Teaching your kids to draw doesn’t have to be time consuming. In fact, even if you don’t know how to draw very well – you can actually learn while helping them gain the skills! What should be the first steps in instructing our kids in their artistic abilities?
Teach them to learn to see with “Drawing Eyes”
For a while, I didn’t understand that drawing is an observational art. So much with drawing has to do with learning to observe things. A friend of mine gifted me with one of the best books that I have ever read on drawing. It really helped me discover how to draw. Here’s The Book. I definitely recommend reading it and going through some of the lessons with your kids. Not only will you be teaching them, you’ll be having fun as well.
Stimulate kids to love art and drawing.
Children need to understand the value of things in order for them to get excited. Inspiration is essential for them to keep working at this skill. Here are some ideas for you to keep the kids engaged:
Show them art in children’s’ literature.
One of my favorite artists is a children’s’ book author. Her name is Jan Brett. She has written and illustrated some of the most beautiful children’s’ books that are out there. Reading her books to your kids will definitely inspire them. When children see the art in the context of a story, it means a lot more to them. Show them the gorgeous artwork in her books. There’s so much detail that goes into each page. My favorite book of hers is the Gingerbread Baby. You can get it here!
How-To Video: Jan Brett has made several videos with step by step instructions for others to learn how to draw farm and wild animals. In that post, the kids can easily pick which animal video tutorial they want to watch since each one is organized and labeled into a table.
Make drawing a part of family time.
For example, if you go to a cool pumpkin festival or pumpkin farm during the fall season, make sure you bring home some pumpkins for family time. You can use some of these pumpkin face painting ideas and creative pumpkin decorating pictures for you to brainstorm which pumpkin you will paint together as a family. Make drawing a family project. That way you can learn a new skill while bonding.
Look into the history of art with your kids.
Here’s a link to the famous Louvre Museum. Take the virtual tours of this museum with your kids. This is a great way to learn without even having to leave your home. You can do this during family time or simply whenever you feel like it.
Harness the love of the computer
After the kids have practiced drawing a lot on paper, you can have them start drawing on the computer. Here is some free software for kids to draw that you can install on your hard drive. Having artistic and drawing activities to do on the computer is a great motivator for them. Here’s a fun topic about decorating gingerbread men and Christmas gingerbread house decorations in which there are several online activities linked from there.
Identify Their Interest
Find a particular interest for each child and show them how drawing is involved in that. Artwork is all around us. For example: cartoon characters, magazine covers, brochures, etc. When I showed my oldest child that he could learn how to draw “Veggietales” he was so excited!
Incorporate drawing into unit studies
If you’re studying insects in the classroom or at home, teach your child(ren) how to draw them. I wrote a free penguin lesson unit study with penguin crafts & coloring pages in which you can get some creative art ideas when you’re teaching about penguins.
Don’t ignore their achievements.
Last but not least; if you want your kids getting excited about drawing then acknowledge what they have done. Genuine words of praise go a long way. Take pictures of what they draw and display them on the refrigerator or in a scrapbook. Showcase their work to your friends and family. I can assure you this will make them very happy and feeling a huge sense of achievement (other than helping their self-esteem).
What about you? What have you done to stimulate your kids to learn how to draw? Please share in the comment section below.
It’s so much easier to plan a baby shower when you already know the sex of the baby. Knowing that my friend Alaina is having a sweet little boy inspired me to write about boy baby shower ideas. I know that if I were there in the U.S. I would definitely help out in planning her the most awesome baby shower ever just because she’s a fantastic mom and deserves it!
So back to creative boy themes; whatever one you choose, you can always add certain green and eco friendly elements to the party. The tips in this post will give you some creative ideas to start with. I also suggest talking to the expectant mommy to find out how she will be decorating the baby’s nursery room. That way you can match the shower with the baby’s room and lots of decoratives can be reused.
Little Prince Baby Shower
To set the royal mood, place a red carpet in the front of the house, so that when everyone gets to the party, they will feel like they’re arriving at a castle. If you have the time, create a large castle cutout out of cardboard to surround the main entrance door. You can borrow a toy castle and use it as a centerpiece for the foods’ table. Some toy castles even have lighting which will liven up the decor even more. Use Little Prince books as centerpieces that can later be given as prizes for the games that you play. Blue white and gold balloons can be tied close to the ceiling. Use toy crowns and little prince dolls on the sweets tables. As for the invitations, cut them in crown shapes out of golden construction paper. Here’s a fun idea for the wording:
A little prince is arriving
So we should celebrate
Let’s help mom prepare
For this special date!
King of the Jungle Baby Shower
Create unique handmade lion themed invitations by using scrapbook details and stickers. Purchase orange construction paper, brown yarn and squiggly eyes to glue onto the invites. Write something like: We’re wildly excited to celebrate the arrival of (baby’s name).
To decorate your King the Jungle shower, add lots leaf vines and paper trees all around the party. The same bulletin board wall decoratives that are used in classrooms can be used at your shower. You’ll find these at teacher stores. Buy several lion stuffed animals and and place them on top of foods’ and guests’ tables. Try out this fried banana dessert recipe. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised. Plastic figurine wild animals can be used on top of the cake. As for the cupcakes, make lion faces out of cold icing with different food colorings for the details. Have green and orange balloons behind the foods tables and forming an arch at the entrance way. To make inexpensive favors, purchase many small animal print paper bags and fill them with chocolates, lollipops and candies. Here are some more jungle theme baby shower ideas for you.
Fun Personalized Decorations for Any Shower Theme
If you know the name of the baby boy being celebrated try hanging some personalized bibs or undershirts from a clothes line. Makes for a fun, unique decorative touch that the mom can take home to use. These can continue with the shower theme through colors or the applique on the bib or undershirt.
Nautical Baby Shower
Does mommy or daddy love boats? If they do, they’ll love this theme. A great color scheme to use with the nautical baby shower is the red, blue and white combination. Save money by borrowing certain items from friends and family. For example, if anyone has wooden ship toys, toy lighthouses, crates, rope, or even anchors, they can be used a part of the decoration. Use stuffed animals dressed in sailors and nautical diaper cakes as centerpieces for the foods’ tables. For the guests’ tables’ centerpieces, have red and white gerberas in glass vases filled with shiny stones and tied with blue satin ribbons. Place the sweets and finger foods in striped paper mini holders. Print out the names of the different foods on cardstock and then place them in front of each tray so that everyone knows what they’re eating. Use cold porcelain to make tiny anchors that can be hot glued onto sachet bags and given out as favors to the guests.
When throwing a baby shower the most important aspect is to make the expectant mommmy and the guests feel welcomed and included. Make sure to plan some games to provide bonding moments for all of your friends and family. With a bit of imagination and planning everyone is sure to have a fun time!
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If you’re trying to think of creative baby shower ideas to celebrate the arrival of twins, you can basically choose any theme that you desire and just double the item, animal, or whatever character that you’re using.
For example you can use two owls, two monkeys, two cowboys, two cowgirls, two caterpillars, two duckies, two carriages, etc. Simply buy the decoratives twice of each. With a little creativity you can use any theme that you want. If you need some ideas to think about before choosing a theme, then read on and see which of the following ones appeal to you.
Animal Themes Always Work Well
One of the most used themes for twins is the giraffe baby shower theme. In order to make this theme fit in more with the twins idea, you can focus on creating large giraffe wall decoratives and make one a male giraffe and the other one female if you are having a boy and a girl. If you’re having a noah’s ark baby shower, you can use many different animals on each wall. For example; have a wall with two elephants, another one with two tigers, two monkeys, etc. This will make the theme very ‘twin oriented’.
Decorate with glitter glue for an even cuter effect. For the ‘foods tables’ you can place two stuffed animals of each kind and have them hold cute hand-made signs with sayings like ‘Double the fun!’ to create a positive environment. Another saying that you might want to use is: ‘Twice as much to love, two blessings from above’. I would personally stay away from sayings like ‘Double the trouble’ as it is a bit negative and who wants that at a baby shower?
Two Peas in a Pod
The two peas in a pod baby shower is one of the most used twin themes out there, understandably since it’s so cute! If you don’t have a lot of time to make things by hand, then definitely go with this theme. Not only because it’s adorable but because it’s so easy to find everything that you may want to buy from decoratives, to invitations and favors in this theme.
Here are some elegant baby shower favors that will go well with this theme. You really won’t need to adapt much since it’s one of the most popular twin themes out there. The basic color scheme to use for it is green and white but you can add pink to the mix if the babies are twin girls. For baby twin boys you can add blue. If the babies are boy and girl you can either use both pink and blue as complimentary colors or you can just go with yellow as the added color for a cleaner look. Other favor ideas for this theme are: 2 peas in a pod candles, porcelain peas in a pod salt and pepper shakers, or 2 peas in a pod shaped soaps wrapped in tulle.
The Blue and Yellow Baby Shower
Blue and yellow can be used when the twins will are both boys or you don’t yet know the sex of the baby. (If both of the babies are girls you can throw a pink and yellow baby shower.) This theme is a lot of fun and gives room to use several different decorative items. Some items that can be used when decorating this shower are blue and yellow pacifiers, baby bottles, teddy bears, safety pins, baby carriages, bows, etc.
