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Add Color To Your Home: 15 Cool Projects For Kids

Add Color To Your Home: 15 Cool Projects For Kids

Why do we all love “do it yourself” projects? There’s just something about creating something on your own. The artistic expression and sense of accomplishment motivates us to keep exploring. If you’ve got kids at home, it can also be an excellent way of spending some quality family bonding time with them while also encouraging them to explore their creative side.

Here are a few fun projects to keep the kids (and parents) entertained.

1. There’s A Galaxy In My Room

1. Glow in the dark

    Image Source And Idea: momdot.com

    These funky looking and fun to make jars add a lot of color to your house during the day. Their party trick is how fabulous they look at night. Your children will love these natural night-lights. You will undoubtedly spark their interests in the sky above them.

    To make your galaxy jar, all you will need to do is:

    1. Wash a transparent glass jar and allow it to dry.
    2. Buy some glow in the dark fabric paint. For best results, use light fluorescent colors of contrasting shades.
    3. Next, grab a paintbrush and let the kids dot the inside of the jars with as many colors as they like. You can even paint miniature versions of the planets from our solar system.
    4. Allow it to dry in sunlight for a few hours.
    5. Your galaxy jars are ready. Use them as colorful mantel displays or in the dark corners of your child’s room.

    2. Psychedelic Suncatcher

    2. Sun Catcher

      Image Source And Idea: babbledabbledo.com

      Have your kids create a little abstract art with these fun to make suncatchers. They will add color to any room. They will also have your kids buzzing about the colors and the crazy designs they created.

      To make these fantastic suncatchers:

      1. Grab a few plastic lids from jars of medium to large sizes.
      2. You will need to coat the lids with large quantities of glue. Make sure you do this yourself to avoid any accidents from the children.
      3. Have your kids select two of their favorite watercolors and add a few drops of the glue.
      4. Using a toothpick, ask them to swirl the colors around. Make sure to mix the colors only until a pattern develops. This will prevent the colors from mixing and forming an unpleasant shade.
      5. Allow the glue to dry. This will require patience from both you and the children since it could take between 2 to 3 days to dry completely.
      6. Once it dries, peel the glue off the lid, punch a hole in the top, and hang it from a window frame.

      3. Homemade Snow In A Jar – Lego Style

      3. Snow Jar

        Image Source And Idea: minieco.co.uk

        Most people love snow, and just about everyone loves Lego. Combining the blocks and some snow is the way to go. Make sure the jar is large enough to fit your Lego figure plus the added height of the base.

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        All you need to do is:

        1. Glue any Lego figure you like to a Lego base and let it dry.
        2. Stick the figure with its base to the inside of a jar’s lid and allow it to dry.
        3. Buy some glitter and have your kids sprinkle it into the jar. Then have them fill the jar almost to the brim with water.
        4. Add the lid and screw it on tight to allow for no air pockets to develop. Your snow jar is ready. Shake it to create a snowstorm!
        5. You can be as creative as you like. If your children love space or astronauts, simply print out a coloring page with a spaceship (on waterproof paper). Have your children color it and stick it to the inside of the jar.

        4. Stylish Bead Necklaces

        4. Bead Necklace

          Image Source And Idea: hellowonderful.co

          If you’re looking for a fun project that is simple and will allow your children to get creative, this is the perfect art piece for you. These necklaces are great for women of all ages.

          To make your bead necklaces:

          1. Buy large sheets of colored corrugated paper. Cut them into long triangular and rectangular shapes.
          2. Add glue to the inside of the paper and. Have your children roll the paper into circles around a straw or pencil. Once they’ve sufficiently dried, get rid of the straw.
          3. Run a string through the center of the beads and string together various combinations of colors and shapes

          5. Messy Ice Paintings

          5.Ice Painting

            Image Source And Idea: two-daloo.com

            Which kid doesn’t love making a mess? How about letting them play with colored ice cubes? It will make their day! For obvious reasons, this activity is best for the summer.

            To let your children get started with their ice paintings:

            1. Make colorful ice cubes by simply filling ice trays with water and adding a few drops of watercolor to each tray.
            2. Every artist needs a canvas. For your child’s painting, use a plain sheet (preferably thick) to soak up the colored water. Place it on the ground.
            3. Then step back and watch as your kid’s imagination runs wild. They can use the ice cubes like a paint brush or arrange the ice cubes in a pattern on the sheet and wait for it to melt.
            4. The results are stunning and wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art gallery.

