The Nod Bookmobile is Coming to DC!

Written by Lauren, our fearless marketing events manager

Nod Bookmobile in DC

The #nodtourbus Bookmobile is headed to Washington, D.C. this weekend, and we are very excited to partner up with some awesome local businesses on our stops around the city! Be sure to come join us for books, story time and activities around our nation’s capital. For every Little Golden Book purchased from us, Random House Children’s Books will donate one to Milk + Bookies. Dedicated to promoting the joys of reading and literacy, Milk + Bookies is a charitable organization that provides books to those who can’t afford their own. Come out and see us, and help us spread the joy of reading.

When Lauren isn’t planning ridiculously awesome #nodevents for The Land of Nod, she spends her time putting up with the crazy antics of her English Bulldog, Lola. She also loves searching for treasures in vintage stores and summer antique markets. Due to her previous adventure living in Canada, she has a strong obsession to Hudson Bay stripes, as well as the fine cuisine of poutine (Don’t make her choose between the two…that’s like choosing between Ryan Gosling and Jason Bateman for her!).

Nod Printable Coloring Pages: Earth Day

Nod Fun Pages designed by Michelle Romo

Celebrate Earth Day with this free printable coloring page! You can download it HERE. Share the finished product on Instagram (use hashtag #landofnod) or our Facebook page and we may feature it!

Looking for other Earth Day activities?

Nod Printable Coloring Pages: Earth Day

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.

Tips for Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & BubblesTips for Turning Your Hotel Room into a NurseryWhen the Chicago weather was taking a serious toll and the temperature was still well below freezing, Spiro and I decided we needed a break with our little bae Zelda. With such a short notice, we had no desire to travel anywhere far. Then I had my “Ah-Ha” moment — Staycation time! I had heard amazing reviews about The Langham Hotel in Chicago and knew that was the place for us. Zelda and I already absolutely love tea time there, so I knew an entire weekend would be nothing but bliss.

True to their rave reviews, I wasn’t disappointed! The Langham was so easy and kid-friendly, I couldn’t believe it. The best parts; you don’t have to sacrifice luxury and feel like you are an entire world away from the busy city. We said “Bye-Bye” to distractions for the weekend and then it was just Spiro, me, and the babe.

To ensure it was as relaxing as possible for all parties big and small, here are some tips we followed for turning your hotel room into a nursery.

  1. Bring Your Own Bedding 

    Comfort is everything when it comes to your little one, and that starts with their crib! Most hotels do offer cribs, but when they don’t, its time to bring out your Pack & Play. The Langham Hotel in Chicago had an amazing crib with wheels that I was able to move into any part of my room. Wherever I went, Zelda came right along with me! It’s also best to bring bedding from their crib at home and a favorite sleeping toy with you to keep them comfortable. This is key so your little one has the familiar smell and touch of their own room… It will be as if they never left home!Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Crib Bedding

  2. Utilize a Blanket 

    Always bring a large, thin baby blanket. You can set up a designated play area in the hotel room on the floor with this blanket to house all of your little one’s toys and items they may put in their mouth so they don’t touch the floor. This also designates a known play area and keeps the toys together for easy inventory checks so they don’t end up strewn around the room! Additional plus — easy clean up! (We’ll totally take it!)Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Blanket

  3. Don’t Forget The Pool! 

    Most hotels don’t have children robes or pool toys. A fun pool floaty that packs flat is great and will seamlessly fit into your luggage. Your little one will feel safe and secure at the pool with their own floaty. Don’t forget the cozy baby robe! It can make or break pool time with the little—who will definitely get grumpy when they’re sopping wet in an oversized, adult robe!Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Pool Time

  4. Kid-Friendly Activities 

    Call your hotel in advance and check if they host any kid friendly activities; you could be pleasantly surprised that even the most adult driven locations have amazing children activities! If your little one loves to play tea party, a high tea could be even better! The Langham hosts an amazing, award-winning high tea complete with an entire menu just for kids (and Dr.Seuss book!)Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Activities

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.

