much they’ll treasure all the moments they spend with theirs.

Try this sweet little project for a rainy day the next time your grandchildren are over. (Or if you’re like me do it with your own children!) Sidebar exert from Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars:

Wind Wishes

In my old Heart’s Ease gardens, the children loved the elderberry tree spangled with paper wind wishes that danced in the slightest breeze. Sometimes, it was a heartbreaker to read the wishes they scribbled and hung. Use scraps of your beautiful handmade paper to write out a wish, a blessing, or a poem. Punch a hole in the top of the wish, and tie it loosely to a favorite tree or bush. If you want your child’s wish to last longer, simply cover it with clear contact paper, which will protect it from the rain.

credit: Workman Publishing

Author, illustrator, and grandmother of four, Sharon Lovejoy, has written a book that I believe can strengthen the connection a child feels with their grandparents by doing everyday activities that are geared towards exploring nature in an environmentally friendly way, and with everyday objects. Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars would make a wonderful gift to grandma or grandpa!

Buy It! Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars: Grandma’s Bag of TricksToad Cottages and Shooting Stars is  a 205 page book geared towards 9-12 year olds. It is available at online and offline retailers including for around $10.00.

CLOSED Win It! One very lucky reader is going to win a copy of Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars – A Grandma’s Bag of Tricks!

How to Enter: (mandatory) Leave a comment sharing a favorite memory of time spent with grandparents!

Extras: (optional) Please leave a new comment, with links if applicable, for each extra entry to be counted.

Use the retweet button or copy this tweet: #Win Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars – A Grandma’s Bag of Tricks Book for Grandparents’ Day! @ahensnest #giveaway!

Rules: Follow the directions above! Giveaway open to U.S. residents, 18+ only and ends September 26th, 11:59 est. Winner must reply to email within 48 hours or I will redraw.

A complimentary book was sent to facilitate my candid review. All opinions and experiences are my own, yours may vary. No other compensation received. Amazon affiliate link included.


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About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 2

    I would spend a week with my grandparents in the summers, out in the country. I always loved playing crochet with my grammie and one time, we even sewed a doll for me! :)

  2. 3

    I follow via GFC! :)

  3. 4

    I like you on Facebook! :) Katy Mc. ald.

  4. 5

    I am following you on Networked blogs! Katy Mc. Ald.

  5. 6

    I follow you on Twitter and tweeted this giveaway!

  6. 7

    I enjoyed going to Grandmas house because she always took me out in her garden and let me pick the vegetables. Then we would go back inside and I would help her prepare them….LOVED those chershied moments with her.

  7. 8

    Email Subscriber!

  8. 9

    Facebook Friend!

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    Follow with GFC!

  10. 11

    I went on vacation with my grandparents to NYC,Washington DC,Pennsylvania and more when I was younger.I loved seeing the Twin Towers and am so glad I got to do so in person!

  11. 12

    I am a subscriber

  12. 13

    I shared this on facebook
    amanda h

  13. 14

    I am a google follower

  14. 15
    Donna Warrington says

    My grandparents lived in Hersey PA…so, needless to say, everytime we went to visit, we also visited the Hersey Park and the Heasey factory. I remember my Pop Pop riding the rides with my brother and myself, it was great fun!


  15. 16
    Donna Warrington says

    I subscribe through e-mail


  16. 17
    Donna Warrington says

    I’m a facebook fan.

    Donna Hufman Warrington

  17. 18
    Donna Warrington says

    I follow your blog


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    Donna Warrington says

    I follow you on Twitter as 2Cats2See and I tweeted


  19. 20
    april yedinak says

    I used to love to help my grandma hang the laundry out to dry.

  20. 21
    april yedinak says

    follow on twitter and tweeted

  21. 22
    april yedinak says

    like you on FB

  22. 23

    I’ll always cherish the time my Grandma showed me how to sew my own dress jacket. She also made my bridal veil.

  23. 24

    I subscribe via Google reader.

  24. 25
    Heather Henderson says

    I have so many great grandparents memories of when we would go to the “country” and feed the cows, mow the lawn on a riding mower, and hand wash the cars (we didn’t know they were putting us to work). My favorite memory is going to pick apples off their apple tree and then grandma baking the best homemade apple pie ever.

  25. 26
    Heather Henderson says

    I follow via GFC as hendy

  26. 27

    The last happy memory I have of my Grandpa before he died was at my Aunts 30th Bday party.

    My Dad called her Piglet when she was a kid and she hated it. So to be funny, I thought we should have a Piglet themed party. I was 16 at the time!!

    My Grandpa was staying with us for a week, and he loved my idea. He helped pick all the decorations, and even played along with us that we forgot her b-day. My Grandpa helped me decorate, and then surprise her. He was sooooooooooooo happy. It was the first time that I ever truly bonded with my Grandpa.

    Unfortunately, he died one week later. I am very thankful for that Birthday party, and for the video tape we made of it. I look back and I am extremely happy that we gave my Grandpa those memories!!

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

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    I am an email subscriber

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

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    I am a facebook fan

    Sarah Mansfield Coulsey

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

  29. 31

    I am a follower

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

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    I am a twitter follower


    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com


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