            6. Stained Glass Pasta

            6. Pasta Stained Glass

              Image Source And Idea: babbledabbledo.com

              Pasta can be used for more than just making dinner. Since children love eating pasta, why not show them how to create fancy art with it as well. It looks great and doesn’t require a lot of fancy supplies.

              To make your stained glass pasta:

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              1. Use a few sheets of raw lasagna pasta sheets. Cut them into varying shapes and sizes.
              2. Color batches of pasta separately. Once they’ve been colored, allow them to dry.
              3. Cut two sheets of contact paper of the same size. Remove the backing paper and leave the sticky side of the contact paper facing up.
              4. Let your children place the colored pieces of pasta on the sheet. Make sure to leave a gap of at least one-fourth of an inch between each piece.
              5. Place the second contact paper over the top of the pasta sheets. Using a black marker, fill in the gaps between each piece. Your masterpiece is ready.

              7. Fancy Artificial Flowers

              7. Flowers

                Image Source And Idea: pinkstripeysocks.com

                If you’ve got girls in the house that love flowers, this idea is perfect for you. Show them how to create these lovely crystal flowers that are unique. They will add color to any room.

                To make your flowers:

                1. Pick up a few artificial flowers from the local shop.
                2. Tie the stems of these flowers to a pencil.
                3. Boil water and pour it into an empty container. Add spoonfuls of borax into the container. When the borax no longer dissolves, you’ll know you’ve added enough.
                4. Place the flowers into the borax diluted water and allow it to sit for a few hours.
                5. After a few hours, pull out your flowers and display your creation proudly in a vase in the living room.

                8. Rainbow Salt Jars

                8. Rainbow jar

                  Image Source And Idea: flaxandtwine.com

                  These colorful rainbow jars will add a dash of color to any room in the house. You could use them as a centerpiece for that grand dinner or a simple addition to your child’s nightstand.

                  To make your rainbow jars:

                  1. Have your children pour some salt onto a piece of paper. The amount of salt will depend on the size of the jars and how many layers you wish to add.
                  2. Let them choose their favorite color of chalk and rub it in the salt until the salt takes on the color of the chalk.
                  3. Repeat the process with a contrasting color. Pour the layers of salt into the jar and add different colors until the jar is full. Your rainbow jar is ready for display.

                  9. Simple to Make Clay Pots

                  9. Clay Pots

                    Image Source And Idea: handmadecharlotte.com

                    Clay pots are an easy way to have your children create something unique and let their creative juices flow. To make these attractive clay pots:

                    1. Take a handful of air dry clay and roll it into a large ball. Give these to the children.
                    2. With their thumbs, have them poke a hole in the center of the ball and rotate the clay, creating a wider hole with each rotation.
                    3. Flatten the center of the hole to form a small pot. Use water to smoothen out the clay.
                    4. Take another ball of clay and flatten it to create the lid. Measure it into the pot for the right size. Add a small ball of clay to the lid to act as the handle.
                    5. Let the kids add beads, sequins, and other creative touches to personalize each pot. Wait for each pot to dry. This will take between 3 to 5 days, depending on the size.
                    6. Let the kids paint each pot to their liking.

                    10. Skittles Art Work

                    10.Glossy-Skittles-Paint-Mama.Papa_.Bubba_.

                      Image Source And Idea: mamapapabubba.com

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                      Skittles are popular with both adults and children because they’re colorful and taste great. However, did you know you can use them to create paint?

                      All you need to do is:

                      1. Grab a big bag of Skittles and have your child divide them by color. Then get them to place groups of the same color into small containers. Each container will need at least 25 Skittles.
                      2. Then instruct your children to pour corn syrup into the containers of Skittles. Seal it up and leave it to rest for a few hours.
                      3. Once the Skittles have completely dissolved, give your kids a paintbrush and a blank canvas. Let them paint to their heart’s content.

                      11. Rainbow Rock Candy

                      11. rockcandy5

                        Image Source And Idea: cookiedoughandovenmitt.com

                        Making homemade rock candy will be a trip down memory lane for the parents, and will give the kids a new favorite snack. To make colorful rock candy:

                        1. In a large saucepan, add 2 cups of granulated sugar, half a cup of light corn syrup, and half a cup of water.
                        2. Heat it until the mixture has reached 300 degrees. Remove from the heat, then add a few drops of food coloring and half a teaspoon of flavored oil. Stir vigorously.
                        3. Pour the hot mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper and cooking spray.
                        4. Let it cool for half an hour, then have the kids dust it with powdered sugar. Your colorful rock candy is now ready.

