Do you remember last week? I know. What seemed still okay last week seems unthinkable this week. The Coronavirus certainly has impacted our lives quickly! As of today, our Oregon schools are closed until April 1st and honestly, it seems there’s a good chance that period might be extended.
While we’re all adjusting to this new normal and learning what we can do to slow down this virus from spreading, I know many of you are starting to work from home. That’s not always easy to do, especially if we have little ones home from school! Our kids are teenagers now but I remember the wiggly days so well! I’ve been thinking of what I can do to help support families with kids through this uncertain time.
After thinking for a bit, I had an idea! I created the "anti-boredom calendar" for kids a few years ago but decided to give it a thorough make-over in light of social distancing! I believe all the kids activities suggested in this printable follow the current health recommendations but please tell me if I need to correct something.
I’m hoping this small contribution may help your family create some happy memories during this uncertain time. I hope these activities may inspire your family to find some joy playing together and being creative. If you click on the image below, you’ll be able to download this printable for free.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments on how the coronavirus has impacted your family and daily life. How are you and your loved ones doing? What activities has your family been enjoying?
Thank you for reading my blog and following my art journey!
Be sure to hop on my Simple Joys Club list!
You'll receive a cute, complimentary Simple Joys Bucket List printable with pretty floral illustration, just for joining the club!
Happy New Year!
While we’re still finishing up the holiday treats over here and finding bits of New Year’s Eve confetti in the corners of our living room, another major holiday is already sneaking up on us! If your resolution was to be more organized this year (this seems to be the running theme over the years for me!), I’m here to remind you early!
My etsy shop is filled to the brims with Valentine’s Day gifts that won’t add calories to your diet or wilt after just a week.
My wood burned items are lovingly made by hand on Pacific Northwest foraged wood. I also have some upcycled items in the shop, as well as an instant download digital printable for gift tags.
These tags are perfect if you plan on baking cookies to give out, to label kids Valentine’s treats for the classroom, or making DIY handmade gifts this year.
Bonus: I’m continuing to offer free domestic shipping on many, many items!
Here are just a few favorites but please check out my etsy shop to see the whole collection. Don’t forget to join my email list to make your 2019 more joyful with this fun “Simple Joys Bucket List”! Click on the image below to join the club!
How do you plan to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
You can now fill out a bucket list for both of these activities! Maybe I should have been cleaning but I decided it was more fun to create a bucket list printable ABOUT cleaning instead…. and once I made the Clean Home Bucket List, I couldn’t stop so I made another printable for all my creative ideas: the Crafty Bucket List.
Now that both bucket lists are created, it’s time to roll up the sleeves! Want to join me?
Why I like to use a list to get stuff done and organize ideas:
1. When I clearly define what I want to get done on paper, the tasks become more manageable and stop nagging my brain. I stop worrying about forgetting something.
2. I find it so very gratifying to check off items on a list. Seeing the checked off items helps me to feel productive and gives me a sense that I'm making progress.
3. These bucket lists are digital printables so I can print as many copies as I need. Priorities change? No problem! I just print a clean copy!
Do you like to make lists? Are you working on spring cleaning, deep cleaning or decluttering your home? What type of crafts do you like to do? Do you also have many creative ideas all at the same time?
I would love to hear from you in the comments! Thanks!
Be sure to hop on my Simple Joys Club list!
Sign up for a sprinkling of positivity and simple joys in your inbox.
You will receive a cute, complimentary Simple Joys Bucket List printable with pretty floral illustration, just for joining the club!
To share some joy this week, I wanted to let you know that I'm running a giveaway on my instagram page. If your New Year’s resolutions included learning a new language or if January is the perfect time for your family to connect through playing games or reading captivating books, you may want to head over to check it out! I'm giving away one printable of YOUR CHOICE from my etsy shop to two lucky winners (the digital file is only for personal, non-commercial use).
You can read more details about this giveaway on my instagram page but I wanted to make sure you knew about it so you don't miss out! Of course, you can always receive a free gift tag printable just by joining my email club. Check the sidebar of my blog to sign up! Thanks so much!
