Category Archives: Kids

Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books

There is just something so magical about books. The way they can take you on a journey you never imagined or help you learn or make you feel the feels is so amazingly awesome. And children’s books are where it all starts. I’m sure you can remember a beloved book from your childhood. Maybe you had your parents read it over and over. Today, I’m sharing some of our family’s favorite children’s picture books. You may have heard of a few of these before and others may be new to you. So, let’s get started!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

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1. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
This sweet and short little board book, with it’s sing-songy wording, is the perfect quick bedtime story. You can see our copy is pretty banged up due to excessive use!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

2. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Is there anything sweeter than a story about a parent’s unconditional love for their child? I remember my Mom reading this to me as a child with tears streaming down her face and now I read to my kids too (with tears streaming down my face).

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

3. Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
This book is a bunch of fun with a cuddly wombat and her simple adventures. The illustrations are adorable and the story will surely leave you smiling.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

4. Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
We love this book so much! It tells the magical story of how Grandfather Twilight faithfully places the moon in the sky every evening. The images are soft/calming and this one is great for bedtime.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
My personal favorite children’s book with lessons on love and what being “real” really is! This is a timeless story with a beautiful meaning and definitely one that stays with you through the years.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

6. The Magic Rabbit by Annette LeBlanc Cate
This is an amazing story about a magician and his rabbit. A mishap separates the two best friends, but of course there is the perfect happy ending.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

7. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree is such a wonderful book. The story is about unconditional love and learning to give. I really like that this book can open up a discussion with kids about taking and giving.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

8. There’s a Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer
My kids love scary things and I think that this book is partially responsible for that. Reading this to them at a young age helped them to overcome fears of monsters in their bedrooms at night and taught them that just because something seems scary, doesn’t always mean it is.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

9. The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name
We purchased this book for my son for Christmas and it is awesome! It is a totally personalized book for your child. The character in the story goes on an adventure to find his/her name, meeting fun friends along the way. So cute! (Get 15% off of your first book by clicking here.)

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

So, those are some of our favorite children’s picture books. Some of them are classics and others just have that little something that makes them extra special to us!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

Are any of these your favorites too? Or do you have another favorite not listed that you would like to share? We are always on the hunt for new good books and would love any recommendations you may have!

Playroom Storage Makeover

I don’t think I’ve ever shared photos of our playroom before. It is a finished space in our basement that serves as a multi-purpose room (playroom/family room/office/guest room.) The major work horse in the playroom is a huge shelving unit (Expedit from Ikea) which holds all of our games and our son’s small toys in the black bins (Drona). For quite awhile, I’ve wanted to change things up. So, I decided to do a playroom storage makeover, focusing on what we currently have.

Playroom Storage Makeover

There are so many amazing storage solutions for toys available these days. I love these charcoal and ivory rugby bins from the Container store, but at almost $100 for 8 of them, it seemed that I could come up with something similar for our current black bins and save myself some dough.

Playroom Storage Expedit Before

I thought of several different ideas, from covering the bins in fabric to painting stripes, but I just couldn’t commit to any one idea. Then, while perusing Ikea’s website I found black and white stripe place mats (Ljuda) for 1.49 each and decided they would be perfect for the job.

Ljuda Black White Place Mat

After taking the measurements of the bins, I cut one of the place mats to size and used it as a template for the rest of the pieces.

Cutting Ljuda Place Mat

Then, I inserted the cut place mats under the fabric fold at the top of the bins and used hot glue to secure them to the fronts. Super easy.

Hot Glue Place Mat To Drona Box

I love how the stripes add some playfulness to the plain boxes and if for some reason we tire of the contrast, we can just flip the boxes around and they will look just like they used to.

Playroom Drona Storage Makeover

So, what do you think of this simple playroom storage makeover? Do you like all of the stripes or the simplicity of the plain black bins? I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know!

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Clipboard Art Display

Two kids in preschool = lots of artwork. Did we have to get a second refrigerator to display all of those papers? Well, no, but I am glad you asked. We let the kids decide on their favorites and we hang them up on clipboards. Our wall can showcase six projects at once. For all of you that don’t like doing math in your head, that means three projects for each child. Don’t worry, I let my husband do all of my math for me.

This display has been up in our house for a while, pre-blog even. I get so many compliments on it, I decided to share it.

Clipboards 4

First, I took six regular clipboards, primed and painted them black. If I were to do this again, I think I would probably use chalkboard paint. Because, who doesn’t love chalkboard paint?

Clipboards 1
 

Then, I used a black sharpie to get the very top edge that I couldn’t reach with a paint brush.

clipboards 2

Finally, I hung them up on the wall. I know you’re smart, so I won’t insult you any further by explaining how to use a hammer and nails.

Clipboards 3

These clipboards make it so easy to rotate the works of art. This way, the current favorites are always on display. The rest of the pictures get filed away, to be pulled out at future graduation parties and on days when I want to be in denial about my boys growing up too quickly.

Keeping Toddlers Occupied

I am not claiming to be the brilliant person who came up with the genius idea for using a cardboard box as a toy.  Until recently, I had never seen or thought of the idea of giving my kid crayons for coloring inside of a box. Crayons and boxes are two of my son’s favorite things. So combining them together worked like magic. This is such a great way for keeping toddlers occupied.

Step one:
I let my toddler climb into a large, ordinary, cardboard box. (I am not sure why it looks like he doesn’t have feet in this picture, but he does. Two of them.)

box1

 Step two:
He was given a few crayons.

box2

Step three:
I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed my free time.

As expected, he just had the best time playing in there.

box4 

To keep the fun alive, the sides were reinforcement with duct tape.

box5

Crayons in a box is such a simple idea. I just wish I would have found this idea sooner.

If you had a box large enough, do you think adults could have this much fun?