Motivating Kids (and Adults), Free Progress Chart

If I’m being honest, my 10th book was one of the hardest to publish. It had little to do with the book itself, and everything to do with my own motivation…

If I’m being honest, my 10th book was one of the hardest to publish. It had little to do with the book itself, and everything to do with my own motivation.

My goal was to finish writing and publishing Ringo Picked last month…but I was on twelve different planes, bouncing from city to city and it left me feeling overwhelmed.

You’re kind, I’m sure in your head you gave me a pass for not reaching my goal.

But what if I told you that my goal was the same for the last three months and for various reasons I didn’t get there. That changes things a bit.

Obviously life happens, but in reality, I wasn’t making progress because of me.

Sometimes we all need a little motivation to hold ourselves accountable.

Ringo Picked: A seriously silly story about nose picking + practical tips to help quit bad habits to raise healthy, happy kids 3-8yrs finally did get published in June.

I actually made a plan of what needed to happen, set aside an entire day to actually do it without excuse, changed my environment for inspo (cute coffee shops always help me), and planned a reward for myself once I reached my goal.

Whether it’s a bad habit you (or your kids) are trying to quit, or a goal you are trying to reach, visually seeing progress and having a reward to look forward to at the end can help.

I’ve created this free Progress Chart to help your kids (or students) reach their own goals. Get FREE your printable here.

Wondering what my “reward” of choice was? A new coffee mug and a massage! Oh yeah, plus the personal gratification of publishing book ten 😉

October Craft: Ghost Finger Puppets Free Printable

Just print, color, and cut – to make your own little ghost finger puppets this October!

Okay October, I see you right around the corner . . .

So I’m sharing an easy October ‘beyond the book’ craft activity that pairs perfectly with: The Lonely Little House Ghost

Get the free printable here->

Just print, color, and cut – to make your own little ghost finger puppets!

I printed on regular paper, but you could also use cardstock if you want to make the puppets more durable.

Suddenly, every weekend in October is booked with a birthday (including mine)! Books make great birthday gift for all ages, but especially kids. Parents really enjoy that a great book is one less large, colorful toy to house and trip over.

Want your own copy of the Lonely Little House Ghost: a book about friendship for kids 3-9yrs? Grab it here.

Boo Hoo from the Lonely Little House Ghost

Share the printable with a teacher for a simple activity that coordinates with the book and ties in the theme of how to make friends!

Three and five year old approved!

Weekend Craft Idea + Free Kids Book about $$$

Download the Beyond the Book activity to make your own Rock Caterpillar this weekend, and get a free kids book about money + creative problem solving!

With a three and five year old, we spend a lot of time at the park.

If your family is in the same boat, you may want to try this simple weekend activity. It will make your park visits more fun, and might even put a smile on the face of a stranger.

The activity – Rock Caterpillars!

You can download the simple instructions and supply list here.

Each time you visit the park you can bring a fun rock to add.

Plus you can “check” on your caterpillar to make sure he’s growing. Hopefully some other people join the fun and you can have new rocks to admire with each visit.

We set up rock caterpillars at various parks across the country during our road trip, and this morning we got to set one up at our very own neighborhood park!

This activity pairs perfectly with my new book that released this week – How to Sell a Rock.

It’s all about a little kidpreneur that has to figure out how to convince his neighbors to buy a rock so that he can afford a new skateboard. Perfect for kids 5-12yrs.

Bonus – the kindle version is FREE on Amazon until Tuesday! Grab it Here, or the paperback here.

Book Description:

Did you ever want something special as a child,
but then your parents said, “No – too expensive.”

Your dreams were dashed.

Oh, Sebastian understands.
But he decides he won’t take no for an answer once he learns he can make the money himself – even as a child.

When a scrappy little kidpreneur needs money for a skateboard, he’s going to have to learn how to turn his neighbor’s no’s into yeses if he wants to get rich selling rocks.

How will Sebastian convince his neighbors that what they really need is a rock?

This fun kidpreneur story teaches:

  • Creative problem solving
  • How to start a business
  • How to make Money
  • How to Save Money
  • Rock Painting Craft Ideas
  • Social Skills
  • Self Reliance
  • Grit
  • Confidence
    • Perfect for home or classroom use
    • Ideal for Ages 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Visit: for activities and freebies related to the book

Have a great weekend – Cheers!

CA to MI – Road trip!

Free Today! A Magical and Empowering Unicorn Book for Girls

Like all books in the Smart Girl Fairy Tale series, Princess Winnabelle fails often but always learns to solve her own challenging problems. Free today!

