30 Sidewalk Chalk and Hose Activities

Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Sidewalk Chalk Activities

  1. Yellow Brick Road – Jasper adores this one! He takes some of his pull toys down the windy road and even stops for bugs.
  2. Color match rainbow – We gathered all his toys in baskets and lined them up according to color on each arc. Admittedly, he likes to bulldoze them more than anything…he’ll get there. This one might be more fun for me.color match your toys to the rainbow with sidewalk chalkcolor match your toys to the rainbow with sidewalk chalk
  3. Add your own pizza toppings – This was fun for mimicking shapes. I drew a “pepperoni” and he immediately followed suit…kind of! I was impressed!add toppings to your pizza with sidewalk chalk
  4. Add your own ice cream sprinkles – This one might be better for older kids. Draw the shape of the ice cream and have them draw in their own flavors and toppings.
  5. Picnic Table – Jasper has a TON of fake food and we set the table and ate a meal. It was also good for food identification. draw a picnic table with sidewalk chalk
  6. Superhero photos – Draw a city landscape and put that cape to use! Mostly fun for us moms who want a cute photo.make a skyline superhero with sidewalk chalk
  7. Holding balloons – Draw a set of balloons and have the child extend their arm to reach them. A classic!draw balloons and pose for a picture draw balloons and pose for a picture
  8. Silly walk zone – Anyone familiar with Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks? Same idea, but spelled out in chalk. Fun for funny prompts!
  9. Leap Frog – Draw out some lily pads and jump like a frog.draw a leap frog on your sidewalk
  10. Crab walk – Get down on all fours!draw a crab walk on your sidewalk
  11. Butterfly wings – Another Instamom moment that we live for.butterfly wings with sidewalk chalkdraw butterfly wings on your sidewalk
  12. Paint a bouquet –  A little twist on sidewalk chalk, especially for those who don’t like the chalky feel. Combine cornstarch, water, and food coloring in a cup and grab some sponge brushes. Get outside and paint a little bouquet. Paint anything really, but flowers are always lovely.make your own sidewalk chalk
  13. Ice Cream Stand – Leave out chalk for passerbyers and have them add in their own flavors.draw an ice cream parlor on your sidewalk
  14. Classic hop scotch – Can’t go wrong with a classic!
  15. Mow the lawn with your hose – Draw some green grass and have the hose mow it down with the water.draw a lawn with sidewalk chalk and mow it with your hosedraw a lawn with sidewalk chalk and mow it with your hose
  16. Road map – Jasper’s favorite thing right now is cars or “vrooms” and so we had to draw a city map for them. He took to it immediately!draw a city map for cars with sidewalk chalkdraw a city map for cars with sidewalk chalkdraw a city map for cars with sidewalk chalkdraw a city map for cars with sidewalk chalkdraw a city map for cars with sidewalk chalk

Once you’ve “erased” your drawings from the sidewalk with your hose, it’s time to get wet! Here are some of our favorite activities using a hose.

Hose activities

In my growing-up years, a hose was an incredible toy/tool that could be anything – except when temperatures were soaring and the rubber hose was too hot to touch, burning little hands, or when it was too heavy for my little-kid arms, or when the hose would kink, stopping the water flow ending the fun (which happened all the time). Kids these days need never experience these pain points with the old yard hose; new technology from Gilmour solves these hose challenges with its ergonomic design, collapsible tubing, and kink-resistent hose.

My household has a busy toddler who is constantly on the run and two adults trying to #WFH, so our lightweight hose has been indispensable. Keeping everybody happy and engaged is no simple task. Here’s a list of ways you can use a hose to play, clean, and learn. Have some fun!

PLAY

  1. Water hose jump rope – use the water as the rope. It only requires one person using one hand to swing the hose around, and it will keep big kids and little kids entertained for as long as they can jump! This is a great way to wear the kids out without getting too worn out yourself.
  2. DIY Splash Tub – many community pools are currently closed, but you can still go swimming! Find a large container like a storage tupperware, add a little water, and let your swimsuit-clad splash around. You’re the coolest parent of the year. This is also a great way for kids to learn some swimming basics, like how to hold their breath underwater, how to blow bubbles, and the mechanics of swimming strokes in a safe environment. Never leave your kid unattended.
  3. Draw with chalk – then erase again and again! If you are feeling water-averse, this is one fun way to use your hose and not get wet. Today, we drew castles and flowers and bugs and cars, then washed it away so we can draw again tomorrow!
  4. Water tag – is great fun and WILL tire out rowdy people. Designate one person as “it.” Give them a hose with the mandate to “tag” someone else by spraying them. Whoever gets tagged is now “it!”
  5. Limbo – hum the little tune and hold the hose level! The stakes get higher when there is a threat you might get wet. You’ll find “How low can you go?” gets pretty intense.
  6. Watergun carnival game – even though summer carnivals might be delayed this year, you can throw the best bash in your own backyard! Set up a series of items on a flat surface outside and take 5 steps back. Grab your hose, and knock down as many items as you can in 30 seconds using only the water spray!
  7. Slip-n-slide – take a tarp and lay it out on a smooth area. Place the hose at the top of the tarp and squeeze out some dish soap to lubricate the homemade slip-n-slide! The AquaArmor hose shines when used here, as it can go from round to flat in an instant. This means if you slide over it, you won’t get hurt and the hose won’t kink.