Decorate the tops of cupcakes with yellow and blue icing and place adorable blue and pink bows surrounding the sweets table. You can also have 2 diaper cakes: one with blue baby items and the other with yellow. Or you can make one big yellow and blue diaper cake like the picture to the right. Here are some homemade baby shower decorations that will give you more ideas. Place 2 different banners on the walls of the party: a yellow and blue one with creatiev sayings on them. For favors you can put chocolates into blue and pink baby block boxes and add thank you tags for your guests.
I hope these ideas have helped you in discovering which is the best best theme for your twin baby shower.
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So many times you go to a kids birthday party or a myriad of other get-togethers and all there is to eat is junk food. Just like the name implies, it’s not good for you.
The next time you plan a party, you can make sure your guests are well served and have great options. But then again, how are you going to get healthy food at a party? Is that even possible? Well, I’m here to tell you that you can turn a regular baby shower into a cool baby shower. A normal party into an innovative one. With a little creativity, everyone will really appreciate all of the effort you put into thinking about their well being.
Have a Variety of Options
I’m not advocating that you only have healthy food. After all, what’s a party without some yummy chocolate truffles and ice cream?
I am suggesting though, to give your guests a break from the bad and serve up some great healthy alternatives. These better foods are sure to be just as big of a hit as junk food, if not bigger, especially if a lot of people are dieting the day of your event.
At parties finger foods are a must. There’s just something about them that scream ‘enjoy yourself!’ Most of the time you’ll get to the event and there will be things like chicken wings, stuffed potato skins, chips and dip, etc. Instead of going with these less than healthy options, choose more figure friendly items like fruit kabobs, pita chips and hummus, and crostini. All three are very simple and considerably better for you.
For example; when I planned a Noah’s ark theme baby shower, I wanted the food to match the theme. So although I did have some themed sugary sweets, I also had made a rainbow tray of fruit and another one out of vegetables. With a little imagination, you can tie the theme into healthy options.
Speaking of Fruit and Vegetables…
When making fruit kabobs a brilliant pairing comes in the form of tangy, tropical fruits like chunks of peaches, pineapples, and mangos stuck on bamboo skewers. You can serve them just like that, or for an extra treat throw them on the grill and serve with a cold, fresh yogurt and cheese dip. In the dip combine low fat yogurt, low fat cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar and chill it.
Pita chips and hummus are just as simple to make as fruit kabobs. All you do is get pita bread, slice it into even triangles, brush it with olive oil (and herbs if you’d like) and toss it in a 400 degree oven until it is crispy and golden. For hummus, puree about 2 cups of chick peas, 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil, and garlic, lemon juice, and tahini to taste in a food processor. For a creamier texture add a touch of water to it. This is a great base recipe for hummus. By adding extra ingredients like cumin, hot sauce, or parsley you get a totally different, yet still delicious taste.
The simplest of the three recipes is crostini. Get a loaf of crusty, day old bread (i.e. baguette or ciabatta) cut into ½in slices; top it with tomatoes and goat cheese and bake. Yummy and incredibly easy!
Ok, so sometimes a gathering needs more than just finger foods. Greek chicken salad is an extremely satisfying, healthy food that will have your guests coming back for seconds. Throw together romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, red onions, cucumbers, kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and chicken; dress it with red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; Perfectly effortless and perfectly delectable.
As for beverages, you can serve a variety of fresh juices, apple cider, water, and teas. Of course, everyone will be expecting soda at the party, so definitely have them too. But prepare some juices previously and keep them cool in the fridge. Here’s a homemade lemonade recipe that will be a hit at your party.
Even sweets can be healthy if done properly. For example; if you were planning a monkey baby shower theme, you might want to have a ‘Banana Split Ice Cream Station’ set up in your back yard. So instead of using M&Ms and other candies, you can have pieces of fruit cut and placed in a variety of bowls for guests to serve themselves. Use different flavored low fat or fat free ice cream. Crustless cheesecake can replace brownies that are packed with carbs and sugar.
Every junk food has an alternative, you just have to find it. By changing your point of view, you can definitely discover unlimited ideas for healthy eating, even at a party. Now, what goes hand in hand with being healthy? Being green and saving money. Here’s a post about throwing an eco friendly birthday party that will give you tips to reduce waste at the party as much as possible. You also want to save money, so you might want to check out this post about throwing an affordable baby shower. using reusable/recyclable objects and buying as many of the food items as possible from local sources. Have fun being healthy and being green!