Well, not THAT type of family planning but the type where you excitedly think of the possibilities of a brand new year! Last year, I created a free worksheet printable to help guide you and your family through the process of daydreaming, writing down your goals and making them concrete with pen and paper. Setting goals is such an important skill to continue to develop for all of us, regardless of our age
This year, I have updated my “family goals” printable for 2018 and I’m even publishing it a week earlier than last year! Hopefully, this means you can use these quiet days leading up to the New Year for reflecting and setting positive goals for yourself, along with your kids! I'm still offering it for free too! Just click on the image and download. If you don't want to miss out on these fun, free gifts, please be sure to hop on my email list.
Thank you for all your support this past year! As my best nine from instagram show, 2017 was a year of reconnecting and appreciating the beauty of nature. I also added nature inspired, handmade gifts to my etsy shop which is an area I would like to put even more focus on for 2018. My illustrations were shipped all over the world, from Australia to France to the UK, through my zazzle shop. So very thankful for each and every one of you who have supported and encouraged my art!
I’m still going through my own reflecting and goal setting for the New Year but I’m hopeful and excited about what 2018 will bring! Happy New Year to all of you!
You don't want to miss out on all the exciting things happening with presentsoflove! Join my email club for a splurge of positivity and celebration of the simple joys!
We have about two more weeks left before summer break starts but I know some parts of the country are already celebrating no homework and no school lunches. Good for you! Our daughter came out of school yesterday telling me that the kids were all hyped up because everyone is so ready for summer. Have I mentioned yet how much respect I have for teachers? You’re almost there, teachers!
During these hectic “end of the school year” days, we definitely look forward to the joys of summer: more time for creativity and art, sleeping in, swimming in lakes, hiking in the woods, unstructured play time and reading awesome books. What is better than laying on a soft picnic blanket under a big tree and “traveling” to whatever part of the world or time period your book takes you?
Whether or not your kid loves to read, reading during summer break is so important regardless. Most American kids get to enjoy being out of school for 2 1/2 months every summer which is a REALLY LONG time not to be practicing their reading skills. As a comparison, I grew up in the Netherlands where kids only get about 6 weeks of summer break. Their summer break really flies by!
So what are you to do when you don’t want your kid to show up back at school this fall feeling behind and frustrated because they are struggling to catch up after summer? I certainly don’t have any professional answers but I am a mom who is passionate about kids and helping them to love reading. That’s why I decided to create a program that would turn summer reading from a chore into a game where kids feel motivated and excited about the rewards they can earn. As a busy mom myself, I wanted to make sure to create a program that is easy to fit in with everything else. Win-win, right?
Want to know more about feeling less frustrated and more relaxed this summer about the whole summer reading thing? Then head on over to my etsy shop to check out this fun reading game and book log to keep track of favorite books. You can come up with your own rewards but to make it extra easy, I have included nine rewards that will make your kid happy and look cool with hand drawn illustrations. This summer reading kit even includes a word search game as a bonus. This is an instant download printable so your child can start playing it and reading right away. Also, you can print however many copies you need during the summer and give each child their own game board to visually keep track of their progress.
Instead of arguing and nagging your child to read this summer break, here are a few more tips to engage with your child in regards to their reading in a positive way:
I would love to hear any other tips you may have found to be helpful in enjoying summer reading with your child. Please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other!
P.S. I really hope you will enjoy the game I created and that it helps you to have a fun summer with your family. For less than a Starbucks latte, you can be their summer reading champion so that your kids won’t fall behind on reading this summer. Your kids’ teachers will thank you!
Super quick post here tonight to let you all know that I created an instant download printable for teacher appreciation week and teacher gifts for the end of the school year. It is available in my etsy shop.