DIY ABC Stones

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle DIY ABC Stones

These DIY ABC Stones are the perfect gift for a little one in your life. They make great toys to pack along, younger kids love the colors, and as kids age they can be used to help with letter recognition, spelling and counting. I’m so thrilled with how these turned out, my littles are a bit too young to start learning letters but they love playing with rocks (what kid doesn’t?) and enjoyed showing me all the ‘nice’ rocks they had.

DIY ABC Stones 3

A couple years ago I made some DIY Story Stones for my niece. She brought them to school for show and tell last fall and her teacher decided they needed to have some for her classroom. There’s something about brightly painted rocks that kids just can’t get enough of. And when they encourage learning and creativity? Us parents and teachers love them too!

They could not be simpler to make. Well maybe, if you wanted to get these done in a big hurry, you could find alphabet stickers.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your DIY ABC Stones unique to you:

  • River Rocks (Can be found at many dollar stores)
  • Multi Surface Acrylic Paint (I used Americana Satin paints and they are some of my favorites to use)
  • Several Small Paint Brushes
  • Spray Clear Sealer (I use Rust-Oleum Clear in a Satin Finish)
  • Carrying Case (The one shown is the smallest of the Bon Voyage Suitcase Set)

Here’s how to make DIY ABC Stones:

  1. Start by giving your rocks a good wash with dish soap and hot water. They need to be completely cleaned for the paint to adhere properly. Let them dry overnight if possible.
  2. Then, get creative and paint your alphabet!
  3. It will likely take a couple coats to get a good opacity. Let them dry in between coats. If you try when they are tacky, you will end up peeling off the layer that hasn’t fully dried.
  4. When you’re happy with the way your stones look, let them dry overnight and then mist them with the clear sealer. I tried to skip this step and ended up chipping a couple- so definitely take time to do the sealer!

DIY ABC Stones 1 DIY ABC Stones 41

That’s all there is to it! These DIY ABC Stones would make a great gift for any child (probably stick to age 2 or 3 and up) or for an elementary teacher. My twins are 19 months old and do well with the stones as toys, but they’re not ready for the learning aspect yet. They had the most fun taking them in and out of the suitcase. When they’re ready for letter recognition, we will use them with an ABC book (they love any book). We really love the beautiful pictures in the Big ABC Book by Charley Harper.

DIY ABC Stones 11DIY ABC Stones 54DIY ABC Stones 56

*Storage Pouf is a DIY I made, you can find the directions here.

Colleen is a wife, Mama to 19 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.

Kids Food Face Collages

Post by Rebecca of Not So SAHM

Kids Food Face Collages

Lately, it seems that my kiddos cannot. stop. eating. They’re both going through big growth spurts and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about foods that help us grow healthy and keep tummies full at the same time! Because eating every twenty minutes to constantly avoid a “case of the hangrys” is just not realistic (no matter how many snacks I tote around with us). So I thought it would be fun to do an art project showing you are what you eat: food face collages!

We’d done something similar before at the National Portrait Gallery, and the kids loved it. It’s super easy and really fun to see what the kids come up with. Kane wanted to use groups of fruit and veggies to make an overall abstract portrait of himself “wearing a hat” and using “carrots for [his] curly hair.” Cam decided to use an eggplant as her actual face and show herself eating a bunch of grapes. I even got in on the fun.

To make our food face collages, you’ll need:  

  • Clip art images of fruit and veggies — check your computer’s clip art, look for free art online (like this), or even purchase a set on Etsy
  • Heavyweight black paper (the food really pops against a black background)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Simply let the kids cut out fruit and veggie shapes to create a face, and then glue the shapes onto black paper. I encouraged our kids to plan out their portrait first, but if they want to glue as they design (like Kane did), that’s fine too. Kids Food Face Collages

Kids Food Face CollagesKids Food Face Collages Kids Food Face Collages 15 Kids Food Face Collages 9Kids Food Face Collages 11Kids Food Face Collages 13Kids Food Face Collages 15

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.

The Nod Bookmobile is Hitting the Road

Post by Lauren Baker, our fearless marketing events manager

nod bus

We turned the Nod Tour Bus into a brand-spanking-new bookmobile, packed with tons of our favorite Little Golden Books. We’re heading to a few cities for story time, crafts and more. Come along for the ride on Instagram at #nodtourbus, too!

