The Christmas Guide by The Peaceful Press

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I am a huge fan of anything the The Peaceful Press produces. We have been through their preschool curriculum twice and loved every bit of it both times through. You can read my more thorough review of The Peaceful Preschool here.

We have been on a homeschool hiatus ever since my third child was born in late August. I had plans to start things back up after the holidays, but when I saw this Christmas Guide released I couldn’t help but entertain the idea of starting back a little earlier than planned. When I looked through the preview I just knew it would be the perfect transition from our break to starting fresh in January with a new curriculum and more structure.

Everything The Peaceful Press publishes is exactly that: peaceful. Home education should be life-giving and that is the best way I can describe what the authors of this Christmas Guide must’ve had as their primary goal.

Typically you would read a review of a curriculum after the person has used it, but this is actually a preview because I haven’t used it yet. We will begin December 3rd and finish up the last week of December. I wanted to share it with you all before we started so that if you are looking for something to guide you and your preschool children through the holidays with purpose and peace, you will look no further than this 4-week Christmas Guide.

What I love about it so far:

Christmas-Themed Picture Book List – The Peaceful Press’ book lists are GOLD. They do the dirty work of weeding through the flaky flashy stories and find the treasures of rich living literature that are perfectly age appropriate. I ordered some of the books from thriftbooks.com to begin to build our holiday picture book home library. I reserved others at our local library.

Art Projects – This guide offers simple yet meaningful art projects for you to create with your child such as a hand-sewn felt stocking, a mason jar snow globe, and a popsicle stick snowflake ornament. I can’t wait to see how these all turn out!

Christmas in the Kitchen – The curriculum includes recipes to make with your children throughout the month of December like homemade marshmallows, Christmas stovetop potpourri, and Christmas granola bars.

Poetry and Songs – I love that this curriculum includes traditional Christmas songs to sing with your children as well as themed poetry to recite.

Curriculum Organization – Everything is laid out for you so neatly and ready to go. There are daily grids for what activities to complete as well as supply lists for the week. It truly is an easy, peaceful guide to follow.

Gentle Overview of Concepts – Children will review letters, counting, and exercise their fine motor skills with gentle, child-led activities like making a paper chain, counting jingle bells, and practicing words that rhyme with ‘snow’. The activities are all playful and inviting to young children.

I cannot wait to begin The Peaceful Press’ Christmas Guide on December 3rd! I would love it if you would follow along with us on Instagram. You can purchase the guide here for 20% off using the code ‘cohesivehome’ until December 10th.

Advent Calendar Activity Ideas & Bible Reading Plan

Okay, so before you read this post thinking I am the Advent-pro, I must admit to you first that I have never once participated (and especially planned and led) this tradition. But oh, how Pinterest and Instagram have led me into new and beautiful things. I started seeing all these creative ideas, adorable calendars, and lists galore of things to include in Advent. So with less than a week before December 1st, I scrambled to put this advent calendar together. It is not a finished product, as I know myself too well to know I couldn’t plan an entire month of activities without things changing. I think I have a solid plan though that is simple, meaningful, and fun so I wanted to share!

First off, I turned our dining room chalkboard into a paper sack calendar. My hubby and I made this chalkboard a few months ago, but this could work right on the wall as well. I ordered these mini paper sacks and these mini red clothespins from Amazon. My garland was a Hobby Lobby find a few years ago in the regular greenery section, and I stuck some berries in it to make the red clothespins pop. I just hot glued some twine behind the frame of the chalkboard and strung it across to make my paper sack “clothes lines”.

Next, I made a list of activities I wanted to do with the kids throughout the month of December. I scouted out all the free or inexpensive events happening in our town and included some of those. I also included some activities centered around giving and serving. I wanted to keep them simple. I wanted to have the ability to pick one each morning and pop it in the bag before the kids wake up depending on which one made sense for our schedule, the weather, and let’s be honest, the one I wanted to do that day. I typed them into a table so I could print them on cardstock and cut them into cards to put into the bags. Here is my list of Advent activities:

