13.5 C
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeUKVacation help! An art expert suggests screenless things to do in...

Vacation help! An art expert suggests screenless things to do in every room of the house


School holidays can feel like a marathon when all the kids want to do is watch TV, play Minecraft, or repeatedly ask you for the iPad.

There are many things you can do around the house without a screen. And will help ward off whines along the lines of, “I’m booooooored.”

In a previous piece, I talked about setting up a home art studio. This time, here are five creative ideas to try in every room of the house.

Read more: ​​​​How to set up an art studio for kids at home (and learn to love the clutter)

In the kitchen: make your own paint

Kids enjoy making potions in the garden by adding soil and flowers and you can have the same fun in the kitchen by making paint from ingredients in the cupboard.

Paint is made with pigment and a binder. The first paint on cave walls was made with charcoal, ocher, minerals mixed with water, saliva, blood, animal fat and even woe. The history of paint is fascinating and children are intrigued by the stories, such as how a certain purple (tyrian) from the glands of sea snails and how cruelly a kind of yellow was made cow woeafter forcing them to eat mango leaves.

You can make your own paint using spices like turmeric, curry powder, and cinnamon or hunt around the house for chalk and eyeshadow for a variety of colors.

Ground turmeric can be turned into paint.

Grind the pigments with a mortar and pestle (some will need this more than others, but it’s a fun part of the process). Then mix in a glass or jar your ground pigments with a little egg yolk, a teaspoon of vinegar and a little bit of water as a binding agent and you have a egg tempera – a type of paint discovered by the Egyptians and still used by some artists.

Experiment with other herbs, berries, grasses or charcoal. If it’s colorful, you can grind it and it’s not too lumpy, give it a try. See how many colors you can make and then make a painting.

Read more: ‘Screen time’ for kids is an outdated concept, so let’s ditch it and focus on quality instead

In the living room: create a box masterpiece

Children who may not enjoy drawing or painting often enjoy building. So collect different types of boxes and see what your child can make.

In addition to the boxes, you will also need masking tape. Kids can tear it themselves or use a dispenser. Staplers and hole punches are also good connectors. Also give them some thick markers, fabric scraps and glue to add detail to their creations.

On one vacation, we lived near my daughter’s construction zone as she worked with cardboard, other trash items, and things from around the house to make her own home.

1680762843 394 Vacation help An art expert suggests screenless things to do.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip
Cardboard boxes and everyday household items can be transformed into a holiday home.
Naomi Zuwer

In your child’s bedroom: paint a mural

This won’t be possible for everyone, but think about letting your child do a mural in their bedroom. When we were growing up, my mom let us create fantastic scenes in our bedrooms.

Start by mapping out a basic design on paper. This slows down the process, allowing the child to think about what they want on the wall. But be prepared for the plan to go out the window. Sometimes as artists we react to the materials when we get our hands on them.

The trick to creating a successful mural with kids is choosing a good color palette and you really can’t go wrong.

A child paints a flower on a wall.
Start with a mural plan, but be prepared to drop it.

Get a few sample jars of water-based interior paint and bristle brushes from the hardware store. Then stick a drop sheet on the floor and cover anything else you don’t want covered in paint and go for it!

If this is too freestyle for you, take a look at the beautiful “field of flowers” activity in Hervé Tullet’s book, Art workshops for children. This is a more structured approach to collaborative painting and produces beautiful results (it starts with dots, then dots within dots and you end up with a field of flowers).

If this isn’t possible where you live, consider using liquid chalk markers to create murals on the windows. This is so much fun and you can play with tracing things outside the window.

Choose a range of colors and overlapping line art to build patterns on the glass. This is also so easy to clean – just wipe it with a wet cloth.

In the dining room: make a strip

The dining table is the perfect place for projects and drawing. I find kids love making comics. The book Create comics by Lynda Barry has excellent exercises to get you started with comics, storyboards and zines.

Vacation help An art expert suggests screenless things to do.0&q=45&auto=format&w=237&fit=clip
‘A day at the museum’ by T Slater, aged 5.
Naomi Zuwer

Zines are mini DIY books. You can fill them with ideas through drawing, collage and words. View my how to make a zine video done for Australia’s National Museum Exhibition ancient Greeks last year.

You could do something similar: take your young person to an exhibition, collect some flyers or postcards, cut them out at home and stick them in a sentence. This can expand your child’s museum experience and provide a chance to discuss and understand what you saw together.

Children use drawing to understand the world around them. When my son was five, he made a comic strip about an experience in a gallery: how he didn’t want to go, how he felt about some of the artworks, and how relieved he was because he was afraid of some of the works.

This gave me the opportunity to see how deeply he was touched by the exhibition and we could talk about those feelings.

In the bathroom: Break open the shaving cream

Shaving cream is one great medium with endless possibilities sensory playwhich aids in brain development, motor skills and more.

You can make slime by adding one cup of glue to two cups of shaving cream and sprinkling one teaspoon of baking soda into the mix, plus two teaspoons of saline. Add food coloring for a marbling effect, create prints and paint on a mirror or bathtub.

You can also make sculptures with it. Start with a shampoo bottle as your armature (inner structure) and build your shape around it. Take photos of the sculptures to capture the ephemeral creations.

Green and blue dye mixed in shaving cream.
Add food coloring to shaving cream for a creative bathroom activity.

Try adding cornstarch to the shaving cream and play with the proportions until you’ve developed a malleable consistency. The transformation of the substance is quite remarkable and kids love the tactile quality of this mixture.

At the end of the day, kids have the best ideas, so take a moment to ask them what creative activities they’d like to explore during the holidays and let them lead the way. The important thing here is to let go, enjoy the process and play – worry about cleaning up later!

Read more: How to get the most out of playing with sand: 4 tips from a sculptor

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories