With Mother’s Day just finishing up, it’s time to turn your attention to Father’s Day. For those who are either single parents or recently divorced, these holidays can prove to be difficult.
Regardless of what your relationship with your ex may be, you never want it to affect the upbringing of your child or how your child perceives their other parent. As such, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can sometimes become tricky holidays where your child may feel pressured to show deference to one parent over the other. A lesson can be taught here to your child about relationships and how the aftermath of their ending can be handled in a way that benefits all those involved. This lesson can be taught through the connection that’s built when performing an art project together. This article will suggest a few art projects you can share with your child on Father’s Day to not only bring you closer together but to teach your child that the most important thing they can give someone they love is their time and attention.
Painting A Canvas
When you first think of art, your mind might immediately jump to paints and painting. Depending on the age of your child, this could be an extremely fun activity, especially if you choose to forgo brushes and instead opt for finger painting. Go wild with it and purchase a huge canvas that you can place either in a tarped down living room or tarped yard and break out the buckets of paint. Roll around, go crazy! Let the laughter fill the space as you work together to create the next Picasso masterpiece.
Or pick up a brush and smaller canvases and simply paint together. If your child is older, allow them to indulge in their creative side, and allow yourself to indulge in it, too. Whether you work together to paint a beautiful picture–or silly, it’s your art!–or you work separately while just talking to one another, it’s a bonding experience that you’ll both grow from.
Finish That Clubhouse
Every child wants a treehouse or clubhouse in the backyard growing up, and with busy schedules–especially as a single parent–sometimes it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside. Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to set aside time to finish that project. This time, however, you can utilize your child’s energy and eagerness to help you finish it. While they should obviously be kept out of the potentially dangerous stuff like hammering nails and such, they could be put in charge of handing you tools or painting the finished clubhouse. Not only might they learn a thing or two about construction, but you’re also teaching them about hard work and the importance of working in a team.
By the time the clubhouse is done, you’ll have created a safe place for your child to play within. You’ll also have nurtured the bond between the two of you. Depending on how much you allowed your child to help you, they have a greater appreciation for the clubhouse as well, having helped build it. You may be quite tired after the long day of building, but have a few cups of coffee and get back out there to enjoy the clubhouse with your child. Allow their imagination to run wild with you.
Make A Small Village
If you have empty milk cartons laying about the place, you can actually use them to make a small village for you and your child to play pretend with over the years. All you need is some construction paper and markers. Cut out the paper according to the carton’s size and glue them on. Then just draw on doors and windows, perhaps a little sign to indicate what the building is, and then place it in the play area. You can potentially create an entire village from otherwise useless objects.
Not only will this inspire your child to see objects as potentially things that can be refurbished and reused, but it will also give them a whole new slew of toys that didn’t really cost you anything. They can also easily be packed away, so your child can bring them with them when they visit their mother, too. So, not only can both parents share in this project and create that bond with the child, but the child themselves are able to have the best of both worlds with each of their parents.
Again, with the small village you created together, you can come up with numerous stories. Make little people out of toothpicks and clay or any action figures or dolls your child may have and let them craft a story just for you.
Construct A Puppet Theatre
If your child has a flair for theatre and performances, then grab a few cardboard boxes and have them help you make a puppet theatre out of it. It can be as simple or elaborate as you and your child want to make it. Adding in a small chalkboard to write showtimes on is a cute little feature. If you don’t have any extra curtains laying around, you can just use blankets instead during the performances. With the theatre itself created, all that’s left are the puppets.
This is another art project you can do with your child. Whether you both work on the same puppet or separate ones, you can work on stories as you create the characters. This is something the child’s mother can get in on, too, by adding her own puppets to the mix when the child spends time with her.
With the puppets made, you can sit back and watch the performance your child has compiled just for you. Remember, every performer loves riotous applause!
Anyone can make a blanket fort, but try taking it up a level this Father’s Day. Instead of just making a fort that can be torn down in a few seconds, why not make something a bit more permanent in the playroom? Have your child help you place blankets or old sheets that are no longer used in areas and secure them. Pull in some old furniture that you would have otherwise thrown out to furnish the fort. Finish it off with Christmas lights or night lifts that can make the area seem safe and cozy. You can have your very own sleepovers in the fort with your child. However, be forewarned, they may just never want to leave it.
Time Is Everything
When it comes down to the nit and gritty of these holidays, the most important aspect you can impart to your child isn’t how much they can spend on a parent to show them how much they appreciate them. That’s a confusing message for the child and can add a great deal of stress into their lives. Instead, you can show them that the only thing that matters–and that the only thing they ever need to do–is spending time with those whom they love. Especially in today’s day and age, time has become extremely limited. Giving it to someone else expresses ultimate love.
Kayla Clough is the email specialist at OurStart. Kayla is a recent graduate of Eastern University in PA where she majored in Marketing and Human Resources. Kayla loves all things fashion, her golden retriever Max, and coffee. When she is not working, you can find her binge-watching Sex in the City and baking her latest find on Pinterest. OurStart on Facebook. OurStart’s blog.