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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seeing things differently - an idea for the kid and adult in all of us...


"Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ~Albert Schweitzer
When the colors are so bright...
 They just seem to POP out of the greenery...
 And the petals shape themselves into beautiful open vessels for the sunlight to pour into...
Then you know it's time to get your fingers messy with some color.
(and I did.)
Beautiful weather and what to do...

But paint a little bit...

I've gotten a lot of requests for kid and family-friendly spring/summer crafts and activities.  I like to think of myself as a big kid because I try to stay open to the infinite possibilities every moment can bring, and have the most fun with each one.  So any project I write about is a great activity for me, for you, for kids, and for anyone who wants to find some happiness, fun, connection and creativity in their day.

Let me explain with a little story about little Amy...

As a kid, I always used to complain to my older brother, "I'm bored!"  Even when I was little, I was always  darting about from activity to activity.  My mind was racing and I was antsy with ideas.
His response was always, "Why are you bored?"
I didn't know.
Then I'll never forgot what he got me as a birthday present that year.  His card was a simple little hand written post-it note that said, 

"This is so you'll never be bored again."

I opened it, hoping it was some kind of toy or exciting little gadget.  But it was just a soft-cover activity book for me to fill out.  I had that natural let-down when you get your hopes up and really just get...a book.  
For more insight into this, consider this amusing but accurate video:
But then I looked at the cover and it said "Things I Can Be Happy About."  It was a workbook for me to fill in.  It was filled with a bunch of blank, numbered lines, broken up into categories like "Outside", "School", "Friends", "Activities" etc.  I don't think I ever filled it out, but I got the idea.

My brother was trying to teach me my first lesson in gratitude.  If you realize what you can be happy about, it's hard to ever get "bored."  Instead of getting "bored", he wanted me to get "appreciative."  
A lot of times when we're bored, we're just unhappy.  And it might just take too much energy to think about what we should be happy about.  So I have a little exercise I like to do.  I also think it's a great idea to try with kids, who get tend to tire of things quickly, or might not always remember how much there is to be happy about.  

And then on the other end, sometimes kids are the ones who remind us to be happy about the simple things.  Kids can be miniature wise-adults, and grown-ups can have the fearless abandon of a child.  That's how we all balance each other out :)

So with that in mind, this is my exercise for kids, adults, and the kid-adult in all of us.  

Today I invite you to see things differently.  All it takes is a little mind-bending.  We're never too old to create fantasies.  These are some out-of-the-box ways to view any ordinary, boring moment in life and bring it to a completely new dimension.  
When we elevate the everyday, we can't get bored.  We're struck by every laughing tree, every popping color, every breath of sunrise.

And even better, that whimsical fascination with the world around us might even inspire us to create...and with a project to do or a idea in our heads - how the heck can we get bored???

These are some ideas to view the world differently.  Try each one on for size, then share it with someone else!

1.)   View the world as an artist studying a scene to paint a picture from, like everything is made of a different fabric
2.)   Imagine every object is actually alive and talking to you!  what would it say?
3.)   Spot the biggest risk you could do in that specific moment!
4.)   Do something totally spontaneous right there, don’t plan anything
5.)   Pretend like you are in an adventure movie, fleeing from a monster, but trying to keep your calm composure to the outside world. 
6.)   Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry
7.)   How is what I am seeing before me a microcosm of the whole?
8.)   How am I like the objects I see before me?  
9.)   See the human face in everything - does that tree trunk remind you of a friend's face?
10.)                  Be curious: ask childlike questions about the world around you like what makes the sky blue or the clouds look like that?
11.)                  Be a poet and describe the world around you in haikus!
12.)                  Take a walk and only make left turns - a lot of them!

13.)  View everything solid as liquid and everything liquid as solid.  How does it feel to walk on liquid grass?
14.)  Put a word to every sound you hear - every gust of wind or squish in the dirt
15.) Imagine the world is a giant gingerbread house and everything is edible - is that eggplant on the roof shingles?

I could go on and on with ideas, but go ahead, create some of your own!  Do it just for the sake of adding a spark to your day.

Share it with you child to give them a reason not to ever be bored - I'm sure they'l fire back with 15 of their own ideas!

And...if it comes naturally...see if it gives you an idea that inspires you enough to create - anything!  Art, music, an idea, a conversation, or a moment - every moment is a chance to create something new.  

That's the greatest part about being alive.  We have as many blank canvases as we see before us.
(and I've got a ton of blank canvases thanks to my bridal shower!)

If you get any ideas, pin them to my Pinterest Show Me Your heART board - I'd love to see!

Do you have any ideas to see the world differently?  Comment or let me know!

The internet these days seems to know what I'm talking about too!

Check out these "kid" things that appeal to anyone - and please share your own links!
lava lamps?  yes!
board games and painting on the grass = awesome

And Creativity Portal has a ton of creative ideas, games and projects that are kid-friendly and super-inspiring for any age!
Gum wrapper origami....

I also encourage you to write your own list of things to be happy about...take some inspiration from The Thought Catalogue's list.
Inspired by a T-shirt

That's it for now - and best of all..

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~J.K. Rowling


  1. What a fun and imaginative way to look at art with kids!

  2. Gosh, I wish I was creative like this! I may be a teacher, but I am far from an art teacher! I love these ideas and it looks like they are a lot of fun to do!

  3. Great way to express things in art.

  4. Oh you make me envious (in a nice way of course). I wish I was creative but unfortunately I'm not so thank you for sharing your creativity with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

  5. Great ideas! I remember laying down on the sidewalk as a kid and watching the clouds pass by. I loved it! Thanks so much for sharing at the Inspire Me Mondays Link-Up! Bridget - The Recipe Wench

  6. Beautiful!!!! I love your creativity!

  7. Wow - so many good ideas to look at things differently and create! Thanks,

  8. I only wish I'm as half as creative as you. These are really beautiful works of art! Worth an art exhibit really.

    Thanks for sharing your arts on Summer Family Fun Linky! :)

  9. What a lovely post! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday