Hi friends! How’s it going? It is week EIGHT of coronavirus quarantine here. If you’d have told me ten weeks ago that this is what the world would look like right now, and that I could survive MONTHS of being at home, I would NOT have believed you… Alas, here we are!
I figured since I have nothing else to do (j/k, like every other working mom in the world right now, I feel busier than ever… ), I’d revive the ole blog. I’m going to start sharing ten things that are saving my life during these weird days as a form of “documenting” this time for myself and my kids one day. As a bonus, maybe some of you will find some new ideas/things to help you get through this season too!
I don’t know exactly when or how often I will post; but, so far, I’ve already got 9 different types of lists brewing, so I figured I’d just start and see how it goes.
The series even has a catchy little title: the Quaran-TEN (get it?), and I made a fancy banner image to go with it in Adobe Spark, so… things are pretty serious.
Today, I’m kicking the series off with 10 arts & craft items we’ve been using like crazy around here:
For reference, my kids are almost 9 (Sam) and newly 5 (Nora). *Also, none of this is sponsored, but some links may be affiliate. 🙂
- Sidewalk Chalk (of course) — We’ve totally jumped on the painter’s tape bandwagon and had a lot of fun beautifying our front walk. (I linked the chalk we have, but we got ours at Sam’s Club for a MUCH better price!)
- Ed Emberley’s Drawing Books — I think I’ve been a little more into these than the kids, but they are SO cute and so easy to do! (We have the faces one and the animal one, and I’ve got my eye on the “make a world” one too!)
- Paint by Sticker Books — Each kid got one of these in his/her Easter basket, and they have been a huge hit all around. Nora has the kids’ version (linked above), and she can do it mostly by herself but prefers a little help. We got Sam an adult version (Masterpieces). He can totally do it, but it is much more time-consuming and intricate. The finished products, from both books, really are awesome / totally fridge worthy. (Also, Jimmy Fallon’s little girls were doing this on his show the other night; so, I mean, we’re basically famous now!)
- Watercolor for Kids Class — This is the only “screen” thing on the list, but it totally deserves a spot here… A long time fan of Emily Lex / Jones Design Company, I signed up for this Watercolor class last summer, but we never really did much with it… Then we pulled it out again the first Sunday of quarantine, and all four of us thoroughly enjoyed the lessons! Nora has even perfected her cat art now thanks to this class!
- Kid Made Modern Arts & Crafts Library — This is another thing we’ve had for a while but have finally started putting to good use… Basically, I just give the kids this kit + some construction paper, toilet paper rolls, clothes pins, and other things found around the house, and they go to town. The mess is hard for me, but the creativity is worth it… I guess.
- Rock Painting Kit — My mom gave Nora this kit for her birthday, and they had so much fun doing it together. As a bonus, we plan to put the rocks in “hidden” places around the neighborhood to spread a little joy on our afternoon walks. (P.S. The kit is fun, but you totally don’t need it to paint rocks!)
- Perler Beads — Nora also got these for her birthday, from her cousins. They are a total blast from the past! The kit we have came with some easy patterns, but my kids really just like to make it up as they go… And there are some really fun ones on Pinterest for when I start feeling crafty. 😉 BE WARNED THOUGH: I had to pull out my iron from the deep dark place where it has been for the last several years.
- Shrinky Dinks — Let me be clear, these are RIDICULOUS. Basically, it’s very thin plastic “paper,” that you color with colored pencils and then BAKE IN THE OVEN until they shrink down to about 1/4th of their size. Then, you can do whatever with them (in our case, let them collect around the house) – but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to add them to string for a necklace or give them hooks for earrings. It IS really fun watching them shrink in the oven though, I have to admit.
- Homemade Play-dough — Always a hit, we used the recipe linked, and it made perfectly bright/colorful and soft/squishy play-dough. With a few plastic knives and cookie cutters, they were entertained for at least a full 15 minutes, and I awkwardly find myself playing with this stuff well-beyond their attention span. It’s oddly very soothing. Ha!
- Sharpies — These are, obviously, only appropriate for older kids (or those being strictly supervised… or, I guess, those who’s parents have totally given up #nojudgement), but I grabbed a set on an Amazon Lightening Deal last week, and coloring and writing are SO MUCH MORE FUN with them. Trust me.
BONUS: Cookie Sheets — Beyond their obvious use (COOKIES!), we have been using these to hold all.the.things. lately — Perler beads, play-dough, Shrinky-Dinks, etc. etc. etc. I even make Nora use one when she wants to cut (she *always* wants to cut), and it makes clean-up so much easier. Cookie sheets (with edges – very important) might actually be the real hero of Quarantine 2020 at our house. If you aren’t using them, start now!
So, there you have it! That was fun, right?
What arts and crafts things are saving you these days?!?! Please add to my list in the comments!