(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
It’s something that, I know, some mothers and grandmas dread. The date is carefully marked on the calendar. The weeks are counted off. The gloom settles in … it’s school holiday time.
I’ve always loved them. I know, though, that its not easy when you have work commitments and other responsibilities to factor in. But still, I love being surrounded by the kids’ energy and excitement.
School holidays can become expensive seasons of the year, too, if you send children to holiday camps or programs. But you can spare the expense, build some family memories, and enjoy some wonderful family activities with these simple activities. I’ve included nine, simple, family, fun activities but there are more in my next book, available soon. What’s more… most of these ideas are inexpensive and use items from your home.
I’ve included a downloadable cheatsheet file, sort of a checklist, so that you can plan head.
1. Create an Obstacle Course
This just sounds like too much work.. I know, but it’s really not. First, you’ll need to plan whether you’ll hold this outdoors or inside. Then, check out what objects you have that can be used for this activity. For example, you might have little more than some paper streamers. Great! Tape the streamers down your hallway at different heights and angles. The kids will love to try and negotiate the maze of streamers stepping over or crawling under without breaking any, especially if you give them a time to best.
You can do an activity obstacle course. Everyone has to progress through stations of the course and do various quick tasks like.. jump 5 times, crawl under a chair, throw and catch a ball 5 times.
If you have boxes or hoops, kids love to crawl through things or jump into or over things. Pool noodles, cardboard boxes, even washing baskets are wonderful, too for this type of activity. You’ll be surprised just how many items you already have that can be included in an obstacle course.
Remember, it adds more excitement if you have some sort of prize or reward for anyone who manages to negotiate the course within a particular timeframe.
Check out this site for stacks of other Obstacle Course ideas.
2. Hold a ‘Minute to Win it’ Competition
First, the best thing about this type of competition is that anyone can win. You don’t need to have any particular skill or expertise for these competitions, not even dad.
8And again, there is a time factor so there’s no time to get bored. You don’t have to try and get someone ‘out’ or wait until everyone’s finished. Each person has only one minute to try and complete the task and that adds real pressure on whoever is attempting the task.
Second, the tasks aren’t daunting. Success is often more a surprise than skilful ability. For example, you might have to move an Oreo from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands; or perhaps, bounce a pingpong ball so that it sticks to a slice of bread and peanut butter.
There are plenty of suggested games to include in this competition readily available and even a printable party pack with ideas, scoresheets and decorations. Obviously, choose tasks that will appeal to the ages and abilities of your kids. And since this is such a wacky competition, it would be equally exciting to have an out-there type of prize for the winner- like a weird hat or special cup or mug like the example below:
3. Blow Bubbles
Now, although blowing any sort of bubbles is great fun for kids, there are many other ideas for bubbles that are just super-terrific.
First of all, bubbles can be the basis of a whole stack of party games. They may be simple but you’d be surprised how much fun they can be. Try keeping the bubbles in the air by blowing from beneath. See who can blow bubbles and stack them on top of each other. Pop a bubble without using your hands is fun to try and amusing to watch. Find even more ideas..
How about bubbles that glow in the dark? Or…. try your hand at making square bubbles. You can blow bubbles with a bunch of straws, a hula hoop, even a water bottle. Who knew bubbles could be so versatile?
Then, you can try to make the biggest bubble imaginable. All you need are some simple ingredients (water, dishwashing detergent, corn starch, baking powder and glycerine) and you can find the instructions here.
You can also use bubbles to create art. Find the instructions here. How about some bubble dough?
4. Make Paper Planes
I don’t know about you, but most people I know have their own tried and true paper plane design. How about testing your design against your kids’ paper plane designs? But maybe they haven’t made their own or experienced a paper plane competition.
There are plenty of ideas to get you and your kids started and it’s a lot of fun. Once you’ve made a few, hold a competition to see which plane design flies the farthest or, perhaps, can do a loop. You might try to determine which plane can go through a hoop or under the washing line.
Once everyone has flown their plane and you’ve awarded the best and greatest awards for the various plane designs, why not relax with a big bowl of popcorn and watch the movie ‘Paper Planes’. It’s a wonderful family movie and will probably inspire your kids to try some more paper plane designs. Here are some to get you started.
