Kristie here. How is everyone feeling right now? For me, there are feelings of anxiety, sadness and fear — these scary feelings are balanced out by gratitude for my family and friends, our health and this time that I get to spend with my toddler that I wouldn’t get otherwise due to working 40+ hours each week. Sadly, I am not a natural when it comes to preparing a activity schedule that sticks for my toddler for the days on end that we are in family-isolation.

It was time to phone in a friend. Cate Liguori, owner of Little Wonderkin, graciously accepted to write us a post on how to connect and create with our children during this time of uncertainty [thank you Cate!]. Cate is a mother of two, lover of art and nature, retired Anthropologie fashion buyer, holds yoga and pilates certifications and is a mindfulness educator.  She is a lover of family dance parties, exploring new places, an adventurous trail run and anything topped with maple syrup. Please see below for a guest post from Cate!

Things have gotten a little crazy around here recently and we are all looking for ways to stay grounded and calm in these uncertain times.  For me, creating with my children each day is such a meditative and intentional way to connect.  It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate.  A simple invitation with paper and markers is all you need.  Open the windows or head outside to let the fresh air and sounds of nature inspire you.  Put on some tunes.  A snack is always a good idea because it helps keep kids engaged for longer.  If you are looking for a way to free up some time for yourself, these materials are also great for inspiring independent makers. 

Here are some of our favorite supplies to have on hand:

And here are a few things we like to save around the house:

  • Old art projects
  • Cut flowers
  • Newspaper
  • Fruit pouch tops
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Egg cartons
  • Packing materials
  • Cardboard boxes

A few helpful tips for setting up an art invitation:

  • Recycled materials make a great base for projects.
  • Old art projects can be cut up or craft punched to use as collage materials.
  • A clean space with organized materials is much more inviting to a child (I have to remind myself of this often!).
  • Mixed media always has cool results.  Think Chalk-O-Rama or crayons with water colors. Markers and tempera sticks with collage materials like tissue confetti or cut up artwork. Clay and cut flowers.
  • Pull out some materials and try to think outside of the box.  For example, take your tempera cakes out of the tray and putting them on plates with a small amount of water.  Your kiddos can pick up the cake and paint right on the paper with it. 
  • Keep it simple.  If it’s too complicated or takes too much time you won’t want to do it again.
  • Designate an old sheet or table cloth as your art mat.  Always put it on the table or floor before getting started to keep mess contained.
  • Set it up when your kids aren’t around.  Suggest they go play for a while, give them a snack or put on a cartoon. 

I also encourage you to visit my 10 Projects page on my website at littlewonderkin.com/10-projects or follow me on instagram at @littlewonderkin. I am posting a new project every week day for 10 days with supplies, directions and an instagram video highlight of my girls and I doing each project in our home.  

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, we are in this together!