Do you have girls, know girls, or teach girls?! Then this is your next read . . .

And it’s FREE today! Just head on over to Amazon and download your free copy here.

This is book three in the Smart Girl Fairy Tale Series. Like all books in the series, Princess Winnabelle fails and learns to solve her own challenging problems. Through her magical adventures she learns teamwork, honesty, friendship, problem solving, and in book three: responsibility and time management when she has to figure out how to care for a pet unicorn AND go to school.

At midnight tonight the ebook will go up to $4.99, so hurry!

The paperback will be out this week.

Princess Winnabelle and the Pet Unicorn (book description):

♥Oh dear!♥ There’s trouble in the magical Land of Five Lagunas.

All Princess Winnabelle wanted was a friend. What could go wrong with that?

Then she finds a baby unicorn in the snow and showers him with love and care. His magical horn grows bigger and brighter each day, UNTIL winter break ends and . . .

Winnabelle quickly finds out that she has no idea how to care for a pet AND go to school. Her perfect pet starts to destroy the castle and Winnabelle is faced with a tough decision.

Winnabelle knows that a princess can be smart, fancy, strong, and fierce. But she still has a lot to learn before she’s ready to rule the kingdom someday.

Can Winnabelle come up with a creative plan to manage her time and responsibilities,

or will the Queen force her to say goodbye to her new friend?

The clock is ticking. Find out now!

The Smart Girl Fairy Tale Series is perfect for girls 3-9 years old.

These modern fairy tales teach important values for raising strong girls:

  • Time Management
  • Responsibility
  • Honestly
  • Problem Solving
  • Friendship
  • Teamwork
  • Growth Mindset
  • Independence
  • Confidence
  • Positive Self-esteem

Each value is wrapped in a sweet story that will keep readers entertained and engaged.

Great for:

  • Girls 3-9yrs
  • Parents
  • Classrooms
  • Churches
  • Bedtime

Collect them all!

FREE ‘Beyond the Book’ activities at★

How to Build Positive Self Esteem in Kids, Free Affirmation Cards

For each negative interaction, we need five positive interactions to balance our emotions and confidence.

And it isn’t just an adult thing. Our kids . . .

Sure, its easy to have confidence when life is good.

But one negative interaction can quickly turn things upside down in your head, and the stinking thinking can creep in.

In fact for each negative interaction, we need five positive interactions to balance our emotions and confidence (Gottman).

This isn’t just an adult thing. Our kids have their own soundtracks in their heads, shaped by interactions and events in their day that even a parent might not be aware of.

So how do you help your kids bounce back faster from negative moments? Teach them how to use positive affirmations everyday to build their confidence.

This will help them to remember the positive things about themselves, and to stay focused on who they are beyond the negative interaction they experienced.

Princess Winnabelle, from the Smart Girl Fairy Tale Series, looks in the mirror every morning and recites, “I am strong, I am smart, I am fancy, I am fierce.”

What an empowering way to start the day for a child!

Princess Winnabelle and the Friendship Pie

I’ve put together a FREE .pdf of how to use positive affirmations with kids, as well as positive affirmation cards that you can print out and hang up.

Bonus, there is one page of blank cards for your child to write their own empowering affirmations.

Go out and raise emotionally resilient kids!

Get a copy of Princess Winnabelle and the Friendship Pie to read along with the activity!

Character Interview: A Chat with Princess Winnabelle from the Smart Girl Fairy Tale Series

Mollie: Was it hard to ask your friends for help when you made a big mistake with the Friendship Pies?

Winnabelle: Oh. You heard about that? Yeah that was a pretty big mess…

This fairy tale interview originally appeared at Check out Mollie’s Magical Tooth to meet Mollie, the interviewer and friend of Princess Winnabelle!


Mollie: Hi Winnabelle!

Or shall I call you Princess Winnabelle? I’ve never met a princess before!

Winnabelle: You’re sweet. Winnabelle is fine.

M: I’m so excited to meet you! Tell me more about your kingdom! Do you have ice cream shops there?

W: Ice Cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream?! We actually make our own with a special recipe. You have to try it!

Anyways, back to the kingdom.

I live in the Land of Five Lagunas. It’s named after the five lakes there: Onyx Lake, Ruby Lake, Diamond Lake, Sapphire Lake, and Emerald Lake. It’s a very fancy place, filled with magic and fun!

M: Do you have a pet?

