Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Three Free Printable Christmas Tags, Tasha Tudor Style

I have also been getting ready for our annual Doll’s Christmas Tea Party.  I finished up my invitations. Here is the Tasha Tudor inspired watercolor border I painted for the invitation. I inserted the words in the sky. Feel free to use it for your own personal use. Also, at the bottom of this post, you’ll find three sweet watercolor scenes that you can print and use as Christmas tags.



If you are like me, you are thinking about timeless gifts for your kids this year. The last thing any parent wants is to sink money into toys that a child doesn’t play with long-term. I decided to share with you the toys that our children enjoyed the most. Many of these sets are now packed away incase I have grandchildren someday.

Over the years I have learned that owning fewer toys, but higher quality pieces, has worked well for our home educating family. When kids are overrun with toys that only have one purpose, their natural creativity is stifled.

I purposefully chose open ended toys for my kiddos. These toys require the child to use their imagination, and can also be used in several play scenarios. Most of them are simple, without electrical sounds or capabilities. Toys today have the ability to do nearly everything from walking, talking, eating and interacting. I have found that the more the toy can do, the less the child has to do.  Sometimes the latest, greatest electro-gadget inadvertently limits the imagination of the child.

Open ended toys are simple and encourage the child to create their own fun. Unfortunately, sometimes these are more expensive, but in the long run, they last through several children and the amount of play you get out of them makes it worthwhile.

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is necessity.” Kay Jamison 

Here are some of our favorites: {If you click on the picture, it will take you to Amazon}
Building Toys

Lego Duplo Blocks for Toddlers

Lego Starter Set

Base Board for Lego Building. Kids love to make towns on these things. :)

This book is for older kids, but it allows them to make all kinds of cool cars and   gadgets with Legos they already own.



Dress Up

I can’t say enough about Play Silks. I bit the bullet and bought them after a friend of mine raved about them. They were used for years! They became aprons, wings, head covering, belts, etc. Very open ended, lightweight and versatile.

Bonnets Galore. What can I say? My kids love Little House on the Prairie like their mother. :)

“Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick, So she called to the doctor to come quick, quick, quick…” My kids played with this Haba set forever. They seemed obsessed with giving each other shots. Hmm…


Buy by the Piece Sets:

I honestly can’t say enough good things about Playmobil. Next to Legos, this was the indoor toy they used non-stop. The Playmobil 1-2-3 Line is for babies through age three and is a lovely way to introduce your child to this line.  It is a little expensive, but we bought one little pieces here and there and we have amassed an enormous collection today. (My youngest, Hope, is getting the Playmobil RV for Christmas. Shh…don’t tell!) I can’t even count how many days my living room was wall to wall Playmobil towns. In the winter, I would read aloud to my kids while they set up their Playmobil towns.

Toddler Train Set

First Doll House

Western Line

Hope is getting the RV this year. My sister and her husband just bought a real RV and my kids love sleeping over in it. I know Hope will love this toy! :)

 Busy Hands

Lauri puzzles were a favorite in our home. My kids used these puzzles (especially the kids jumping one below) until the arms and legs of these poor vinyl children fell off. :)

If you can get your hands on the old “Brio Mec” wooden building sets that are no longer being made, I would highly recommend those as well. They are great for boys who love to build. They come with a hammer, screwdriver, wooden planks and an crazy amount of nails and screws. It is little boy heaven.
I would check ebay or Amazon for used sets.
Our kids also loved the Brio Waterway sets, but I don’t believe they make them anymore. Again, this simple toy provided hours of fun as the kids manipulated the boats voyage using a current.

AND, I have a free gift for you! :)

I painted these little Tasha Tudor inspired Christmas tags, that you are free to print and use for your own Christmas wrapping. I would print them on card-stock and attach them to a pretty rectangle of deep red or green card-stock. They would also be sweet for digital scrap booking. Enjoy! {and let me know how you use them by providing a link back if you blog. Can’t wait to see how creative YOU are.} I wish I had these done before my book was completed!

Snow Day!


Silent Night

Click on each image to enlarge and to view the better quality jpg. ENJOY!!

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