Surviving Lockdown with Kindness and Keepsakes.

We are three weeks into lockdown now. Can you believe it?! It has been a full four weeks at home in the ARTventurers Inverness Household. I am missing all of you so SO much. But, it has been amazing to see all the pictures of you embracing art at home.

Thank you all so much for your kind messages of support and pictures of our fab ARTventurers getting creative at home.

This one from Eloise has to be one of our favourites!

They really do make all the difference. None of us knows exactly when we will be able to get back together for ARTY fun but until then I wanted to share some arty ideas I have had to keep our community connected. At a time when we have to stay physically apart. It is more important than ever to show each other a little kindness and to stay connected.

As soon as Lockdown happened, a whole host of art-related resources started to appear – all over the place. Which just backs up what we have always known at ARTventurers, that is art is wonderful for SO so, many reasons. It uses all parts of our brain, it is a great emotional release, it leaves us with a lasting memory and memento and it is accessible for ALL AGES! Something for the whole family! Our daily dose of creativity is definitely helping us through this crisis together!

It has been so lovely to see families working on art projects together. We are all Artists!

Which is when our free community groups were born. Definitely join through our Facebook page, if you haven’t already! We needed to be able to support you all through this time of crisis as best we could. With everyone looking for activities and ways to occupy the kids we knew we could help (and it helps us occupy our kids too). So Team ARTventurers got busy! Giving you all lots of ideas and ways to keep kids of all ages busy.

We keep each other going and are pooling our resources. Everyone in the team has kids at home too, so it is great to be able to work collaboratively to share ideas and content. So, we have all been working on creating how-to videos and posts to share with each other and all of you up and down the country, of some of our ARTventurers Classics and Faves! You will find lots of ideas in our community group, including our 30-day drawing which has been a big hit with all ages right across the country too.

Lots of incredible ideas on the go but I wanted to share my favourite community art ideas. Here are my top three ARTY activities to promote Kindness and community spirit, during the lockdown. Loads more art and craft ideas can be found in our community groups.

Updating our window with bright designs has really helped keep my girls occupied and is constantly making us smile. First, we had rainbows to spread joy and in thanks to the NHS and our keyworkers. Then it became a bit of a trail, for kids to spot whilst out for their daily exercise. Adding Teddies, made it a Rainbow Bear Hunt. And now, we are designing Easter Eggs and leaving a trail for the Easter Bunny! Have you seen our Big Neighbourhood Easter Egg Hunt – join the group and share your designs!?

Find our group on Facebook and join in the fun!

This idea is so simple but it is bringing so much joy. Not only to children as they are creating them and then spotting them. But also, to our elderly neighbours and our friends too. We have laminated (for hygiene) and posted rainbows and pictures through the doors of those around us and it is wonderful to see them up in the windows as we go for our walk. Reminding us that we are all in this together. Staying home to keep each other safe. Have you joined in?

It’s very simple to do – just create your picture and stick it to your window. Or get the paint out and let the kids paint straight onto the window. If you water it down a little it goes on easily and should clean off with a wipe.

What reminds you of your childhood more than being out on the street with your chalk? I used to love it. We can’t catch up face to face with our neighbours at the moment. But we can get outside in the garden and leave some colourful chalk drawings and messages. My girls stayed up late one evening and snuck out in the dark to chalk some positive messages on the road. Bringing a little thanks and positivity for the keyworkers in our street heading off to help. They got some gorgeous messages of appreciation back. We have also chalked up our front porch to brighten it up. As well as doing some colourful chalk tape resist on the fence. A simple, cheap and entertaining way to bring a smile or two to your street.

Creating kindness rocks has long been a favourite of mine and something I do often at summer events. The kids really get involved in the idea of creating and leaving a piece of art for the community to make someone smile. The how to couldn’t be easier either – find a nice smooth flat stone when you are out (this makes for a fab hunt to see who can find the smoothest, coolest shape, unique design), get out your art supplies at home and paint, or colour your picture or design and then seal it with a clear varnish. Pop it back in your pocket for your next walk and leave it somewhere to be found.

At the moment it may be safer to build up a collection of finished stones and then do a KINDNESS DROP all at once when Lockdown is over. How amazing would it be to get the kids to record their lockdown as kindness art and then distribute joy to others when this is all over. You can add a #hashtag to the back connected to your nearest rocks group so that if they are found you may get to see the joy they have brought somebody. I use #artventurersrocks but mainly #duncanforbesrocks on mine as that connects back to the group I set up for the girl’s primary school.

We have seen rocks travel all over the world it is just incredible. So get creative, find the group closest to you or come and join mine and start creating art to spread kindness, hope and love once this is all over one rock at a time.

I just wanted to end with a fab little app that I have been using to send out postcards of the girl’s artwork to family and friends to send a smile. This week we worked on some BIG ART. I had some canvas roll left from an event, that I used to draw around the girls with their arms open wide. As if they were about to give a giant bear hug. They then spent the rest of the day designing their outfits and painting self-portraits of themselves.

When it was done we took a picture of them with it, in the garden and uploaded it to Touchnote. You can then send it as a postcard and leave a little message and they print and post it out for you. I got a discount with a referral code from a friend but it is a subscription service so not for everyone but it really helped us stay connected this week and the girls have been loving all the calls and messages of thanks they received. A great way to share your Easter Art with your family too!

I have so many ideas to share with you for activities to keep your little ones occupied during this super strange time. So keep your eyes peeled for another blog soon.

Stay safe, keep getting creative and sending me your pics and definitely SHARE the Big Neighbourhood Easter Trail with ALL your friends and family so there are loads of eggs out there for all the kids to find!

lots of love Linsey x