November 13th: Weekend Links

peekaboo Photo by Josephers

What has your family created or come across lately that you would like to share with the rest of the Simple Kids community?  Email me and I’ll feature it in an upcoming Showcase!

As you may know, this season brings an abundance of amazing crafting and gifting ideas. The weekend reading links I’ve collected are just a sampling of the incredible ideas I’ve come across in recent weeks:

Simply Practical:

Complete Organizing Solutions: Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
Mom in the City: 10 Ways to Have a Green(er) Thanksgiving
the long thread: handmade GIFT GUIDE 2009
Crunchy Chicken: Buy Hand for the Holidays ideas and links
MotheringDotCommunity Forums: Mothering’s Frugal Gift Ideas Contest

Inspired Projects:

Doodles’ Place: Fall Suncatchers
Mama-Om: The Pace of Things (finger knitting)
Acorn Pies: How to Make Acorn People
Living Locurto: Easy DIY Wall Art for Kids (guest post from Emily of Remodeling This Life)
Playful Learning: Writing Center for a Friend

Do tell! What have you written or read this week that you would like to share with other SK readers?

What We’re Reading: Kisses for Daddy and Fanny

Two reviews of charming books for What We’re Reading Wednesday from our SK review team:

Baby and Toddler

from Catherine (Adventures with Kids)

Kisses for Daddy, by Frances Watts and David Legge

kissesBaby Bear is grumbly, so when Daddy Bear asks him to give mum and dad a big bear kiss and get ready for bed, he says ‘No, no kisses for Daddy’.  But Daddy Bear is not deterred, maybe he can have a koala kiss, or a crocodile kiss, or a bat kiss?  But no, no kisses for daddy.  Will Daddy Bear get a kiss?  You’ll have to read the book to find out!

This book is adorable.  A reminder for parents that a bit of humour can help when there’s a conflict with your child.  A chance for your toddler to read along and practise saying ‘”no” without confrontation.  And an opportunity for a few hugs and kisses as you role play how different animals might kiss their baby.  This book is perfect to read for bedtime on those nights when you’ve had a long day and you’re not sure you want to read stories, because it is sure to put a smile on your face.

Preschool

from Emily (Homespun Light)

fannyFanny by Holly Hobbie is about a crafty little girl who desperately wants a Connie doll. After all, everyone has them. Fanny’s mom, however, is not such a big fan of the dolls. Fanny is upset that she can’t have a Connie, but then she takes matters into her own hands and sews her own doll. When it’s done, Fanny decides it doesn’t look like a Connie after all. Thus, Annabell is created.

Fanny’s friends aren’t so keen on her little creation, and for a bit, Fanny isn’t sure she loves her funny-looking doll, either. At night, Fanny starts to wonder if Annabell is lonely or afraid. She pulls her out of the drawer and snuggles her, feeling how soft and cuddly she is. From then on, they are inseparable.

Readers of the book will enjoy playing with their own paper doll Annabells included with this book!

Simple As That: Creating an Art Wall

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“That’s how you know if it’s art – if it’s good enough to hang on a wall.”
— Louise in Max and Ruby, “Max’s Work of Art”

I think Louise is on to something here.  Don’t we all love to have our best work and most colorful accomplishments put on display for others to enjoy and appreciate?

I am not much of a decorator or designer.  It seems that all of the good design sense in my family went to my sister (the artist).  But one thing I do have in abundance is the the art work created by each of my children.

What began as a quick solution to distract the eye away from the ugly wood paneling featured in our 1930s-era house quickly became a permanent fixture in our home: the art wall.

Sometimes my husband or I will choose some of the week’s best creations to hang on the wall, but more often than not, each of the girls will choose a piece they are particularly proud of and with beaming smiles and much pride affix it to one of (now several) walls of art in our home:

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As you can see, our art wall speaks of simplicity: rather than mattes and frames, we’ve gone with scotch tape. This way the collections can be ever-changing and ever-rotating with very little fuss.  Some of our very favorite pieces have been put away to be framed – someday – but for now we are enjoying the minimalist approach.

Does your home display the artwork of children? Do you hang art on the walls or on the refrigerator? Does it decorate the bedrooms, the main rooms, or the kitchen? I would love to hear about the art walls in your homes!