Where’s the bus going? Check out the full schedule on our website and the cities we’re stopping in below.

  • 4/17 – 4/19: Charlotte
  • 4/24 – 4/26: Washington D.C.
  • 5/1 – 5/3: Philadelphia
  • 5/8 – 5/10: New York City
  • 5/15 – 5/17: Boston
  • 5/22 – 5/24: Pittsburgh
  • 5/30: Chicago

 

When Lauren isn’t planning ridiculously awesome #nodevents for The Land of Nod, she spends her time putting up with the crazy antics of her English Bulldog, Lola. She also loves searching for treasures in vintage stores and summer antique markets. Due to her previous adventure living in Canada, she has a strong obsession to Hudson Bay stripes, as well as the fine cuisine of poutine (Don’t make her choose between the two…that’s like choosing between Ryan Gosling and Jason Bateman for her!).

How to Throw a Kids Party They’ll Actually Love

Post by Kelsey of We Heart Parties

Parties are my love language. I think they are SO fun to throw.

All the desserts and décor and tiny little treat cups and perfect party favors…

But – what matters most is that the guests have FUN. When throwing kids party, it is so important to think beyond the fancy paper lanterns and create fun spaces for them to play.

Après Ski Kids Party

I recently threw an Après Ski themed kids party for my daughter. She’s been skiing twice and loves to hit the slopes like the big kids and adults.

Après Ski Kids Party - Cookies Après Ski Kids Party - Birthday Cake

While the desserts and décor were quite cute, I wanted to make sure the kids had play spaces and games to keep them entertained.

I like to create three separate play spaces, activities or games at a party.

The guests at this Après Ski Party were between the ages of 3-5, so I decided on:

  1. A Warming Hut & Campfire Play Space
  2. A Coloring Table
  3. An Indoor Ski Race

Après Ski Kids Party Après Ski Kids Party Après Ski Kids Party

I’ve always been in love with The Land of Nod’s teepees! Paired with their Plush Campfire Set, it made the perfect “Warming Hut” for chilly little skiers. The kids loved roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire!

The second activity was a coloring table full of snow skiing themed coloring pages. I found all the coloring pages for free online, and the kids spent quite a bit of time here.

Après Ski Kids Party

And finally, we got the kids moving with an indoor ski race course! My daughter’s first ski run was a green called Sweet Pea, so I created the Sweet Pea Race Course.

Each party guest got a turn to slip on cardboard skis and race (shuffle!) around the course.

When they crossed the finish line they were presented with a gold medal.

Après Ski Kids Party - Games

Après Ski Kids Party - Games

These three activities kept the kids entertained throughout the party, and more importantly allowed them to have lots of FUN!

So at your next party – remember to create fun play spaces and activities that kids will love, along with the super cute treats and décor.

All photos by Kyla Coots

Kelsey Graves is the founder of We Heart Parties – a party ideas website. Join the We Heart Parties community by sharing your parties on the site. And follow We Heart Parties on Pinterest and Instagram for daily party inspiration.

Carrot Fries with Lemon Mint Dip

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

Carrot Fries with Lemon Mint Dip

Vegetables and kids? Now, that’s a struggle! Zelda instantly glares at me with her “Not The Veggies” look anytime she thinks some are coming her way. The only way I know how to get some veggies into her diet is to transform them into something else! Knowing how irresistible french fries are, we created these yummy Carrot Fries along with Lemon Mint dip. This light, refreshing dip is one of the best I’ve ever had and makes the perfect dunking addition to these “fries!”

To make the carrot fries you will need:

  • Eggs
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Long carrot sticks
  • Salt and pepper

For the dip, you will need:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped mint
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions for Carrot Fries with Lemon Mint Dip:

  1. Start by mixing all of the dip ingredients together in a bowl until well blended, then cover and let the drip chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Peel your carrots and then cut them down to your desired “fry” size.
  4. Then, separate your egg yolks from the egg whites, keeping the whites in a medium bowl.
  5. In another bowl, pour in your panko.
  6. Start your coating process by dipping the carrots in the egg whites, coating them in panko, and finally, placing them on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake your fries in the over for 20-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and crispy.

