Ask Design Mom Week: Looking for the Perfect Quote

March 30, 2009

Question:
I am finishing our attic to make a play-room for my two daughters (ages 6 and 7), and I love the idea of writing a phrase or quote on the wall, possibly from a children’s book. I have some favorites, but I am having some difficulty finding exactly what I want and need some ideas. I could think of no better source for ideas that you and/or your readers. Would it be possible to pass along my question? Thanks much — Laurie

Answer:
I love this idea, Laurie. Now I want to dig into my children’s library and find the perfect one. It’s probably too lengthy, but I love the comfort at the end of Where the Wild Things Are:

Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye
and sailed back over a year

and in and out of weeks

and through a day
and into the night of his very own room

where he found his supper waiting for him

and it was still hot.

Dear Readers, if you could put up a quote or phrase in your playroom, what would it be?

Wall quote image from Marta Writes. What’s Ask-Design-Mom-Week? See here. Win big.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jackie March 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I have Oh the places you’ll go in mine:

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to great places.
Your off and away.
You have brains in your head,
you have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.”

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2 Whatever Dee-Dee wants March 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
– Dr. Seuss

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3 Katie @ goodLife {eats} March 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

This website has some great quotes, if you don’t like the artwork, just use the quote and put it up in a way of your choosing.

http://www.smartquotesforkids.com/

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4 Molly March 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Velveteen Rabbit

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5 Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I just read this one the day and with 12 grands I loved it:
Life is like a coin,you can spend it anyway you want,but you can only spend it once!!

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6 Holly Dart March 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm

“the true object of all human life is play” G.K. Chesterton

from the Peek clothing website, strangely enough, but it works for a playroom, I think.

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7 emily March 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I think it would be fun to do
“I like you because
You know when it’s time to stop being silly
Maybe day after tomorrow
maybe never
oops too late
it’s quarter past silly”

with lots of different, cool clocks surrounding it. (from the book “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg).

Or, ANYTHING from any page of “You Are My I Love You” by Maryann Cusimano.

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8 Team Cowan March 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I’ve been thinking for my children’s bedroom I’d like to take a line from the Bob Dylan song Forever Young:

May you build a ladder to the stars
and climb on every rung.
And may you stay
Forever young.

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9 Bobi March 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm

You’re never too old to play with a friend.

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10 Katie Russell March 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm

The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.
The whimsical line that contains all the letters of the alphabet…also a designer’s tool for analyzing typefaces.

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11 Kara March 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

So I Love Dr. Seuss and since my quote is already taken I guess I will have to go with…
“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.”
John Lubbock quotes
(English biologist and politician, 1834-19
http://thinkexist.com/Children_Quotes_for_Scrapbooking/

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12 punkinmama March 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

-Charlie Chaplin

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13 Tracy March 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm

When my son was little I decorated his room in stars and moons. We painted it a real striking blue and stenciled stars and moons. Then on one wall we added a phrase that I had hear on a Winnie the Pooh movie
‘Come out moon,
Come out wishing star,
wherever you are’

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14 amyks March 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

from “the Little Prince”…And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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15 Amber March 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

…or you could put up a large chalk board and change the quotes at your whim….

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16 Megs March 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I put up this quote in my twins’ nursery: “Whatever you are–be a good one” -Abe Lincoln

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17 Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

-Charlie Chaplin

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18 Rachel March 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

i love this by rachel field, called “merry-go-round”.

“Purple horses with orange manes,
Elephants pink and blue,
Tigers and lions that never were seen
In circus parade or zoo!
Bring out your money and choose your steed,
And prance to delightsome sound.
What fun if the world would turn some day
Into a Merry-Go-Round!”

p.s. shel silverstein surely has some wonderful quotes, too! :)

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19 CAIN FAMILY March 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I love the quote (also from Dr. Suess) “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – I typed it straight from the book “Happy Birthday To YOU” – and though I have been known to go a little crazy with exclamation marks, this is really how many the quote had! :)

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20 wide open spaces March 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

there are so many great lines from the little prince but i especially like this one:

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.

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21 Leslie March 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm

These are all lovely.

One of my favorites is: “I will love you forever and for always because you are my dear one.” From Mama, Do You Love Me.

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22 Room 112 March 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Once upon a time…

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23 Sandi March 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm

When life gives you lemons, make and drink lemonade

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24 Designenvy March 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I have always loved the opening of the book of poems by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!”

