DIY Toddler Finger Painting Geometric Art

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

DIY Toddler Finger Painting Geometric Art

I’m such an advocate for children creating art – no matter how young. My kids started finger painting when they could sit up (I use a recipe that’s edible) and now that they’re officially toddlers, they’ve graduated to real paint. I love having their artwork in our home, but there’s two of them – and that would mean a lot of paintings on the wall. I was wanting to have some more art in our house when I thought of this idea and I’m so glad that I did.

This toddler finger painting geometric art is made by combining two finger paintings for a big impact. You need to get up close to even realize that it’s made by toddlers.

The first step is getting your toddlers, kids, or babies creating. I like to tape down my paper (this time I used poster boards) and put them in a seat they can’t get out of on their own (save the couches!). Since I wanted two distinct paintings, I gave them each different colors. This time I gave them some paint brushes and then showed them that they could also use their hands. They were really excited when we showed them they could use their hands so I would probably skip the brushes next time.

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I use the tape that the poster boards are taped down with to hang them high on a wall to dry (anything to save the couches, I tell ya!). When they were dry, I used a craft knife on a cutting mat to cut the painted area into 5 cm strips (about 2.5”). I then, using my straight edge, cut my strips into triangles. I cut them on an angle 2.5 cm between the top and bottom lengthways, so my triangles were as tall as they were wide.

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When my triangles were all cut, I took a piece of yardstick cut to 8×10 (the size of my photo frame) and played out the pieces in a geometric pattern, alternating the blue and purple designs. When it was all laid out, I took one piece at a time and adhered it to the paper with double sided tape.

DIY Toddler Finger Painting Geometric Art - Setting DIY Toddler Finger Painting Geometric Art - Finishing

I’m so happy with how it turned out! It adds such a fun pop of color to their bedroom, I’m already dreaming up what other patterns I could create! I’d love to hear if you do art with your children and any tips you might have!

DIY Toddler Finger Painting Geometric Art - Finished Piece

Colleen is a wife, mama to 20 month old twins, and the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle where she shares printable art and hands on tutorials for DIY home decor, parties and gifts. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot- we’re keeping it real on a budget so everyone can join in on the fun. Find her on Pinterest & Instagram.

Pack Your Bags – Kids’ Road Trip Essentials

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

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Summers are nothing if not one long road trip after another.  We’re starting to think about what we would pack Avery and Nate for some of our upcoming trips (or long meals with friends in restaurants or any time they have to be stuck in one place for awhile).  These adorable dog and unicorn backpacks will definitely fuel the excitement for any trip.  Here are some fun little games and activities to include in your kids’ road trip essentials packs:

  • Tic-Tac-Toe — A beautiful and sturdy version of the classic game we know and love, perfect for sharpening those early strategy skills.  This version is wonderful to take along with you!
  • Books — Always a great idea for the road.  Kids will read a good story over and over again.  They get repeated practice sounding out new words or learning to recall and retell the important parts of the story.  Some of our current faves include The Little Train by Lois Lenski, Spring is Here and My Friends by Taro Gomi.  Countablock, by the brilliant duo Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo, is an extremely fun, colorful and tactile counting experience and is one to be flipped through many times over.  It’s a wonderful book for teaching rote counting and naming numbers.
  • Spinny Speller — A toy that plays with sounds in words and helps promote phonemic awareness, an important skill for emerging readers.
  • Wooden Pull-Back Car — Anything with wheels is popular with the younger set.
  • Yarn—Finger crocheting and finger knitting are activities that occupy busy hands for a good long while, and they’re quiet tasks, too!  Older kids can use yarn to play string games like Cat’s Cradle.
  • Sketch book, stickers and multi-ink pen — Blank books with hard covers seem to work best for drawing and doodling while out and about.  What I like about multi-ink pens is that they provide a lot of color options in one pen, so there’s no fumbling around to look for the color that you want in your backpack—they’re all contained in one pen, in your hand.
  • My Road Trip Book A-Z — Take any little notebook and turn it into an alphabetic memoir of your trip.  Children can draw a picture of something they see out their window that begins with each letter of the alphabet.  You can make a book for each trip taken over the summer and start an archive!
  • Sunglasses — an essential for any jaunt!

There are so many ideas for things and activities to bring on a road trip.  It’s good to have a variety of options, so kids can go back and forth between all of them.  Eventually, you find what works for your family.  Happy traveling this summer!

Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending the items this post.

