Drawing Prompts for July

Summer does not always bring sunny days. Rain, humid, or high temperatures may cause you to retreat indoors for comfort. Days inside are perfect for creating art including drawing. Whether you use markers, pens, pencils, or crayons, drawing is a great creative outlet. Do you need some inspiration? Check out the following drawing prompts for July.  

  1. Self-Portrait
  2. Fantasy
  3. Freedom
  4. It’s Independence Day! 4th of July! Celebrations
  5. Shoes
  6. City
  7. Boat
  8. Family
  9. Fun
  10. Landscape
  11. Pet
  12. Sunset
  13. Nature
  14. Dreams
  15. Patterns
  16. Home
  17. Creature
  18. Love
  19. Fish or Aquatic Animal
  20. Hat and Sunglasses
  21. Food
  22. Balloons
  23. Friendship
  24. Emotions
  25. Clowns
  26. Bugs
  27. Transportation
  28. Clouds
  29. Seashells, Beach, Sandcastles
  30. Zoo
  31. Artist’s Choice

Last Minute St. Patrick’s Day Activities

St. Patrick’s Day usually brings large parades, community events, and other social activities. Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic restrictions mean the yearly events are canceled. Are you looking for last-minute activities to safely celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Check out the following St. Patrick’s Day ideas for you or your entire family to enjoy.

Make a Leprechaun Trap

St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without tales of leprechauns. Use the tales as inspiration to make a leprechaun trap. Cereal boxes and craft materials are perfect supplies to build a trap. Get creative. Take photos and try to catch a leprechaun for his gold.

Shamrock Art

Draw, trace, or print a blank shamrock. Use the shamrock as a template.

Image by L Gould from Pixabay

  • Paint or color the shamrock.
  • Glue glitter, split peas, yarn, sequins, macaroni, or other material to your shamrock. (If you do decide to glue items to your shamrock template, use card stock to print the outline)
  • Decorate and hang your shamrocks around the house.
  • Use your decorated shamrocks as placemats for a traditional Irish meal.

Traditional Irish Meal

Preparing a traditional Irish meal is one of the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Pinterest has numerous recipes to follow. Whether you prepare the meal yourself or involve the entire family, try something new.

Image by HomeMaker from Pixabay

  • Colcannon
  • Dublin Coddle
  • Irish Champ
  • Irish Lamb Stew
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • Guinness Cake

Watch St. Patrick’s Day Movies

St. Patrick’s Day is a great day for family movie night. (Yes, you and your cat count.) Make popcorn, eat green candies or order pizza. And watch a great movie to celebrate the day.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Buy green carnations or pots of clover. Don’t forget to look for a lucky four-leaf clover.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

 

 

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How to Make New Year’s Eve Family Night

Who is ready for 2021? Last year at this time, no one knew how 2020 would play out. The year has been full of challenges. Now, 2021 is almost here. The obstacles are still present, but hope and vision for a better year are on the horizon.

Like most of the year, staying home with your family is your plan for New Year’s Eve.  Use the evening for quality time, host a family fun night. Make ringing in 2021 a celebration for your whole family to enjoy.

Ways to Enjoy New Year’s Eve With Your Family

Your New Year’s Eve celebration does not need to be elaborate. With a little planning, you can easily turn your evening into a long-lasting memory.

Party Food

Food for your New Year’s Eve should be your family’s favorites. The holiday only comes once a year. So, time to have some fun. Do you need some food ideas? Check out the following list to help you plan for your New Year’s Eve family night.

    • Pizza: Who doesn’t love pizza at parties? Order your favorite pizza. Or make homemade pizzas together to fit everyone’s exact tastes.
    • Finger Food: Make finger sandwiches. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fours are an excellent treat for New Year’s Eve.
    • Sweets: Serve special treats for your New Year’s Eve family night. Bake cookies, brownies, or other family favorites.
    • Celebration Cake: Buy or make a 2021 cake. The cake does not need to be fancy. A simple cake with white frosting and 2021 written in bright-colored frosting is perfect.
    • Ice Cream: Buy your favorite gallon of ice cream or two. Create a sundae bar with different topping choices, including whipped cream, syrups, nuts, candy sprinkles, marshmallows, and cherries. Allow everyone to create their own sundae masterpiece.

Drinks

Serve different family-friendly drinks for the evening activities. Of course, water should always be on the menu. But consider sparkling cider or punch for a midnight toast. Homemade hot cocoa is another delicious idea to add to the celebration.

