Hi everyone! I am here for my bi-annual blog post (I really and truly mean to write on here more often, whether or not anyone reads it, but it always gets pushed to the bottom of my to-do list). I hope that everyone is staying safe and staying sane. I will start this by saying that while I have had the privilege of staying home and working from my home this past month, I know that that is not the case for so many people out there, and I cannot say how grateful I am for everyone out there who is keeping us safe and fed.
Because I know that many of you are spending more time at home, I've been brainstorming activities and lesson ideas with a lot of the individuals and businesses I work with. I figured I would write a compilation post to link all of them, and then to add in a couple of my own. Some of these are art-related, and some of them are totally random (see: backyard camping). All of them can be done by adults, and all but one (see: wine tasting) can be done by children, although most of them were designed with children in mind!
Famous artist-inspired mini art lessons for children (and/or adults)
Art-related activities for adults and children
Color! Print out this alphabet seek-and-find and coloring sheet I made for Dixie Design. The blog section of their website has a bunch of other free printables with artwork by other Dixie artists as well. I’m also illustrating a coloring book about traveling bunnies with Dondolo, which is available for free on their website- they will be releasing new pages bi-weekly throughout the next month and a half.
Host your own at-home wine tasting with these printable “Wine Tasting Notes”
Read a book. I wrote this post last year about some of my favorite books, and have been meaning to add to it- a few more good ones from the past year- “Tell Me Everything” by Cambria Brockman, “The Perfect Wife” by JP Delaney, “The Escape Room” by Megan Goldin, “The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewell, “Dear Wife” by Kimberly Belle, and “A Nearly Normal Family” by M.T. Edvardsson.
Make a deep dish pizza from scratch- here is my favorite. If your grocery store is like mine and out of dry yeast, a lot of grocery stores (Trader Joe’s anywhere and The Italian Store in the DMV area) carry pre-made pizza dough. We used some dough the other night in a cast-iron skillet to make a pizza on the grille, and it was awesome.
Have a camp-out in your backyard- if we are still social distancing by the time it’s a bit warmer out, this is definitely on my bucket list (if you do not have a backyard- have a campout in your living room! Make microwave or stovetop s'mores.)
Host a Zoom trivia night. We did this with my family the other night- I’ll be honest that I am having a hard time getting used to Zoom because I didn’t realize just how many awkward facial expressions I make (although I know that this is not the point!), so I was kind of hesitant about it at first, but we had a lot of fun. Each person came up with their own category and wrote ten different questions.
Say “thank you” to the essential workers with these free printable cards
Speaking of essential workers- make a spinner of all of your favorite local restaurants (or write them down on little slips of paper to pull out of a hat), then pick one night a week where you choose one, and order take-out from that restaurant.
Watercolor! You might not know this, but I have never actually taken a watercolor class, so please take any "instruction" I've posted on here with a grain of salt. That said, I started watercoloring in summer 2014 on a whim, and I am so happy that I did, because who knows what I'd be doing now, otherwise! I made a "cheat-sheet" with my supplies and some tips/tricks listed a couple of years ago- you can download it here.
Block printing- if you’ve never tried linocut printing before, it is super easy and fun. Because the carving tool can be sharp, I would recommend either doing it yourself (I just ordered some carving blocks off of Amazon) or with children grades four and above. When I first started my business in 2014, I actually sold (or tried to sell) some linocut prints, and I thought it would be fun to make some now with my extra time on the weekends. This starter kit on Amazon has everything that you need to get started. I might also order some fabric inks, because, why not?
Abby Grace Photography