Carrot Fries with Lemon Mint Dip

Serve them with the chilled Lemon Mint Dip and you little ones won’t suspect a thing!

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 “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.

Popsicle Dreams – 80’s Inspired Kids Room

Post by Joni of Lay Baby Lay

The 80s are back! The Land of Nod’s new chromatic collection captures the essence of 80’s retro style and updated it with a modern, bright color palette. The mood board below features pieces from the chromatic collection and elsewhere to create a bright and fun 80’s inspired kids room.

Popsicle Dreams - 80's Inspired Kids Room

Marble Pendant Lamp / Cloud Shelf / See Clearly Decals / Heart Pop Icon Light / Tole Sconces / Leaping Alpaca / You’re the Best and the Mostest / Art Journal Lamps / Jenny Lind Kids Bed / Day and Night Print / Watermelon Throw Pillow / Neon Nightstands / Wall Tapestry / Crown Jewel Mirror / Baby Boston / Andersen Dresser / Kitty Nightlight / Jenny Lind Bookshelf / Roller Rink Rug / Sun Throw Pillow / Domino Chair / White Hemisphere Lamp / Lemon Duvet Cover / Day Dream Sheets / Bon Voyage Suitcases

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.

Planning Healthy Meals for Kids (That They’ll Actually Eat)

Post by Adrienne of Susie Makes SupperPlanning Healthy Meals for Kids (That They'll Eat)If your kids are anything like mine, they would be happy with chicken nuggets and pasta for supper every day of their lives. And if you have ever tried to feed a kid like mine homemade macaroni and cheese when he or she is expecting the orange stuff that comes out of a blue box, you know that feeding kids real food can be a challenge.

Here are a few tricks that I use when planning healthy meals for kids:

  1. Rename the dish. My aunt recently told me a story about a casserole that her mom made when my aunt and her brothers were little. The casserole was simple: noodles, ground meat, and tomato sauce. You know the casserole. If it were pasta with sauce and meatballs, each ingredient separately identifiable, the kids probably would have eaten it without complaint. The boys refused to eat this casserole. One day, my aunt’s mom told the boys that they were having cowboy food for supper. She served the same noodle, ground meat, and tomato casserole that her boys had previously refused and that night received rave reviews from her boys. A favorite was born. “Cowboy Food” was regularly requested for supper. Same dish, different name. A little creative license goes a long way and is exactly the way to get your kids to try meatballs with spaghetti squash instead of pasta or homemade macaroni and cheese. Your kids’ favorite story characters or zoo animal or game can provide wonderful inspiration for your next meal’s name.Planning Healthy Meals for Kids - Meatloaf
  1. Make it cute. Truth: anything in the shape of a cupcake or made in miniature is more appetizing to kids. I can’t explain it, I just know it is true. This concept works for homemade macaroni and cheese, tacos, and meatloaf. Using the cupcake technique allows you some creativity with your ingredients. Meatloaf cupcakes? How fun! You can even frost them with mashed potatoes and decorate them with peas. (I’ve actually done this before – without telling my kids what they were eating. The kids not only thought it was hilarious, but ate every bite.)Planning Healthy Meals for Kids - Chicken Nuggets
  2. Let your kids help you make the dish. What’s in chicken nuggets, anyway? A lot of things you probably don’t want to eat if we are talking about the frozen, shaped variety. But your kids can help you make their own chicken nuggets (and shape them, if you have an awful lot of anti-bacterial soap in your kitchen) with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. This trick works well with other classic kid favorites like spaghetti-os and pizza. It also works really well with new dishes like gnocchi and potpies.

Do you have any tips for updating kid favorite meals? Drop a note in the comment section with your favorite tip or requests for future posts about cooking for kids.

Adrienne is a compulsive list-maker with a very busy family and a not very clean house. She’s also a planner and a recovering perfectionist. Adrienne blogs at Susie Makes Supper, where she shows her successes and failures in the kitchen and freely gives advice on all sorts of topics.