Activities

Plan various family fun activities leading up to midnight.

  • Games: Play board or card games. Sitting together and talking is great for quality family time.
  • Video Games: Multi-player games are perfect for a New Year’s Eve family fun night.
  • Do Crafts: Make paper crowns or silly hats out of construction paper for your New Year’s Eve celebration. Create themed decorations to display.
  • Movies: Binge-watch your favorite movie or series until midnight.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide clues throughout your home to lead to a final treasure. Plain white envelopes work well for this activity. Place a note with enough information to lead your searchers from one clue to the next. The final treasure can be a special treat, coupons for future activities, or, depending on your children’s age, cash.

Make Unforgettable Memories

The best part about spending New Year’s Eve at home is making memories.

  • Photo Booth: Create a photo area. Use a blanket, sheet, shower curtain, or large piece of material for a backdrop. Place different props out, including hats, crowns, beads, scarves, and cardboard cut-outs. The accessories can be homemade, or go to your local dollar store to find items. Make a point to take pictures every hour leading up to midnight. The sillier the photo, the better; remember to print your photos to place into a 2021 scrapbook.
  • Time Capsule: Create a time capsule. Ask your family or friends questions. For example, what do you want to do when you grow up? The question is simple. But when opening the time capsule the following year or two, you may find the answer amusing or inspiring. Place photos, stories, or other memorabilia into your time capsule. Yes, a shoebox works as a time capsule.
  • Make Memory Cards: Index cards work well for this type of activity. Ask each of your family members to write out favorite moments in 2020. You may need to help younger children. Encourage drawing. Each card is a perfect addition to a scrapbook or photo album.

Regardless of how you celebrate, enjoy the evening with your family. You only get to ring in 2021 once in your lifetime.

How to Make a Christingle

Is this the first time hearing the word Christingle? Are you asking yourself, “what exactly is a Christingle?” Well, before you start searching, continue reading about the long-standing history of Christingle.

Christingle is a symbolic way to celebrate the Christian faith. Dating back to the mid-1700s, Christingle was part of a German worship service. Representing Jesus bringing light to the world,  John de Watteville, a minister, gave each child a lighted candle with a red ribbon.

In the late 1960s, Christingles became popular in England. Generally, Christingle services are held the week before or part of Christmas Eve services. Due to the pandemic, Christmas 2020 is going to be different. But you and your family can try new things. Making a Christingle is a wonderful new tradition to begin.

How to Make a Christingle

Are you wondering how to make a Christingle? The activity is simple; however, each piece has a specific meaning.

List of Needed Items

I used the candy that I had on hand.

  • Orange: The base of the Christingle is an orange or tangerine representing the whole world.
  • White Candle: Standing tall and straight, the white candle represents God giving light to the world.
  • Red Ribbon: Tying the ribbon around the orange represents the blood of Jesus and dying on the cross.
  • Four Skewers or Toothpicks: The four toothpicks represent North, South, East, and West. They also represent the four changing seasons. If you use skewers, you can fit more pieces of fruit and candy on to your stick.
  • Pieces of Dried Fruits: In addition to dried fruit, you can use nuts, miniature marshmallows, and sweets. The items represent the fruits of the Earth.

In addition to the list above, you will need tin foil. The tinfoil is a precautionary measure to prevent the dripping candle wax from getting into the orange’s interior.

Next, you start the task of creating your own Christingle. Younger children will need help with the first step. Slicing the top of your orange makes a hole large enough to fit your white candle’s base. Before pushing the candle down into the orange, cover the opening with foil.

When your base is complete, set aside. Now begin to place the dried fruits or other sweets onto the skewers. Repeat this step four times.

Place the candy, dried fruits, marshmallows, or nuts on to the skewers.

Now, push the four skewers into the orange. Place the skewers on each side to create a balanced appearance. Finally, wrap your piece of red ribbon around the orange and tie it into a bow. Congratulations on finishing your first Christingle.

I sat my Christingle on top of a Mason jar while I worked on it.

Staying close to home for the holidays is the time to do family crafts. Have fun making Christingles. Light the candles to take a photo in front of your tree on Christmas Eve. (Always practice safety procedures when using candles).

Make extras to give away. Just remember, do not cut the hole into the orange until you are ready to give your Christingle to the intended person.

Reference:

The History of Christingles.  https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/christingles.shtml

Handmade Christmas Wrapping Paper Craft

Are you looking to start a new Christmas tradition? How about making handmade Christmas wrapping paper for all of your gifts? Doing Christmas crafts as a family activity is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Best of all, making homemade gift wrap is an easy project for all ages.