Flying Fox Paper Plane. Basic Dart Paper Plane. World’s Best Paper Plane. Chinook (easy design) Clipper
5. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Whether you plan to hold your scavenger hunt in your backyard, indoors, at the beach or at a park, it can be a lot of fun for everyone. You won’t need to take the whole day for this activity but it’s surprising just how much time this activity will occupy.
You need to plan a few things beforehand (printed list of items to find, a bag each to carry everything they find, marker, water and snacks are a good idea, too) but it doesn’t need to be too involved. And… there are plenty of resources already available to help with this fun activity.
Think beyond the box for your scavenger hunt. How about a colour scavenger hunt or maybe a texture hunt? A photo scavenger hunt is a lot of fun, too. The kids will need to take a photo of the found item, which adds a lot of interest especially if they’re required to do something special for the photo: find a brown leaf and take a photo of it balanced on your nose etc
If your kids are a little older, add a level of difficulty with cryptic or magic clues. A treasure hunt is another option, too.
You might decide to have an evening scavenger hunt. After all, kids love to use a torch/flashlight. Remember, little ones will need someone to hold their hand for this one.
And… if you’re rained in, you can still have a scavenger hunt… how about a movie scavenger hunt?
You’ll find even more ideas and resources to get you started here.
6. Enjoy a Tea Party
This probably sounds like the sort of thing that would only appeal to the girls… and you’d be mistaken.
The art of tea drinking is experiencing a revival and many people are enjoying it. And your kids will, too. After all, they’re usually happy for anything that relates to food. And there are so many different tea accessories, brewing tools and tea flavours that the boys spend as much enjoyment mixing and trying flavours and recipes as the girls.
If you’re not sure what you could serve for your tea party, there are plenty of food options and some fruity tea ideas, too. Check out the Ultimate Guide to a Memorable Tea Party for more ideas.
7. Devise a Secret Family Handshake
Devising a secret family handshake isn’t just a fun activity, though it’s certainly that. It’s also great for developing memory and coordination. You can choose and learn some handshakes or you can come up with your own family handshake– even more fun.
It’s probably a good idea to start with some handshakes that others have come up with and then take it from there. And you don’t need to stick to just using your hands. Include other body parts as well- head, shoulders, elbow, knee.
Try it… the kids will love it. And… there’s no prep required for this one.
8. Go Star-Gazing
Naturally, this is one activity that you’ll have to do at night.. exciting! Yes, by all means, the kids can bring their torches/flashlights. But they really need to switch them off once they lie down to view the night sky. Bring along something to lie down on comfortably. And yes, you can do it in your own backyard. But remember, you’ll see the stars more clearly when you’re away from the city lights and if you’re in an elevated area. Winter is best. And check the cycle of the moon. A beautiful moon-lit night is not best for star-gazing.
It’s great if you have a telescope but kids will be just as happy with a cheap set of binoculars. You can buy star charts to help you locate constellations but you can also download an app like Star Chart. Just aim your smartphone at the stars and the app will tell you what you’re looking at. It takes some extra planning, but you could also play some star theme related music while you’re watching to set the mood.
There are more ideas to add to the fun.. printable constellation guides, star gazing crafts, cardboard constellation viewers and more… and don’t forget to include some snacks.
If you’re star-gazing at home, you could also set up your fire-pit and toast marshmallows to conclude the evening.
9. Create a Backyard Waterpark
You only need to say the words ‘waterpark’ and the kids will be clamouring to help you. But again, this can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like to make it. (Let’s face it… if you can involve dad, it will become increasingly complex, but loads of fun… so try and involve his help.) Of course, my grandsons are happy if I just fill a couple of buckets with water!
But you can do so much more. Set up special water activity stations so that the kids can rotate round.
Spongy stepping stones: Fill small rectangular containers with water and big sponges. The ones you use for washing the car work well. You can add some food colouring, if you like, for added interest. Line up the containers so that the kids can easily step from one to the next. They’ll love the squishy feel as they splash through these stepping stones.
Water tightrope: Position a plank of wood on a couple of bricks. (If you have little ones, just leave it flat on the ground.) Fill a small pail with water. Ask the kids to try and walk across the plank with the container of water held above their heads.