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

DIY Seashell Art

Post by Kim of Beehive Art

DIY Seashell Art

Next time you’re off to the beach, be sure to bring a bag and fill it with seashells. At the studio we always have a table set with watercolors and a basket full of shells to paint. There’s just something magical about painting along the smooth surface and watching the paint absorb into the shell. We also love to collage with colored tissues which is how this project came to be. I like to wash the shells and dry them in the sun before I work with them. While the shells are drying gather your supplies and cover your work surface with newspaper or kraft paper.


Supplies for DIY Seashell Art

  • Seashells
  • Colored tissue papers cut into small pieces
  • Mod podge or white glue
  • Glue brush
  • Typewriter and paper
  • Scissors

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DIY Seashell Art Directions

  1. Brush the glue to your shell and add tissue pieces. You can overlap the pieces, make a pattern or create a specific color combo. Be sure that your pieces of tissue lay flat. You can gently brush a thin layer of glue over the entire surface for a smooth finish.
  2. While the tissue is drying, set up your typewriter with paper. Have fun composing your message… it can be a riddle, a poem or you can tell a story. If you’ve never used a typewriter you’re in for a treat, we can’t get enough of it! IF you don’t have a typewriter a hand printed message is really cool and fun too.
  3. DIY Seashell Art 3DIY Seashell Art 4Cut out your words or you can get fancy and cut out individual letters… just keep track of the tiny pieces! Arrange them as you like on top of the tissue and secure with a teeny dot of glue.
  4. Let your shell message dry completely.
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Kim Poler is queen bee of beehive ART. She lives for inspiring visual expression, explosions of colors, forms and exciting combinations of mixed-media art. She creates, designs art projects, teaches children art and blogs at Beehive Art.

Nod Printable Coloring Page – Vroom Vroom

Nod Fun Pages designed by Michelle Romo

 

Cars, a truck & a bus! What more could a kiddo obsessed with anything-that-moves want?  You can download the free printable coloring page HERE. Share a pic of your little one with the finished product on Instagram (use hashtag #landofnod) or our Facebook page. We may feature it!
Nod Printable Coloring Page - Cars
Michelle Romo is our newest Nod illustrator, she’s a self-taught illustrator and designer fueled by cookies and naps. Her influences include Mid-Century, Japanese and Scandinavian design, along with pretty much anything cute. When she isn’t working she spends her time eating good food, hugging her friends, playing video games and crafting.

PBJ Sushi Roll-Ups

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

PBJ Sushi Roll-Ups

Traditional sandwiches? Boring! We’re shaking up the sandwich game with a fun alternative, PBJ Sushi Roll-Ups! These roll-ups are the perfect size for packing in a bento box and your little one is going to LOVE this customized lunch made especially for them!

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To make the “pbj sushi” you will need:

  • Wheat Bread
  • Grape Jelly
  • Peanut Butter

Start by cutting the crusts off the bread and flattening each slice with a rolling pin. Then, use a knife to spread peanut butter and jelly on each slice. Be careful not to use too much– you don’t want to stuff your roll or things will get messy! Use your fingers to roll up the bread, just as if you rolling up sushi, and then slice into four pieces.

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Place your “pbj sushi” rolls in your kid-friendly bento box and send them off! Those tiny fingers will enjoy a sweet surprise when lunchtime rolls around.

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Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a style expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning” and features more tips and tricks on her website, Corri McFadden. She also recently launched Glitter and Bubbles, a savvy site for modern-day moms looking for inspiration through fashion, décor and food.

Tips for Moving with Kids

Post by Rebecca of Not So SAHM

Tips for Moving with Kids

(goofing on the front porch of our ol’ condo)

Our kids are still fairly young (6 and 5 years-old), but they spent those years growing up in one place — our beloved city condo. My husband and I had been wrestling with the decision to move for a long time, mostly unbeknownst to the kids. So when we sort of randomly found our perfect house, we’d already thought about moving quite a bit. But the kids hadn’t. So they really were not excited about the prospect of moving. And that sort of caught me off guard.

Given that experience and the fact that spring ’tis the season for moving, I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the tips for moving with kids that helped us get through the process. Moving is a TON of work, but also an exciting adventure. I wouldn’t say that we made it through the feat unscathed, but since I’m never. moving. again., here are my tips (and quickly snapped photos from my phone) for you!