Materials Needed:

  • Sponges of any size and shape
  • Scissors
  • Butcher paper, newsprint, or other types of packing paper (You can purchase rolls of brown shipping paper at your local dollar store).
  • Paint
  • Containers for paint
  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. Cut sponges into various shapes, for example, Christmas trees, gift boxes, stars, candy canes, and ornaments. (Help younger children cut the sponges into shapes.)
  2. Spread your choice of paper on a flat surface.
  3. Squirt small amounts of paint in your container.
  4. Dip your cut sponge into the paint.
  5. Make certain the paint covers the entire sponge for a clear shape.
  6. Press sponge on to the paper. When you are finished, simply rinse the sponges of the entire paint residue. You can use the sponges more than once.
  7. Continue the process until you reach your desired design.
  8. Allow the paint shapes to dry.
  9. Use markers to add outlines, Christmas songs, Bible verses, names, or other designs to your gift wrap.
  10. Now, wrap your Christmas gifts and enjoy it.

Homemade gift wrap is an excellent way to provide a personalized touch to your presents. Use your imagination to create numerous sheets of wrapping paper. Set the mood for family fun by playing Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate, and eating snacks.

Christmas Fun: Making Plaster Ornaments

Let’s face it, the Christmas season can get busy quickly. Spending high-quality family time together is essential to enjoy the holidays. When you are you looking for fun, family activities to celebrate Christmas, consider making plaster ornaments.

Plaster ornaments are simple to make. You can hang them on your own tree. Or share them with family members as gifts. Kids will love making an ornament for grandma, grandpa, a favorite aunt or uncle.

Materials Needed:

  • Christmas themed molds or pans (The plaster does not harm them, just wash thoroughly after use.)
  • Plaster
  • Throw away containers for mixing plaster. (Remember not to pour remaining plaster down the sink.)
  • Water
  • Paint in various colors
  • Paintbrushes

Instructions:

  1. Place newspapers or other protective materials on your counter.
  2. Mix plaster as directed. Always add the plaster mixture to the water for a smooth and consistent mixture. (Keep in mind, the plaster hardens quickly. You need to have your molds ready to go. You can add a little extra water to provide a bit more time).
  3. Fill the molds completely.
  4. Place hangers into your mold. (Paper clips or pop can tab work great for an instant, inexpensive hanger).
  5. Allow your ornaments to dry completely.
  6. Gently remove the ornaments from the molds. You may need to tap on the mold to loosen the ornament.
  7. Paint the ornaments. (You can also personalize the ornaments with names).

Even younger children can help with the painting process. Just do not forget to add the date on the back. The Christmas ornaments can quickly turn into a lasting treasure.

Yes! Go Ahead & Decorate for Christmas Now

Many recognize November as the beginning of the holiday season. On social media, posts suggest celebrating the Christmas season before Thanksgiving is not acceptable. After a long year of COVID restrictions, celebrating with your family should be a daily event. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Simply have fun and enjoy the season in a way that makes you happy.

Are you looking for ways to start celebrating early? Check out the following list for ideas.

Decorate

Begin decorating early. Do you have boxes with Christmas decorations in storage? Take your time to look through each box. Decorate as you go. Overdecorate. Use all of your decorations. Spread your Christmas decorations throughout your entire living space.

  • Put up your Christmas tree.
  • Decorate hallways and doors.
  • Purchase small trees for your young children’s rooms. (Dollar store Christmas trees work perfectly for this set up).
  • Set a small Christmas related plushie on the dash of your car.
  • Decorate outdoors, including your porch, trees, or mailbox.
  • Set up a nativity scene indoors or outdoors.
  • Arrange a centerpiece on your dining room table.

Get Crafty

Do some of your ornaments lack sparkle? Add some glitter and revamp old ornaments and decorations.

  • Make salt dough ornaments
  • Make cinnamon dough ornaments
  • Create ornaments out of clay
  • Make paper chains
  • Thread popcorn and cranberries for garland
  • Make Christmas wreaths to share or keep
  • Make homemade Christmas cards.
  • Create a centerpiece.

Watch Holiday Movies

The Hallmark Channel began streaming holiday movies over two weeks ago. Go ahead, watch, and enjoy the uplifting holiday programs. If you do not have the Hallmark Channel, start searching your other streaming services to find the perfect Christmas programs for you or your entire family. Remember, you can always dig out your DVDs.