The print has a sweet poem surrounded by a border of red roses to express you are thankful for the education and care teachers give the kids! Easy to print at home or at a local print shop for a meaningful gift. The simple, modern design is suitable and attractive for graduation from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school or college. Busy mom? This is an instant download so perfect for last minute teacher appreciation week and end of school year gifts. Best part is you can print as many as you need so you can include the specials teachers, school counselor, music teacher, art teacher, ESL teacher, and assistant teachers as well!
If you have any stories about a special teacher, please share! Big time thanks to all you teachers!!
There is a little girl I want you to meet. Her name is Cecilia. She is about 6” tall, has a sweet smile and two sassy braids. The coolest thing about her? She is bilingual! I have been working on Cecilia for months and I’m so excited to finally introduce her to you!
Cecilia is a paper dress up doll that comes with a bunch of cute outfits for both winter and summer, all labeled in Spanish and English. I drew all the illustrations by hand before uploading them into a digital, instant download printable. Playing with Cecilia, your child can practice English and Spanish conversation skills talking about the clothing, the seasons or any other fun topic that comes up! Children can color the simple black and white illustrations with pencils, markers or any favorite art supply. Then, they can cut out the shapes and “dress up” the doll in a cute outfit.
Besides using this bilingual printable as a dress up doll activity and coloring page, your child can also cut out the labels for the clothing and see if they can match the label with the correct piece of clothing as a matching game. While kids of all ages may enjoy this activity, I think kids in preschool, kindergarten and elementary school would especially enjoy it.
Since the time my kids were very little, I have always been on the lookout for bilingual kids toys and books. With kids in Spanish immersion school, I wanted to support their education by providing them with fun activities in Spanish because I’m a big believer that learning should be fun and that kids can learn so much through play. The idea for Cecilia was born from my love for kids, language and bilingual education.
The idea for Cecilia was born from my love for kids, language and bilingual education. "
Cecilia, the paper dress up doll, is available as an instant download pdf file printable in my etsy shop so your child or students can play with this learning activity immediately. After purchase, you can print as many copies as you need for your personal use (or classroom use if you are a teacher). You can find more details about Cecilia by clicking here.
I know that we all get busy but would you leave me a comment to let me know what you think of Cecilia? It would make my day!
Thank you so much!
... you can make a difference for a sweet 7 year old girl in my family. You see, just a few months ago, Maddison’s days were filled with gymnastics, attending 2nd grade and playing with her sister and dogs. Then, on November 18th, Maddison was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme Cancer. Glioblastoma is a very rare and difficult to treat cancer. While battling cancer is so extremely challenging already, the family has had to battle with the health insurance company to get coverage for the chemotherapy drugs Maddison’s oncologist has recommended.
Hearing her story really touched my heart. I wanted to help but live too far away to help in a direct way. Because I express my feelings through art, I created a drawing inspired by Maddison and her love for animals and the zoo.
I’m offering this drawing to you as a free printable that you can use as a coloring page for your kids or a decorative print to hang on the wall of your child’s bedroom or baby’s nursery. You can download the pdf file simply by clicking on the image below and print from your home computer or at local print shop.
However, if you choose to download the printable, I ask that you please consider making a donation to Maddison’s gofundme campaign. Maddison is so strong and brave but she could really use a miracle right now. The gofundme campaign will help pay for the overwhelming medical expenses. Any donation will be appreciated! Your donation will bring hope and make a difference.
Thank you so much!
I just added an instant download printable for Valentine's Day cards in my etsy shop. This printable is for an 8 1/2" x 11" page of 9 cute Valentine's Day cards with my polar bears with heart illustration. The illustration shows two polar bears sharing a heart of love. The design works for both kids as well as adults (including teachers!) and is perfect for classroom Valentine parties at school!
You can print from your home computer or at the local print shop so you can print last minute! Just cut the cards along the lines and have your child fill out the "to" and "from" sections! Easy!
These Valentine's Day cards are super affordable as you can print as many as you need.
Click the button below to visit my etsy shop. Thank you for checking it out and sharing the love by liking my post, leaving me a comment or sharing on social media!
Illustrations and nature inspired, handmade art that celebrates simple joys.