A fun craft idea to do with the kids/grandkids as summer ends and those kids return to school!
Here is another fairly easy craft to do that takes advantage of your kids' creativity and imagination. The items needed (besides art supplies) are your cell phone camera and a printer.
You'll need to ask them to name all the jobs they'd like to have when they grow up. Or take advantage of the pretend time and your observations of that time--what are they always pretending they want to be? My grandson LOVES dinosaurs, so I was pretty sure he'd want to be a paleontologist or a dinosaur hunter. He also loves sharks, so I knew he would be up for a "pretend" encounter with sharks. We brainstormed some other ideas and then we were set to go!
Take some fun photos!
We got his boogie board and pretended it was a surf board. We tried to make it an action shot, like he was actually on the water. Then we printed that picture out, cut it out, and glued it on the drawing paper. He then filled in all the details of surf and sea and those dreaded sharks.
We did the same with some poses of him pretending to hunt dinosaurs. We had the photo of him in an astronaut's suit that we had made at the museum last year, so we just went with that. He still had to draw the rocket, moonscape, and the view of Earth, the "Big Blue Marble."
Another variation of this theme:
An added idea is to take a portrait shot of your child or grandchild. Then just use this headshot. Enlarge it quite a bit. Glue that on the art paper, and then your child has to create a headpiece around it. Again, we brainstormed: Indian chief, Roman gladiator, king, or action hero.
Just have FUN! And let your imaginations run wild!
His grandfather and I actually participated in this last assignment. His poppa took his headshot and became a native American chieftain. I drew Cleopatra's wig, headpiece and jewelry around my headshot. We had a laughing good time!
I know many of you are not having close contact with your grandchildren at this time because of Covid-19. And many of you do not live in the same town as your grands. Simply send them an art box with details for this project. How fun to mail them an art box as a fun summertime surprise. Include crayons, paints and craft paper. It can still happen. And then when everyone finishes their masterpieces, you can share on FaceTime.
As my sister always says, "Life is what you make it!" Life with your kids and grandkids should be fun--even during a pandemic!
One way to deal with stress--A BRAIN DUMP!
I've had this idea for a blog for a while. Originally it was before the pandemic, when we were so busy with life and a myriad of activities. Then Covid-19 hit, and we were sheltering-in-place, and I thought I didn't need to write such a blog--we weren't going anywhere. But of late, I've realized that during this pandemic, our stress levels have heightened. Probably more than ever, people need some tips on how to deal with all this. So I've decided to proceed. . .
One way to deal with this time is a "Brain Dump." It's basically what it sounds like--just pour out your thoughts and worries in your journal or on a piece of paper. The seed of this idea started with a gal I taught with years ago. She taught fifth grade, and when her students would come in the classroom stewing over something that happened either last night or during their morning, she would encourage them to write it down on a piece of paper. She called them, "Stinkin' Thinkin' Thoughts." After they had written what was bothering them, she asked them to wad them up and throw them in the wastebasket. Actually she might have even had a basket specifically for this purpose with the label, "Stinkin' Thinkin' Thoughts".
Another way to deal? A "Brain Dump" worksheet!
My friend simply had her students throw the paper away, but another way to do it, is write down all those things that are bothering you, or else all those "to-do" items that are nagging at you. Write it all down and take a look at your list. Are there some items that you can deal with? Make a plan for them. Are there some things simply out of your control? Put them in your prayer box or journal, and leave them to God, and get on with your life.
And as always happens when I'm researching ways to deal with stress and those thoughts that are racing through one's mind, I discovered a technique called a brain dump worksheet. There are tons of articles on line about this, and lots of examples of brain dump worksheets. I'll give you some links at the end of this blog. But I've also included my own worksheet above.
This way, you can organize those chores, worries, and concerns in an organized manner and make a plan to deal with them. What could be better?
Find a cozy spot for writing.
I like my little recliner in my den. I keep my ink gel pens at the ready and my basket of journals. You can tuck your brain-dump worksheet in your journal so it's always handy. Writing your thoughts down in a comfortable retreat is all a part of bringing down your stress level. Add some easy listening music from Pandora and you're set.
If I'm really trying to be serious about my organization, I might sit at my dining room table. That spot (at the dining room table) has been a favorite since I was a kid, and sat at my mother's table to do homework. I like my dining table as it affords me a view of our front flower garden. Sorry that the morning sun was streaming through that window today. You can't see the flowers in this photo. Oh well, another blog perhaps. :)
One more item to share!
Again, as always happens, I saw an item this week in the Houston Chronicle from one of my favorite columns by Marci Sharif. I'll include a link to her column, "Feeling Matters," at the end of this blog. One of her tips for dealing with an item on that nagging to-do list is to "JUST DO IT." That can clear up a lot of stress in your life and calm your racing mind if you'll simply get it done!
Here's what she said in her column this week mostly addressed to busy moms (But hey! We grandmothers are busy too! And for sure we have stress.) If this doesn't inspire you to get a handle on stress and those racing thoughts in your head, I don't know what will: "If you tend to carry a lot in your mind or do multiple things at once, you're probably used to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It's exhausting, I know. This way of operating is a recipe for being less effective all around. It eats away at spontaneity, creativity, and availability to the people around us... So, I've done some reflection and research."
Ms. Sharif goes on to say that she wanted to know the best ways to clear out mental clutter. "I'm less interested in tips like meditation, and getting more sleep and minding my diet. These are good pieces of advice, but I've yearned for practical strategies on how to orient and and action steps for a clearer head." You've got to read her article. Here's the link:
More websites about brain dumps:
Go forth and conquer those racing thoughts in your head. These are trying times what with the pandemic and political unrest. We all need some tips on how to deal. Hope this blog has helped.
I'll close with a quote from George Burns:
"If you ask what is the single most important key for longevity, I'd have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!