Childhood, uncomplicated

bubbleMax

As the calendar turned to the new year, I realized that there were some things about simple living I needed to recommit myself to, including living for the “small” moments and being dedicated to giving my children as uncomplicated of a childhood as I can (there will always be complications in life, of course, and bad things happen but I will strive to focus on the joys of childhood).

Some recent events and the results of the reader survey confirmed to me that I was on the right track in thinking smaller and simpler – in my offline life and here at the SK blog.

If you haven’t been to the blog for a little while (I know many of you read the SK posts in a reader) then your visit today might reveal a few changes.  Most of the changes I suspect won’t make much of a difference except to me, but those of you who have been reading Simple Kids for a while might notice a few things are missing and there are a few things that are new.  I’ll be making some more changes here and there as I refine my vision for the online home I have here.

Change can be a very good thing.

Getting back to the basics and the simple joys of childhood.

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Weekend links

sisterssmile

We have had a nice, quiet weekend so far.  The temperatures have taken another dip down, so we haven’t been outdoors as much as we would like to be, but we’ve found plenty to keep us occupied with indoors – like blocks, books, and baby dolls.

pancakeJillianYesterday my husband got up early and surprised our oldest daughter with a daddy/daughter date at the pancake restaurant.  He snapped a picture with his phone and sent it to me so that I could see her smile.

With an almost five year age difference between Jillian and the little kids, it is important to Christopher and I that she gets some one on one time with each of us so that she knows we love her and value her, too (even though it might seem like the louder, less independent younger kids eat up a lot of our attention).

Plus, pancakes twice in one week?  Who wouldn’t love that?

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The Friday Five: my Valentines

familydrawing

One of the things I took away from our Simple Living Media reader survey last month (and there were many take-aways, thank you for your honest comments and constructive criticism) is that I could be more open and share more about my family and my personal mothering journey here on the blog than I have been. 

That’s not always easy for me, discussing the more personal things in public, as I tend not to talk about myself much and am kind of reserved except to my closest friends.  It is part of my INFP make-up, I suppose.

Still, I realized, a bit to my embarrassment, that while I talk about them often here on the blog, I have never actually introduced my family to Simple Kids readers.

So, for today’s Friday Five I hope you’ll indulge me as I want to do something a bit different and share with you my five Valentines – giving them a public declaration of love and letting you get to know me and my family a little bit better.

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Nurturing the creative spark, open ended play, and Kid Made Modern: a Q & A with Todd Oldham

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Those of you who are regular readers know that my kids and I are fans of the Kid Made Modern line of art supplies and creative kits from Target.  The watercolor sets, papers, art kits, decorative tapes, and more are regular players in our home craft supplies line-up.

What some of you might not know is that Kid Made Modern was created by American designer Todd Oldham, whom I’ve been a fan of for a long time.

The story of Kid Made Modern begins with the book by the same name, which was written as a response to the loss of art programs in schools.  From there, the project grew to include a line that “celebrates creativity and fun through inspiration and information.”

I recently got to ask Todd Oldham some questions and I’m pleased to share his answers with you today.  I think you’ll really enjoy getting to know this designer and author a bit better and I know that you’ll appreciate his thoughts on open ended play and nurturing the creative spark in our kids.

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Gifts of Love to Give All Year

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Written by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the web is abuzz with all kinds of brilliant ideas for making the day special for your kids.  You can write them secret love letters requiring spy-grade decoder wheels to translate.  You can send them on a sweet and simple scavanger hunt for a fun surprise.  And you can make a special V-Day breakfast that’s as simple or complex as you like.   All of these are spectacular ideas, and I plan on putting a few of them to work in my own house this week.

But while these celebrations are fun and important, they aren’t nearly as important as the gifts of love we can give our children all year long.  Here are just a few of the most important gifts we can give every day. [Read more...]