W: Funny you should ask. I recently got a pet UNICORN named Wish. As you can imagine, it was a challenge to learn how to care for a growing pet! You can read all about it in ‘Princess Winnabelle and the Pet Unicorn’ (releasing Fall 2020).

M: Oh, I love unicorns as well! They brought me to Magic Land when I visited it with Miss Pearlwirl. I’m sure you will have a lot of fun together! Does Wish have a stable or does he sleep in your room with you? I’m not sure how big bedrooms are in a castle!

W: We have a unicorn stable that Wish plays at every afternoon, but at bedtime he loves being near me.

I gave him a bed in my room, but he just outgrew it. I have to save up my allowance to get him a new one. I guess that’s what happens when animals are well cared for – they grow super fast!

M: I’ve heard you’re making friendship pies once a year. This sounds like a lovely idea on how to celebrate friendship! What else do you like to do with your friends?

W: My friends are the best. We do lots of fun stuff together, like sleepovers and talent shows!

As long as they’re around, we always come up with creative ideas so we’re never bored.

M: Was it hard for you to ask your friends for help when you lost track of time and jeopardized the making of the friendship pies? 

Oh, you heard about that? Yeah, that was a pretty big mess.

Thankfully, my friends are always there for me. With their help, I managed to make things right for the Queen. Afterwards we had a picnic, ate pie, and laughed until our bellies hurt!

I think it turned out alright 🙂

M: As a princess, are you nervous to take over the kingdom one day? 

W: Sure, a little. I make mistakes all the time. But every time I make a mistake or try something new, I am better prepared for whatever comes my way.

M: How will you rule your kingdom when it’s your turn? Is there anything you want to change?

W: Actually, the Queen is pretty amazing. She’s fair and kind. I hope I can rule just like her.

Oh wait . . . there is one thing I will change.

When I’m Queen everyone will wear tennis shoes with their fancy clothes!

We’ll be fancy on top, fast on the bottom!

M: You’re a pretty cool princess, I like that you’re smart and strong! I always thought princesses need to follow etiquettes and weren’t allowed to climb on trees or roll down hills. Do you hear this often?

W: Yes! People are always so surprised to meet a princess that doesn’t mind getting dirty and loves solving challenging problems. The Queen often reminds me that she’s preparing me to take over the kingdom one day, and I have a lot to learn.

I learn best by trying things, making mistakes, and improving for next time. But, I ALWAYS have a lot of fun in the process.

M: Thank you so much for spending time with me, Winnabelle! I have a treehouse in our backyard, it’s not as big as a castle but I have all my treasures in it. Wanna see? Let’s go and climb up another tree!

Get your FREE ebook of “Princess Winnabelle And the Friendship Pie” here!

Smart Girl Fairy Tales on Amazon

What to Feed Your Toddler Next: 5 Easy, Healthy Recipes

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took.

As a writer, I sometimes get asked to do fun things like write a guest post for an important site like Kindred Bravely, or read one of my stories to kids in the hospital via a virtual story time. This makes my day.

The Coys

If you have a toddler at home, check out this guest post –

5 Easy Finger Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took. We could even eat some of the same foods. It was messy, but it was exciting.

It would have been easy to just let her live on the snack foods she immediately liked. But I wanted to make sure she was also eating real, nutrient-rich foods that helped her grow. And truth be told, I didn’t want her to grow up like me – a kid who exclusively craves Pop-Tarts and whipped cream and doesn’t eat vegetables until college (only a slight exaggeration).

Continue reading…

The Coys

Parents, How Are Your Emotions Handling this Crisis?

Parents – If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

How are your emotions handling this crisis? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it?!

I’ve thought about it the last few days, and as a parent of two little ones, here’s where I stand…

Obviously, I want this to pass. I want our nations health and economy to be in a better place, I want to move on to making plans and looking forward to the future, I want to wear fewer hats in a single day, and I want to have people over.

On the other hand, I know as soon as all this is over, I’m going to deeply miss it. Specifically, the extra family time, a mostly unhurried pace, and being pushed to try new things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Even in knowing that I’ll miss it, I often get frustrated right now.

My husband and I work full-time and have two young kids in the house – two and four. The house is loud and messy. My husband and I manage work and parenting in two hour blocks, always feeling one step behind in each. All of our plans that we were looking forward to for months are slowly being cancelled. And my four year old reminds me daily that she just wants to play at the park and hug her friends.

I know sweetie. Me too.

And thus, my grumpiness creeps in. This crisis highlights some not-so-pretty traits about myself that I don’t have to face often when life is “normal.”