  1. Make cinnamon applesauce ornaments for the Christmas tree

  2. Drive around with hot cocoa looking at Christmas lights

  3. Help wrap presents

  4. Make gingerbread houses

  5. Get bundled up and go for a wintery hike

  6. Have pancakes with Santa (local event)

  7. Bake cookies to share with neighbors

  8. Make caramel popcorn and watch a Christmas movie

  9. String popcorn and dried oranges for the Christmas tree

  10. Throw a birthday party for Jesus

  11. Go to the train museum to see the Christmas train (local event)

  12. Buy gifts for our cousins at the Dollar store

  13. Go to Holiday storytime at the library

  14. Go see the animals at the live Nativity (local event)

  15. Be in the Christmas play at church

  16. Buy coats for children who don’t have any (local charity)

  17. Draw pictures in Christmas cards for Operation Shoebox

  18. Go to Gingerbread Lane (local event)

  19. Read Christmas stories by the Christmas tree

  20. Walk through the garden to see the Christmas lights (local event)

  21. Pass out candycanes to people on the Greenway (local hiking trail)

  22. Go to the Christmas Village (local event)

  23. Make presents for homemade gift exchange (This is an extended family tradition)

  24. Go to Grammy’s house and open presents (Christmas Eve)

  25. Go to Auntie’s house for Christmas dinner (Christmas Day)

I decided I wanted to add a biblical emphasis to our advent and we LOVE The Jesus Storybook Bible, so when I stumbled across their Advent Reading plan I was thrilled. You can see the plan and download the cards I used for free here. I printed them double-sided on cardstock, cut them out, laminated them, and put them in the bags with the activity cards. I have a feeling we will be using these again so I wanted them to last.

That’s it! My plan is to open the bag in the morning during our “Together Time” and read the activity for the day and the correlating Bible story. Then, we will sometimes do a simple ornament craft that represents the story we read and we will put them on our Christmas tree. Keep an eye out on my Instagram to see our activities and crafts in action!

Our Homeschool Preschool Daily Rhythm (updated)

Recently, I took a step back from schooling and took some time to read, pray about, and discover more of what I believe is important in these early years. Out of my discoveries I felt the need to shift some of our routines, taking things out and adding new things into our daily rhythm. I derived most of these changes from things I learned studying Charlotte Mason’s philosophies. In a nutshell, I felt we needed more margin in our days for outdoor time, a heavier emphasis on habit training, and more spiritual truth being taught in a natural way. I was thrilled to walk away from all of this research to find that the current curriculum I have been using, The Peaceful Preschool, lines up very well with the direction I hope to continue to go in home educating.

I am a huge believer that every family dynamic is unique and that each family has to discover what works for their household as a whole. A family’s rhythm with infants or older children will look different than a family with only preschoolers in the house. I also have experienced that nothing is set in stone. There is always room for shifting as your family’s needs and interests change. So I share our current daily rhythm only as a starting point to get you thinking about what would work best in your home. I am strongly passionate about giving children structure, as well as room to explore and play with no strings attached. We say “no” a lot and have zero regrets about that.

I wanted to share with you our entire weekday schedule, not just the school part because I want you to see it in light of the big picture. This is our Monday-Friday schedule, as weekends usually start the same with breakfast and morning chores and then take on a life of their own with outings and family time.

Here is a look into our daily rhythm. Scroll down to read each section in more detail.

7 – 8:30am Morning Routine

8:30 – 9am Morning Chores

9 – 9:45am Together Time

9:45 – 11am Table Time

11am – 1pm Outing / Outdoor Play

1 – 3:30pm Lunch / Rest Time

3:30 – 5pm Free Play / Poetry Tea Time

5 – 7:30pm Dinner / Nighttime Routine

7:30pm Children’s Bed Time

Now I will go into detail about each segment of our day.

MORNING ROUTINE

I am usually up by 6am to have some time in silence with my coffee and Bible before the day gets crazy. Between 7-7:30am the children are usually awake and hungry! They immediately jump in to help me make breakfast. When they are finished eating they clear their dishes and are free to play until I call them back for Morning Chores. During this time I start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher and load it from breakfast, and get dressed.

MORNING CHORES

On our big chalkboard in the main area of the house, I write a short list of chores for the morning that we will all do together. “Get Dressed” is the only one that is always there. I add in different ones each day according to what needs to be done or a skill I want them to learn. Some other examples are wash windows, feed the pet fish, and sort laundry. All of these chores are done together at this point. We check off each chore and celebrate as they are accomplished.

