I believe that introducing kids to chapter books around 5 prepares preschoolers to kindergarten. The key is finding the right chapter books for their age. What I look for is the right combination of illustrations mixed with an engaging storytelling. The stories have to be easy to comprehend and bring educational values. My son and I read four books from this early chapter book series so far. The Greetings from Somewhere series by Harper Paris check all the boxes. Continue Reading
I want to talk today about a spin-off series of the character from our own childhood, Mister Rogers. I discovered Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS Kids during the holiday season. Targeting preschoolers from 2 to 4 years old, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an adorable TV series that teaches toddlers how to deal with their feelings. My son loves it! So do I! Continue Reading
Angry Birds continue to be a popular theme with grade school kids. Elena and Sandy from Style Me Sweet styled a beautiful sweet table for a 6 years old birthday boy.
Kids were presented with an assortment of Angry Birds lollipop cookies, cupcakes and a stunning birthday cake. See more pictures at Amy Butler’s blog.
→ A Healthy Way for Kids to Play with Their Food
photography: Sport Plates by Boguslaw Sliwinski
With less than a month before the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the six Sport Plates that drew and sell Polish designer Boguslaw Sliwinski seem to be ideal to share the spirit of the games at the table. Creating your scene with food is probably easier with his plates than cutting and assembling bento style food.
photography: Transportation Plates by Boguslaw Sliwinski
My little boy would prefer his Transportation series since he enjoys playing with trucks lately. All 6 drawings illustrate one way to transport merchandises. What I like about Boguslaw Sliwinski’s drawings is that the kid can learn stuff at the same time. They can invent their own storyline.
Plus, the game is about eating. I am strict about how kids should behave at the table. My son doesn’t play at the table. I thought him that there is a time for eating and another for playing. Since he loves vegetables, we don’t need to stimulate his appetite. But he enjoys looking at his decorated plates and bowls.
If shipping these plates from Poland seems too cumbersome for you, maybe that you can recycle his idea with your own designs the next time you go to a painting ceramic studio with your kids.
+ via MoCo Loco
This morning I had breakfast with Sophie Manessiez Guinet, the co-founder of minibulles.ca and Les Triplettes and the other panelists to prepare our e-Commerce and women panel at Webcom Montreal in May. On our way back, I walked home with Sophie. So we chatted on our current projects. This is where I learned about her new venture, Les Triplettes.
I wish to introduce their fabric garlands made with Liberty of London textile. Sophie is fond of these fabrics. The Liberty of London is a high quality cotton with delicate patterns. I usually buy my fabric garlands on Etsy but it is good to know that they are some produced in Quebec.
Available in 10 patterns, Les Triplettes garlands will cheer up any playroom.
+ Les Triplettes Garland $36 at Minibulles.ca
Don’t be fooled by what you see at first sight. I was thrilled when I thought that they modernized the rubber duck that is the companion of every child’s bath time. But it is not the case. Duck Harry can’t float! Instead, Icelandic designer Hlynur Atlason created it as a multi-purpose item. Intended usages are a a toothbrush/toothpaste tube holder when you put it on the side, a doorstop or a paperweight. I wonder if we could use it as a bookend.
So, what your verdict? Would you give Duck Harry a chance? Or, are you disappointed, like me, that it can’t float? Having said that, Duck Harry would look great as a doorstep for a nursery or a bathroom.
+ Duck Harry, in yellow or black $28 USD at Kontextür
If cabin fever has your kids climbing the walls, this cool DIY might be just what they need to make it through another six weeks of winter.
Nikkala at the Crafting Chicks embraced her son’s climbing instinct by building an indoor rock climbing wall for their small playroom. All it takes is a sheet of plywood, colorful climbing holds and basic tools to make this afternoon project.
Best of all, the holds can be rearranged to keep things interesting (and challenging) for kids.
Get complete instructions on the Crafting Chicks blog.
We’ve long been inspired by Kim Stoegbauer, designer and founder of The TomKat Studio Etsy shop. Creative, colorful kid’s party goods are her specialty, but she regularly offers gorgeous free printables for holidays and special occasions on her blog.
