Goodnight Gecko Craft

We are so excited to introduce a new series featuring guest bloggers creating beautiful crafts inspired our books! Our first is a recycling friendly craft inspired by The Goodnight Gecko with Emily from Making with Mommy. We hope you enjoy this new series, and let us know in the comments below which book or guest blogger you would like to see next.

Goodnight Gecko Craft


Hello! My name is Emily from Making with Mommy and I am so excited to be sharing this fun craft inspired by The Goodnight Gecko. We absolutely loved this sweet little bedtime story and were so drawn to the bright yellow colors of the gecko family. Our craft was inspired by the art in this story and would be fun for children of all ages! This is a process art craft, which means that you can give your kids some free-reign to decorate their geckos however they please! Process art is so important for helping your kids grow creatively, make their own decisions and take risks. Read below for how to create your own Goodnight Gecko and visit us on Instagram @makingwithmommy to see more kids craft ideas!

Materials Needed:

 Goodnight Gecko Craft Materials

For the gecko:

  • Cardboard
  • Yellow acrylic paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Yellow craft bits and pieces (such as buttons, pom poms, pipe cleaners, ribbon, yarn and beads!) Anything that you have on hand will work.
  • 2 googly eyes


For the background:

  • Black construction paper
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • 1 pom pom
  • Yellow paint

How To … Create the gecko: 

Step 1: Draw your gecko shape onto your cardboard and cut it out! You can choose to free-hand this shape or look for an image online to trace. Your gecko can be as large or small as you like (ours is around 8 inches long).

Goodnight Gecko Outline

Step 2: If you’d like, carefully peel off the top layer of paper from the cardboard to reveal the corrugated layer underneath. We liked the corrugated look for our gecko, but leaving your cardboard smooth would be perfectly fine!

Step 3: Paint your gecko yellow with acrylic paint and allow it to dry. 

Goodnight Gecko paint

Step 4: Using a hot glue gun, you and your kids can glue the yellow bits and pieces all over the cardboard shape to decorate it! There is no right or wrong way to do this – all of the yellow pieces together will create a fun, crafty gecko. Let your kids lead the way!

The Goodnight Gecko Craft

Step 5: Glue on the googly eyes and your gecko is complete! We glued some yellow pom poms underneath our eyes to give them more height.

Goodnight Gecko Craft

How To … Create the background:

Step 1: Bend a pipe cleaner into a star shape. To do this, I bent the pipe cleaner about 1 inch from the end, then bent the rest back in the other direction. This created the first of my five star points. Keep bending back and forth until you have created all 5 points. Glue the pipe cleaner star onto a pom pom. This will be used as a star stamp!

Goodnight Gecko star stamp

Step 2: Dip the pipe cleaner stamp into yellow paint and stamp it onto your black paper! Cover your sky with stars to create a beautiful backdrop for your gecko!

Goodnight Gecko starry sky stamp          Goodnight Gecko background


Thank you for stopping by! We hope you enjoy making this Goodnight Gecko craft with your keiki (child)! Be sure to check us out on instagram for up-to-date news and information for our next craft! @hawaiianchildrensbooks

Home-Made Play Dough!

Physical, creative PLAY is so important for a child’s development, and one form of engaging activity is playing with Play Dough. Squeezing and molding home-made Play Dough helps your child’s eye-hand coordination and manipulative skills  ~ AND stimulates a child’s imagination! As exemplified Koa and Kanani in “The Magical Journey from Hawai’i,”  there are so many Hawaiian Children’s Books characters for a child to create and become fully immersed in the process!

NB:  This home-made Play Dough recipe uses flour and food coloring, but is intended only for PLAY ~  definitely not for eating.  Please make it clear to your child that it’s fun for play, but “yucky” to eat!


1 cup flour

½ cup water

¼ cup salt

Food coloring (6 – 8 drops):

Add coloring to water before mixing with other ingredients.



  1. Mix all ingredients and knead until dough is smooth.
  2. Depending on humidity of the day you make the dough, add or subtract a teaspoon or 2 to get the desired consistency.
  3. If you are making for more than one child, or if you have a budding young Michaelangelo ~ double or treble the ingredients!
  4. Store in an air-tight container e.g. a washed out/recycled 32 oz yoghurt container.


Happy playing and we look forward to seeing your creations (@hawaiianchildrensbooks)! For more activities, check out “Color & Share.” 

Coloring Cards

Welcome to “Coloring Cards” ~ AS SEEN ON INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK

For the month of August, we will be releasing a weekly coloring card — every Thursday! It’s a great way to keep the fun of summer alive, one coloring template at a time. From swaying seahorses (template #1) to scuttling crabs (come back next week to find out!), each template can be transformed into whatever your little one wants. 

The “August Coloring Cards” series is designed to be greeting, thank you, birthday (etc!) cards, so we recommend that you first print the template on regular paper – and then print all your cards on cardstock paper. Use 4 3/4 inch x 5 3/4 inch quarter-fold envelopes (in different colors) for snazzy colors, to complement the colored cards.

Or, perhaps use your child’s creativity and imagination  to create alternatives to coloring cards. Some ideas we came up with with Gill McBarnet‘s grandson are the following: An illustration can be put in a 5 inch x 7 inch picture frame – or you can cut out the sea creatures and glue popsicle sticks to the back to make paper puppets.  Finger puppets are a great way to tell stories about the sea horses, crabs, octopus or dolphins! If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below! 

… And now for the easy peasy steps to make the Colorful Greeting Cards with your little ones!

  1. Visit our COLOR & SHARE page to download and print out your template (and sea creature!) of choice.
  2. Cut along the horizontal line to create two cards, then fold each of the two cards (after folding on line, trim where needed!)
  3. Have your little one color in the sea creature.
  4. On the back of the card, have your little artist sign his/her name on the dotted line below “Made By”.
  5. Don’t forget to add your message on the inside of the card.
  6. Voila!

For our Greeting Cards, we are using these “invitation envelopes” from OfficeMax … but if you’re feeling extra creative, here is a DIY to make an envelope.

Have fun! And don’t forget to tag us on social media (#HCBcoloringcards) or send a picture of your beautiful coloring cards to … See you next week for the release of the next coloring card!

Goodnight Gecko Song

Check out the “Gecko Jingle” below, sung by the talented Andrea Perkins (of Bobby & Blue) and the cast of MAPA‘s 2015 production of “The Goodnight Gecko.” Enjoy!

Ocean Theme Halloween


“A pirate’s life for me!”

Yo Ho Ho my hearties… hope to see you at

Barnes & Noble (Lahaina, Maui)

Saturday 24th, October 2015 at 11 a.m

for one of Gill’s ocean stories,

followed by a mini ‘in-store’ parade &

ocean-theme dress-up competition for 0 – 6year olds.

Call Suzi at Barnes & Noble for details: (808)-662-1307