Monday, February 18, 2019

5 Cold Weather Indoor Craft Ideas to Keep your Kids Occupied

5 simple kid crafts for winter indoor rainy days
Hello everyone! We survived #SeattleSnowmageddon2019 and eventually were able to dig ourselves out of our garage and driveway. It was a doozy of a snow storm, but we had everything we needed to stay warm and keep our tummies way more full than usual for a week (stress eating during an emergency is a real thing).

What I keep hearing from my friends, is while many had enough food to eat, and were lucky enough to have power, they didn't have enough to keep their kids occupied. The stress on parents this past week multiplied as fast as the snowflakes fell and it got me thinking, it might be nice to create a post with activities for kids to do during the cold, and sometimes unexpectedly stormy, winter weather.

I pulled a few of my favorites from the archives that I thought you might like. While being housebound wasn't very fun and cabin fever set in rather quickly, I'm hoping these crafty ideas for cold weather will come in handy for you or your kiddos so no one goes too stark raving mad.

Indoor Craft Ideas for Kids during Cold, Winter Weather


(*affiliate links included in this post. See disclosure below)

Make an Ink Blot T-shirt

kids projects for rainy or wintery days - decorate tshirts with ink blot design
Ink blot t-shirts -an easy, cool, indoor kids activity © ShannonSews
All you need is a blank t-shirt, a piece of cardboard (old cereal box works perfectly), and some fabric paint. This link is to an ink blot t-shirt making party I had at school and the kids LOVED it! They wore their t-shirts for years after.

Keep some fabric paint on hand and, in a pinch, you can use an old shirt that has a stain on it that you can cover up with a paint design.





SUPPLY LIST:
FolkArt Brush on Fabric Paint Beginner Set
Gildan Kids' Ultra Cotton Youth T-Shirt, 2-Pack
Youth Cardboard Shirt Form (or just use the cardboard from a cereal box)



Faux water color painting

kids paint watercolors without paint use crayola washable markers
Faux water color projects for kids © ShannonSews
This craft is SO easy if you have some washable markers and small paint brushes on hand (I used Crayola Washable Markers). If you have access to the internet and a printer, you can print out free coloring pages, clip art or even draw something yourself in a pinch. And it's more fun than just using the regular old kid set of water colors.

This link will take you to my step-by-step instructions (+ a video!) on how to keep anyone occupied for hours (I know, you'll count yourself lucky if your kids focus on this for 20 minutes) but I swear they and you will love it. Even if they knock the water glass over.

SUPPLY LIST:
Crayola Washable Markers
Kids Paint Brushes
White Cardstock
Clip Art (google to find free-bees)
Computer & Printer (or just let them paint their own designs)




Sew easy bean bags or rice bags

Winter sewing projects for kids - sew rice bags or bean bags
Kid friendly sewing- beanbags / rice bags © ShannonSews
I know, the point is not to give your kids ammunition while you're stuck inside the house, but think of all the fun they could have throwing bean bags at targets, downstairs - away from you.

Create a target by cutting out a hole in a box or draw a target and tape it to a box. It can't get more easy than that on a cold, indoor, winter day.

However, for this project you really do need a sewing machine, although, you could use strips of stitch witchery and a hot iron to bind the fabric together, but a sewing machine is the best route. Follow the link to the full tutorial. They are just squares, so even a new little sewer may not have too much trouble with this. I made these as sewing weights, but you follow the same instructions for bean bags the kids can toss and toss and toss - just hopefully not at you or each other.

SUPPLY LIST:
Cotton fabric squares - cut them yourself or buy pre-cut 5" cotton squares
Sewing Machine and thread OR stitch witchery and a hot iron (optional, this method not shown on tutorial)
Dry beans or rice
Old Cardboard box for target practice
Scissors to cut out target hole



Make Paper Roses

Make paper roses - easy for kids - indoor cold weather activities
Easy paper roses - kid projects for rainy days © ShannonSews
This is a really fun activity for kids that know their way around a pair of scissors and can roll up a strip of paper. And if you don't want to get involved in the making, just let one of your older kids help, that you trust with a hot glue gun. I didn't mean that as a joke.

