Cardboard Dollhouse Day

Confession time: When Emmy was a baby, when I was determined to be the best Mom ever, I read a blog-post where a Mom admitted that it was hard to let her daughter bake in the kitchen. Her daughter loved baking and creating in the kitchen, but it was a hard for this Mom to allow her little girl time to enjoy that hobby because… she hated what a mess it made.

So, when Emmy was a baby and I was determined to be the best Mom ever, and I read that blog-post where a Mom said it was hard to let her daughter work in the kitchen because of the mess it made!!….I thought that lady was the meanest Mom ever.

But, ::

flash forward 5 years::

, now I get it.

Emmylou is a creative girl, and would make things all day long, — if I gave her more grace about the mess.

She also loves her dollhouse. ( & I won’t say anything about that mess!)

61E8qJIs75L__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_So, when she saw this book at the library on Monday—>>, her little heart flipped out. Her two favorite things wrapped into one! She discovered it on the bookshelf all by herself. And when she brought it to me, I was excited about it too.

It looked like a fairly new book that would be fun to read, and the illustrations are super sweet! I have a thing about sweet illustrations in sweet children’s books.

But as I read it to her the next morning, my left eye started to twitch a little with a Mother’s anxiety, because I knew what was going through her head as I read it to her!

As I read about the “dixy cup elevator” and the “toilet paper popcorn” and fried eggs made out of cut paper, and the pool on top of the roof, and I saw the look in her eye…

I knew that she wasn’t going to be content to just enjoy this sweet story. I knew she was going to want to make a cardboard dollhouse of her own. (I would have wanted to as a child!)

And I knew, that since (1) we were planning to spend the entire day at home, and (2) in light of my new hope & vision to Let Emmy be Emmy … there was no good reason for me to say No.

*MAD PROPS  & A SHOUTOUT TO MY SWEET MOM, who had 10 creative children in a little 3 bedroom home, all tucked in their own little corners (or right in the middle of the living room) making some sort of CONSTANT creative mess!*

So, I offered a little guidance and let her know what she could use, but most of my ideas were shut down. And I stayed in my pajamas till noon because of the unpredictable nature of scissors and glue and a little sister getting in the way. 🙂

Materials used: One dollhouse sized box and a bunch of cardboard scraps to cut and make into things, scissors and tape and glue, fabric and ribbon scraps of mine, leftover wallpaper, a couple of doilies that I could spare from my collection,  Hello Kitty Band-Aid box and some Band-Aids, markers and stickers and dollhouse furniture as desired.

A few pictures of her creation:

I was able to convince her to use her actual dollhouse pool, instead of making one like in the book.


The Band-Aids were brought out because she cut her finger with scissors;] But then she was inspired to add a pantry for her little cut-paper food, and a Shopkins cake. I made the fridge and she made the oven. (Also, I’ve had the Tasha Tudor print fabric for longer than Emmy’s been alive, and am glad to have found a good use for it!)
The tv is inspired by the one the little girl made in the book, with magazine pictures cut into squares for interchangeable channels. And I had the idea to make a window with a doily, but Emmy said she would make it into a “Charlotte’s Web” art on the wall instead. (Also I cried inside a little when she wanted to cut my Cath Kidston wallpaper scrap so that her Hello Kitty Band-aid could be visible. “Good idea” I told her. 🙂 )
Very serious about where to place her stickers.

So, I had woke that morning with plans to be efficient and hard-working at home all day, (2 things I’m not naturally 🙂 ) , and instead I was able to set my Morning To-do list aside to help allow my daughter to have fun and be creative.( All the silly things around the house I had to do were done by evening.)

Also I had the thought that if I’m able to allow her now to be more free in her creativity at age 5, it could blossom into something really sweet! I don’t want to let my desire for a well ordered home get in the way of that. And if I’m able to teach her now at age 5 to clean up after her mess, it will become a good habit that she does naturally as she gets older. (Right!? hehe.)


When she was finally done with the creating-stage, she played for hours! Even Sadie was invited to join her. Which made the few minutes it took to clean up seem like nothing in comparison!

Just like the little girl in the book, playing with something she made herself was much more fun than one from the store. These pictures were taken Wednesday, and today is Friday- and there has been a second floor installed already. ❤

Summer break is almost over and I’m so glad we can end it with memories like this.

Ladies, I would definitely recommend this book for your girls, big and little, creative or not! We borrowed ours from the Manheim Township Library, and it should be returned soon! ( because I may have ordered one from Amazon so we can have our own copy at home.)



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