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Archive for kids design

make . Hop Along Theater Finger Puppets [printable]


As promised yesterday, this morning I’m sharing a printable download for Easter finger puppets to go with our mini banners — the acting company in our “Hop Along” Theater! This made for a fun Sunday afternoon with Baby Girl coloring and making the puppets. When we finished, I was told, “I have some good ideas,” for the photos, so today’s post is very sweetly styled by Maggie! I think she did a wonderful job setting a spring scene, and it’s clear she already has that “creative director” tendency. What a joy to see her little ideas blossom! We’re having a pretty fun Easter season blogging together ūüôā


These are pretty easy to make! Just cut along the yellow lines for the base and cut around the figures at whatever level of detail you like. Once they are colored, you can wrap around a test finger and tape — Presto, theater company!








inspired by . Mon Premier Dictionnaire


I picked up this French children’s dictionary at our local library book sale not long ago and found a wonderful collection of whimsical illustrations inside. Mon Premier Dictionnaire was¬†published by The World Publishing Company in 1963. It was a French variation of The Rainbow Dictionary originally published in 1947, and the enchanting¬†illustrations by Joseph Low were adapted¬†for both. I just love them and the stories captured by each¬†little vignettes! I think the circus is my favorite.








collect . childhood card games

I’ve been slowly cleaning out the storage closet in the studio this summer and realizing what a packrat I am! I’ve been finding all manner of art supplies, paper ephemera and cast-offs from various attics that I apparently couldn’t part with. It seems that I come by my packrat-ness naturally, since there are several boxes that have been transported from my parents’ attic. I’ve shared some of the randomness found in “the closet” on Instagram,¬†so you can follow the adventure there. Meanwhile, I came across several¬†sets of vintage¬†playing cards from my 70s childhood, and the illustrations just made me smile. Gotta love Fifi Fluff, Diver Dan, Fickle Frankie and Fly Boy Floyd! Do you remember any of these?






“Go into ORBIT and soar into space
Be lucky — be lively — and win the race”
Aarco Pla-More Creative Cards


Smarty Pants & Other Name Calling [printable]


It’s nearing the end of the first nine weeks of school for my kids, and we’re having a great year so far. Reports will be coming out in a few weeks, and I’m so proud of them no matter how the marks come out. But, at this point in the school year, October’s Fall break is looking better and better, and getting up early each day for reading, writing and arithmetic is getting harder and harder. It’s made me want to give a little extra encouragement to my gang and say, “You can do it!” Kids and grown-ups alike shine when they get an extra vote of confidence. So, a few weeks ago I put together some printable tags to help me do a little name calling… Smarty Pants, Sunshine, Rock Star, etc. They are the perfect way to slip some encouragement into a lunchbox or back pack. And, being called a “Smarty Pants” is just as fun for those OVER eight years old! Click to download, and I hope you enjoy the chance to do some name-calling of your own.


favorite things . Map Keepsakes

I was weeding through my browser bookmarks this week and found the serendipity of a collection staring me in the face. As a graphic designer, I’ve always admired the ability of maps to graphically depict places — places that are often layered with so much more meaning for us than simple lines and symbols. At some point, I’ve bookmarked these three unique approaches to keepsake maps — the kind that hold our hearts near to specific places in a tangible way. Enjoy!

1. Map quilts from Haptic Lab: Their baby and full-size quilts like this one showing New Orleans are available for several major cities, and they also offer the option of custom quilts created from the place of your choosing.

2. Brass map pendant necklaces from Brass and Chain: I love the antique look of this jewelry, and you may choose your own place. I was also smitten by the bracelet option where you can choose six city destinations.

3. Custom map children’s floor maps from Board Stiff: Such a clever idea! Your city or neighborhood map of choice becomes a custom-designed vinyl floor mat ready for all the matchbox cars you can find.

A Birthday Project

This past weekend, we had a fun time with a Pirate birthday party for my 7-year-old. It’s always fun for me to do silly projects for my kiddos, so I thought I would share. I created a mustache-wearing pirate party invitation with a fold-over eye patch and a sucker for an “earring.” I got a “cool” from said 7yo, so I claimed that as a success.

To put the invitation together, I found some black decorative tape with numbers printed on it in my tape jar to create a silly flag on those big, round “bank” suckers. I threaded the stick through slits in the invitation to hold the eye patch flap in place.

I’ve included a generic version of the invitation here that you can print if there is a pirate birthday celebration coming up in your family. Just click the sample instructions below to download a pdf copy. Ahoy Matey!

inspired by . Sarah Jane Studios

Today is my Baby Girl’s 2nd birthday! What a little sweetie she is and in honor of all the joy she’s brought to the small pond world, I decided to introduce you to one of the illustrators I follow who specializes in artwork for or depicting children.

Sarah Jane Studios is simply a wonderland of all things sweet and inspiring for little ones. I really enjoy Sarah’s blog where she shares the little bundles of joy in her own home . And I also enjoy the glimpse it shows into the creative routines and inspiration of this wonderful illustrator. Her Etsy Shop is a delightful source of prints, invitations, printable paper dolls, mailing stickers, embroidery patterns, calendars and more. If you are celebrating a little one, as I am today, you’ll enjoy a look into Sarah’s incredible world.

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