CLEAN

  1. Trick the kids into bathing more – if your youngins want to play all day and never come in for a bath, compromise with a waterhose shower! DIY your way into an outdoor shower head: poke holes into the bottom of a clean tin can or an old rubber glove. Tie it from a tree limb and put your AquaArmor hose spout down into the can or glove. Grab some shampoo and stand under the water and scrub-a dub dub!
  2. Keeping the lawn green – a certain little boy in my house loves to water the lawn! It’s the funniest thing – he will go play and pick up the hose (the AquaArmor doesn’t weigh much) and stare at the lawn as he waters like he’s the dad in a 90s sitcom. Boy Meets World, anyone? He also thoroughly enjoys chasing the dog with the hose on, watering the grass with every step.
  3. Pressure washing – the AquaArmor has a special nozzle that is designed for multiple uses, so you can finish up your spring cleaning with a splash! We haven’t gotten much rain lately so the sides of the house are preeeeetty dusty. Remind me to add this one to my “honey-do” list!
  4. Washing the car – is one of my favorite chores, and surprisingly, the fam likes it too! Use the hose frequently throughout the wash to keep your ride sparkling!

LEARN

  1. Water table diorama – if you’re up to it, here’s a science lesson for the family. Fill a tray or big tupperware with sand and water. Place the hose at different locations and periodically change the pressure flow. Observe how the sand erodes away and creates new shapes, rivers, and even canyons!
  2. Garden – simply buy some seeds or new plants, put ‘em in a pot outside, and make a watering schedule with your little ones. This simple task teaches responsibility, helps provide service for the family, and the experience of growing something totally counts as a science lesson. Toss in the word “photosynthesis” and you’re good to go.
  3. AquaArmor Mental Math – set up math problems that are appropriate for your child’s capability and write the answers on the sidewalk with chalk. If you have a little learner who is learning numbers, call out a number and have your child spray the corresponding chalk numeral that you have written in advance. This game works for harder math problems too! Even kids (and parents) who don’t like math can have fun with this crowd-pleaser.

Would love to hear your favorite activities with sidewalk chalk and a hose. Spill it!

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. Thank you to our wonderful brands who allow us to make beautiful, original content for you! 

How to Relieve Anxiety Quickly

Over the holiday season, a startling number of my loved ones had babies – they come in waves, you know. I couldn’t be there to support and celebrate with my friends and their new darlings, but I could create something for them. My gifts were simple patchwork quilts, but each fabric selection and design choice infused love into a gift for the somebodies I care for.

Making something tangible reminds me that I do have control over some things, and those are things to be grateful for. With this type of project, there’s a beginning, middle, and an end. I suppose that is true for everything. These days, I find a lot of comfort in knowing where I’m at in that process, trusting that whatever is happening will eventually come to a close. Until this is all over, turn to crafting!! Explore the list below for thoughtfully curated crafts designed to keep your hands busy and your anxiety at bay. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and follow the instructions (loosely or closely – you pick). The things you cannot control will melt away once your hands get going. 

Crafts involving repetition

The ultimate crafts for getting in the zone. After your get started your hands will quickly learn what to do. It is so peaceful to create something that takes just enough brain space to quiet your racing thoughts. But not so much focus it feels overwhelming.

Crafts involving repetition to relieve anxiety paper chain muralCrafts involving repetition to relieve anxiety embroidery thread color block wreath

Embroidery projects to do while watching Netflix

Most of our top favorite projects while staying at home have involved embroidery. It’s not messy, you can pause at any time and pick it up later, and any skill level can do it! The more we think about it, the more we realize embroidery is the ultimate craft!

