My name is Megan (pronounced Meegan) Cooley. I'm a primary teacher, writer, and former newspaper journalist. On this site you will read about "J" (my superhero husband) and our daughters "Bo" (a 13-year-old thespian who keeps us in stitches) and "Magpie" (a 10-year-old lover of animals, music, and baking single-serving cakes in the microwave).
Why is the blog called Penny Carnival?
I've always largely attributed my creativity to Amy, the babysitter who watched my sister and me when we were wee. My parents obviously played a big role in our creativity, too. I remember them helping us grow a small garden in our yard, and we were outside all day playing "school" at St. Claire Park and playing "house" in Tammy Kale's backyard shed next door.
When Amy was in charge, though, she always had an eventful day planned, like trekking us through the nearby forest for an outing she called "Camp Kiddie Joy."
Among the many clever adventures we embarked upon were the penny carnivals she'd hold in our garage. She'd set up 10 or so booths--bean bag tosses, hopscotch, craft making, etc.--then invite all the neighbor kids to ride over on their Big Wheels to take part. Each activity cost--what else?--a penny.
Amy would wear one of my mom's disco scarves on her head and read fortunes from a magic eight ball. What I would give to go back in time and listen, as an adult, to the fortunes she must have told my friends and me.
Thanks, Amy. You could have easily plopped us in front of Sesame Street, but you didn't. May all childhoods be as wonder-full.
Where can I find your craft tutorials?
I'm in the process of moving content from the old Penny Carnival to this site. For now, you can find the old toots there.
Where are the old crafts for kids?
Again, they'll migrate here soon. For now, visit the old Penny Carnival for the kids' crafts.