TOGETHER TIME

If you are familiar with Charlotte Mason, you have probably heard of having a “Morning Basket”. This is that morning basket time for us. We gather in the living room on the floor or outside on the porch if the weather is lovely. We start with prayer, inviting God to come into our day and to open our minds to learn and understand. We thank Him for anything that comes to mind and pray for any needs going on around us. Then we sing a few songs from our music class, some nursery rhymes, or bible songs. Usually these include hand and body motions, visuals, and/or instruments and rhythm sticks. Next I read or review the Bible story for the week and we practice our memory verse with sign language. Then I read 3-5 books from our preschool curriculum or from Read Aloud Revival’s monthly booklist.

TABLE TIME

We all move from the living room to the dining room table, and the kids eat a snack while I gather supplies for our table activities. These activities are from The Peaceful Preschool and ones I have found on my own on Pinterest that correlate with the season or our current bible lesson. It usually includes a handicraft project or sensory activity. These activities are all set up as invitations with nothing formally instructed.

OUTING / OUTDOOR PLAY

This is the part of our day that we make mudpies, take a hike on a trail, or have a picnic. Often we have playdates with friends at our home or meet up at a playground. One day a week during this time we attend a family-style music class and another day every week we attend storytime at our local library.

LUNCH / REST TIME

We often pack a picnic lunch for our morning adventure or eat outside if it is a nice day. Around 1:30pm Titus and Josie go into their rooms for Rest Time. They rarely nap, but they play in their rooms until around 3:30pm. My son (4.5 years old) is allowed to keep his light on and listen to music or audiobooks. My daughter (3 years old) has the light off and ends up napping a couple times a week. During this time, I clean up from the morning, do additional household chores, and rest.

FREE PLAY / POETRY TEA TIME

Once or twice a week I set up tea time at the dining room table when they come out from resting. We have some treats and tea (or coffee or juice) and I read from a poetry book for 15-20 minutes. Other days this gets scratched and they head outside to the backyard as soon as they come out of their rooms. We have a trampoline, slide, swings, and a pots-and-pans drum circle. Usually you can find them playing with sticks, mud, and rocks. Sometimes they want to stay inside and play or do arts and crafts. We don’t have a lot of toys, but I’ve listed some of our favorite toys for open-ended play. We also have basic arts and crafts supplies out for them to use anytime they would like.

DINNER / NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

I usually bring the kids in around 5 and allow them to watch a show while I prep dinner. They currently like TumbleLeaf on Amazon Prime. After dinner, my husband usually bathes them while I clean up and then we all play or read books together in the living room. Sometimes I have them help straighten up their bedrooms if they got messy during rest time. They go to bed around 7 or 7:30, depending on how worn out they are and if they napped or not.

Our days are both full and calm. It took a lot of trial and error to get to this place, and my hope for you is that you can glean from this to create the rhythm that suits your family’s unique needs and desires!

5 Tips to Boost Your Toddler's Language

OUR BACKGROUND

When my first child was born, he failed his newborn hearing screening. The test administrator acted very nonchalant about the results and said that failing is very common in babies born cesarean because the fluid doesn’t get naturally squeezed out through the birth canal. We brought our son home, and everything seemed normal in regards to his hearing. Titus woke up to loud noises, turned his head to sound, and was comforted by my voice. He loved being sang to and got startled if something was too loud. The follow-up hearing screening a few weeks later was a huge ordeal. The baby had to be completely still for two hours during the test, and if there was too much movement, then the entire test would be considered a fail.Titus failed that screening as well, but once again they said it was likely due to the fluid from birth or because he moved too much. The doctors suggested that we take him to an ENT. Month after month, appointment after appointment, back and forth from the audiologist to the ENT, we got no clear answers. We ended up dropping it because Titus was responding to sound and we were tired of the dead-end appointments.

Fast forward to when Titus was 18 months old. He babbled and responded to noise like every other child his age, but we started noticing that he would hold toys that made noise up to one ear. We wondered if there was fluid in just one ear or an ear infection, so we went back to the ENT. Another four months of appointments back and forth, we finally got answers when Titus was 22 months old. He was diagnosed with sensorineural moderate bilateral hearing loss. In a nutshell, this means that there is a disconnect between the sound that comes into his ears and his brain. I was shocked. The reason he responded to sound is because he does not have complete hearing loss. Without amplification (hearing aids) he is unable to hear all the pitches of all the speech sounds, and in turn not given the ability to speak correctly.