And my feelings are real and valid, but it doesn’t serve me, or my family, to spend too much time hanging out with my negative attitude.

If we let ourselves think something for too long, it becomes our reality.

So I decided that my brain was in need of a new, more positive, default message. One I could read every day, like a mantra or prayer, to start my emotional responses from a better, more serving, space.

I can’t always control circumstances, but I am in charge of my reactions. If I fill my heart and mind with good, good is more likely to pour out when I’m pressed in uncomfortable situations. So I wrote down the positive thoughts I want to start my day with, and hung them in my home.

If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

Choosing This Moment - Quarentine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

Here is the 8×10 .pdf: Choosing This Moment – Quarantine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

If you’re a parent of young kids and need some reading material, check out these titles.


From Concept to Published, a Princess Story

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

The first story is already published!

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

I can’t believe how that one thing has helped propel me this year. Every day I showed up and wrote something new. Now I’m using those stories to help me determine what to release this year.

The first story is already published!

Princess Winnabelle and the Missing Jewels released last week.


Amazon Book Description:

Perfect for little princesses that believe a hero can be fierce, fun, and fancy!

All is well in the magical Land of Five Lagunas…until a stubborn little mouse moves in.

In this modern fairy tale, the sweet and spunky Princess Winnabelle doesn’t have time to worry if her fancy dress gets dirty. She is busy learning lessons that will make her a leader one day.

When Kya Mouse ruins the peace and tries to take over the throne in the magical Land of the Five Lagunas, Winnabelle gets to practice her creative problem-solving and smart negotiation skills.

The sweetest bedtime story you’ll read all year! Girls 3-8yrs. adore this fairy tale, and parents can’t help but fall for it too.

But will that be enough to save the day?
Is this really a job for a little princess?!

Find out now.
Buy the paperback and start reading the kindle version for FREE!


My plan is to publish three books this year, and I love having a backlog to pick from. Come November, I plan to do this exact challenge again.

Was it hard to show up every day and fit in it? Yes.

I had to get creative. Not just in the writing, but in the ‘how’ of fitting it in.

One day it was over voice memo as I drive back from Vegas.

Anther day it was on a plane while traveling for Thanksgiving.

Some days it was at 6 a.m. before the kids woke,

and many days it was while they were running around shouting at the top of their lungs (one of their favorite activities).

But in thirty days I wrote thirty stories.

And less than six months later, I am holding a printed copy in hand.

#1 new release PWMJ

Want to hear it read out loud? Check it out Here!

Or, you can grab your own copy of Amazon Here🙂 Share it with your Princess tonight.


FREE Kids Activity: Plan your Best Trip Ever using the Five Senses

Extended breaks mean more activities to entertain the kids. Here’s a free video where I read one of my children’s books in its entirety + a fun activity to pass the time

Sometimes you just need something to entertain the kids for a few minutes while you prep dinner or send an email.

Other times you have entire days you need to fill: summer vacation, spring break, illness, weekends, quarantines…you feel me.


I’m sharing a video where I read one of my children’s books in its entirety: Best Trip Ever!

Additionally I’m sharing a free resource to help extend this activity. It’s educational and fun!

After Watching the Video, follow along with the activity below.

I’ve included modifications for different age and learning preferences.

FREE Kids Activity:

Plan your Best Trip Ever using the Five Senses



Opening: You’ve just listened to the story “Best Trip Ever” now let’s plan our own exciting trip! We can do this by thinking about the things we would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear on our adventure. This is called using our five senses.

First let’s brainstorm where we would like to go if you were planning your own Best Trip Ever.

(Jot down a few ideas and pick one)

*For older kids encourage them to choose somewhere they have never been, younger kids will need a point of reference, possibly use somewhere they have been a few times*

Once you know where you would plan a trip, think about what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear while there.

Options (pick one – think of your child and how they like to engage):

  • Ask your child to find an object around the house, or in the yard, that represents what they would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear on their trip – for younger children, walk around with them and focus on one sense at a time
  • Write the five sense down and make a list under each of the things on your trip
  • Write out a story of where you would travel and what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear while there
  • Do the same as above, but leave out where you are traveling to and see if a parent or sibling can guess the location based on your sensory description

For more books and activities to help keep everyone happy and sane during extended breaks, follow my Facebook or Instagram @StoriesbyJKCoy

May the days be filled with making memories

and may the kids *pretty please* sleep in!

Cheers fellow parents.


New Release coming this Spring:

Princess Winnabelle and the Missing Jewels