Embroidery projects to do while watching Netflix to relieve anxiety Embroidery projects to do while watching Netflix to relieve anxiety

Crafts for your houseplants

Bringing new plant friends into your space instantly makes it more zen. Breath easier knowing you are growing right along with your houseplants. You know how talking to your plants is supposed to help them grow better? We’ve heard hand-making a new home for them has the same effect.

Anxiety-relieving crafts painted pots for houseplantsAnxiety relieving crafts houseplant vases with recycled egg cartons

Crafts with anxiety-relieving textures

Nothing is quite as satisfying as molding clay with your hands over and over. Ditch your phone screen and laptop keys for a while and pick up something more textural.

Crafts with anxiety-relieving textures DIY clay hair clips Crafts with anxiety-relieving textures rope necklace

Other ways to relieve stress

If your hands start to cramp or you’re just not feeling it, fret not! Lars is here to help with that too! In the last few weeks, I’ve picked yoga back up and it has done wonders for my state of mind and my mobility (I see you, fellow couch-dwellers). Pick up a new yoga mat and get started exactly where you are! 

 

If getting out of bed is too much some days, consider investing in a weighted blanket. Think of it as a remote hug from us to you, minus the sweat of this budding summer. 

For some extra relaxing cozy time – check out our list of 50 movies to watch while social distancing.

If coloring books are just your speed, check out these beauties! We are firm believers that everything in life should be lovely, and these designerly coloring books are proof. You can stop stealing Junior’s coloring books – join the party and get your own! 

 

No matter how you handle the curveballs of life, enjoy the game. The House That Lars Built is happy to help – we, like you, get by with a little help from our friends!

 

Mother’s Day Gifts the Kids Can Help With (and a sale!)

Mother’s Day gifts the kids can help with

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

Our Mother’s Day Activity Pack comes with everything the kids will need to make mom tear up with joy this year. Just print it off on your home printer and let your kids get busy!

Plus, this new activity kit is included in our Mother’s Day sale! Click here to find all our Mother’s Day printable gifts for 15% off!

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help withMother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with mothers day coupons

Since mom might not be able to go out to the spa, or get brunch with friends this year, these colorful coupon cards will make sure May 10th is still MOM’S DAY all day. Sometimes an hour of quiet time, or a very long nap, are the best gifts in the world.

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with Mother of the year awardMother's day activity pack coloring pages for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

After suddenly become the homeschool teacher, 24/7 chef, and endless entertainment with all her kids at home – mom’s everywhere deserve the Mother of the Year Award.

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's day gifts the kids can help withMother's day activity pack for Mother's day gifts the kids can help with #1 mom ribbon

Click here to see the full set!

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

Other Mother’s Day Projects

Whether you are slipping these projects to your children to surprise their mom with (along with breakfast in bed, of course!) Or you are still trying to find the perfect grown-up gift for your own mother. Here are our favorite projects from Mother’s Days past, pulled straight from our endless archives.

Mother's day gifts card with paper flowersmother's day flower cake toppers printable

Have you been eyeing our new paper flowers e-book but you’re nervous to try a whole bouquet? This Flower Bouquet Mother’s Day Card is the perfect first project! Slip in just a few paper flowers to the card vase to make it pop.

Or even easier, cut out these Paper Flower Cake Toppers and bake mom something sweet! Or top a tower of crepes with the flower toppers for an amazing breakfast in bed.

Mother's day gifts card with gift cardMother's day gifts card with gift card and paper flowers

These cards are both designed to attach a fun gift card so mom can treat herself! This blog post is a helpful reminder to check in on the emotional health of mothers you know. Especially brand new moms! The best way to really show your gratitude this year to let moms around you know you are there for them. Checking in on them sincerely and sending a gift card for a fun surprise is the perfect Mother’s Day combo! We now offer gift cards to our shop. So mom can pick out her favorite art print or start a new project!

May 10th is coming quickly! Check out our full Mother’s Day shop here!

Home Organization Tools and Tips for Spring Cleaning

We are in such an organizing mood right now, we arranged our favorite spring cleaning tools by room! Search for exactly what you need to make your home organization a million times easier.

Home office organization

There has never been a more vital time to update your home office. Click here to check out our tips on creating a home office that matches your personality and work style! And use these products below to turn your office into a space where the amazing ideas will just keep coming!

 

Our favorite organization tool

If you know anything about Lars, you know that we’re susceptible to piles of crafting supplies all over our studio! Creativity surely needs a little chaos! However, creativity needs structure as well, and that’s why we’re delighted to showcase our favorite organization product, our very own Dreambox from Create Room.