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Tips for Moving with Kids — Involve your kids with packing up the old place in a fun and lighthearted way. Moving is an excellent opportunity to get rid of things and our kids really helped in that process. They sorted through their toys — tossing broken things, donating things they’d outgrown, and just generally organizing them. It’s time consuming, but it helped tremendously at the unpacking stage as well — things were already set up to be put away neatly. It meant I had their rooms mostly unpacked before they got home from school on moving day. We also had them do fun things like check the expiration dates on toiletries and medicines, and decorate our moving boxes. Try to emphasize the positive and downplay the fact that you’re likely getting rid of a lot of their stuff.Tips for Moving with Kids - Get them Involved in Packing Tips for Moving with Kids - Get them Involved in Packing 3

Tips for Moving with Kids — If you can, start making memories together in your new home before you move in. The timing doesn’t work for everyone, I know, but we did some work on the new house before moving and made sure the kids spent time there as well. It doesn’t need to be elaborate we found a few family pizza picnic dinners on the floor before moving did the trick. And the kids spent a few trips iPad’ing on the floor while I supervised some of the construction work. It helped get them comfortable and familiar with the new place, which at first seemed a little sterile and hotel’ish because it just wasn’t the source yet of memories for us.image005

Tips for Moving with Kids —  Think of fun things for them to do at the new home during the transition. Our kids were in charge of making sure all the bathrooms had toilet paper, swiffering within an inch of their lives, and counting all windows and stairs in a necessary and very serious inventory of the house. And they loved, loved helping put things together. It really helped them to feel like they were in charge of something related to the moving and got them exploring their new home. Plus, it meant I could put the dishes away without them so helpfully dropping plates.

Tips for Moving with Kids —  Think of fun things for them to do

Tips for Moving with Kids —  Let the kids say goodbye to your old home. I was wary of unnecessarily dramatizing the move, but then I felt like I underestimated their emotions about leaving the only home they’d known. So we spent some time sharing our favorite things about the house and writing thank you letters to it. We left them at the old house and then moved on. I didn’t draw the process out, but it seemed to help them sort of close that loop. Tips for Moving with Kids —  Let them say goodbye

Tips for Moving with Kids —  Involve your kids in planning their new rooms and/or decor for the rest of the new home. It was important to me to give the kids familiar but new rooms when we moved. I was worried that setting up an identical version of their old room would work against me in the transition. Plus, they were more excited about the move once they learned they could help plan their new rooms! Sort of surprisingly, they were also very into helping pick out furniture for the rest of the house… to a point. If you’re planning on furniture shopping with your kids, try to stay flexible and perhaps bend the rules a bit our guys got much more iPad time than they normally would’ve, but they were such good sports! (p.s. stay tuned for their room re-do’s, which we couldn’t have done without help from our buddies at The Land of Nod!)

Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM.

Childhood Wonder

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

I love books that inspire wonder in children.  They are an essential part of every family’s library because wonder is an important element of childhood.  They are good springboards to start interesting discussions, questions and dialogue with young thinking minds and budding imaginations.

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How To, written and illustrated by Julie Morstad, offers playful and curious ways of how to do different things like “how to see the wind” or “how to wash your socks.”  The take-home message of this charming book?  There’s more than one way to get something done and there’s always a fresh and inventive idea out there.  It’s just waiting to be dreamt up!

In When You Were Small,  by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad, Henry’s father tells nightly bedtime stories to his son about when he was small.  Literally small enough to wear a thimble for a hat and have his hair brushed with a toothbrush.

In When I Was Small, also by the same author and illustrator, Henry wonders what his mother was like when she was younger.  “What was it like when you were small?”  She tells him about how when she was small, she slept in a mitten and played jump rope with a piece of yarn.

Poignant, otherworldly and sweet, When I Was Small and When You Were Small will enthrall sleepy-eyed readers at bedtime as they listen and imagine what you, as parents, were like when you were oh so tiny like them.  And you can tell them all sorts of things you did as a kid, your perspective of the world when you were their age and the kinds of things you wondered about, were curious about, imagined, dreamt about and more.  Happy reminiscing and wondering!

Also featured in this post are these colorful boat puzzle blocks.  Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending the items for this post.

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

End of Year Teacher Gifts

 Written by Becca of CAKE. | events + design

End of Year Teacher Gifts
The school year is quickly coming to an end. Here’s a sweet and simple end of year teacher gift to show your favorite teachers some love…

  1. Purchase clear containers
  2. Fill them with gobs of gummy bears
  3. Tie on a pretty ribbon
  4. Download, trim and attach this free printable tag (don’t forget to have your child sign it first)
  5. And you’re done! Now go out and make a teacher’s day.

