Link love: kid activities

Ahhh, summer. Our mornings are so much more relaxed these days, but there is also so much more time to fill!

Here are some sites to inspire:

photo by Kate from An Everyday Story for Playful Learning

photo by Kate from An Everyday Story for Playful Learning

I’ve linked to Playful Learning before, it’s a wonderful site full of authentic activities your children (and you!) will love to experience together. The page of Activities for Kids has all kinds of fun inspiration – from art activities to well being.

Did you press flowers as a kid? I did and loved finding forgotten flowers as I was reading the books I used to press months later. Here’s a little tutorial to walk you through the process.

photo by Skip to My Lou

photo by Skip to My Lou

Skip to My Lou is a fabulous resource of parenting activities – including tons of great gift ideas for teachers! I love this list of literature based activities, especially this lupine seed packet to partner with a reading of Miss Rumphius.

When the weather is beautiful, we like to move our everyday activities outdoors. The girls love to paint outside and the clean up couldn’t be easier. We love using natural materials for stamping or painting.

This just seems wrong, but the girls got sick this week. Ginger seems through the worst of it, but I’m still constantly worrying about Ruby’s cough. We use many of these home remedies for the girls to help them get through their funk. Fingers crossed they’ll be back to themselves quickly, especially because Grandma and Gramps are here!

Any fun activities or helpful sites you can share?

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Link love: food

I love comforting, soft chocolate chip cookies. I love crispy ripe apples. I love home-grown kale. I love baking for friends and family and I love that this time of year has so many excuses for good food.

I’ve rounded up a handful of my favorite websites; savory and sweet; healthy and indulgent. I’m inspired by these beautiful photos on our gray rainy winter days.

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Honey and Jam‘s photographs are calming and gorgeous. These sweet potato biscuits look like they’ll melt in your mouth.

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Joy the Baker is entertaining as it is delicious. She’s a girl after my own heart, she loves cookies and cake as much as she loves kale.

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Vegetarians unite! 101 Cookbooks is your place for healthy eating. This dish looks just perfect to me (um, with some kale). Her kitchen is so white and clean and calm. I love it.

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I just got a copy of the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook and am excited to cook from it this week. This simple dessert is just what January needs.

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The Kitchn is a catch-all site for people who love to cook and with good design. They have posts about kitchen tools, renovating, and, of course, recipes.

What are your favorite foodie sites?

P.S. What’s up with all my kale references in this post? Guess I’m craving it…I think I’ll go cut some from the garden.

 

Photos all courtesy of the sites they’re linked to.

link love: school edition

Ruby will be going to kindergarten in the fall and she is beyond thrilled about it. Me however, not so much. I have friends scattered all over the country and I don’t know anyone who is happy with the early childhood education situation right now. This goes well beyond the usual “my baby is going to kindergarten” sadness, I haven’t even begun to enter that. We’re all upset about the education (or lack thereof) that will be happening at these kids’ schools.

So…I thought I’d share some schooling inspiration with you. There are positive things happening out there and we need to find them, become motivated them, and push for changes where we see fit.

I need to dig around some more on this website, but I have seen some great ideas on Expeditionary Learning. Have any of you heard of it?

Urban Preschool is a blog devoted to creative early childhood education. I always leave this site ready to open my own little early childhood center (which I would really love to do someday!)

Tom blogs about his life as a preschool teacher at Teacher Tom. Sometimes he gets philosophical about deeper meanings behind his students and sometimes he shares fabulous activities that you can recreate at home. He focuses on creativity and celebrating the individual.

My friend printed canvas shopping bags for Kid Food Matters in Eugene. They work on improving school lunches for the Eugene public schools. It’s a great resource to help work on your own district.

Dancing Sol is a nature-based preschool. They also host nature camps in the summertime. Once again, they inspire us to encourage outdoor education within our own schools or homeschooling days.

Do you have any favorite resources for school improvement or supplementing your child’s education?

link love: home blogs

I love our little home. When I first saw it, I knew I wanted to live in it. John couldn’t go with me when I got to go inside the first time, and I put an offer on the house without him (he had seen the outside and we had talked it over before hand, but still…). I love the Craftsman Bungalow style, there are hardwood floors, a window seat, and a built-in china cabinet. I didn’t really see much beyond that on my first visit.

I remember John asking me what the kitchen counters were like and I had no idea. There was wallpaper in a bedroom and I couldn’t describe it. I was smitten and couldn’t see any of its flaws. We have since remodeled our bathroom and put in an old claw-foot tub, which I looooooove. We’ve made cosmetic changes here and there and made this home our own.

But. There are some things I would change if I could. When we bought the house, Ruby was a tiny baby. Now we have two kids and all their stuff. This house is less than 900 sq. ft. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a small home. It’s way easier to maintain, for one thing. I always know what the girls are up to. And I know this is such a first world problem – this complaining of too little house. I appreciate what we have, but I would love a little more. We have one closet that we all share. Our dining room is also our office, library, art/craft room, and anything else we need it to be.

So I flip through design books and visit blogs and dream of just a little more. Here are a few of my favorite home blogs I enjoy over a cup of tea.

Bloesem Kids is, um, all about kids. There are craft projects, decorating ideas, links, giveaways and it is all beautiful with a modern feeling.

Apartment Therapy has lots of resources for small space living. There are home tours, tips to maximize space, and right now they’re holding their annual small cool contest where readers submit photos and layouts of their small homes.

Design*Sponge has a beautiful site with before and afters, resources, and my favorite, the Biz Ladies column, tips for women who run small businesses.

Decor8 is full of inspiration of all kinds for the home. She’s got something for everyone here and it is all gorgeous.

This post took hours to write, I keep getting lost in the blogs I’m linking to! Go enjoy – and tell me, what are your favorites?

All photos compiled by the blogs. Click on the links or photos to visit.

Link Love: Craft Sites

It’s birthday season in our house. John’s birthday was last week, next month is Ginger’s, and Ruby turns 5 (!) in May. A niece and nephew have spring birthdays too, so I’ve been searching for craft projects for birthday presents. I’m knitting a sweater for John, so he’s been getting pieces of that as part of his gifts. I thought I’d share some of my craft bookmarks that I turn to for ideas.

Petite Purls is a beautiful site full of knitting projects for children. The curated patterns are gorgeous and easy to follow.

The Crafts Dept. is the craft blog on the Martha Stewart site. There is a giant team of crafters behind the blog and the projects, so there’s something for everyone.

Skip to My Lou has recipes, art and craft projects for kids and adults. Lots of goodies!

What are your favorite craft sites?

All photos courtesy of the websites linked.

Link love

I recently read a post on Meet Me at Mike’s about how to grow a book worm. I highly recommend reading this if you have children in your life! There were lots of concrete, fun suggestions about getting kids engaged in books. We are tripping over books in our house and Ruby already has so many books memorized, its amazing. I have loved watching her love of books develop. I burst with pride when I hear her “reading”.

Here are some more links related to parenting that I’ve bookmarked. Any you want to share?

Art/Spring/Easter project: Recycled Yarn Eggs

Nature/Art project: Leaf Printing (picture shown above)

Holiday Crafts for kids on Alpha-Mom

Art project: Recycled Guitar

P.S. I’ve updated the links on my sidebar as well.