I made this red rose out of 2 pieces of scrapbook paper, and if I can make it, trust me, you can - or even your elementary school aged child can. This link takes you to another blog's tutorial, who showed it much better than I could. They even embellish their flowers with glitter, but this post is about lowering your stress, not heightening it.

SUPPLY LIST:
Colored Cardstock
Scissors
Hot glue gun


Make Your Own Soothing Lavender Water

DIY lavender water for easy indoor kids activity
Lavender water recipe even for kids © ShannonSews
Did you know they make something called Lavender pillow spray to calm and soothe before bed? Maybe if your kids make this lavender water it will make them really relaxed and they will want to go to bed. What a marvelous idea for a housebound snowy, cold or wintry day, don't you think?

You will need a few ingredients on hand like distilled water, though I'm guessing regular tap water would work in a pinch, Essential Lavender Oil, Witch Hazel (or a pinch of rubbing alcohol instead), a measuring cup & spoon, funnel and empty spray bottle.

Since many people have these items in their house already, it could be an easy go-to project...OR for us crafty types who keep a rainy day activities bin, you're set.



SUPPLY LIST:
Distilled water
Essential Lavender Oil
Witch Hazel (ethyl alcohol, isopropyl or vodka) *acts as an emulsifier & helps spray dry faster
Measuring cup & spoon
Funnel
Spray Bottles




I'd love to hear your cold weather stuck-indoors activity ideas for kids! Share in the comments below! And good luck through the rest of the winter. The groundhog may have been wrong?


*This post contains product links, added for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through Amazon.com. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reconnecting with what you love

find your passion when you've lost it
Fall back in love with what you do
Photo by Chuck Hildebrant on Unsplash
Ever fall out of love with what you're doing every day?
I think a lot of people do.
Am I speaking for myself?
Yes, some days.

When I started this blog back in 2010 I was DIY fresh-faced and fancy-free. I loved trying new things. I painted, sewed, refashioned, wrote funny posts, designed my own t-shirts, dyed fabric, glued, glittered, decorated, and shared everything I was doing and couldn't wait for the next DIY project.

I created endless lists of things I wanted to try and some nights I couldn't sleep because the ideas where whirling around inside my head. I was blogging for myself and for the fun of sharing. It wasn't a job. I didn't try to make any money from it. I just loved creating and sharing.

And then I started my first etsy shop where I was selling some of the beautiful creations I was making. And I still blogged about what I was doing and how much fun I was having, but now I had to pay attention to SEO, word placement, alt tags, and images. And blogging wasn't quite as fun.

And my first etsy shop morphed into a 2nd etsy shop, and my focus shifted. As I went further and deeper into my new venture, the farther away I went from what I had once gained so much energy from. And it was harder to come up with blog posts and the energy just wasn't the same. So I stopped.

I no longer had time to create, design and imagine. Or at least I didn't give myself time to do it anymore. With so many other to-do's on my plate, the pulls I felt "off the clock" were to vegetate instead of create.


A new kind of wanderlust

The other day, as I pawed through the muted and mundane winter clothing I have in my closet, I had a spark of wanderlust return. Not for far off places, but for the crafty girl who had been hibernating for what seemed to have been a terribly long 5 year winter. I had a spark of wanting to decorate my own t-shirts again. It caught me off guard. Was it really ok for me to do that again? Oh, how I had loved making those ink blot t-shirts. It was the magic of the moment as I pulled the layers apart to see what un-planned design was suddenly created on purpose. And what if I actually blogged about it and shared it because I was excited to? I almost had to look around to see if anyone had also heard the voice in my head.

And all at once I was excited about pulling out my paints and finding a plain t-shirt to unleash my creativity on. I felt a fire and excitement that I hadn't felt in a long time. What if I really did things again for no other purpose than old-fashioned enjoyment?


