Mirrors | #curatedPSA + #unexpectedtoys

You might have noticed that I use mirrors in all my installs – inside and out. Aesthetically, they are an easy and inexpensive way to make your space feel bigger and brighter. I love adding large mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect light, over desks and work spaces, or hung low to the ground so our small humans can watch themselves play and learn (side note – all kids love looking at themselves in the mirror).

A long or full length mirror is also essential for your dramatic play nook (how else can you admire yourself post dress-ups?).

Outside I often hang mirrors over/around sandboxes and mud kitchens, but you can choose to hang anywhere where you want to add a little more dimension.

You can look to thrift a large (my general go-to) or get something simple like the NISSEDAL mirror from IKEA.

I also love to use small mirrors in play. You can buy acrylic mirror sheets, which are non breakable and make a really lovely play surface – for inside and out (note they will eventually get scratched). I’ve also used smaller square mirror sheets to create mirrored trays for a more portable play surface/display case.

I also keep a couple of table top/hand mirrors with my art cart. They are great when drawing portraits or for adding a new dimension to still life artworks. You can also use the acrylic mirror sheets as a washable canvas.

Heavy Work for Kids

Let’s talk about ‘heavy work’. 💪 Heavy work is any activity that requires you to put pressure on your muscles and joints as they are moving. During yesterday’s playgroup, there was some brilliant heavy work happening as the kids worked together to load up and push a wheelbarrow full of big rocks, which then transitioned to loading up and pulling each other around in a wagon. 🙂

“Heavy work helps your child in more ways than one. Aside from helping your child to feel calm and self-regulate, it also improves clarity and alertness, extends attention span, aids body awareness, and strengthens muscles.” (via Connections Therapy Center)

DIY Toy Picnic Basket | #inspiredbyCPS

We took down our tree today and packed away Christmas, with our eyes and hearts now firmly focused on the promises a new year brings. But before it’s all done and dusted, I had to repost this photo a dear friend shared my way. It’s her niece with the Christmas gift that was inspired by the work and ideas I share here. My friend thrifted the gorgeous picnic basket and all the fun accessories for it, and then topped it off with some cute Melissa and Doug Toys wooden play food. Can you even with how perfect this gift is?! Nothing makes me happier or prouder seeing what I do trickle out into the world in such beautiful inspiring ways. Keep tagging me, sharing your stories, and making my heart so full. And thank you for believing and trusting in me! x x

Felt Pieces | #unexpectedtoys

One of my littlest’s favorite gifts was a packet of stiff 8×12 colorful felt pieces (today’s edition of #unexpectedtoys). He loves to use them as part of his small world and block play, creating different landscapes for his characters to play on. Blue might be a swimming pool or an ocean when placed next to yellow sand. Green works well for grass and a place for the Paw Patrol to use the potty. 😉 Brown is dirt, and when he laid down all the colors it became a trampoline park.

To store when not being played with, I used a file organizer I had on hand and arranged them by color/shade to make it easy to find exactly the piece that’s needed.

Thrifting with kids | #curatedpsa

Dropped my first post-holiday load of things at the thrift store and popped inside to look for some more storage options for a play space I am installing this week. A quick browse turned into the motherlode (most of which was for me 🙈). Lots of retro linens for my boys’ beds, wool blankets for when we sit around the fire, plus a vintage blanket for our bed. Annnnd a few things for play spaces too, which totally justified the trip in the first place. 😉

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Note how at home my boys make themselves there – haha. A little #curatedpsa, I’ve found by saying yes to a toy or some books (always our first stop when we arrive), it makes the whole thrifting with kids things a breeze (and only costs me a couple of dollars – #everyonewins).