Perhaps you saw our earlier post about how much we love our Dreambox? We stuffed it full of craft supplies and it made our crafting a million times better, no exaggeration. That’s why we feel fully confident in recommending this product to you, to expedite your spring cleaning organization overhaul. You can fill it with crafting supplies, like we did, anything from paper and pens to sewing supplies!

Sale Alert

And the best news is, they’re having a sale RIGHT NOW! You can save over $600 on the Dreambox, including pre-built services and accessories. We smell a Mother’s Day gift! Click here and use code “LARSDREAMBOX600” for $200 off your Dreambox, $200 Pre-Built service (automatically applied and available in the DreamBox Design Studio), and Up to $212 off accessories (automatically applied and available in the DreamBox Design Studio.)

Honestly, there is no limit to what you can store in the Dreambox. It is the perfect tool to greater element of organization to your office, craft space, or homeschool stations. If anything, you should perhaps be planning for what you’ll fill all your freed-up space with after your spring cleaning! If you need more ideas, dig into our archives for decor-oriented crafts after you get organized!

Bedroom and bathroom organization

Your bedroom will become a calming sanctuary when clutter is out of site and out of mind.

Kid’s room organization

Your children will be begging to tidy their rooms with these fun new storage tools. At least, that’s the daydream, right?

Kitchen organization

The center of the home, and the biggest sign of the state of your mind. A tidy kitchen makes a world of difference!

Living room organization

With all family members at home more than ever before, add in some simple storage options to get everyone on board with a quick clean.

 

 

 

Coloring Books For All Ages (and a Sale!)

Coloring pages have proved themselves to be the perfect activity for all ages with all this new time at home. After launching Picture Hope: The Social Distancing Coloring Book, so many of you have been filling your time with color, hope, and creating with your family members! We were floored when 64 artists from all over the world came together to create hours worth of coloring, and for a cause that impacts us all! ALL profits from Picture Hope are currently being donated to Save the Children Coronavirus Relief Fund. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for that amazing charity. Through our “donate what you can” option, when you download your own Picture Hope coloring book you help directly with reaching that goal. Once that goal is reached, we will pick a new charity to donate to!

You are all racing through Picture Hope so quickly we are already prepping our next coloring page project. Keep an eye out!

Coloring books for all ages

Stree Relief coloring book for adults flowers and cactus

Sale Alert

Our exclusive coloring books – Flowers and Cactus – are currently discounted at their lowest price ever! Use code COLOR25 at checkout for 25% off our Flowers and Cactus Coloring Books! (Through Wednesday 4/29.) In addition, this discount code applies to all of our individual coloring page downloads found here!

Printable Coloring Pages

Coloring Page downloads for social distancing at home

Browse our coloring page options to print off at home! Our collection includes this Mother and Daughter coloring page. Print it off just in time for Mother’s Day! All individual coloring pages are 25% now with code COLOR25!

Our Favorite Supplies for Coloring Pages

Coloring Books for Adults

Below you will find other stress-relieving coloring books for adults! We love this collection of coloring books inspired by artists, nature, and joy!

 

Coloring Books for Kids

We count these coloring books as art time, geography, history, and more during homeschooling! Our team handpicked these coloring books for kids to inspire learning and a love of the world around us. Order your kid’s their own and cross homeschool time off your to-do list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide For Every Kind of Mom

Start every gift with a handwritten note

Maybe your mother’s love language is a check-in on the phone every few days, or a chance to rest while you cook dinner, but we think there is something every mom has in common. A handwritten note from her kids will always be more treasured than anything physical. Choose from our new collection of Mother’s Day cards. We can mail a printed card for you if you can’t visit your mom in person this year, or you can print your own card at home!

Click here to see all of our new Mother’s Day cards!

Everything you need to bring mom breakfast in bed

 

An at-home spa day for mom

Give the gift of self-care and tell your mom you’ve got things covered while she rests. This classic Mother’s day gift never fails to bring a tear to mom’s eye. This year, fill her spa day gift basket with soothing bubble bath, a bright linen robe, and any of the other yummy smelling and looking items below! We all know a happy mom makes for a happy home! This is perfect way to pay homage to everything your mom did for you while you were growing up.

 

Mother’s Day gifts for the mom who loves to garden

Embroidered apron with a poppy flower for Mother's day gift guide ideas

Personalizing a gift with a theme lets your mom know you really thought of her needs and wants. Whether your mom had always flexed her green thumb, or she could use a new hobby, fill a gardening gift basket with a new flower embroidered apron, vases for her fresh cut blooms, and a shiny new watering can. Spending time outside, growing new plant friends, is the perfect de-stressing activity.

