"Never underestimate the importance of having fun" ~Randy Pausch
Mama's Mama worked hard, there's not a doubt about that, but she had fun too. Her day usually included doing something she enjoyed. It could have been taking a few minutes to relax with her needlepoint or music or a few minutes reading. One of my grandmas had a favorite gameshow and she made time in her day to watch it. My paternal grandma enjoyed card games and we'd all spend the last of the evening hours enjoying a game once the dishes were done.
Making time to include some relaxing activities is an important part of creating a satisfying life and it's something we should model for our children. Having a way to de-pressurize is even more important when life throws a curveball. Our daily routine is comforting, we can pretty much predict how the day will go, but when the daily routine goes out the window for whatever reason (even if it's something wonderful, like welcoming a new family member or extended traveling), we experience stress. Even (and maybe especially) young children feel the stress and act out, which increases your stress level. You can probably see how the situation can spiral into a mess pretty quickly.
So this page is dedicated to ideas for unwinding, both for you and for your family.
One of the favorite activities in our house has always been coloring. I enjoy it as much as the kids do, so we've spent many happy hours with crayons and coloring books around the table. When I was a kid, my friends and I liked to draw a pattern on a large sheet of paper then color it together. I do that now with the kids. I'm not much of an artist, so it's usually a series of interlocking figure 8's.
I don't know if you've noticed yet, but coloring books have grown up! An artist friend told me she is designing coloring books for adults now. I hadn't heard much about the adult coloring craze so I was surprised, but when I started looking at adult coloring books, I was thrilled! These books are beautiful, so if you're tired of coloring Winnie the Pooh with the kids,check them out! I'll post links to some of my favorites on Amazon. I had trouble finding colored pencils that I like. Most of the ones I've tried don't sharpen well or don't lay down smooth, even color. I'm hearing good things about Marco Raffine pencils, so I'm putting a link to those as well. I'm going to try them and will update you soon.
I also thought it would be fun if we could color together, so I made a deal with my friend to create a new coloring page for us. I'll post a new one here each month and add it to the monthly Featured Items page. Each month we'll also have a color palette challenge with a cool prize going to the winner you choose. At the end of the year, we'll turn all the winning entries into a calendar!
Here's a handy set of color wheels for finding complementary colors