Almost one week into our first ever school holidays (and my first time looking after 2 children all day every day for 8 weeks until Pip starts school in September). Slightly intimidated by what I see as a rather daunting job of providing activities day in and day out, I’ve been busy planning. I’ve been putting together a new series for The Little Pip Things to do in the school holidays – posts about ideas and things to do over the summer, or indeed, all the myriad half terms that will soon be on our radar. This time round, I’m not at my day job as I’m still on maternity leave, so this summer, the series will be about things to do as one off days to entertain with your child(ren). Some will be local to me, some London centric but others are available nation wide or just things to try at home, and I’m trying to include a mix of different price points.
Rainy day projects – keep a summer scrapbook
Pip has been enjoying keeping a scrapbook or diary of the things that we’ve been up to this summer. I bought a cheap scrapbook type notebook (sugar paper type thing – I got these buff sugar paper ones as a neutral background but these multicoloured scrapbooks look good too) and she collects things from the days out that we’ve been on.
I have always enjoyed this, particularly on interesting or notable holidays. I kept one on our honeymoon, for instance, noting down all sorts of things including what we ate and cooked, what wine we drank etc.
Pip always loves to collect leaflets, receipts and postcards, so this is the perfect use for them. We sit down on a quiet or rainy day and she uses a glue stick and sometimes scissors, and then I help her write things like the day, or where we visited, and what the weather was like.
We have also just been sent an Epson Eco-tank printer to try and I’ve bought some photo paper for it, so we will be printing some of the many photographs we’ve been taking using the wifi option to print from my phone. I’ve been letting Pip use my phone camera when we’ve been out, taking photos of things she is interested in, for her to print.
Painting cards for upcoming birthdays or invitations
Who doesn’t love to paint? We are big fans and very much enjoy using various paint boxes and art sets that we have – sometimes at an easel that I inherited from my artist grandfather, and sometimes just at the kitchen table. We always cover it with newspaper, which I stick down using masking tape. We always have jam jars and paint brushes handy in the kitchen so we don’t have to go hunting for them (they live on the windowsill by the sink).
I find all the painting for paintings sake a little pointless though, so we often try and come up with things that we need to make – such as invitations for a party, or a card for a birthday or to say thank you. For the invitations below, Pip painted a series of big pieces of paper and I used my little guillotine to cut out A5 sized pieces which I then wrote on the back, however, you could also run them through a printer.
Something which always worked well when I was younger was using a roller rather than a paintbrush to achieve more interesting patterns, or to put paint/ink on a tile using a roller, then scratch a pattern in and press paper on to the top of the tile for a quick print. Those would make lovely thank you cards, or invitations.
Heads, bodies, legs – paper and pen game for 3 or more
If you don’t fancy getting paints out, or want something for a situation where you’ve only pens and paper to hand, this little game is really fun with little ones that can draw. You need a piece of paper per person participating and a felt tip pen. It’s a bit like the word game consequences (also fun, but requires participants to write, so this version is better for littles) but with body parts.
- Everyone starts off with a head, then folds the paper over (may require assistance) leaving the stalks of the neck showing.
- Pass paper to next person, who draws a body (or, for 4 players, the torso), fold as above
- Pass paper to next person who either draws legs (3 players) or bottom part of torso etc, fold etc
- Pass paper to next person who draws feet (3 players) or legs etc.
Papers are then unfolded, usually to much hilarity.
What about you? Any art projects you recommend for a rainy day?