Fresh flower delivery for Mother’s Day

You can have any of these bouquets below delivered straight to your mom’s door in time for May 10th!

 

Color paper flower bouquet for weddings

Of course fresh flowers are always a great option, but if you’d rather give mom something that will last longer, make her a paper flower bouquet! Our Paper Flower E-book is out now! It contains ALL of our paper flower tutorials and templates at a discounting price. Fill your paper bouquet with your mom’s favorite flowers and colors, and she can keep it all year round!

Plan a movie night with your mom and sisters

When was the last time your mom got to pick the movie? Grab the popcorn, some floor cushions, and invite everyone over for girl’s night! Click here for our list of 50 inspiring movies to choose from!

Social distancing activities for mom

Right now, everyone is giving out ideas for how to keep the kids busy during social distancing. We don’t want moms to feel left behind! Having suddenly taken on countless new roles while everyone is stuck at home – homeschool teachers, 24/7 entertainment, chefs for every meal of the day, play time buddies – the need more some self-care is greater than ever. 2020 is really adding to the definition of super-mom. Give your mom the lifesaving gift of some social distancing activities just for her. A new book or a new craft project could be just what she needs right now.

Gift Cards

clever and funny Compliment cardsclever and funny Compliment cardsclever and funny Compliment cards

We now offer gift cards to our Shop! Slip in a virtual gift card so she can buy all the craft patterns and printables she wants.

Craft the Rainbow and guided journal for creatives for Mother's day gift guide ideasAdult coloring book for stress relief for Mother's day gift guide ideas

 

Mother’s Day gifts for the mom who loves to cook

Embroidered apron for Mother's day gift guide ideas

 

Other Mother’s Day gift ideas

No matter what kind of mother figure you are gifting this year, these bright and happy gifts are sure to bring a smile to her face!

Mother's day gift guide ideas

Click here to explore our full Mother’s Day shop!

Women Who Work: Lulie Wallace

Painter and textile artist Lulie Wallace

When did you know that art was your jam? 

As early as I can remember, I have always loved arts and crafts.  I wanted to be drawing, sewing, pasting, creating a lot more than I wanted to do homework. I loved the piano as a child and feel like I have always been somewhat of a creative problem solver.

Why is it important to you to create? 

This answer has really changed since becoming a mother. I consider painting and the ability to paint a giant gift. I used to just paint because I enjoy it and because it was my job and way to make money, now it really is an outlet for me as a mom to go to my studio and make art. There is still so much for me to explore in painting and I love that.

Painter and textile artist Lulie Wallace

Was there anyone along the way who helped shape you and your work?

A lot of people! The first people to come to mind are my boss, Beth, in college and my favorite professor at College of Charleston, Professor Peacock. I worked in a gift store that carried paper products, bags, jewelry from so many neat artists and graphic designers and I know that was pretty influential in what my eyes were taking in. My professor in college was also hugely encouraging, not just to me, but I feel to all of his students. He pushed you, but also could find something positive to say about anything you created. It is wild how gigantic just encouraging someone in their field of interest can be. I heard of different colleges where art students were criticized by professors and that hurt to hear because with a little encouragement, people can make/do some amazing things!

Although I currently paint in my studio alone, for about 10 years I worked right next to other artists. I think this was incredibly influential on my work ethic and style of painting. It is so much fun and motivating to paint right next to other artists. They were also amazing people to live life with on a daily basis…win/win!!

What’s your advice to women wanting to pursue the same thing?

One of my greatest pieces of advice (that is almost the hardest to achieve) is to hone in on your style…work, work, work, work, and work on it some more! People say, “I could never be a painter” but my mentality really is if you wanted to do it so bad that you worked your butt off at it, then you could do it!! My other piece of advice is to find a mentor/apprenticeship/job of someone who is already successful in their craft. I think that is huge!

bright and happy home design

You can find Lulie here:

@luliewallace on Instagram

luliewallace.com 

(All photos were found on her site)

Women Who Work Interview Series

This interview series was inspired by our Women Who Work print by Libby VanderPloeg, found in the Lars Print Shop!Artist art print Women Who Work

Women who Work art print by Libby Vanderploeg

You can see our previous interviews:

Indoor and Outdoor Family Activities During Social Distancing

Outdoor activities for the whole Family

Below you’ll find enough outdoor games to fill plenty of the social distancing hours we all have left. If you are missing some of your normal family activities, think about how you can recreate them yourself! Set up an outdoor movie since the theaters are closed, with this inflatable movie screen. Can’t visit an art museum? Draw the biggest sidewalk chalk mural your neighborhood as ever seen!

