Time together is one of the best investments you can make in your family.
But what to do when you’re all together?
A board game? Great for everyone over the age of 4, but if you have a little one running around, you know where all the cards and game pieces are going to end up. . . in mouths, in diapers, under chairs, hidden in shoes, stowed away in secret places not to be discovered until the year 2020. . . .
A baby game? Not good for anyone over the age of 6.
Mama looses her attention span on round 5 of Candy Land. And probably her sanity too.
A movie? No one talks or connects.
Time outside? Again – tricky to find something everyone can do together.
That’s why I’m writing about this today.
It’s so simple and mesmerizing.
Over spring break, we spent three solid chunks of time, all of us – from age two to – *cough*- mid-thirties (Dad included), huddled over a giant drawing pad, coloring this picture – and we’ve now moved on to drawing number two.
Nothing fancy, just shapes colored in like stained glass.
There is a calming effect to coloring. It’s a simple skill that spans every age, and without even realizing it, we were practicing fine motor skills with the little guys and sprinkling in a tiny bit of an art lesson regarding color and balance. Not that we really talked about it, it just turned into a rule that we couldn’t have two colors touching, and then we were all talking about what color needed to be where.
But between comments regarding how one of us loves Cerulean Blue and how we are all fans of how smoothly Razzle Dazzle Red spreads like lipstick across the paper, the boys and my husband were spouting out movie lines and laughing hysterically, jokes were flying, and we were connecting.
No one was stealing game pieces and stashing them in couch cushions, no one was freaking out about rules or scores, no one was needing excessive amounts of guidance.
It was peaceful.
We could all do it.
It’s not messy.
We all liked it.
This is some kind of record.
And we want to do more, so that’s why I’m sharing it.
I’m hoping it will bring you an afternoon or evening of happy together time.
I’m hoping, when the crazies hit your house, that a light bulb will appear over your head and you will remember. . . that there’s something that can bring you all together, and calm the jumping beans and screamie meamies (does anyone else have those?), and bring peace to the day before it ends.
It’s really very simple.
Start by letting everyone take turns drawing random shapes and lines in black.
Then fill them in, keeping inside the shapes that have been created by everyone’s lines.
It won’t be perfect, but don’t worry – it’s not supposed to be.
Mwa! Best to you all. I hope it works as well for you as it did for us!