Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Great Ways to Keep Kids Busy!

Busy days filled with family and travels are on the horizon as the holidays approach. It can be a stressful time for kids and parents with changes in routine, bedtimes, meals and even location. Coloring is a great stress reliever, even for the littlest holiday reveler. Follow this link to the free coloring pages on ColoringBook.com and stock up. Or check-out some holiday titles or just for fun titles to give kids at the beginning of a car trip. Challenge them to finish the book or a section of pages by the time you arrive at your destination. For older kids, give them page challenges: coloring only with colors that start with a letter in their name, coloring with only three colors, or whatever sounds fun! Make sure you have plenty of crayons, markers and pencils, and if you have to get a last minute gift, you will have plenty of home-made wrapping paper. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Come out and see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes here in St. Louis at the Peabody Opera House from November 8th - 17th!
*Get The Official Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes 2012 Coloring & Activity Book here at www.ColoringBook.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Nature Scrapbook

This activity encourages you to look at familiar objects in a new way.

Supplies:  paper or a blank journal, crayons/markers, glue or tape.

It’s officially fall and you may have already spotted some leave beginning to change.  The next time you are outside, look for objects that have fallen from the trees. Leaves of different shapes, sizes and colors, acorns, seeds and small twigs – whatever catches your eye and interest are great for this project.   Attach the items you found on different pages.  As you look at each item, use your imagination and transform the object into a new creation by using your crayons and markers.  An acorn top could become a silly hat for an elf, or wheels for a car:  draw the vehicle.  That cool-looking leaf you found could become the body of a space creature – just draw the rest of it around the leaf. 

When you are finished,save your pages -- they will make great decorations for a Thanksgiving dinner later in the season!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Working with Texture

How can you use different textures in your next picture?  What textures are around you when you step outside?

Materials:  2 sheets of white paper, colored construction paper, scissors, crayons, glue

1.       Let’s get some texture!  Unpeel the paper from three different crayons.  Take them and 2 sheets of white paper outside.  Place your paper on top of different surfaces (bricks, concrete, trees, leaves, or anything else you’d like to try).
2.      Now lay your crayon down on the paper and rub the crayon enough times so that the bumps, lines or designs begin to show through.  Color areas of the paper in different directions and switch crayons to see if you can create various effects.  Repeat and fill up the other paper with different textures and colors. 
3.      With a scissors, cut up the textured rubbings into different shapes.
4.      Take out the construction paper and arrange the shapes on top.  Try arranging the pieces to make a house, an animal, a robot, a skyscraper, a vehicle or an interesting creature.
5.       It’s ok to begin without a plan, just move the pieces around until you see something start to form. Glue the shapes down and enjoy your textured creation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School Portraits

Taking a picture on the first day of school is a wonderful ritual for many families.  But here's a new twist...create a back to school portrait to mark how the student looked on that first day.

Take a careful look at yourself in mirror, noticing your hair, and face.  Then begin drawing your head, adding in the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair and shoulders.  Are you wearing your favorite shirt?  Create a frame by gluing strips of construction paper around the edge of the paper.  Write your name on the bottom and don't forget to add the date!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gold, Silver or Bronze?

Have you seen an Olympic athlete win a gold, silver or bronze metal?  Now it’s your turn…

Materials:  cardboard or card stock or heavy paper, markers or crayons, ribbon or string, scissors.  Optional:  foil, hole punch.


First, cut out a circle from the cardboard or paper.  This will be your metal.  You can cover it with foil if you want to give it a shiny surface.  Then create your design…will you draw the sport of your choice?  Will you make your own Olympic design? Cut a small hole at the top or use a hole punch and then put the ribbon through so your medal can hang around your neck. 

Why not make a medal for someone you want to honor?  Give one to thank your parents, a friend, a camp counselor or a relative as a way to celebrate the things they do!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Catch the Spirit of the Summer Olympics

What does the Olympic Symbol mean?

The five rings represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Every national flag in the world includes at least one of the five colors, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red. 

The rings are connected to represent the meeting of the athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games. The five colors of the rings from left to right are blue, black and red across the top and yellow and green along the bottom.

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." The words of the Olympic creed are dedicated to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games.

The Olympic Flag made its debut at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. At the end of each Olympic Games, the mayor of that host-city presents the flag to the mayor of the next host-city. It then rests at the town hall of the next host-city for four years until the Opening Ceremony of their Olympic Games.

Now it’s your turn… on a piece of paper, create a flag for yourself or your family.  What colors did you choose and why?  What message or ideas are expressed in your flag? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's So Hot, My Crayons Are Melting. Hey, That's So Cool -- My Crayons Are Melting!

With the heat wave upon us this summer, you might have avoided bringing crayons outside because they could melt.  Let's turn those lemons into lemonade (with lots of ice, of course) and celebrate the fact that the crayons do melt when they are in the outside heat.  Here's how you can make some very cool, melted swirly art.
Materialscrayons, pencil sharpener or grater, paper, cup

Sharpen or grate some crayons and catch the flakes in a cup. Carefully sprinkle the shavings on the paper in a shape, design or message that you want to create. Repeat this process until your picture is the way you want it! As you sit out there in the blazing sun, the shavings will melt onto the paper and your pretty picture will melt to life! 