Keep your games going by putting an unexpected twist on a classic activity. Every tried paint twister? Put washable paint on the twister circles in corresponding colors, get your kids in clothes they can get messy, and then play the game! It’s hilarious to watch, and the whole family will want to join in by the end!

 

Some of the activities above will look familiar but some may look new! Like this rainbow colored egg and spoon race set. All the fun without any of the cracked egg mess. If you haven’t tried Spikeball yet, now is the time! This sporty game is so fun, and perfect for the older kids and adults in the family. And we cannot talk the Scandinavian yard game Kubb enough! It’s one of those games that everyone in the family can be good at, and it keeps everyone in suspense! Kubb is our favorite outdoor game on the list.

We recently updated our office chairs with this colorful set from Article, and they have already been put to use in ways we didn’t expect! First we set them around the yard and daydreamed of having a “quarantine party” with everyone sitting 6 feet apart. Is that breaking the rules? We didn’t really do it, but it sure is tempting! But even without being able to invite friends over, these have been the perfect chairs to pull up when the family wants to play a game together!

Because these Selvti chairs from Article are water-resistant, they are as good inside as out! We keep them on hand in case someone requests an outdoor game of giant scrabble or an indoor game of Codenames. The timeless mid-century design and updated materials make them stylish enough to use in the dining room or our office conference room, but light enough to pull outside when needed! They are easy to wash, and we are obsessed with the color choices. There is a version with armrests as well!

If you are in need of some bright new chairs to gather the family together, Article offers free ground shipping on orders over $999. For orders under $999, Article offers a flat shipping fee of $49 (or $19 for small shipments). Article even offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try out your new furniture in your home!

outdoor family activities during social distancing

Now after gathering all of these outdoor games ideas, we are planning a mandatory game of musical chairs with our quarantine team.

Family Crafts and Projects

Since Tie Dye is having it’s time again in the fashion world, get a kit and try it out with the whole family! You can find a white t-shirt here in everyone’s size and have them here in no time thanks to Amazon Prime.

This color-your-own kite set it so clever! And if you’re feeling ambitious you can hold your own family chalk festival.

For more quarantine craft ideas to keep the kids busy, click here!

Indoor Family Games

Indoor Family Activities During Social Distancing

I have been needing some indoor games to get Paul to stop roller skating around the house. Ha! Kidding.

All of the games below are family-friendly and thumbs-up approved by members of our team.

 

Puzzles for all ages

Puzzles have honestly been our life-savers. It’s nice to have an ongoing project you can work on whenever you have a spare second, or need to wind down for a few minutes. Keeping on going on the coffee table has kept the entire family entertained in quarantine. The puzzles below are pretty enough we don’t keeping them out at all times!

 

Other Quarantine Activity Ideas

For our other social distancing resources, check out these links!

Quarantine Creativity: Flower drawing challenge

78 Creative Quarantine Homeschool Activities For Kids

Creative things to do during your Quarantine

Creative challenge to do with your kids at home

How to make writing in your journal fun and creative

Why should I write in a journal?

Baby prompts journal with promptly

We have all been told the importance of writing in a journal for our posterity’s sake. If this is the reason you write, I admire you for it! Preserving history and making sure your great-grand kids know what it was like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of tik tok is a noble reason to keep a diary. Though for some of us this motivation wanes from time to time, and we find our personal history missing some pretty major gaps.

For me, I have found I am the most consistent with writing when I make it a creative project. This post is full of tips on how to make your journal writing more fun and creative, and we think it will keep you more motivated than ever! Keeping a diary can be a creative outlet that helps you  get pumped up in the morning or wind down at the end of the day. It can help you learn discipline making good habits.

How writing in a journal can improve your art

I remember reading the book Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which discusses the importance of “morning pages.” The idea is that, first thing when you wake up, you write at least 3 pages of stream of consciousness in your notebook. No thinking of making sense, just writing whatever (whatever!) comes to your mind. Doing this regularly unlocks your creativity and trains your mind to let ideas flow freely. I love this idea! It takes all of the pressure out of writing daily.

Different types of journals

If you are stuck on page 2, it’s possible you aren’t using the right kind of journal for you! Try out a new kind from the list below:

Writing prompts

My Life In Color a creative and colorful guided journal

Wreck This Journal

(And other journal books you get to color in!)

