Sail Away with Wooden Boat Puzzle Blocks

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine 

Sail Away with Wooden Boat Puzzle Blocks

When you first hold a set of Grimm’s toys in your hands, you know you’ve got something special. These wooden boat puzzle blocks are perfect for little hands—they’re sturdy in case they get dropped or thrown around, and they’ll last so you can pass them on to the next generation. One morning with these and your little ones will be imagining what life is like out on the sea.

Sail Away with Wooden Boat Puzzle Blocks

And while we’re thinking about traveling and maritime adventures (because it is summer and all), here’s a fun alliteration game to play. It’s similar to games you probably played as a kid, and is great for supporting phonemic awareness, which is an essential pre-reading skill.

You start off with the sentence “If I had a boat, I’d sail to ________ and bring a picnic of ________ and ________, picking up ________ on the way.” Fill in the blanks with a place, some delicious things to eat and the name of a friend, all starting with the same letter of the alphabet. Here’s the first one we did with the letter A, courtesy of Avery.

“If I had a boat, I’d sail to Alaska and bring a picnic of apple slices and animal crackers, picking up Anna on the way.”

Bon voyage!

Sail Away with Wooden Boat Puzzle Blocks Sail Away with Wooden Boat Puzzle Blocks

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.

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod

Post by Rebecca Green of Not So SAHM

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod

Our kiddos were not good sleepers when they were little. So although I tried to remain slightly flexible when parenting, bedtime was one of those areas in which I established a routine and then clung to it for the sake of sleep. Since they’ve been just a few months old, it’s been dinner, bath, books + bed. Nothing complicated, just consistent.

As they’ve gotten older, bath time has become a drawn out ritual. Kane will listen to books on tape in the tub like its his job, constructing elaborate toyscapes as he soaks. Cam likes her bath products and arting in the tub. I let them have at it because it means I get the dinner dishes done before I have to tuck them in (is there anything worse than finally getting your children to sleep and then dragging yourself back to the kitchen to wash the dishes!?). But even as they’ve grown up, they’ve both insisted on keeping their baby bath hooded towels — those super soft, hooded towels you bought when the baby was just the size of a pea. So cute, but so don’t cover their butts anymore.

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Bath SetsBedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Bath SetsBedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Bath Sets

It was time to move on and when they spied the Little Golden Books for Nod collaboration at the Nod Tour Bus’ trip to DC, they begged for the adorable character towels (which, thankfully are generously sized and cover their tushes with insanely cute tails too). Kane picked the Tawny Scrawny Lion set and Cam went straight for the Shy Little Kitten (both happened to pick books that jibe with their personalities). After a recent bath time, they curled up in their jammies, re-donned the adorable towels and we read the accompanying books.

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Shy Little Kitten

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Tawny Scrawny LionBedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Tawny Scrawny Lion

It’s been our routine, at least since Cam got her new big girl bed (you can read all about her new big girl room right here), to alternate reading time between each of their rooms every night. They each pick out a book or two and we curl up to read. They are both beginning readers, so sometimes they help sounds words out and sometimes they just make up a story they see to match the illustrations. Then either their dad or I read a bit as well. Whoever is reading, including their stuffed animals is always a must.

These gift sets would be a fabulous way to help a new parent get that consistency started and, hopefully(!!!!), get their kiddos set on a good path to sleep. Thanks to The Land of Nod for helping keep our bedtime routine a success!!

Bedtime with Little Golden Books for Nod - Tawny Scrawny Lion

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. 

Summer Lawn Games – Multi Uses for Lawn Bowling

Post by Nicki of Little Island Studios

It’s mid-summer, my children’s activities have slowed down, and I thought I over-heard the word “bored” last week. So, I think it’s time to pull out our classic summer lawn games and get out our Inflata-Bowl bowling pins!

Summer Lawn Games for Kids - Lawn Bowling

Here are some ways we played with the pins by using our imagination and thinking outside of the box.

Lawn Bowling Soccer Goals:

  • Place two large bowling pins on one end of the lawn and two on the other end. You don’t want them so far apart where the kids get discouraged, but enough to tire them out!
  • Put the ball in the middle and have one side, usually the youngest, kick off.
  • Have the kids try to kick the ball into opposing goals.
  • Play up to five points/goals and mix up players for the next game to make things fun and fair.

Lawn Bowling In and Out:

  • Place all of your pins in a line approximately three feet apart.
  • Have the kids line up at one end and start kicking the ball in-and-out through the pins, around the last pin, and back again. For an easier approach – have them run the ball in-and-out until  they reach the end of the pins.

The laughing, pins toppling over, and kids getting mixed-up on whether they were in or out, will be enough to make them want to play this game over and over!

Classic Lawn Bowling:

  • Place the pins in a triangle and have the kids throw the ball to roll over the pins and for a fun twist – kick the ball into the pins!

Lawn Bowling Tag A Pin – One of our Favorites from my teen! (this is fun for all ages):

We made colored bracelets for each child using construction paper. We cut the paper into strips and colored them to match each pin’s color – orange, blue, yellow, pink, green, purple – then provided each child a colored bracelet to coordinate with a pin that will be considered their “home base.”

  • Place the pins all around your yard or desired play area.
  • Choose a child to be “it”.
  • The child who is “it” is in charge of tagging someone else.
  • Children can avoid being “it” next if they reach their home base (same color as their bracelet).
  • Once a child is tagged outside of their home base, they are “it.”

Summer Lawn Games for Kids - Lawn Bowling

Happy summer and happy summer lawn games!

Nicki Bradley is the mom behind Little Island Studios, a blog dedicated to family travel, fun, healthy living, eating, yoga, and playroom designing – everything MOM. 

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.

Kids Toys - Carry Home DollHouseKids Toys - Carry Home Dollhouse

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.