For a different effect, you can place the shavings on the paper and then trace shapes in them with your finger before they start to melt!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Saving Summer

Want to save some of that summer fun you’ve had at the beach?  Scoop up some sand with your shovel and pail and get ready to create a work of art that will be great to look at during cold winter days.  Couldn’t make it to the beach? – Just use salt instead of sand.

Materials needed:  sand or salt, food coloring, 4-6 sealable plastic bags, glue, plastic spoon, construction paper or pages from your favorite coloring book.

First, you will need to add color to your sand or salt.  Put some in a bag and add a few drops of food coloring.  Seal the bag and shake until sand changes color.  Try not to get it too wet or else the sand will become sticky. 

Now it’s time to create your design:  draw a picture, write out a message or find a coloring book page you’d like to use.  Use the glue to cover the area you want to have covered with sand.  Spread it evenly with your finger or the back of a plastic spoon.  Sprinkle colored sand onto the area and gently shake off the excess.  Let dry.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Your Fireworks Will Be a Booming Hit!

Boom ! Pop! Sizzle! Capture the magic and beauty of fireworks with your crayons.

Materials you will need:  thick paper or card stock, crayons, especially black and a couple of paper clips.

Plan ahead:  because you will be coloring the entire page in black crayon, you could fold the paper in half or just use part of the paper if you wish.  First, draw a design using as many colors as you like. You don’t need to worry about making mistakes because it will be covered.  Now cover the whole drawing with black crayon. Take your paper clip and bend it so that you can use an end to create the fireworks.  Carefully scrape the black crayon away so the color shows.  Make different shapes and line designs (zig zags, dashes, and squiggles) and now you have created your very own, permanent fireworks show!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hey White Crayon, We Didn't Forget You!

Materials:  white paper (watercolor paper is recommended), white crayon, water-color paint or watered-down poster paint, paintbrush.

Sometimes, the lonely white crayon might not get a chance to come out and play.  Here’s an activity where the white crayon is the star!

First, draw your picture or design with white crayon.  Press hard as you draw. Prepare thinned down water color or poster paint in any color.  Paint over your drawing and magically, magically, your drawing will appear right before your eyes!  Continue painting to reveal your entire picture.  Be sure not to get the paper too wet or it will begin to tear.  You can paint in stripes or swirls to create special effects.

Why does this happen?  The water/paint will resist the crayon, but will be absorbed by the paper.

This is a great activity to decode secret messages with friends or to reveal clues for a special family scavenger hunt.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hooray for our Grand Ol' Flag

Hooray for the American Flag!  June 14th is National Flag Day. 

The first American Flag was sewn by Betsy Ross in 1776.  Fabric was scarce during the Revolutionary War, so Betsy used scraps on the first flag.  General Washington’s coat of arms (a family symbol) had stripes over stars, and is thought to be one of the first flag’s inspirations, as well as the British Flag. On the original flag there were thirteen stripes to represent the thirteen colonies and stars to represent the new states.  The flag we use today, with 50 stars, was first seen in 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.  Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th, the day the Continental Congress ratified the flag.

                                        The American Flag was sewn by Betsy Ross,
                                        The fifty states have one star each,
                                        The original 13 colonies, one strip a piece.
                                        Purity, innocence, truth and light
                                        Are shown in the flag’s bright white.
                                        Red show us valor and hardiness true.
                                        Vigilance and justice comes through in blue.

Now it’s your turn… design a flag for you or for your family.  What objects are important?  What ideas could they symbolize?  What colors are meaningful to you? 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Get Ready for Father's Day

Father's Day will be here before you know it!  Enjoy a free card to color: Father's Day Card

Other ideas for this holiday:
Create your own Father's Day book with drawings about the things you like to do to together.
Design an award for your father, grandpa, uncle or any other dad who has earned it!

Here's a Father's Day Activity to do together, called "My Dad Rocks"

What you will need:
some rocks
markers or tempera/acrylic paints & brushes
optional:  googly eyes and glue

1.  Go for a walk together, looking for small to medium sized stone stones and collect them.
2.  Both adult and kid(s) can participate.  On one side or the rock, color it anyway you wish -- with patterns, designs or turn it into an animal or people.  Here's where the googly eyes might come in handy.
3  On the other side, write down the date and even a message to or from each other.
4.  Repeat the steps as often as the two of you wish.  Now each of you will have a special memento of Father's Day 2012!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Adding color in a new way to your drawing

Materials needed:  at least two bottles of glue
Tempera paint or food coloring
Coloring books pages or sturdy white paper
Crayons or markers

Find a page from a coloring book and color it in.  Then create colored glue by adding a few drops of paint or enough food coloring to get the color you desire.  Shake or stir well.  Create at least two different colors.  Now follow the lines of your picture with the different colored glues.  Let dry. 

Ready for more?  Create your own drawing or design with the colored glue on plain paper.  Make sure all the lines touch or even cross over.  Let dry.  Now you can color in your design.  This is a great activity to do with a partner.  Each of you can create a design for the other person to color!