I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For An Ice Cream Truck Playhouse!

Written by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

Ice Cream Truck Kids PlayhouseWith the cold weather encroaching and your kids still pining for summer’s frozen treats, this ice cream truck kids playhouse is just the ticket.  Its cheery color palette and vintage flair will brighten up any gray day, and the truck is finished off with the cutest handmade embroidered and patchwork details.  Some of our favorite features are the windows and awnings, and naturally, Avery and Nate love leaning out the window to take a customer’s order.

After a morning of selling their freezy dream treats, Avery and Nate eagerly noshed on ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus, a local business which had its beginnings as a modern-day ice cream truck roaming the streets of LA.  No matter how cold it gets, something tells me Avery and Nate will have ice cream on their minds all winter long!

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Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 5Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 6Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 7Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 8Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 9Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 10Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 11Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 12Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 13Ice Cream Truck Kids Playhouse 14You 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.

Snow Day Salvation

Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod

If you know me, it’s no secret that I really, really, really do not like the winter. As far as I’m concerned there’s really no good reason to be outside once it’s cold and snowy. This poses a problem living here in Chicago, since it seems like it’s winter about 90% of the year. While I’m exaggerating a touch, it really does feel that way, mostly because I live in a tiny house, which I love, with my super fantastic family, whom I adore, but after weeks on end of arctic temperatures and inches upon inches of snow, we all go a little stir crazy.

Which leads me to this, my list of must-have-snow-day-salvation-kid-occupying-so-you-can-read-a-magazine-do-the-dishes-or-just-stop-hearing-the-words-I’m-bored, toys. In other words, great kids snow day activities (or rainy day kids activities, if you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere warm) to keep the kids and their imaginations active without 6 layers of clothes.

Keep the kids active

Kids Snow Day Activities - GamesOne big issue with being cooped up all winter is all that excess energy to burn off. Our doorway bean bag toss is a great way to kill some time, and get a bit of a work out. And, why not swap your hallway runner for a hopscotch mat this winter? Both are games that can be played alone or with as many willing players as you have.

Give their imaginations a workout

Kids Snow Day Activities - ImaginationOur doorway puppet theater and our What’s that Stand For can both keep the kids occupied for quite a while. They can write a story for their play, make tickets, playbills, posters and then there’s the performance. And, the What’s That Stand For can be a market, a lemonade stand, a puppet theater or whatever else they can come up with that day. For the market, they can create price tags and setup a whole shop, and then open it to the public (your family) for some shopping. Both of these toys are a great catalyst to getting their imaginations working overtime.

Encourage solo play

Kids Snow Day Activities - Imagination 2With a playset like our Cottage Dollhouse or Noddingham Castle, kids can play on their own for quite a while. This will encourage them to use their imaginations and get lost in the incredible little worlds they’ll create. My daughter has this dollhouse and spends countless hours decorating and re-decorating, and every toy under 4” lives in her dollhouse from time to time!

Encourage role playing

Kids Snow Day Activities - PlayIn addition to playing in their imaginary worlds, kids also very much want to do what they see their parents doing. That makes role-playing toys perfect. While you’re trying to finish the latest DIY project, keep your little busy with her own workbench. And, if you’re trying to get the baby to take a nap, encourage your son or daughter to put their baby doll down for a nap, too.

Activities for babies

Kids Snow Day Activities - BabiesSpeaking of babies, they can benefit from some exercise, too. A baby gym is the perfect way to entertain your little one while you fix breakfast or fold laundry.

Inspire your budding artist

Kids Snow Day Activities - Arts & CraftsAnd, last, but certainly not least, my absolute favorite way to pass the time during the winter is a good ol’ fashion arts and crafts project. An easel is a great start, but in general, keep lots of craft supplies on hand (glue, pom poms, construction paper, pipe cleaners, paints), put down a drop cloth and let the kids go to town. You’ll be amazed by what they’ll create.

I hope this list helps you and your families not just survive, but actually enjoy the winter months. I know I’m inspired to try to love winter a bit more. Bring on the snow!

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, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.

Shop The Land of Nod for Baby & Kids Toys & Gifts

Nod Family Photo Book – A Blurb Partnership

From our pals at Blurb

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Blurb brings you absolutely everything you need to make your very own one-of-a-kind book. Use our free book-making tools, choose from a range of sizes, papers, and cover types, and get bookstore-quality printing. Make photo albums, custom cookbooks of family recipes, children’s books, and so much more. You can even create ebooks and magazines—and you can publish one copy of your book or thousands.

And that’s just the beginning….

We’re so happy to be partnering with The Land of Nod to bring you gorgeous custom photo book templates. If you’re looking to make a truly thoughtful and original gift for anyone on your list this holiday season, create a custom book with Blurb.

Getting started is easy.

First, go to blurb.com to download BookWright (our book design layout tool).

Next, click www.blurb.com/land-of-nod/how-to to download the Land of Nod template (LandofNodBook2014.blurb), as well as a simple, step-by-step guide to help you get started. You’ll find all of the guidance and inspiration you’ll need in this handy PDF guide.

If you want a little extra help, check out the short video below that walks you through the book-making process.

Just remember, you’ll need to download BookWright before you can start using your Land of Nod templates.

Nod Family Photo Book – A Blurb Partnership from The Land of Nod on Vimeo.

If you’re wondering how the process of making your book looks, check out these photos of the process:

Land of Nod Photo Book - A Blurb Partnership

Land of Nod Photo Book - A Blurb Partnership 2

Have fun and happy book-making!

Post by Blurb.com. Blurb is a self-publishing platform that enables their users to create, self-publish, promote, share, and sell their own print and ebooks. Blurb offers book-making tools catering to diverse digital skills.

Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville

Post by Michelle of Avery and Augustine

Saturday Morning Playtime in PlushvilleIf you’re looking for a quiet playtime activity for your toddler or preschooler for Saturday morning when you want to sleep in just a little longer, or for when they’ve woken up from their afternoon nap and need something to play with while you finish up a few things on your to-do list, the Plushville On the Go Play Set is the perfect thing.

It’s soft and plush (which automatically means no noisy parts) and is a standout in clever and lighthearted design, something we’ve all come to expect from the artists and folks at Nod.  Part of Plushville’s brilliant design is the built-in storage in the play mat for all of the vehicles and buildings.  Definitely a way to make cleanup more fun!

Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 1Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 3Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 4Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 5Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 6Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 7Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 8Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 9Saturday Morning Playtime in Plushville - 10(In the last photos: Avery and Nate having a Godzilla moment.)

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.