When the kids were little we could do all kinds of fun summer activities. We could go to the library and then pop into the park and play at the splash pad on a hot summer afternoon. We could go to the park and play and then stop for an ice cream cone on the way home. We could make paper plate windmills decorated to look like watermelons, or make necklaces out of macaroni, or create little play houses for the Polly Pockets out of popsicle sticks. But now that our girls are teenagers, those kinds of summer day activities don’t seem to be quite so attractive.
We’ve tried painting and that was fun, but one of my girls is quite indecisive so she will spend an entire afternoon trying to decide WHAT to paint, and then fearful that she won’t be able to do it “right,” she ends up not painting anything at all. So we continue to focus on the positive outcome, no matter what the actual final product looks like, and just have fun. But still, I’m really searching for a few things that will be of interest without any pressure to “do it right.” But rather, just to do it . . . something . . . anything . . . so that we can have fun this summer!
We also found a great coloring book that has all of the intricate details of medallions and other geometric designs, and that has been a lot of fun. Along with a new box of colored pencils, that coloring book has provided some creative expression without any pressure for perfection, and it also offers a bit of fine motor skill development. Score one for mama! But the painted flowerpots were a bit too overwhelming, so we’ll wait on that project for another day.
Another thing that we’ve been working on for the past several weeks is finding a few new wall hangings for the girls’ rooms. We’ve picked up a couple of things from Hobby Lobby when they have a 50% off sale (actually yesterday they had all of their “spring” selection at 66% off! “That’s a weird number,” observed on daughter. “That’s 2/3, Honey,” I said. “Really?,” she said incredulously. “Yes, really,” I said. Math isn’t our strong suit, but there was a math lesson right in the middle of Hobby Lobby!). But still, there are a few more things they would like to put up in their rooms now that all of the painting in there is finished.
Every time we walk through Walmart, the other daughter is attracted to those (rather gaudy, IMHO!) sequin pillows that you can brush your hand over the surface and it will be one color, and then brush your hand over it the other way, and it becomes a different color. So when I came across this cute sequin art wall hanging, I thought that would not only be fun and easy (no fear of failure), but she might also love it just as much as she loves those pillows. Maybe I need to break down and buy her one of those silly pillows for her room!
I love this little DIY journal book! We could do this one together and then she might be inclined to decorate the pages on her own. We’ll give it a try and see. Both girls could do this project and we can put pictures from summer camp, friends and family events, VBS at church, the 4H fair, and our local summer festival. Summer memories of everything they do this summer.
And then the painted sneakers . . . . we made a few of these last summer, but I really like these super simple pineapple and banana painted sneakers. If I sketch out the little pineapples and bananas, I’m thinking they could paint them. Easy-peasy on a summer day.
Here’s a paint project that could get us past the “fear of failure” obstacles: a block print canvas design, created using those sponge “pouncers.” Really you could use any size or shape of sponge to make a design. We could use just two colors, or shades of one color, or a whole riot of colors! The round ones look a bit like bubbles, but squares or triangles or rectangles all would work, too. Just pour out some paint on a paper plate, then dip and dot! This is the first one we are going to try, I think this afternoon, because we have a few of the canvas boards already.
One of the other things that the girls really seem to like is the large letters, either just their initials or even spell out their whole name. These yarn-wrapped ombre initials look like they would be easy enough to do, and it would also get some of that fine motor skill therapy going on, too. We’ve got some yarn, and we also have some of the chipboard letters we could experiment with. And we’ve got a bunch of other embellishments that would look really cute on the letters.
So I think we are ready to make something super simple, no expectations of “perfection,” just have fun and create. Together. That’s the goal. Even though the paper plate windmills and the popsicle stick creations are no longer of interest, I’m hopeful that there is something here that we will all enjoy doing together, and it will be fun. And it might even end up being just what they’ve been looking for to decorate the walls of their bedrooms. Gotta give it a try, at least!
I would love to hear about creative projects you have done with your teens. I’m always open to more ideas! Hope you are having a good week . . . . .