                        12. Pony Bead Earrings

                        12. Pony earrings

                          Image Source And Idea: thelifeofjenniferdawn.com

                          If your little girls are always searching for the latest earrings at the local mall, why not teach them how to improvise their own at home. Since they’re customizable, they are sure to suit every girl’s taste.

                          To make them:

                          1. Using a baking tray, have your child place an individual bead in each slot. Use beads of different colors.
                          2. Set the oven to 250 degrees and wait until each bead has melted.
                          3. Once they’ve cooled, get your child to glue them to an earring post. Your home made earrings are ready.

                          13. Cardboard Dreamcatchers

                          13. Weave

                            Image Source And Idea: hellowonderful.co

                            Cardboard looms are a great way for your kids to get started with handicrafts. Even though they look complicated, they are simple to make.

                            To create great looking cardboard hand looms:

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                            1. Trace out circles of different diameters on a sheet of cardboard, and cut them out.
                            2. Mark spokes on your circle and cut a small portion along each spoke.
                            3. Tape some colorful yarn to the center of the circle and have your child run it through the cut portion. Get them to do this with the adjacent cut. Repeat the process with each cut until the circle is covered with yarn. Tape the end of the yarn to the back of the circle.
                            4. Add a different colored yarn to the center. Weave it into a circle, add buttons and other layers of yarn or anything else they like.

                            14. Cement Castles

                            14. Cement Castle

                              Image Source And Idea: andweplay.com

                              Yes, you read that right. You can make castles out of cement that will last a lot longer than your ordinary sand castles. They’re also easy to make, and your kids will love them.

                              Here’s how to make them:

                              1. Mix easy-to-make cement according to the instructions on the bag.
                              2. Get a sand castle mold and have your child spray the insides with nonstick cooking spray.
                              3. Pour the cement into the mold and allow it to set. Once it’s dry, turn it upside down and watch the castle easily slip out.
                              4. Since they are heavy, place it where your kids like, then let them go mad with their new cement castle.

                              15. Balloon Dart Art

                              15. Balloon Dart Art

                                Image Source And Idea: hellowonderful.co

                                Do you want to do something fun with the kids that will be both creative and fun for the whole family? Balloon dart art is the activity for you.

                                To get started:

                                1. Buy washable paint, with lots of contrasting colors. Get a few small balloons and pour a little paint in each of them.
                                2. Blow a little air into each balloon and tie the mouth of the balloon into a small knot.
                                3. Get a large foam board and cover it with white canvas. Nail it to a post or any convenient object. Spread a sheet to mop up the paint from the ground.
                                4. Pin the balloons to the board with thumb-tacks.
                                5. Hand your kids some darts and watch as each balloon explosion splashes a range of colors on the canvas.

                                Conclusion

                                Wow! These activities will keep the family busy for some time to come.

                                We hope you enjoyed our list of 15 cool projects. Have fun doing these activities with your kids. After you try some out, let us know about your experience. We’d love to hear from your family.

                                Featured photo credit: beautiful locale for art via flickr.com

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                                Published on November 14, 2018

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                Symptoms of Fatigue

                                Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                • mental blocks
                                • lack of motivation
                                • headache
                                • dizziness
                                • muscle weakness
                                • slowed reflexes and responses
                                • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                • moodiness, such as irritability
                                • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                • reduced immune system function
                                • blurry vision
                                • short-term memory problems
                                • poor concentration
                                • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                Causes of Fatigue

                                The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                Anemia

                                Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                Diabetes

                                Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                Sleep Apnea

                                Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                Thyroid disease

                                An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Lack of sleep
                                • Too much sleep 
                                • Alcohol and drugs 
                                • Sleep disturbances 
                                • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                • Poor diet 

                                Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                1. Tell The Truth

                                Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                • How you feel
                                • What time of day it is
                                • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                • How your mind and body reacts

                                This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                4. Express More Gratitude

                                Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                5. Focus On Yourself

                                Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                7. Take a Power Nap

                                When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                8. Take More Exercise

                                The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                10. Improve Your Diet

                                Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                12. Get Hydrated

                                Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                The Bottom Line

                                These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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