 If you’d rather go BIG… gift the tags with a giant gummy bear instead!End of Year Teacher Gifts 2

Becca Gorski lives in the SF Bay Area, is a working mother of two, and moonlights as an occasional designer / blogger / celebration maker. You can find her creative ideas at CAKE. and her line of merry happy party printables on Etsy.

A Kids Room at Grandma’s House

Post by Joni of Lay Baby Lay

A Kids Room at Grandma's House

I am so excited to share this room we put together with The Land of Nod for the guest room at my girls’ Nana’s house. We talked with her about doing a little room redo, since she raised two boys, and has now found herself to be a grandmother of three little girls. We spend a good bit of time at their house, and so we began planning a space that would be light, bright, and imaginative, while also meaningful to their family and also hopefully something that will last quite awhile. Of course, Nana and GDaddy’s is already special, but it was fun to tailor something especially for them and the girls. Today, I’m sharing a few tips on how to successfully put together a kids room at Grandma’s house that hopefully the grandparents and kids alike will love and enjoy.

Here is the style board we started with. My goal was to lighten things up, but to use pieces that would transition well over the years.

A Kids Room at Grandma's House

Vintage Tole Chandelier / Vintage Brass Wall Hanging / Invisible House Wall Shelf / Pop Icon Heart Nightlight / Vintage Photo / Little Golden Books Banners / Pink Ukelele / A to Zebra Wall Art / Swiss Dot Sheets / Bon Voyage Suitcases / Mint Larkin Beds / Yellow Book Ledge / Wood Rock Lamp / Shy Little Kitten Quilt / Campaign Nightstand / Leaping Alpaca Poster Decal / Pom Curtains / Vintage Photo / Geo Throw Pillow / Shy Little Kitten Pillow / Mint Bookshelf / Alto Bookcase / White Campaign Dresser / White Hemisphere Lamp / Gold Domino Chairs / Silver Floor Pillow / Walk Softly Rug / Yellow Lattice Bin / Vintage Mirror / Vintage Photo

First, here is a little before and after. Please know I snapped the before pic as we were leaving one weekend, so the girls’ bags are on the beds, and so this is not a completely accurate representation of the before; hopefully, though you can get a sense of how the space changed.

A Kids Room at Grandma's House - Before & After

To start with, we went with a lighter paint color to make the room feel more spacious. Irish Mint by Benjamin Moore is the new color, and it is so happy and calming! I think such a bright color wasn’t something Nana would normally choose, but I’m glad she went out on a limb with me to try something different. I think it’s good to keep in mind that paint colors are such an easy thing to change! It’s never permanent, and it’s always a fun and easy way to refresh a space. We also went with the neutral Walk Softly Rug, which gives the space a little more sophistication and balances out the splashes of pink here and there. It’s also so comfy, like walking on a cloud!

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Mint Twin Larkin Bed / Geo Throw Pillow / Pinstripe Pillow / Shy Little Kitten Quilt / Swiss Dot Sheets

Another great thing to keep in mind when putting together a kids room at Grandma’s house is choosing furniture that will grow as the children grow. I love these twin Larkin beds, and while they do look more juvenile when paired with pink bedding and such, they will look grown up and sophisticated when used with some more simple, solid bedding in the future. The campaign furniture also has a timeless feel, and these beautiful pieces will be applicable even when the girls are teenagers and beyond, or when the grandparents have more grown up guests.

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White Campaign Dresser / Wood Rock Lamp / Mint Metalwork Bookshelf / Yellow Lattice Bin

I also paired the campaign dresser with a vintage round mirror for an eclectic feel, and I can see these details easily lasting years without feeling dated.

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Campaign Nightstand / Heart Nightlight

To make this space feel extra special, I included several photos of the boys when they were little. I pored over Nana’s albums and selected a few that I thought were sweet and that would work well. They are just little snapshots and small slices of childhood but I love how they are such sweet captures of casual, everyday moments. I printed them out large scale, and they have turned into works of art. I also love including little mementos and pieces from their growing up; those books on the nightstand were their grandaddy’s as well as those vintage books over the headboards. I also adore that sweet little heart nightlight! It’s the perfect glow.

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Bon Voyage Suitcase Set

I also love that astronaut statue Chip got at space camp one year, and that little horse from one of his playsets. Several of he and his brother’s childhood toys are scattered throughout the room.