When Titus was 18 months old and we were going to all these appointments, I had also just delivered my second baby, Josie Mae. She also failed her newborn hearing screening. We were told the same thing as we did with Titus at the hospital, but this time around we were much more aggressive. I was recovering from a second cesarean, managing a newborn and a toddler, and dragging my children to weekly appointments to figure out what was going on; it was the craziest season of my life. Thankfully, Josie had no signs of fluid and was a better sleeper than Titus during the retest. As a result, we were able to get her diagnosis early on. She was diagnosed with a slightly more mild loss than Titus. When we got her diagnosis I was shocked once again. Neither my husband nor I have any history of hearing loss in our family, nor did I personally know one person with hearing aids. Now I was being told that both of my babies needed hearing aids and that it was very likely that any future children we planned on having would have hearing loss too.

Since Titus didn’t get his hearing aids until he was just over two years old, and up until that point he was unable to hear all of the speech sounds, he had zero words until the week he got his hearing aids. In that first week he said three words! We couldn’t believe it. Since then he has caught up a lot, but he is still behind his peers in both receptive and expressive language. Along with going to an auditory-verbal therapist weekly, we work very hard to encourage his language at home, which is a huge focus of our homeschooling. I have learned so much sitting under some of the best therapists, devouring blogs and books, and learning from experience with my son. These tips are great to boost any toddler’s language, but especially for those struggling with speech delay.

1. SLOW DOWN

In our culture, we are so used to living, thinking, and talking fast-paced. If we have a desire for something, we want it met instantly. Even though the toys, entertainment, and calendars in our culture are go-go-go, that doesn’t mean that our children’s brains have the ability to be. So slow down. Talk slowly to your child about everything you or they are doing and seeing. It’s ok that they don’t understand yet, just keep talking. Get down on their level and look at their face. Encourage them to look at yours. Bring the item you are talking about up to your face when you say what it is. This encourages them to look at your mouth pronouncing the word. Pause and wait for them to respond, in whatever way they know how, instead of speaking for them and rushing to the next thing.

2. PLAY

This seems obvious, but sadly, unless we are intentional, we can look back on a day or a week and realize we didn’t play WITH our children. Sure, they were kept busy, but we didn’t actually get down on the floor and make the cow say “moo” as we walked it into the barn or the train go “choo-choo” around the tracks. How else will they learn? Assign speech sounds to toys and consistently play with your child using them. For example, we said “ahhhh” for airplanes in our house so Titus could work on that sound. He just thought we’re playing, but there was a method behind it. Tell your child over and over what they’re doing as they do it. It seems unnatural, but that is how they will be introduced to new vocabulary. Model something with a word attached to it and encourage your child to follow suite. For example, when playing with blocks, go sit beside your child and say “I see you stacking the blocks up high. Up, up, up go the blocks” Say the word “up” every time you put a new block on the tower, then hand one to your child and say “up” as he stacks it on. See if he will continue the pattern.

3. SING, SING, SING

Start with simple songs about things that interest your child. Sing them everyday, multiple times a day and do hand motions if they have some. If they don’t, make some up. Some of our favorites when they were really little were “The Wheels on the Bus”, “Five Little Monkeys”, and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. Once you can tell your child recognizes the song when you sing it, pause at different points of the song and look at your child, encouraging them to fill in the blank. Make up songs about things they do everyday, like getting into their highchair, washing their hands, or waking up in the morning. We have a song about eating mac-and-cheese and it was during that song that Titus mastered the “ch” sound for the first time.

4. CLEAR OUT DISTRACTIONS

Our homes can be so noisy – the random toy going off in the bedroom, the dishwasher running, and the tv on in the other room. Hearing and speaking go hand-in-hand, so help your child by clearing out the noise. They need to hear you clearly to understand you and to develop their speech properly. Go more natural with open-ended toys or at the least, take all the batteries out of their toys to encourage them to be the ones making the noises. You want to hear your child’s voice making the firetruck siren, not the plastic toy making it for them. Here is my list of must-have open ended toys.

5. READ, AND THEN READ SOME MORE.

You knew I couldn’t write a post on this topic without including reading. Find books on topics your child is interested in. Make good use of your local library. Go to weekly storytime and come home with loads of books. Keep books available in every room of the house for your child to easily access. Say yes to one more story! We have a designated reading chair that can fit one adult and both kids. I try to be mindful to read to them, fully focused and in a quiet environment, multiple times a day, every single day. Pause when you read to allow for questions and discussion if your child is speaking. Even if they aren’t, ask questions and discuss aloud thoughts about the story to your child. It is amazing to see the language structures and vocabulary that kids pick up on just by being read to.