Water balloon Piñata: Fill a oversized container with water balloons. (You’re going to need quite a few- kids love them.) Fortunately, the Bunch of Balloons Instant Water Fill works so well! Suspend the water balloons from an elevated structure or from trees. Your kids can try to jump up and break the water balloon.. which, of course, will splash all over them- what fun!
Water balloon dodgeball: Yep, you’re going to need more of those water balloons. This version is so much more fun that normal dodgeball and won’t hurt. If fact, your kids will hope that you can hit them with these water balloons.
Water slide: Sure, you can buy one of these and set it up. But it’s just as easy to lay out a long piece of heavy duty plastic and set up the hose so that the water runs down the length of the plastic. Strangely, kids don’t need much instruction about how to use this.
Now, if you’re really adventurous or creative (or if dad is happy to help out) you might like to consider these more elaborate waterpark features.
I think, if you present any or all of these fun activities for your kids, you’ll have no trouble enticing them away from their devices. And there’ll be no complaints that ‘they’re bored!’ Instead you’ll find that they’ll be clamouring for more. I think, too, that you’ll look forward to weekends or holidays with the whole family enjoying these simple fun, and memorable ‘moments that matter’.
Find and download it here or below: Kids activities cheatsheet
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
I don't know about you, but I grew up reading fairy tales- stories of adventure, daring exploits and impossible quests. Einstein once wrote, 'If you want your children to be intelligent read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, the nread them more fairy tales.'
How much better for your kids or grandkids to create their own fairytale adventures than if they had their own fairy garden.
Now, I've seen a lot of wonderful fairy gardens that others have created. They look great! There are even fairy garden kits you can buy to make a beautiful garden that would be a perfect setting for a fairy tale adventure.
But I'm not great with gardening. So I wanted a garden that would be easy to create, easy to maintain.. and one that I could keep indoors. So... when I saw a listed Workshop with Botancials by Bella about making a terrarium in an afternoon, I thought this would be great for my indoor garden. The course was a lot of fun. and yes, I was happy with the results. So I'm sharing the technique with you so that you can have much fun making your own fairy garden as I did and sharing it with your kids or grandkids. (I hope my workshop expert thinks with my tutorial adequately explains the process!) If you want to do a workshop yourself, I can certainly recommend Botanicals by Bella- she runs a lot of different and interesting project workshops. ;)
Here's how to make your own indoor fairy garden
1. Create layers in your fairy garden using the different types of materials- sand, pebbles, sphagnum moss. Not only does this look great in your terrarium, it has a practical purpose in draining the soil while providing the nutrients for growth.
Begin with the clean river sand. Don't use sand from the beach as this will contain salt.
Add handfuls of sand to your container and press firmly into place. Build up the sand more around the edge of the container and up the side a little. Try and keep a circular hollow area in the base of the container as this is where you will add some handfuls of potting mix. Add extra sand and potting mix until this layer is level. Just ensure that the potting mix remains in the centre. You don't want to see it from the sides.
Now, add some more sand on top of the potting mix and continue to press down firmly.
Now.. add a wide ring of pebbles around the edge. Bring the thickness up to about 5cm depending on the size of your container. Fill the centre of this layer with dampened sphagnum moss.
2. Add some height and landscaping to your garden.
Add more handfuls of sand to the centre of your gardening bring it up a bit in height towards the back of your garden. Choose 2or 3 large smooth rocks and place them towards the back of the garden, too. Use your green moss and push gently into place behind the rocks and down and sides a little.
3. Plant some foliage- green moss and mini ferns are good choices
Use your finger to push a hole into the sand behind the rocks. Gently push a mini fern into the hole. Add some extra sand around the fern if needed. Add a couple more terrarium plants to your garden. Think about the size of these plants and place the bigger ones towards the back and low growing plants at the front.
4. Include foreground features- pebbles and green moss
Think about the front of your garden. Choose 2 different types of pebbles and add them in the garden to create areas of interest. You maight like to use some to make a garden path or another area. Extra green moss can be placed in the foreground too for more interest.
5. Add your fairy garden accessories
You'll find plenty of options and choices to include in your inddor fairy garden. There are cute little stools and chairs, bright coloured toadstools even fairy cottages. But you can even make these little accents. I've include a number of links on my Pinterest board to help you make your own, if you wish.
creating Keep extra fairy garden accents and replace them regularly especially if your grandkids are visiting. They will love looking for the changes and new accessories in this mini fairy garden and I'm sure they will create special stories and fairy garden adventures.
