Carry Home Dollhouse

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine

Kids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

Welcome to the dollhouse of your dreams! You’ve got four amiable roommates who all share one stylish wardrobe and go shopping together at the farmer’s market every weekend, always coming home with ingredients to make a flaky fruit pie. Or occasionally, a buttermilk chess pie.

Your new digs consist of patterns and prettiness everywhere you look, with adorable surprises under every flap. You’re dreaming…or are you? This lovely plush dollhouse will have little ones happily immersed in its imaginary world. It’s a great tool for pretend play that’s portable, carried from room to room in the house and toted out and about during mornings at the café with mom or on long road trips in the car.

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What stories will your little one come up with about the girls who call this unbelievable dollhouse their home? Here’s the beginning of a story told by Avery.

Lulu and Her Teddy Bear (She named the doll with pink hair “Lulu.”)

“Lulu wanted to make a pie once. And eat it with her teddy bear with some tea. She had to get the ingredients that she needed to make a pie. It was going to be a apple pie. So she got the apples and then she had all the ingredients at home in the pantry that she buyed a long time ago. She always wanted to make a apple pie…”

Anyone want to imagine what happened next? Let’s just say it was a happy ending.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollhouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

Thank you to The Land of Nod for sending us the dollhouse for this post.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollhouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

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

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.

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.

Little Golden Books Story Hour

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine 

Who remembers reading their first Little Golden Book as a kid?  Well, they’re back!   Reading them with your own children will have you waxing nostalgic about your Little Golden Books story times from when you were a kid.  The Poky Little Puppy, The Shy Little KittenThe Little Red Hen and I Can Fly are some of the titles that your little ones will ask to be read over and over again.  Add a cozy nightlight and kids sleeping bag, and you’ve got a sweet new bedtime routine.   Little Golden Books Story HourLittle Golden Books Story HourLittle Golden Books Story Hour Little Golden Books Story HourLittle Golden Books Story HourLittle Golden Books Story HourLittle Golden Books Story Hour

Those lovable Little Golden Books characters have jumped out of their stories and onto an exclusively designed collection with The Land of Nod. Take a moment and check out the Little Golden Books for Nod collection!

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.

TM and (c) 2015 Random House Inc. Under license to Classic Media LLC.