A great site to go to is WonderfulGraffiti.com
Some of theirs that I like are:

May your dreams defy the laws of gravity.
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

No hitting. No biting. No throwing toys.
-Mom

and the classic

“You’re as beautiful as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda.”
-Homer J. Simpson

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25 Cathy March 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm

“Little boys should never be put to bed. They just wake up another day older.”
Finding Neverland

Okay, okay – so she has two daughters, I just had to share my favorite quote! =)

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26 Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Believe. Imagine. Live.

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27 Karen D'Amico March 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm

well, if you want to sing out, sing out
and if you want to be free, be free
’cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are.

—cat stevens

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28 Arin March 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The quote in my play area is not from a book but I love it anyway.

“There is nothing in the world that will make you feel so grand
As the wee gentle tug of a child’s hand.”

It is hanging above handprints of my children.

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29 heather marie March 30, 2009 at 11:39 pm

i’m not a mom… just a blogger… but when you said you had two girls, this quote came to mind:
For attractive life, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
–Audrey Hepburn

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30 ribbu March 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm

“Whatever you think or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius and magic and power in it.”
-Goethe

We need more bold girls.

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31 Emily March 31, 2009 at 1:04 am

What I want my kids to always remember is what I would put on the wall…”I am a Child of God”

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32 Brenna March 31, 2009 at 1:28 am

“we are one
and that’s wonderful
you are you
and theres never gonna be anyone like you
never gonna be anyone like you”

Clearly, children’s literature is a hit! I would also suggest children focused music. This chorus comes from the song “we are one” by Renee and Jeremy. (That really is the name of their duo, plain and simple. :) Good luck with your word choice!

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33 Alice March 31, 2009 at 7:05 am

Hi! I love the Peter Pan quotation:
“Just think lovely wonderful thoughts: they will lift you up in the air”

from the flying scene in chapter III

Good luck!

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34 R-Eight March 31, 2009 at 7:21 am

Peter Pan again:

When the first baby laughed for the first time. The laugh broke into a thousand peices and they all went skipping about and the was the begining of fairies.

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35 Laurie March 31, 2009 at 7:21 am

Oh, I LOVE these ideas! Thank you!! It is going to be so hard to choose…

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36 Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck March 31, 2009 at 8:28 am

My favorite:

Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

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37 cortney March 31, 2009 at 9:05 am

I have a sticker that that I love and was going to put this saying up on my daughters wall
“Little girls dream of Magical things.”

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38 lisa March 31, 2009 at 9:43 am

How about,

Fairy tales are true; not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that they can be beaten.

C.K. Chesterton

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39 Janice March 31, 2009 at 11:16 am

Today you can be anything you imagine .

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40 KJ March 31, 2009 at 11:27 am

second star to the right and straight on til morning
–peter pan

let the wild rumpus start
–where the wild things are

dare double dare you cant catch me, I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!
–chicka boom boom

I’d also recommend Little Women or Anne of Green Gables or You Are My I Love You as resources. Mufaros Beautiful Daughters may also have a nice little phrase.

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41 LR March 31, 2009 at 11:49 am

I’m a big fan of Shel Silverstein. Check out his poem thqt goes “You have a magic carpet…” and the one about “If you are a dreamer…” and then the one that goes “Listen to the mustn’ts, child, listen to the don’ts/Listen to the impossibles, the shouldn’ts and the won’ts/Listen (close?) to everything, then listen close to me… /Anything can happen, child, anything can be.” You need to look these up though b/c I’m writing from memory…

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42 joolee March 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Goodreads.com is a place to find great quotes from books and authors! I don’t think you need to be a member to find quotes, but here are some of my favorites:
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde
“Always do what you are afraid to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”
-Malcolm X

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43 jack, lucy and finn March 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
a friend of mine has this over her kids’ craft table. so sweet, so true. hope you find something that inspires you…

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44 Laurie April 1, 2009 at 7:50 am

“Once there was a tree an she loved a little boy”

From The Giving Tree

Of course we have trees painted on the walls . . .

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45 MLDB April 1, 2009 at 11:16 am

We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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46 Marcie April 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm

ANYTHING DR SEUSS IS AWSOME!! AND I LOVE “DREAM BIG”

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47 Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 10:18 am

“The time has come,” the Walrus said. “To talk of many things. Of ships and sails and sealing wax. Of cabbages and kings.”

Or something like that…from Through the Looking Glass.

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48 marymary April 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Another option from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go:”

You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

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49 pinkfrostycookies April 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.
-Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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50 Julie Sherwood May 2, 2010 at 8:04 am

I am currently planning/designing our six month old son’s playroom. I love the idea of a quote on the wall too! I saw this quote on a children’s painting once and it stuck w/me, “Grow where you are planted.” I think it’s simple and to the point!

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