All of the tips shared have one thing in common: a parent’s presence. I have seen so much growth just by slowing down, quieting our space, and intentionally engaging our children. I would love to hear what other strategies you have used in your homes for language development.

Books to Prepare Toddlers for a New Baby

**Hey everyone, Lyndsey here! I wanted to introduce you to an integral woman behind the scenes here at Treehouse Schoolhouse. You may not know it, but my sister-in-law, Gabby, has been working alongside me doing all of the graphic design, website maintenance, and printable content. I am so excited to introduce you to her and to hear from her on the blog today, as she shares from a different place in life than I am.**

My husband and I currently have a 22-month old daughter, Emilia, and we are thrilled to be expecting our second child in December! Emmy is getting to an age where she notices babies in public and loves playing with baby dolls. So, I figured she’s old enough to begin to understand the new baby on the way. I scoured the internet for books to help explain the big changes coming.

I found a great collection of books that start by explaining mama’s growing belly, show her what to expect when the new baby comes home, and get her excited about becoming a Big Sister!

Here are some of our favorites:

Waiting for Baby, Rachel Fuller

This book does an excellent job explaining the changes happening to mom as her belly grows. There’s even a page where mom is shown sleeping on the couch while Dad serves dinner – ha how true to life is that! It also shows what happens when Mommy and Daddy leave for the hospital. I love that the pictures aren’t gender specific, so you can easily read this book with a big sister or brother.

My New Baby, Rachel Fuller

First time siblings are in for some big changes when the new baby comes, and this book helps prepare them. The pictures show mommy nursing the baby almost constantly, and encourages older siblings to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. This is by far Emmy’s favorite book, as we replace the pronouns in the book with her name. I say, “Look Emmy is holding the new baby!” and she begs me to read it again and again.

I am a Big Sister, Caroline Jayne Church (also available in I am a Big Brother)

I imagine this book will be especially helpful once the new baby comes or for older children. It really gets older siblings excited about taking on new responsibilities in the house by fetching diapers and helping with bath time. It makes my heart melt just imagining my two little ones growing up together.

We’ve also been doing lots of role play with Emmy’s baby dolls practicing rocking, nursing, and changing the baby. Emmy now wants to kiss the baby in mama’s belly every night before bed and even includes him in her nightly prayers.

I hope you find these ideas helpful if you have another child on the way. What are some other books you’ve found helpful to explain new siblings?

Curriculum Review: The Peaceful Preschool

We have been using The Peaceful Preschool curriculum now for about 4 months, so I thought I would pause here and give an honest review so far for those considering it or who may be starting it this Fall. If you’re not familiar, The Peaceful Preschool is a simple to follow and beautifully laid out preschool curriculum that brings you through the alphabet, with a weekly plan for each letter in addition to a book list. The curriculum also includes activities for fine motor skills, counting skills, practical life skills, large motor skills, and art skills.

I personally wanted to stretch the curriculum to a year, so I extend each letter unit to two weeks instead of one. For the first week of each letter, I follow The Peaceful Preschool’s themes, suggested books, and most of the activities. For the second week, I choose another theme and books that correlate with the letter that were not covered in the first week. I develop these lessons almost purely from Pinterest. You can follow my Pinterest account here.

So far, I have been very impressed with The Peaceful Preschool. Here are my favorite things about the curriculum:

The lesson prep is simple. Besides gathering library books, a few supplies, and looking over the lesson for the day, the prep is minimal. This is perfect for those who have older children or lead busy lives. It also sets you up to add more to it if you wanted to without killing yourself on the planning side.

The materials are basic. The activities often require minimal to no supplies that you wouldn’t already have around the house. And if an activity requires something you don’t have, there are so many options that it’s not a big deal to skip an activity.

It sets you up to incorporate schooling into everyday life.I love that so many of the lesson activities are things like “bake a pie together” or “practice climbing a tree”. Facilitating connection and a love for learning in daily activities is vitally important at this early age.

The booklist is excellent. Tried and true book suggestions for each letter of the alphabet from mamas who have gone ahead of me in homeschooling is invaluable. They have chosen books that are creative, beautifully illustrated, and full of life. There is also a good range of comprehension levels in the list, which I have found useful in schooling a younger and older preschooler at the same time.

