Nod Celebrates the Holidays

Post written by Rachel, our PR & Social Media guru

This holiday season, we created a winter wonderland at our offices. We held a cube decorating contest (Frozen won), hung snowflakes everywhere and held a holiday party for 100 kids – Nod employee kiddos and little ones from Englewood, a community in Chicago that we’ve partnered with for a number of years.

We turned our office into a winter wonderland and are having a holiday party for our Nod family kiddos and children in need. Follow along as we celebrate with cookie decorating, holiday carols and more!IMG_6840IMG_6938 We decorated cookies, made sock snowmen and were treated to a performance by Emerald City Theatre and a sing-a-long from Lauren Hubert.

IMG_6959IMG_6946IMG_7026All the kiddos were able to take a picture with Santa and then each received a present to take home with them. Best of all, we presented a $15,000 check to a church in the community to help them fund their childhood programs.

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Happy holidays from Nod!

Christmas Present Wrapping Party

Post written by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

Christmas Present Wrapping PartyChristmas Present Wrapping Party 2Christmas Present Wrapping Party 3Christmas Present Wrapping Party 4Christmas Present Wrapping Party 5Christmas Present Wrapping Party 6Christmas Present Wrapping Party 7Christmas Present Wrapping Party 8Christmas Present Wrapping Party 9Christmas Present Wrapping Party 10Christmas Present Wrapping Party 11Christmas Present Wrapping Party 12I thought it would be fun to turn this year’s wrapping of Christmas gifts into a Christmas present wrapping party, inspired by one I had seen in an old issue of Real Simple years ago.  These merry garlands and plush friends helped create a festive and jovial atmosphere!  I set up a simple plate of wintry snacks because I knew we would work up an appetite in the midst of all the paper and ribbon frenzy—slivers of gjetost, freeze-dried cranberries, shortbread trees, chocolate creme-filled cookies and Happy Hippos.

Every year, I try to come up with a different theme for our gift wrapping, be it a particular set of colors or patterns.  This year, we went with a color palette of reds and grays.  We used washi tape to embellish our packages, creating simple Christmas motifs and letting Avery and Nate have a go at it with their own designs.  Avery and I knit some chains to tie around a couple of the presents.  Avery wrote gift recipients’ names on card stock using these dual-tip markers and I cut out an outline of each name, creating a unique shape for each.  I liked how using the brush tip of the markers added some nice depth to the letters.  When Avery looks at all of our wrapped parcels, she’ll know that she had a part in the creative process and that her work was valued.

I love how when we look back at photos of this event, it’ll remind us of the things we did together as a family throughout 2014—Nate experimenting with washi tape and different art media, the fun Avery had starting to knit (and how proud she was when got the hang of it!) and her important milestone of learning how to write letters, words and names.  Wondering if this wrapping party will become an annual tradition!

Thanks to The Land of Nod for providing us with inspiration for our wrapping party!

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.

Kids Thanksgiving Day Craft Table

Written by Barbara Rucci of Art Bar Blog

In our family, Thanksgivings are massive. I married into a wild and wonderful Italian family where it’s not unusual for fifty (or more) relatives to gather in one place. My kids love getting together with their cousins. Their football games are legendary, as is the amount of apple pie they can eat!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Art BarEvery year, I set up a Thanksgiving day craft table for anyone who wants to get creative. My idea is always to let the materials invite the kids in, and to have the craft be something that is completely do-able without any adult help (or very little). Oh, and no mess!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - CraftsBeaded Leaf Necklaces Supplies:

  • Pony Beads
  • Wooden beads
  • Yarn
  • Markers (green & pink)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Brushes
  • Glass of water + damp sponge or paper towel
  • Leaf template (download HERE)
  • Hold punch (1/8”)
  • Scotch tape

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf NecklacesDirections for making the necklaces:

  1. Print out the leaf template on watercolor paper. Cut out the circles and punch a hole at the top.
  2. Cut your strings into 28” pieces. Fold the string in half and push the loop through the hole. Bring the ends through the loop and pull tight.
  3. I taped the ends of the string like shoelaces to make them easier to string the beads.

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 1The rest of the necklace making is all up to the kids! Some painted, some used markers. Some beaded first, some didn’t bead at all. Some made just one necklace while another made three! That is the beauty of craft like this one. It is open-ended enough to appeal to all ages. It is simple without any frustration.Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 2 Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 3Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 4

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 5Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 5The Land of Nod markers were a big hit. They have this painterly tip that the kids loved. Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 7So vibrant and colorful. And fun for every age…even the teens!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 11Hopefully, at the end of the day, the kids will leave with a little bit of gratefulness in their hearts for the beauty of nature.

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 12Barbara Rucci is passionate about two things: Kids + Art. As a graphic designer and mom to three whippersnappers, she gets to explore her passions every day. Art Bar Blog is a place where she cultivates her love of beautiful things and creative people, and shares simple tips and ideas to bring art and beauty into our everyday lives.

Family Game Night

Post by Suzanne of Not-So-SAHM

Family Game Night - Don't Let the Blocks Drop

This summer was a whirlwind of travel and adventure. It never seemed like we had time to sit down as a family and catch up. Strangely, now that the school year has started our calendar has calmed down and we have found ourselves home with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon. It has been heavenly.

This past Saturday was unbearably hot and the kids had tired of playing outside so with a little help from our friends at Land of Nod and their Don’t let the Blocks Drop game, we had an awesome family game night.

My kids are obsessed with building blocks so I knew instantly they would be tremendously excited about this game. They were equally excited about making moves that kept the tower standing as they were when the tower came tumbling down. The game is so simple but so fun and was easily enjoyed by my 3 and 6 year old. Fun, fun!

Family Game Night - Don't Let the Blocks Drop 2Planning the first move.

Family Game Night - Don't Let the Blocks Drop 3“I did it!”

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Yummy snacks.Family Game Night - Don't Let the Blocks Drop 5

Eeek, it’s getting really tall!

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Falling, down, down, down…

Family Game Night - Don't Let the Blocks Drop 7All down, what to do now?

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Time to build something new!

Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC.  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. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM