Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peg Doll and Playset Ideas


I adore painting peg dolls and coming up with fun new ways that they can be played with and displayed. If painting dolls just isn't for you, you can find all of these peg people sets in my Etsy store. Peg dolls make wonderful, unique gifts. 


These flower peg girls and flowers are great for teaching colors and color matching. The dolls rest perfectly on top of the flowers. 


This donut baking set started off as a game that I made for my son's montessori preschool class. The kids loved the bright colors and found a lot of different ways to play with the donuts and plates. They stacked them, matched them and also created patterns. To complete the set I added the peg doll baker, sprinkles jar and rolling pin. 


Recently I combined my love of painting story stones with peg dolls to make fun little story sets. 


This is rainbow girl, her best friend rainbow bug and her magic rainbow cloud. 


Rainbow girl even has her own rainbow shelf in my craft room. 


Sunflowers are my favorite so of course I had to paint a little sunflower doll, complete with her own special flower pot. 


Outer space girl is always followed by her shooting stars wherever she goes. 


Lightning Bolt man was a fun doll I created for my son one day after we had a freak thunderstorm. He creates storms with a simple wave of his thunder wand. 

If there's a special peg doll or story set you'd like customized just for you, I'd love to paint it. Just send me a message at my Etsy store.

To see more peg dolls and other creations I make, follow me on Instagram @sam_thrive360living

Monday, July 14, 2014

Painting Nature

My son absolutely adores collecting nature treasures on our walks. Since he often sees me painting rocks for my Etsy shop, he has decided that every treasure we find should be painted. His favorite color right now is "rainbow". If you take a peek at my Instagram feed you'll see why he probably loves everything rainbow just like I do. In keeping with the rainbow theme, the stick is his magic rainbow wand. We now take it with us on walks, turning everything we see into rainbows. 

(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience.)

Painting nature is an easy activity and great to do with children. I always use acrylic paint and my favorite is Martha Stewart Living acrylic paints

Next time you go on a walk, keep a look out for some nature pieces that would make great canvases...sticks, rocks, pinecones, acorns, leaves and more. 

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick and Easy Easter Crafts

Here are 3 easy Easter crafts you still have time for!


Painted wooden spoons are cute, fun and very easy to make. Pick up some spoons at your local craft store and paint them with acrylic paint. Add felt and rhinestones for finishing touches.


Head out into your backyard and look for some rocks to paint. 


These Hoppy Easter bags couldn't be easier to make. All you need are muslin bags, felt, glue and white pompoms. For a special touch, personalize with hand stamped names. 


Hope this helps get your creative juices flowing. Follow me on Instagram for more easy craft ideas. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Story Stones and Painted Rocks

I love that something as natural as a rock can been turned into something magical with just a little paint. Story stones and painted rocks are a great way to foster storytelling, creative play and conversations with your child.


I started my stone painting with a set just like this rainbow train set. My son was just starting to learn his colors and I decided to combine his two favorite things at the time...rocks and trains. These trains went with us everywhere. They were especially perfect as entertainment while we were at restaurants.


There's no exact way to use story stones. The idea is to help your child with imaginative play or encourage storytelling prompted by the images. For children who are just developing their vocabulary, have them select a stone and then incorporate it into a story you are telling. You can also ask them simple questions about the stones and what may happen next in the story. 


In addition to storytelling, painted rocks are wonderful for igniting ideas for creative drawings. Have your child select one or several stones to use as prompts to begin their drawing. 


For the story stones and painted rocks that I create I love using bright acrylic paints. And I love finding multiple uses for them. I often paint the back of the stones a solid color so that they can be used for additional play and even color recognition and matching. Since the rocks I use are smaller in size, I tend to use very small paint brushes for details. 


There's an endless amount of themes and possibilities when it comes to story stones. If you have some ideas in mind, but you're not sure if you're up for painting them yourself, I love to create custom sets for customers. You can message me directly from my ETSY shop


Here are a few more ways I've used painted rocks and story stones:




Come visit the Thrive 360 Living ETSY shop for more ideas or to purchase a set of your own. If it's just smooth flat stones that you need to create your own, I have those as well!
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