You gain a community support group. There is a private Facebook group for anyone who has purchased The Peaceful Preschool or their kindergarten curriculum, The Playful Pioneers. I refer to this group often, as people ask many helpful questions or give supplemental ideas to complement the curriculum. The author of the curriculum, Jennifer Pepito, is often on there as well, sharing insight and answering questions.

It’s a great foundation.It is certainly enough to stand alone, don’t get me wrong, but if you are like me and want to add in more lessons specific to what your children are interested in or need extra help on, it is a great beginning point in all subject areas.

It’s affordable. I wasn’t sure how my kids would take to the curriculum and if I personally would enjoy it enough to use it all the way through to Z (I know now that I will!). I was amazed at how much was included for the price that it is. It was well worth the investment.

If I had to think of something I wish there was more of in the curriculum, it would be Bible-related lessons. There are some, but I am on a hunt to find a supplemental preschool Bible curriculum to make it a larger part of what we are learning in these early years. I plan to continue onto The Playful Pioneers once my son is ready for kindergarten. I have seen photos of lessons and heard incredible things about it in the private group.

If you want to try it out, you can download the first week of The Peaceful Preschool or The Playful Pioneers for free.

Now through July 30th, Treehouse Schoolhouse readers can get 20% off your purchase of The Peaceful Preschool curriculum using the code: SUMMER at checkout.

Step-by-Step Cardboard Playhouse

My mom recently called me with one purpose: to tell me that she got a new IKEA couch. She had saved the enormous box specifically for me, knowing she could count on me to turn it into something fun for her grandkids. She knows me almost too well – so does my husband. That’s why when we went to family dinner the following Sunday, he wasn’t too surprised to find himself rearranging the minivan and shoving a ten foot box into the back of it. We had to fold it and break it down a bit, but eventually we got it all home.

I considered creating a castle or a boat, but after much scrolling and pinning I decided to create a little cardboard village. I narrowed in on an eclectic little home, a modern large library with a bookshelf inside, and a little grocery market. I know I can’t knock this all out at the same time, but I plan to build on it over time since I have the cardboard for it! Here are a couple of the cardboard playhouses that inspired this project:

We have a split-level home with a long, narrow downstairs space that needs a lot of beautifying work. It has been a wonderful sensory play space for the kids. I am working on cleaning out some furniture down there that doesn’t get enough use for the space it’s taking up. Besides, where will the cardboard village reside if silly couches are in the way? Until I have enough space for it all, I decided to start with the little house.

I did half of this project outside in the shade while the kids played in the plastic pool and sandbox. I finished the rest of it one evening after they went to bed. I think it took me a total of 3-4 hours. Below, I’ve given you a materials list and then broken it down for you in steps.

MATERIALS:

  • Large pieces of cardboard

  • Duct tape

  • Measuring tape

  • Box cutter and blades

  • Spray adhesive

  • Fabric (large enough pieces to cover the sides of your playhouse)

  • Hot glue and sticks

  • Other embellishments such as a cabinet knob, paint, or fake flowers

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Lay your large pieces of cardboard out, and cut two rectangles of the same width and height. Mine happened to be 25″x34″, but you can work with whatever size cardboard you have.

  2. Cut out two more rectangular pieces with a triangle on top that are the same size (this should look like a pentagon or sides of a house). The height of all four pieces need to be the same, but these two can be narrower or wider than the previously cut rectangles, depending on how wide or narrow you want your house. I used the measuring tape to be sure the triangle was centered. My pieces measured 34″x34″, and my triangle was 14″ high from the top of the rectangle.
  3. Cut out your windows and door using the box cutter.

  4. Cover each side of the house with fabric. I used spray adhesive to do this, and it worked well. I used different colors of fabric for each side, only because I didn’t have enough fabric in my scrap bin to do it all the same. You could also use paint, wallpaper, or just let your kids color it!

  5. Duct tape all four walls together. I had to crawl inside and have my husband hold each wall for me to tape the seams shut. In some areas I used hot glue to reinforce the seams.

  6. Cut a rectangle for the roof, fold it, and hot glue it on. Add shingles if you would like. This was the most time consuming part, but they turned out so cute. I just cut out rectangles and used hot glue to attach them.

  7. Add embellishments. I added painted window frames, curtains, a cabinet knob for a door knob, and window flower boxes with fake flowers.

In one week this little house has been a flower shop, a puppet stage, and a market. Every stuffed animal in the house has been inside and it has been played with way more hours than it took creating it. I call that a win! I will update this post once the rest of the village is created.