5 Tips for reigniting your passion

Sometimes you don't even know what you love anymore. We get so stuck in our mind-body routines that we feel numb to the world outside of ourselves.

We often keep ourselves in a box of our own doing, telling ourselves we're, "not that kind of person", we "probably wouldn't like that", we "really wouldn't be good at it", we've "already done that, or we "just don't have time for that".

Well, if you haven't tried it, you actually may like it. And I'm not talking about your mom telling you to try peas because you'll like them. I mean, you actually might really like it. And you may surprise yourself and find that your water color painting is actually a lot better than the one your kindergartner brought home! Snaps for you!

Here are 5 tips for "finding your passion" if you've lost it or never knew what it was in the first place.

1. Give yourself permission to explore 

Learn about and try new things you've never dared and give yourself the time to do it. Think of the advice you'd give another person if they were in the same position - you'd never put a cap on the things they could try, learn or become. Give yourself that same grace.

There are SO many different things to try - do something with wood, furniture, paper, hot glue, pottery, fabric, dirt, glass, metal, paint, photography, dance, you get the picture. It might spark a passion you never even knew existed or one that has been dormant for far too long.

2. Break old routines

When we are used to doing the same old things every day we miss out on the ones we've never tried and the spark of energy that new activities can bring. Do 1 thing every day that is different than you normally would. It could be something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood, drinking something different for breakfast, going to the library, buying a food you've never tried before, exercising an hour later, or wearing something you haven't worn for a while. Try something new that breaks stale habits.

3. Find energy from outside yourself

Get out of your own head and into someone else's. We are limited by our own beliefs about ourselves so spend time with someone who knows you and ask them what they think you might be good at or something they think you would like. Even finding out what someone else's goals and aspirations are might spark one in you. It can be fun and eye-opening to get an outside perspective.

Other places to try for new ideas, perspectives & inspiration:

Podcasts

I used to focus my podcast listening to work and business-related sources but when I add podcasts about things other than work, I get a boost of energy and perspective that also helps my work.
3 Podcasts I listen to right now:



Instagram

It's not just about finding like-minded business people to follow or those who share your same situation, follow people who inspire and do good in the world.
3 Inspiring people I'm following right now:


Library 

No need to spend a bunch of money as you learn about new things, I love checking books out at the library about everything under the sun. You may also find postings for free workshops, book readings, or community events that sounds interesting.

Pinterest

Give yourself a certain time limit to explore and then GO AND DO. Unfortunately, watching other people cook meals for 3 hours won't actually make you dinner. Dang it!

TV Shows

People give tv watching a bad rap. Just like other things that can suck us into a time warp, give yourself a certain amount of time to get inspired by what you watch. And no, watching 10 hours of other people renovating houses doesn't count as doing it yourself (yes, that was for me). I literally think, "I could do that" and then Alison Victoria, from Windy City Rehab, reminds me that I can't. ha! But it's still fun watching and imagining and sparking ideas and creativity while being thankful I don't have over a million dollars on the line, if I even had a million dollars.

4. Spend time outside

Nothing gets me out of my head and into a better, more creative, thoughtful, positive frame of mind than getting outside. Into the woods or by the beach is better, but a quick neighborhood walk can spark thought and ideas. If you don't have time for a walk, sometimes even getting out to the mailbox can give you a boost with the fresh air and sunshine (or splash of rain if you live in Seattle).


5. Stop chasing your passion

I hear so often about people trying to "find their passion", like there is only one thing that can ever truly fulfill them. They are often left empty as they pursue the unattainable. I have found there are things I try, like, and check off my list forever; other things I love and revisit many times; and a few things that really fill me up. Trying different pursuits brings out different likes, talents and passions. By widening your view you may actually find your passion without really looking for it.



So while we may not love what we do every single day, we can definitely make more room for joy, reconnect with those things that once brought us happiness, and find new things to love.

What are some things that light you up that you want to try or reconnect with?




Shannon Sorensen, author of Shannon Sews, is also the founder and CEO of Fairface Washcloths, the best washcloths for sensitive skin.

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