No longer does creating the perfect boys' nursery involve painting the walls blue and choosing a bedding set featuring monsters, dinosaurs, or astronauts. As proof, check out the amazingly stylish real kids' rooms we've discovered this year (check out our favorite girls' rooms, too!). From woodland themes to vintage-inspired chalkboard art, from chic chartreuse accents to globally sourced goods, these little boys' rooms offer some serious design inspiration.
Some kids collect rocks or marbles. Ten-year-old Archer and his 6-year-old brother, Ansel, collect napkins . . . their mom's, that is.
Every day since Archer was in nursery school, Nina Levy has created colorful napkin illustrations and packed them with her sons' lunches to remind them that she loves them and is mindful of what they're doing each day, reports the Huffington Post.
"The act of drawing something for them every evening reminds me to pay attention to what they are thinking about, even if it is the 15th rendition of Batman," she says.
The creative napkins became such a hit that Archer and Ansel slowly began bringing more and more of them home at the end of the day. And after garnering even the New York Times' attention, Levy has begun collating the art into a series, "24 hours of dysfunctional parenting," that tells the story of a day in the life of her family.
With such works of art, the boys might give up a tuna sandwich or even a cookie from their school lunches, but it's unlikely that they'll trade away their napkins.
A 7-year-old's suggestion for gun control recently received a surprising response after it was brought to the attention of Vice President Joe Biden.
Wisconsin second-grader Myles wrote a letter to the vice president a few months ago suggesting that guns shoot chocolate bullets to help make the nation safer, according to the Associated Press, via the Huffington Post. If his idea could be implemented, no one would get hurt, he explained.
To the boy's surprise, Biden agreed. He recently sent a handwritten note, agreeing that, "If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier."
Perhaps a chocoholic himself, Biden added: "People love chocolate."
There are certain things only mothers can understand. From the feeling of holding your child for the first time to screaming with joy at a peepee in the potty, some moments are only experienced through motherhood.
In our BabyCenter Community, members have long listed their ending to the sentence, "You know you're a mom when."
In honor of all the moms out there in the trenches of motherhood, those wiping heinys, changing diapers, folding clothes, wiping tears, holding babies, and sending little ones to time out, this is for you.
You know you're a mom when . . .
- . . . your perfume is Eau de Baby Food.
- . . . you know closing a door silently is an art form.
- . . . you realize you're talking about poop in public. Again.
- . . . you realize the kids have been in bed for an hour and you're still watching cartoons.
- . . . shopping alone feels like a vacation.
- . . . you reheat your coffee three times and still don't get to drink it.
- . . . you've experienced stroller envy.
- . . . you've found something you lost in the toilet.
- . . . silence makes you nervous.
- . . . nothing feels better than a long shower. Alone.
- . . . you fold laundry during your "free time."
- . . . you believe doorbell ringing at nap time is unforgivable.
- . . . you wish every store had a drive-through.
- . . . you have 100 Cheerios and 50 raisins at the bottom of your purse.
- . . . the gift doesn't matter, only the little person behind it.
What would you add to our list? You know you're a mom when . . .
More great reads from BabyCenter:
Which pregnancy symptoms would you pass on to Dad if you could?
7 fabulous toys for outdoor fun!
9 simple shortcuts for healthier eating
How to tame your family's tech habits
If your kids have regular household responsibilities, then you've already conquered half the battle. Now holding them accountable for those responsibilities is the next step. Keep your tots on task with a clever chore chart that turns even the most mundane of tasks into a game. We've found nine unique ways — from a smartphone app to a DIY reward system — to keep your family functioning efficiently.
If your design aesthetic tends towards the classic, your baby's nursery is most likely to do the same. While traditionalists tend not to take as big of design risks as their mod counterparts, that doesn't mean that your little one's room can't wow with thoughtful decor elements and original touches. Here, 15 tasteful, traditional nurseries designed to inspire!
Do you think yelling and being firm are the same thing? Many parents do. They believe in order to be firm, you have to yell. I believe yelling is yelling, and that firmness is authority in action and requires no yelling.
Ask yourself this: do you think there's a connection between the intensity of a parent's voice and how much learning a child is able to accomplish? I think there is. I believe less learning occurs when parents yell at their children.
There are others who agree with me. Nikki S remembers her childhood, "I was yelled at constantly as a kid and to this day I hate yelling, if someone yells at me it makes me want to hide."
A New Hampshire teen surprised fellow competitors and judges when she took home the top prize in a Boston computer-programming contest. The mostly male field of 80 competitors included professionals from ESPN and Klout, yet the Associated Press reports that Jenny Lamere was the only person to complete a project. Her winning idea: Twivo, or TiVo for Twitter, which allows you to block tweets using key words, in case you don't want tweets to spoil the ending of a show you haven't yet viewed.
Lamere says she got into computer programming thanks to her dad, a tech company developer, who would routinely share "intriguing" stories about projects he was working on. With women representing only 12 percent of the US workforce with computer science degrees, Lamere's win is a source of inspiration.
How can you, too, spark your daughters' interest in male-dominated careers?
There's a new secret way to cut the lines at Disney, but it involves a serious moral sacrifice. The NY Post reports that a wealthy set of visitors has been hiring disabled "tour guides" to accompany their families to the Orlando theme park, affording them access to handicapped entrances, thereby bypassing the lines for rides. The tour company, called Dream Tours Florida, was uncovered by Dr. Wednesday Martin, a social anthropologist who discovered the disturbing trend while researching her book, Primates of Park Avenue. "It's insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully," Martin said. Apparently, you need a referral to even get through to the business, as Dream Tours' number is unlisted. Disney allows each wheelchair or scooter-bound visitor to bring up to six guests to an accessible entrance for each attraction. A woman who employed Dream Tours' services told the Postthat she hired a guide to accompany her family of four through the park in a motorized scooter with a "handicap" sign on it, and the group received special access throughout the park. We're pretty sure that we can all agree that this practice is reprehensible, but whom do you think is most at fault? Sound off!
For modern design at an incredibly affordable price point, no one does it quite like Ikea. The Swedish megastore is known for its kid-friendly practices, from supervised play areas to shopping strollers, baby care areas to healthy, hearty children's meals at in-store bistros and restaurants. Here are 25 of our favorite Ikea finds for little ones — from kids room essentials to fun, affordable playthings.