This terrarium fairy garden is relatively easy to care for. First, find a position indoors that is bright and airy but will not be in full sunshine. Although the terrarium needs to be kept moist, too much water is as damaging as not enough. If you think there may be too much moisture, hold the container above your head and check the condition of the sand/potting mix in the base.
When it needs more moisture, use a spray bottle. I find the garden is happier if I spray the garden every 2-3 days with a fine misting.
If you run into trouble or need some more maintenance tips, check out the Terrarium Survival Guide from Botanicals by Bella.
Give it a try yourself. I think you'll enjoy making your garden and creating family fun with your kids or grandkids. I know they will love to play with your fairy garden and create exciting adventures.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself.
If I don't love it, or I don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. :) Full disclosure listed below.)
"That's it! I've put it off long enough! I'm cleaning out the cupboard."
Yep.. that was me last week and I started well, filled with enthusiasm. That was, until I pulled out some of the old scrapbook photo albums that I'd worked on when the kids were small. Ahh.. can you believe how little they were?
So, of course, I had to sit down and go through all of them. Did you get hooked on the scrapbooking craze? Or maybe you still enjoy it? I love it, but it's soooo time-consuming.
But there's something special about taking out a photo book, turning the pages with someone else, reliving the moments and sharing the fun and laughter together.
As a family, we regularly upload family photos to TinyBeans as a safe way to share digital family memories with our family. But my parents can't remember how to log-in or forget to check it and so miss the beautiful memories that are regularly uploaded. A photobook is a better option for them.
I have made some photobooks from other sources. But, in the most part, they're simply a book of photos without much option for placing and presenting the photos in a way that I like.
Now, I've discovered MixBook. The photobooks created with this program are wonderful! I can change the backgrounds, alter how many photos are presented per page, add embellishments like scrapbooking... even produce a book in a night if I need a book quickly. Since it's all online, I just use my computer, or create a photo book with my iPad while relaxing and watching the TV.
The completed book is printed and delivered to the door. And they make wonderful gifts- just think how thrilled your mother or father would be to receive one of these special books filled with memories.
So... check out the simple instructions below.. and start!
Share wonderful family memories together as you read through your photo-books.
Why bother... I have my photos on iCloud
So perhaps, I'm guessing you're wondering just why you should go to the trouble to creating a photo-book. After all, you have all your photos, your memories on your computer, your smartphone or iCloud.
Well, yes ... but just consider: sure, you have all those wonderful photos on your computer. But, not only are they taking up a big hunk of memory, they are also hard to view together as a family.
And... it's so fun and simple to do. You'll feel like a professional when you see the results.
A family heirloom
A photo-book is an unique picture of your family and the 'moments that matter' in your lives. Whether young or old, everyone will enjoy looking through this special book.
Create one as a gift
These photo-books are so beautiful, you'll want to make and give them as gifts- if you can bring yourself to part with them. They'd make a treasured Mother's or Father's Day gift. Send one to family who live overseas. Make a special book to mark milestones within your family or your kids' lives.
Share the memories
Everyone will enjoy reliving the fun times and remembering those special family moments as they look through these beautiful books.
So... let's get started..
You'll need to create an account.
Your first order will be 50% off as a special promotion from AtGrandmasPlace so use the promotion link to access MixPhoto. Then, sign up to start your first photo book creation.
Choose the photo book option
Although there are many wonderful projects to try later, you just need to select the 'Photo Books' option to start your first photo creation.
Choices, choices and more choices ..
Now comes the fun part. There are lots of different styles, sizes and themes of photo books. Think about what you really want for your book and who it will be for and choose according. For example, there are lovely softcover photo-books that would be a great gift idea for mothers or grandmothers. You might prefer a square shape for your book especially if you're going to include a lot of your Instagram images.
The themes and page layouts are wonderful. In fact, there are over 370 different themes to choose from for your photo book. And so many of the themes have scrapbook-like accents that really add appeal to your pages,
You can change the page layouts or the number of photos displayed on each page, add stickers, change the backgrounds and more.. Each photo book truly is your own unique creation.