Recently, Kim’s been collaborating with Pottery Barn Kids, sharing her expertise and providing free downloadable party guides, invitations, DIY décor, and even delish drink and dessert recipes.
We loved her most recent creation, a safari-inspired birthday party that works for any kid who’s obsessed with animals. The party is ideal for outdoors – where kids can run wild –, but it’s easily adapted for inside the house.
The party suite uses a neutral palette of zebra stripes and animal prints, which makes it adaptable for both girls and boys. Maps, elephants, rhinos and other exploration gear are all incorporated in the printable materials – which include invitations, cupcake wrappers, food flags thank you cards and favor bags.
You’ll also find recipes for a decadent chocolate peanut butter cake and instructions for making layered cupcakes in a jar – a sweet send-off for little explorers.
Don’t miss Kim’s other recent collaboration to the Pottery Barn Kids Design Studio: a modern grey and yellow themed baby shower with printables that are easily re-purposed for brides-to-be and spring weddings.
Any parent will tell you that toys, books and gear have a way of taking over the home, and that there’s a constant battle to find clutter-busting solutions.
Small and versatile, this puzzle playhouse by Modern Playhouse was created by industrial designer Svend Nielsen with design-savvy, eco-conscious parents in mind. Made from sustainably-sourced natural maple wood, the playhouse assembles (or disassembles) in less than 10 minutes without any tools, so you can set it up for the day and store it away when kids are on to something else.
And since kids have a style their own, Modern Playhouse offers a couple of other models. Though they won’t disassemble quite as quickly as the Puzzle Playhouse, their Circle Playhouse was a finalist for design in the Play category at the 2011 Dwell Modern World awards.
Though they’re built to last for generations, these well-designed playhouses aren’t for everyone’s budget. Modern Playhouse also offers accessories like playhouse furniture sets and sustainable felt storage options.
+ Puzzle Playhouse from Modern Playhouse, $650
Alpine ski has always been my favorite sport. Ski is a big part of my life during winter. I learned how to ski when I was 2 years and half. My husband is an excellent skier. In fact, he earned lots of points when I saw him skiing for the first time. 🙂
Now that we have a son, we can’t wait to teach Zack how to ski. We are counting the number of winters until he is ready. This is why I am happy to share this great initiative by the Canadian Ski Council. Grade 4’s and 5’s can pick a Snowpass to ski and ride for free. You can fill the form online. Just visit www.snowpass.ca, complete the registration form, upload a photo, proof of age/grade and payment to cover administration and delivery fee. Your child’s very own SnowPass will be mailed straight to your door giving you hundreds of ways to save this season.
I recall when I was young how my mom and I made my Halloween costumes. This was part of the fun and it helped to build the excitement for the big day. The choice of ready-to-wear Halloween costumes has incredibly increased since. Still, we should not overlook the ease to create Halloween costumes for kids.
On Martha Stewart, you will find how your kids can make their own Superhero Cape and T-Shirt. Supplies are felt, sparkly paper, or holographic metallic-effect film to produce the hero icon that you will glue to a long-sleeve t-shirt, polyester satin to make the cape, grosgrain ribbon for decorations, fabric glue and a safety pin.
The hardest part of the DIY Devil Horn project seems to mold the horns out of lightweight air-drying modeling clay. Paint them with acrylic paint and if you like, apply glitter. You then attach the horns to a headband with hot glue.
You will need a couple of hours to realize this gross bag of grocery. Parents who made it commented that it was easy to do. And since the design dated from 2004, there is less chances than another kid show up with the same costume.
A zookeeper costume is not hard to recreate. All you need are khaki clothes, a safari hat, plush toys and a handmade net. You can make the net by putting a netting on a basic strainer that was stripped of its cup. You could glue a couple butterflies inside and outside the net.
Finally, I like the cat burglar costume since it can be done with things that you have at home. Laurie Gelman of the now gone “Cookie” magazine used aluminum paper to fashion the jewelry. You could find big fake jewelry at a local Dollar store or a toy store.