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Saggy Baggy Elephant Banner / Hemisphere Floor Lamp / Alto Bookcase / Gold Domino Lounge Chairs / Ruched Throw Pillows

Nana also has a really great book collection that the girls always love delving into, and she spends lots of time reading to them, so I wanted to make certain there was plenty of book storage. Between the alto bookcase, the mint metalwork bookcase, and the campaign nightstand, there is ample space for a library, and we added the domino lounge chairs for the girls to comfortably browse. I also love how all the books so sweetly tie into the Little Golden Books bedding!

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I also included this little masterpiece by Brigette; it’s the perfect punch of color, and a sweet little handmade piece in the room. This plus the photos of the boys and the childhood mementos add some nostalgia to the room and make it feel special. I love helping the girls feel connected to their heritage and where they came from; it’s so sweet to share stories of our childhood and their grandparents!

Here is one more before and after. I really love the built in desk and shelves!

A Kids Room at Grandma's House - Before & After 2

The girls are perfectly smitten with the room and I think Nana is really happy with it, too. I’m so glad she trusted me enough to let me put this together, and especially thankful to The Land of Nod for working with us on creating the perfect kids room at Grandma’s house.

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Lay Baby Lay started in 2011 shortly after the arrival of my first baby as a place to provide fresh and unique nursery inspiration with a little dose of motherhood experience. This site is my creative outlet and the place where I am able to express all the ideas running around in my head. It is my hope that you will also be inspired to create spaces for your little ones that are full of imagination, color, and delight and maybe find a little encouragement in this crazy but wonderful journey of having babies and watching them grow.

DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace

Post by Christina of Christina Williams Blog

DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace

I’ve got one more last-minute project you can make for a quick Mother’s Day gift. When my grandmother passed away, my sister and I were given a bunch of her old costume jewelry. We’ve saved it knowing we’d use it someday; but I wanted to do something extra special with it because I have a lot of fond memories of dressing up in that jewelry as a kid. For this colorful necklace, I paired some beads from my grandma’s jewelry with some new charms I made with my kids’ fingerprints.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace:

  • Blank stamping charms
  • Heat embossing tool
  • Watermark ink pad
  • Embossing powder
  • Chain
  • Beads (optional)
  • Jewelry tools

Embossing Supplies

Now grab the heat embossing tool, the blank charms, embossing powder and watermark ink. Holler for your kids to come help. Have them smoosh a finger into the ink pad, blot it once on some scrap paper, then put their fingerprint onto the blank charm.

DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace - FingerprintDIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace - Embossing Powder

Pour out a small pile of embossing powder onto some scratch paper, and gently dip the stamped side down into the powder. Tap off the excess powder, and set aside. Take care not to touch the powder on the charm, so the fingerprint stays in tact. Now repeat these steps for each kid or charm you’d like to make.

Once your charms are fingerprinted, use the heat tool to melt the powder. Don’t pick them up yet…they’ll be really hot! While you’re waiting for them to cool, grab your jewelry-making supplies, and start planning your necklace.DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace - FingerprintsDIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace - Fingerprint Necklace

You could do just a simple charm on a chain, without the beads for a more understated look.

But if you have some of Grandma’s old jewelry laying around, now is the time to put it to use! Use a combination of large and small beads, and alternate them with the fingerprint charms. Now, just attach them all to the chain and you’re in business. This is one Mother’s Day gift that is both sentimental and stylish; and I’m bet she’ll wear this new necklace with pride.

DIY Fingerprint Charm Necklace - Mother's Day Necklace

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

And just in time for Mother’s Day, all our Honest to Nod readers can receive 20% off  any order at Paper Source (in stores & online). The offer is valid through May 10th, and the code is MOM20. Terms & conditions apply.*

*This 20% off discount is valid April 21, 2015 through May 10, 2015 and is good toward purchases of regular price and sale items at our stores or online. Discount will become void at 11:59 p.m. on May 10, 2015. Discount may not be used in combination with other discount codes. Discount is not applicable toward past purchases, returned merchandise, special orders, floor samples, Gift Cards, eGift Cards, workshops or employee purchases. Discount is also not applicable toward purchases of third party custom orders (Vera Wang, William Arthur, Elum, Checkerboard). Discount applies to merchandise only and cannot be applied toward shipping and handling charges, taxes or fees. Offer has no cash value, is nontransferable and may not be auctioned or sold. No cash/credit back. Paper Source reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time. Void where prohibited by law.
Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her self-named blog, Christina Williams.