Simple drag and drop format
The format is simple - upload your photos from your computer, or device. Then just choose the photo you need, then drag, and drop the photos or stickers to your page. Position and resize them until you’re happy with the arrangement.
Not happy with the layout? Click on 'layouts' and choose a different layout or different number of photos for the page.
And yes, additional text can be added in any page.
And, if you're really busy and need to create a stunning photo book in a hurry (like, in a night), just choose the instant insert feature.
It is really sooo simple. But more than that- it allows you to be as creative as you want and add as little or as many stickers and accents as you'd like for your book. You don't need to buy the stickers. You don't need to search for scrapbooking papers. There's no need to do any cutting or sticking.
And the competed book will then be posted to your address.
Start your own treasured piece of family memories now.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
You are probably looking for various ways to keep your children busy but at the same time, you want these activities not to cause a gigantic mess? Say no more.
(Guest post-- Alex Farley)
Most parents are feeling worried whether they would be able to clean the mess after a craft project, for example. I know out of a personal experience that there are many fun activities which often turn into an apocalypse.
No matter how many times you tell your kids to be careful, your words go in at one ear, out at the other. Kids will be kids. I am here to share with you a number of tips which I hope to come in handy. Roll up your sleeves.
Take the fun activities outside
If the weather allows it, there is no better place to play than outdoors. My kids can spend hours playing in the sandbox, for an example. I love this option because when they are done playing, it is so much easier to clean after them. Even if it is a craft project, it takes me a couple of minutes to clean up. Of course, it depends on the activity but can you imagine what it could be if the kids play with sand or water inside?
Make sure to cover the play area
Trust me, the best way to accomplish mess-free crafting is to cover the entire area where your kids play. For instance, you can cover it with a blanket or a shower curtain. There is another plus- you can easily toss the blanket in the washing machine, or wipe down the shower curtain when the play is over.
Take advantage of the bathtub
If the weather does not allow outdoor activities, my children are used to be playing… in the bath. No, I am not kidding. Initially, I thought it was ridiculous but I got sick and tired of the mess so I had to take action. Because I am the only one who deals with the housework, I took matters into my own hands.
Since that moment, my kids use the bath as a vessel. To be honest, it is the ideal playground for messy kids because the bathtub contains all the mess. Once they are done crafting or playing, I just run the water till the mess is gone. You should definitely try it!
Washable art supplies
Have you thought about replacing the art supplies with washable ones? If you want to keep your children’s clothes from getting stained, you should take my advice. Since my kids use only washable art supplies, I can easily wash their clothes without me having to worry whether the stains would come out or not.
Limit the materials for a mess free crafting
In the very beginning, I did not think that this trick could actually turn out to be efficient. But still, I decided to try it out. I gave my children materials in small amounts. They love drawing and crafting a lot. So I provide them with a small amount of paint, and I do not add more till the first supply is completely gone. This trick does minimise the mess because kids do no romp about.
The ugly truth is that no matter how many times you tell your kids to be more careful, no matter what kinds of measures you take, there will be always a mess in the presence of kids. Anyway, if you are concerned about the mess you have to clean instead of enjoying your time with your kids, you deprive yourselves of the fun. :)
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( Previously posted - mygrandmasplace.com)
Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
Whenever my grandkids visit, I always include some art or craft activity as part of our fun together... yes… sometimes even for my grandsons. Though if your boys are like mine, it’s full-on action and adventure that fills their hearts and minds.
But the girls, particularly, like to paint and colour. Little Koti says, “When I know I’m going to colour in, my tummy jumps up and down cos it’s happy.”
When we colour in together, it’s something we all enjoy. It's a simple activity but it creates a special time, a moment that matters with my grandkids. It’s amazing, too, what deep and meaningful conversations happen when we spend time colouring. “Why do bees buzz?” “Why don’t I have a tail like a pony?” “Why are you scared of spiders?” (What sane person isn’t? )
If you also enjoy colouring, the following simple techniques will have you colouring like a pro.
Regardless of the technique you use, colouring is very therapeutic. In fact, some experts suggest that this activity provides the “colourer” with the same relaxing benefits as meditation or yoga. In addition, colouring takes you back to your childhood.
What could be better than that?
Colouring involves creativity.