Photo books

Write one line a day

Travel journals

If writing daily feels like too much right now, stick to travel books instead! Find one that will be sturdy enough to stay nice in your carry-on, reflects the place you are visiting, and fill it with memorabilia and travel stories to tell your friends back home!

how to improve your handwriting for journaling

Different ways to fill in your journal

If you’re the queen of filling up the first few pages of a notebook never to touch it again, I feel you. I see you. No one wants a journal that jumps from 8th grade to Senior prom to their wedding day; so when we find an old (and mostly blank) book it’s hard to find the motivation to start writing in it again. Though there are not many feelings better than starting a fresh crisp new notebook, our hope is that with this complete journal guide we can all start a brand new diary and then actually stick with it! And remember, when you reach the end you can reward yourself once again with another beautiful empty book.

The key to filling an entire journal is remembering this is meant to be a modge podge book filled with your growth, mistakes, good days, and everything in between. No one’s life is free of spilled milk and mascara stains, and your journal shouldn’t be either! As a recovering perfectionist, even I can promise that a full messy journal is a much bigger accomplishment than a half empty perfect looking one.

If you are having trouble overcoming your desire for perfectly dotted i’s and margins free of doodles – try this: abandon your perfectionism in at least one area of your life – your diary. Doodle to your hearts content. Bring your notebook with you to the breakfast table and don’t worry about spilling your coffee. Fill your book full of ticket stubs and anxious scribbles.

If we are overwhelming you, take a deep breath. There is a more structured way you can learn to love a messy journal – this Brave New World journal is filled with prompts to help unleash your inner artist. Baby steps, baby steps.

Try these creative ways to fill your journal

Doodling

While trying to jog your memory of what happened this morning, don’t be afraid to doodle in the margins, or fill the entire page! This snapshots in time say just as much about your current self as your words do. Our daily flower drawing challenge is the perfect place to start! Draw a daily flower in your notebook and use this to keep yourself on track with writing!

Bullet points

Don’t stress over a novel of your day, just write at least a few key bullet points at the end of your day and call it good! If that’s all you can do, it’s a great place to start. Before you know it you’ll find yourself wanting to write more and more!

Collect recipes

If writing or doodling aren’t really your things, figure out what is! One idea is to gather family recipes and write down the memory you have attached to them. Making and writing our the recipe for your mom’s infamous chocolate cake is sure to start a flood of memories you’ll be itching to get down on paper. Try keeping a notebook dedicated to recipe related memories!

Baby boy's first birthday party

For Jasper’s first birthday I filled his baby book with photos, pins, and other paper momentos from his party! I can’t wait to show him when he is older.

Our favorite journals

Hardcover

Simple ruled

Dotted

Bullet

Unruled

This colorblock journal is customizable, comes in multiple color choices and page options!

Customizable

Journals for kids

Stickers

We promised you ways to make writing more fun, so of course we had to include stickers!

These habit forming stickers are such a fun way to keep yourself accountable (for more habits than just writing daily!)

Journal supplies

Hold all of your journaling supplies in this folio! These pastel pens are on sale in our shop now for a limited time!

Craft the Rainbow full set

All of the items in the photo above are on sale right now for Craft the Rainbow month! Click here to see the sale and start your own My Life in Color journal! 

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

50 Creative and Inspiring Movies To Watch During Social Distancing

All of these movies we love have been linked for you to rent to watch on Amazon! If you scroll down you will also find our favorite movies on Netflix right now.

Movies with amazing colors

Of course we are obsessed with any movie with an unexpected color scheme. The new rendition of Emma was released early for streaming on Amazon since movie theaters are now closed. We live the Gywneth Paltrow version, but this new movie is packed full of color and humor. The shade of yellow above is a prominent color throughout the film and matches Emma’s personality perfectly. We are talking too much, just go! Watch it!

The color in films can be an important part of the story line and experience. Teach your kids to pay attention to how colors change throughout the movie and how it affects their emotions. A great movie to watch as an example of this is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (an all time favorite for some of our team members!) It is subtle, and you may have already watched this one multiple times without noticing, but this time pay attention to how the tones in the film gradually change from blue to red as Ben Stiller’s character progresses.

Here is our full list of movies with stunning colors:

Fantastic Mr Fox
Ponyo
The Help
Emma
La La Land
Coco
The Farewell
Moonrise Kingdom
Alice in Wonderland
Crazy Rich Asians
Photo sources: 1 | 2

Movies around the world

Watch all of these films which take place in different countries, and consider today’s homeschool geography and cultures lesson crossed off your to-do list!

