For kids freshly out of school, summer is the time of sleeping in until noon, lounging at friends’ houses and going to the pool – and when they get tired of that one month in, it’s parents who are tasked with minimizing their boredom.
Plopping them down in front of the TV or setting them to housework might work, but if you want to activate their creative thinking while they’re out of school, there are several options around the Golden Isles — and in your own home – that can quench boredom and encourage artistic ability.
Tinted Tide in Redfern Village offers walk-in pottery painting every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. without an appointment. Erica Gillman, owner, said the importance of emphasizing art and creativity to children when they’re young cannot be overstated.
“Kids have a lot of energy, but I think sitting down and creating is really important for them because it stimulates a part of their brain that isn’t activated by them doing anything else,” she said.
Though Tinted Tide’s specialty is fired pottery, which requires a kiln, Gillman said one of her favorite at-home crafts is rock painting.
“Get rocks outside or buy them at Michaels and paint them with some acrylic paint,” she said.
SSI Rocks is a group on St. Simons that involves locals (and out-of-towners) painting rocks and hiding them around the island for people to find and collect.
“For kids, it becomes a game because they can hide it around the island and find other people’s rocks,” Gillman said. “It gets them outside and working with art supplies.”
Cathie Parmelee is an artist and the owner of Get Your Muse On!, an event-based art company based out of St. Simons. While they do not offer any events or parties aimed at children, Parmelee herself has three grandchildren and said she has multiple craft ideas for parents to do with their kids that only require inexpensive household items.
“To create something fun, all it takes is a trip to the drugstore,” she said.
“What I’m Thankful For”
Supplies needed: an easel pad (Parmelee recommends the Post-It brand so children can stick their creations to the walls of their rooms), sidewalk chalk, and a paintbrush.
• Using chalk, write a central word like “thankful” on the easel pad
• Wet a paintbrush and trace the words so the chalk stains onto the piece of paper
• Surround the main word with related words in different colors – the beach, the pool, cookouts, etc
Field of flowers painting
Supplies needed: easel pad, paper towels/paintbrush, acrylic paint, Q-tips
• Twist a paper towel (or paintbrush) into a fine point
• Pick blue and white paint up with a wet paper towel and “swish” it across the top of the paper to create a sky
• Swipe green with a few dabs of yellow directly below it for the horizon
• Use the same “swishing” technique to cover the bottom half to create grass
• Grab a handful of Q-tips and bunch them so the tips are together
• Dip the bunch in a bright color to create flowers of various sizes. Repeat this step with different colors across the grass
• Take a single Q-tip with a darker color to create the centers of the flowers
Field with dandelions painting
Supplies needed: Paper towels/paintbrush, easel pad, acrylic paint, Q-tips, toilet paper roll, scissors
• Repeat the steps for the sky in the previous painting — add more white to make it a light sky, as well as some streaks of pink or purple to give it depth
• Mix blue and green together for the horizon, swish the green down to cover the bottom half
• Using a Q-tip, take a darker color and make three small circles a few inches apart above the horizon — these will be the center of the dandelions
• Use the same Q-tip to pull the color down from the circle to create the stem of the dandelion
• Make 1-inch-long cuts around the bottom of a toilet paper roll. Flatten the strips into a circle
• Mixed with water, so that the paint makes a pancake batter consistency
• Dip the toilet paper roll into the white paint and stamp it around the flower centers to create the base for the dandelions, turning the roll slightly each time you stamp
• Dip another Q-tip in white paint and dot it around the sky to make the seeds
• Lastly, mix orange and yellow together and blend it on the horizon with a paper towel to make a sunset
These crafts will encourage family bonding and the children’s interest in art, Parmelee assured.
“Kids will have a blast with this — I mean, even I have fun with it!” she said. “Fun is all we do here. There’s enough junk going on out in the world, we need a safe place.”