That’s where technique becomes important. The following information covers five different areas of the craft. This is, by no means, a complete tutorial. But, it’s enough information to get you started. And you'll quickly discover that these techniques will enable you to create realistic colouring results.
Let the learning begin! :)
You have a few choices when it comes to colouring tools. They include:
And, not every medium works with every technique. Markers work better with some things and crayons and coloured pencils work better with others. The best thing to do is have fun and experiment. Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results. You'll soon be colouring like a pro.
There are several things you can use to help you blend colours. All of them are very inexpensive. Here are a few of them:
2. Shading Techniques
Shading techniques typically work better with coloured pencils, like Prismacolor pencils. One of the most successful ways to practice is to use two contrasting colours.
Use the first colour to shade from left to right. Use the second colour to shade in the opposite direction. Practice blending the colours together, in the middle.
The way you hold the pencil makes a difference.
Position it so that most of the tip is in contact with the paper, which makes the colour smoother and helps to reduce the possibility of pencil lines. This is accomplished by holding the pencil somewhat sideways.
Instead of using white and black to do any shadowing it’s better to use colours like dark blue and purple for the dark colours. Use light yellows, for the highlights.
Try to avoid rubbing the colours, in an effort to create the shading you desire. This has a tendency to smear everything together.
3. Doodling (Your Own Image)
When you’re in an artistic mood and there’s no colouring book in sight, why not doodle?
Doodling is actually a great way to improve your artistic skills. The more you relax and let your hand do most of the work, you’re on your way to being a “master doodler.”
Learning to doodle is a lot of fun. You can doodle almost anything, even your own image. It’s probably best to start with basic tools like pencils, inexpensive markers or ballpoint pens. Once you start to get the hang of it, you can always graduate to more expensive supplies, including pastels, chalk and paint.
Doodling, as a beneficial pastime, is probably much more popular than you think. Famous presidents, authors and celebrities all admit to doodling, on a regular basis.
For most people, faces are harder to doodle than flowers, animals and other objects. Interpreting your finished doodle depends on whether you draw yourself or someone else. A simple round face indicates you’re probably a happy person. A brooding expression might mean you’re not particularly sociable.
If you’re a beginner, it’s good to practice drawing the same face with different expressions. This way you end up with a more realistic shape, to refer to in the future. If you’re doodling yourself, look into a mirror or at one of your pictures.
When you’re comfortable with the shape of the face, practice drawing features. Challenge yourself to draw an entire page of eyes, noses, etc. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn.
If you don’t want to draw yourself, try doodling a loved one or famous celebrity. You can even get a little crazy and try your hand at a caricature. There’s nothing wrong with a little more silliness in the world!
4. Gel Pen Techniques with Shading
Many adult colouring fanatics love using get pens to pull off several fun techniques and pretty decent shading. One big benefit of using this type of pen is the fact that the tip stays the same size. It doesn’t change shape like a crayon or coloured pencil. Here are two popular gel pen techniques to consider:
Hatching is easy-peasy. It consists of a bunch of parallel lines or strokes, which results in a uniformed look. You can use multiple colors and angle the lines any direction you’d like. Crisscrossing the lines, makes it even more interesting.
Dot, dots and more DOTS! That’s stippling in a nutshell. Easily change the texture of your drawing by adding some areas of stippling and it's easy with a gel pen.
It’s entirely possible to achieve shading techniques with a gel pen. Yay! However, it does take practice on your part and the blending pen of your choice.
A blending pen, which comes with two tips, is filled with clear fluid. When you draw over a colour, with the pen, that colour blends into the colour or colours next to it. Cleaning the pen is easy. Simply scribble on a piece of paper, until the pen runs clear.
Most artists recommend that you use the gel pens nearest to the outlines of the picture you’re colouring. Then, use the blender pen to draw the colour from the outline to the middle of the section you’re working on.
5. Coloured Pencils 101 – Mixing and Layering
If you’ve never coloured before or haven’t coloured in what seems like a million years, you probably want to start out with the basics and work your way up to “Colour Maestro.”
Coloured pencils are great for this. They’re available a rainbow of colours and a variety of price points, starting out at just a few dollars. The overall cost depends on the brand and quality you prefer.
