Teaching Location DIY

We have this amazing parent at the school where I work who volunteers in one of our kindergarten classrooms on her days off.  And she doesn’t just volunteer in the sense that she’ll make copies, record scores, sort papers, or help run centers…..she’ll create incredible learning activities for kids on her own time and bring them in and donate them to the classroom.

When I saw the set of Russian nesting dolls that she made last spring to help teach kids general location I knew I had to make my own set to use with Georgia and share with all of you.  General location is a tricky thing to understand for young kids.  The idea that we live in a city that is inside a state that is inside a country that is part of a continent that is part of the world is tough.  And kids older than kindergartners have a tough time with this too.

These nesting dolls are a perfect illustration of how this concept works and helps students ‘see’ that a city is smaller than a state.  Here’s what you need to get started:


First:  Paint each of your dolls a different color.  I let Georgia help me with this part.  And it wasn’t the neatest thing to do together–but she loved it.




Second:  Let your dolls dry completely.  I let mine sit for about 24 hours.


Third:  Paint your dolls with the appropriate locations.  I painted Georgia, our house, our city, our state, our country, and the world on mine…..from smallest to largest. I had to employ the help of my very talented mom to paint a few things.



When they’re all done, spray them with a shiny acryllic spray and let them dry.  It won’t take more than an hour for the dolls to dry.



Then, show your kiddo how the dolls fit together and explain to them why each one goes into the next one.  Georgia loves the little one that I painted to look like her and thinks it’s great how perfectly it fits inside her “house.”


And once we went through it a few times it was amazing how a three year old could tell me when I asked her, “We live in Michigan and it’s in the United States, and it’s part of the world.”  She loved telling it to me while she placed each doll inside the next one.  Hands-on learning is fantastic at any age, but especially for the pre-school set who learn best by doing.


Do this!  It’s so much fun and the gratifying feeling that comes with watching your child grasp a tricky concept is a pay-off you deserve as a parent.  Location, location, location…….it’s important!

Post by Maggie Terryn : Mom Colored Glasses

Shared Spaces: Sisterly Love


I love this room! It absolutely takes me back to my own childhood. My big sister is definitely my best friend, and though we do occasionally disagree, we’ve been close our whole lives. In fact, when I was about 9 we moved into a larger house and I got my own bedroom (yeah!), but most nights you could still find me sleeping in my sister’s room, we were (and still are) a bit inseparable.

When designing a bedroom for twins (or siblings very close in age), I think the most important thing to remember is, don’t make them compromise on everything. Even though most nights they may want to push their beds together and gossip all night, it’s likely sometimes they’ll want something just for them.

From a design perspective, see if you can get them to agree on a pretty simple color palette, then let loose a bit and allow them each to bring in elements they enjoy within the confines of that palette. In this example, the bedding set is the inspiration for the color scheme in the space. So, if you can settle on one bedding set that works for both kids, that’s a great place to start.

You’ll notice here that there are two rugs pushed together. Each with a very different aesthetic, but both working because of the golden hues. So, the girls can each express their tastes. Having something like the shelving ledge or bulletin boards allows the girls a space to decorate themselves. We also painted the walls in a soft ombre horizontal stripe, this helps pull together the tonal effect in the room.

By Danielle Kurtz

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet, but all her supplies have a layer of dust on them about 5-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 5 years old?


Orange Pop

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By Sarah Culbertson 

Once upon a time a fashion plate from Seattle met a childrens retailer from Chicago, and it was love at first sight.  After spending a lot of time together at the mall, they both knew it was a perfect match. So Sarah packed up her fabulous Kate Spade suitcase and headed for the Windy City. Where they lived happily ever after, designing and developing textiles for little kiddos everywhere.


Colorful Birthday Supplies – Free Printable

Hi, Abigail here from Paper & Cake. We may just know a thing or two about birthdays, we've been designing printable party decorations since 2008. Paper & Cake offers original themed-party collections that can be download, personalized and printed out – at home.

Whether you are planning Baby's First Birthday or a Sweet 16, from Dinosaurs to Damask, we've got you covered!


Designing this retro striped Birthday Party set for the Land of Nod has us celebrating! Photos of this ultra cool party are featured in this month's catalog as well, we hope they inspire your next birthday bash.

Download free printable partyware for next birthday bash or check out customizable items.


Post by Abigail: Paper and Cake