Roman Holiday
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Jojo Rabbit
Heidi
Brooklyn
Mary Poppins – the original version | the new version

Classic movies everyone should see

We recently watched the Imagineering Story on Disney+ and it was so interesting to learn more about the original animators of classic Disney movies. Mary Blair was the creator of concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and more. Her use of bold hues and surprising color combos became the basis of Disney animation style, and lead her to design one of Disney’s most iconic rides – It’s A Small World. Learning about Mary made watching classic Disney movies an entirely new experience! Learning about the artists behind movies makes the watching experience even better, plus then you can call it homeschooling! 😉

Here is some of Mary Blair’s amazing art!

Mary Blair Alice in Wonderland concept art

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Click here for an online class about Mary Blair and to paint a whimsical castle in her iconic style! And here, and here for fun kids books all about Mary!

Classic Movies

Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Little Women – The new version | the Christian Bale version
Pride & Prejudice – the newest version | The BBC version since you have time!
Ever After
The Tale of Despereaux
Beauty and the Beast
Spirited Away
The Sound of Music
Alice in Wonderland
Life of Pi
August Rush
The Original Parent Trap
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Matilda 
Annie
Anne of Green Gables

Movies that will inspire you to learn a new hobby

Julie and Julia
Loving Vincent
The Hundred-Foot Journey

Movies that will make you want to be a better person

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
My Fair Lady
Wonder
Ruby Bridges
Secret World of Arrietty
We Bought a Zoo
Hidden Figures
It’s a Wonderful Life
Pollyanna
Dead Poets Society

Our favorite shows on Netflix right now

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society 
Anne with an E
Julie & Julia
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Hook

Movies based off books we love

Madeline
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society 
The Help
Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Emma
Little Women
Pride and Prejudice
Anne of Green Gables
Matilda 
The Little Prince
Finding Neverland
Sarah, Plain and Tall

We would love to hear more movies you would add to this list! Please comment below any creative movies we could watch!

Creative things to do during your Quarantine and SALE

Crafts Ideas During Social Distancing

While you are practicing social distancing or quarantine, crafting can help you and your kids use your hands, quiet the stress, and explore your creativity in a way you may not always have time to! In addition to our 40% sale and free coloring page downloads, we want to make all of our tutorials as accessible as possible for your during this time.

Below we have organized some of our favorite projects by age group. You may already have the supplies on hand to complete many of these crafts, and if not we linked basic craft supplies you can have at your door in no time. We promise, having craft supplies on hand will make your quarantine go much smoother! And if that is too overwhelming, some of these projects only need to be printed off and they are ready to go!

Projects by age

We know many of have suddenly found yourself with all of your kids at home, trying to keep up with their schooling while not going crazy. Therefore, many of the projects below are not only fun but educational!

Toddler & Preschool

Start their art history knowledge off early with this DIY Matisse felt board. After that, your kids can even dress up as their favorite picture book, and act it out for the family! With our If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and our Giving Tree costume tutorials.

Elementary School

Even a travel ban can’t keep you from taking a day trip to Paris and back during lunch break! These Paris placemats are the perfect way to turn lunch time into a history and geography lesson. Or dive more than surface deep with your homeschooling and learn all about whales with the help of this stuffed whale template!

Middle School

Did school just get cancelled for 4-6 (or more, ah!) weeks? Sounds like you won’t be using your paper lunch bags for a while. Put them to use and make these colorful lunch bag honeycomb fans!

Did your 8th grader’s biology class get cancelled? No problem, switch them over to the science of horticulture for the next few weeks. This paper template has a great range of plants to get your child excited about using their green thumb. Next, they might even be asking to weed your garden for you, who knows!

Is your daughter’s BFF feeling a little under the weather? Use our friendship bracelet tutorial above to have her make a special gift, add our downloadable friendship cards and her her doorbell ditch a gift to cheer her buddy up!

High School

Your Sophomore might be feeling a little on edge with the news about prom being cancelled. However, projects like this rope necklace or clay hair clips will cheer them up and keep them busy.

For you!

You also deserve some creative time during all of this craziness. Setting aside even an hour to use your hands and make something new is sure to cure cabin fever. Now if only it could cure the virus!

Can’t get out to the grocery story for some fresh flowers? But you’re longing for something fresh and pretty to look at? Our paper flower tutorials are the perfect project to tackle with all this new-found time on your hands.

Projects for the whole family to do together

Learn about the presidents (and learn new embroidery skills) with our Heirloom E-book doll project. After that, Send some love postcards to grandparents you can’t visit right now.

Basic Craft Supplies

Click here for our favorite basic craft supplies on Amazon!

Other creative resources during quarantine

It’s amazing to see the creative community going all out for those who have to stay in. In addition to ours, here are some resources from other creatives doing great things.

Know of any others? Send them over! Would love to add to the list!