Creating a Natural Play Space Part 2

How does this preschool teacher spend her summer?

I’ve been working on making our preschool place space more natural and inviting.  My first project has been cushion covers.  I decided to go with an ocean theme but still would like to sew some more in more green and forest colours too.  These cushion covers were very quick to make with just a flap for the opening so I can easily make some extras and we can change them up.

Here are a few of the cushions that needed covers.  Basically they were just in our back storage area and we couldn’t use them.

IMG_4919 2

I bought quilting quarters and then cut them to fit each pillow.  I measured the pillow, added one inch to the width for seams and doubled the length plus added six more inches to allow for seams plus a four inch overlap.  This was a super quick and easy project.

And the finished product should be a nice addition to the preschool.  I was able to make six of them in one day and with it being so easy, I would love to make more so if I can get my hands on some more fabric, then I will!

Yay! I now have new pillows in ocean colours.  Next I need to work on the greens and the browns. Curious about my other plans for the preschool?  View my original post

Not the Only Writer in the Family

Hello Readers!

I am loving this summer sunshine and the extra time for reading.  Did you know my sister in law is a writer too?  Yes!  She has written a long and growing list of novels.  Check out her website here


Right now Meghan is giving away a signed copy of my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker so there’s a chance to win if you hop on over to Made by Meghan and enter by Wednesday.  While you’re there you should check out her books, but I warn you, you may get hooked!  And I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Meghan’s books very soon as part of my next giveaway package so stay tuned 🙂

Have a great day!


Creating a Natural Inviting Play Space

Last year our preschool room got new floors and a fresh coat of paint.  I strive to make the environment as appealing and interesting as possible and because we are a pack away preschool that can a challenging task.

This summer, I’m brainstorming ways to bring the outdoors in to make our classroom feel like a more natural space and at the same time, add more interesting features that give our preschool more of its own unique character.  Here’s what I hope to do:

  1. Bring in more plants
  2. Create the illusion of being outdoors by decorating the backs of shelving units with large nature posters. 
  3. Create new cushion covers with natural fabrics in greens and blues.
  4. Add lego building plates to the back of a shelf to create a “lego wall”
  5. Create a tent/teepee or other covered area using a patio umbrella
  6. Add enlarged photos of children’s own creations in nature and with blocks

Do you have more ideas for me?  I’d be interested, particularly if they’re budget friendly! As I work on these projects, I hope to show you some photos of my progress. Wish me luck!



Enter Now! Summer Blog Giveaway Begins!

Woohoo!  Time to give away a copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker… my first ever published picture book with illustrations by Paula Nasmith.  The winner will also receive a couple of art cards created by Paula.


How to Enter:

There are three ways to enter. You must go to Rafflecopter to officially enter.

  1. Tweet a message about the giveaway: Entered to win picture book author Cynthia Mackey’s Blog Giveaway #SCBWI #PB #kidlit #Canadian
  2. Leave a blog comment here… what do you enjoy most about summer time?
  3. Dash back over to Twitter and follow me @mackey_cynthia

Note: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway
so you must visit Rafflecopter by clicking here

*Giveaway closes July 10th, 2017

Please also note that comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.

Terms and Conditions:

-must be 18 years or older to enter
-one entry per household
-family members excluded
-winner must respond via email within 7 days to claim their prize
-prizes will be shipped within 7 days from the date the winner is announced
-open to residents of countries where Ingram Spark ships
• Canada (Eastern and Western)
• European Union
• Hong Kong
• India
• Ireland
• New Zealand
• Singapore
• South Africa
• United Kingdom

Good luck to all who enter! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

on June 10, 2017
Verified Purchase
A lovely story about ingenuity, cooperation, friendship and sharing. Katie badly wants to make pancakes but she’s not allowed in the kitchen. She won’t let that stop her though. From her collection of loose parts and other found objects, Katie and her new friend Baxter together build an amazing pancake making machine. It works so well it makes more pancakes than they can possibly eat. What can they do, but share them with neighbours and friends. If your little ones love pancakes, they’ll love this book by Cynthia Mackey.
on May 28, 2017
Verified Purchase
This is a fun read for kids and features a main character who is very inventive and persistent. The recurring refrain helps younger kids get involved with the reading experience. The book includes a pancake recipe at the back that was quite different to the one my family uses. We tried it out, and it does indeed produce “golden brown, fluffy as a cloud, perfectly round pancakes”.
on June 7, 2017
Ok. Now I want to eat pancakes!!! 🙂 This is a cute story with colorful, eye catching illustrations! Loved it!