Turn watching holiday movies into a special event for your whole family. Serve snacks, hot cocoa, or order pizza. If you cannot be with your family or friends in person, host an online movie event.

If celebrating Christmas early makes you happy, then do it. Enjoy every minute of the holiday season.

 

Halloween Crafts: Pumpkin Gourds

Have you seen the little gourds that resemble pumpkins? With Halloween fast approaching, the gourds, which often come 5 or 6 to a bag, are reduced in price. The little gourds are a perfect stay at home Halloween crating project.

Grocery & Material List

  • A bag of pumpkin-shaped gourds
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pieces of material
  • Pompons
  • Googly eyes
  • Sequins

Instructions

Decorating pumpkin gourds is an open-ended Halloween craft project. There is no right or wrong way to decorate your little gourd. If you are looking for tips, check out the following.

  • Cover your work area with newspapers or your reusable crafting drop cloth.
  • Paint or decorate your pumpkin gourd.
  • Paint a face.
  • Make a crown from pipe cleaners.
  • Glue on googly eyes.
  • Use material scraps to add a cape on the back or a scarf around the bottom.
  • Remember to give your pumpkin plenty of time to dry between each type of application.
  • Display your pumpkin or give it away to cheer a friend.

 

Halloween Crafts: Pumpkin Suncatcher

Halloween is not canceled. The holiday is just a little different this year. For those staying close to home, finding other family-friendly activities is a great way to celebrate. With adult supervision, create pumpkin suncatchers to display outdoors or hang in your windows.

List of Materials

  • Pony Beads
  • Cake Pie (The round cake pans from dollar store ones work well. You do not have to worry about ruining your favorite cake pan.)
  • Nut (Use a nut to hang your suncatcher. Drilling a hole in your suncatcher is another option. But you always run the risk of cracking your finished project.)

Instructions

  • Place your pony beads in your desired design into the cake pan. Arranging your beads is the longest part. If you are having trouble placing your beads, use a toothpick to gently move them into position.
  • When you are ready, preheat your oven to 400˚F. Keep in mind, pony beads are plastic. As the beads melt, they give off a strong odor. Opening a window for proper ventilation is highly recommended.
  • Melt your beads for about 35 minutes.
  • When your beads are completely melted, remove from the oven.
  • Allow cooling.
  • Gently tap your pumpkin suncatcher out of the pan. Be careful; the bottom of the pan may still be warm to the touch.
  • Display proudly.

Happy 40th Birthday, Harry Potter!

Today, July 31st, 2020, is J. K. Rowling’s character, Harry Potter’s 40th birthday. If you do not know by now, J.K. Rowling’s birthday is also today. So, here is wishing a Happy 40th Birthday to Harry Potter, “the boy who lived” and the author who brought magic alive for millions of fans.

Why celebrate? Well, the real question is, “why not celebrate.” Stay at home orders, social distancing, and other restrictions lead to canceled plans for you, your friends, or your family. Finding little things to celebrate is a great way to make memories during this current health crisis.

Ways to Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday

Are you looking for simple ways to celebrate? Well, binge-watching the Harry Potter series is one of the best ways to celebrate. For extra fun, make popcorn, order pizza, or host a watch party online.

For the love of a fandom

Other ways to celebrate include:

  • Read: The new illustrated editions draw you right into the Wizarding World.
  • Join a Group: Social media hosts numerous groups, including Adult Fans of Harry Potter. Connecting with other Harry Potter fans is a beautiful way to chat about the growing fandom.
  • Subscribe: GeekGear and other monthly subscription boxes brings your love of the Wizarding World right to your doorstep.
  • Listen to a Podcast: Finding a new podcast or listening to an old favorite provides insight into the world of Harry Potter.
  • Do Crafts: Let your creativity shine.
  • Make Food: Pinterest has thousands of recipes relating to the Wizarding World. Maybe you can discover your inner chef.
  • Host a Zoom Session: Invite friends to chat with you about Harry Potter.
  • Write Fan Fiction: Put your pen to paper or start typing to write a story about the Wizarding World, Hogwarts, or the characters in the books.
  • Join a Cause: The Harry Potter Alliance advocates different worthy causes. Learn different ways to transform your love for Harry Potter to real life situations.

Celebrate July 31st; small occasions can quickly turn into lasting memories for you and your family.  For millions of fans, the day is just the beginning of Harry Potter’s magical tale.