One of the first rules of basic mixing and layering is practice. It makes sense, right? Like almost everything else, the more you practice, the better you get.
For best results, keep your pencils sharp. This makes it much easier to fill in small areas. Remember, not press too hard. The goal is to build up colour and not continuously break the tip of the pencil.
One important secret of successful layering and blending is colouring on the right texture of paper. You want something with a fine texture, as opposed to a smooth surface. The texture holds the pencil, which allows you to add multiple layers of colour.
The second part of good layering has to do with the colours you choose. Always use complementary colours when blending to create shadows. It’s recommended you never use a black pencil for shading. Doing so, makes the shading look dull and flat.
Complementary colours are those that are situated on opposite sides of the colour wheel… shades of violet-blue and yellow, orange-red and cyan, green and magenta, etc. Always start out with a light color. If you start with a dark one, you won’t be able to see the lighter one.
Because they layer so well, coloured pencils are one of the most preferred colouring tools.
It’s not uncommon to apply three to five different layers, to create a whole NEW colour. How cool is that?
In case you’re not aware, these pencils are waxy. When you press too hard, your colours end up shiny. If this happens, you won’t be able to build up layers. Use even strokes and a light to medium touch.
Adult-related colouring certainly isn’t anything new. In fact, Psychiatrist Carl Jung, began prescribing “colouring therapy” to his patients in the early 1900s. The calming effect (of this activity) stems from temporarily occupying the logical part of the brain, involved with the fear response. In other words, you’re giving your amygdala nuclei a rest.
As the nationwide trend continues to grow, adult colouring books are popping up all over the place including high-end department stores and catalogues. Small town artists are making names for themselves and earning extra income, at the same time.
Have you ever heard of a “colouring club?” Picture yourself relaxing with a bunch of friends, enjoying yummy food and drinks and colouring the picture of your choice. Yes, new groups are forming every week. No professional art experience required.
This is the tip of the iceberg, in regard to the wonderful and expanding world of adult colouring. As you can see, it’s never really been a “kids only” activity… even though many grown-ups secretly disagree.
You can find more inspiration and colouring-in training videos below to add to your new skills.
Remember, if you’re not sure colouring is for you, there’s absolutely no harm giving it a try. Chances are, not only will it be enjoyable, it’ll be addicting too! Try it with your kids.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order through my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Previously published on My Grandma's Place May 13, 2017
“Guess what, Nan? We’re coming to stay at your place..It’s so exciting !”
“I know, I know. I can hardly wait.”
Following hard on the heels of the pleasure and excitement I felt at my granddaughter’s words was the thought, ‘How am I going to make this visit special?’ ‘What can I do that will create lasting memories?’
(Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
If, like me, you’ve gone with the whole down-sizing your home you might not have too much space for full-on, energetic kids. Don’t panic! Regardless of the size of your home, or whether it sits on acres of land or has a postage-sized patio, you can still plan non-stop adventures and fun for your pint-sized visitors.
Choose any of the suggestions below to create a shared time with your grandkids that everyone will long remember. Simple activities shared together can become real ‘moments that matter’ in the memories of your grandkids.
When do your grandkids plan to arrive?
Are they going to stay for just one night or more?
Will they arrive morning or afternoon?
No matter how long they plan to stay, you'll find plenty of fun ideas to keep them busy and happy.
So, let's begin with some morning activities.
After dinner fun
The fun doesn’t have to stop just because it’s getting dark and almost time for bed. Check out these ideas:
Where are they going to sleep?
If you have a spare bedroom with sufficient beds, that’s great. If not, inflatable mattresses on the floor can be lots of fun. Add plenty of soft pillows and covers.
A small tent is another option and you can position it inside or on your patio or decking. I’ve found that most kids creep back inside after about an hour of outdoor camping so be prepared.
Don’t feel that you have to attempt everything on the list. Choose those suggestions that appeal to you or your grandkids.
Although these are simple ideas that don’t take too much preparation or planning, you’ll find that they are ‘moments that matter.’ Your grandkids will talk about this time with you often and with enjoyment. And I hope you’ll enjoy their visit, too.
Oh.. and don't forget to take photos!
A free checklist is available to download below…
Your checklist to preparing a wonderful sleepover. Just click on the image to download,.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, ofttimes, I'm able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order through my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.