Benefits of Adult Coloring Books

coloring bookIf you’ve spent much time on the internet in the last year or two, you’ve probably heard about how awesome adult coloring books are. If you’re not convinced filling in intricately drawn bubbles with pinks, blues and yellows, perhaps what you can gain from it can persuade you. Here are 4 benefits of adult coloring books.

Break Time We all need to give our, minds, bodies and souls a break. Working coloring into our schedule gives us that rest that we might not otherwise take if we just say we’re going to take a break. It’s a time that you can sit down and not have to think beyond “should this paisley be green or purple?” But because it’s all laid out for you and gives you focus, it takes pressure off the part of your brain that generates a fear response making you feel generally more relaxed.

coloring-bookEasy Challenge Unlike other crafts and creative activities, you don’t have to be an expert to make your coloring book look awesome. If you’ve ever been envious of your creative friends who know how to put together the perfectly crafted Easter centerpiece, you don’t have to be left out of the creative circle with a coloring book.

Chillax You can build social activities around coloring — rather than hosting a book club or a knitting group, host a coloring party in which everyone brings snacks and wine and you can chat and catch up over coloring. It’s a way of being more purposeful with your time with friends than going out and having dinner and drinks every few weeks.coloring-bookFountain of Youth Creative activities help keep your brain young. As we get older, our brains to work as well as they did when we were young, but, like exercise, it works your muscles to keep them strong. In fact, engaging in creative activities like coloring slows down mild cognitive impairment. Not only does coloring keep your brain young, it also stimulates your brain while encouraging its communication with other parts of your body.

The Lakeside Collection has coloring books and crafts to keep you creatively challenged no matter what level of crafter you are. From colored pencils to scrapbooking accessories, shop Lakeside for all your creative needs.coloring-book

Spring Cleaning: 6 Ways for Upcycling Sweaters

It’s just about time to put the winter sweaters away and start spring cleaning — but if you want an easy and fun way to combine the two chores, we have one idea in mind: upcycling! There are a few ways to transform your old sweaters into useful items around the house and in your closet — most of them are easy, so we picked a few of our favorites. Here are 6 ideas for upcycling sweaters.make-it-love-it

Shoulder Bag You probably haven’t started your Christmas shopping list yet, but with this idea, you can give your list a jump start! Ashley at Make It, Love It, cut, pinned and stitched together this sweater to make it a shoulder bag! The instructions show you how to cut up your sweater and even add a colorful lining to make it extra dazzling. If you want to try to make it super-sturdy with a little more texture, you can felt it, you just have to make sure the sweater you’re using is 100% wool.

infinity-scarfInfinity Scarf Sweaters are great for keeping you warm in the winter, but when they’re too worn to keep you warm, shrink them into scarves to get a little more mileage out of them! Becky from Crafting a Green World did just that with her sweater! It’s about as simple of a project you can do to upcycle a sweater — the hardest part is sewing on the buttons.legwarmers

Leg Warmers If you’re looking for a way to dress up your bulky winter boots, DIY leg warmers gives them a splash of color for those gray winter months. Craft in Hands put together this super-simple, super-cute pattern that involves cutting, gluing and sewing that sweater you can’t wear anymore but don’t want to throw away! Just following the simple instructions for this simple, stylish accessory.

slipper-boots

 

Slippers Here’s another idea to get started on for next winter: slipper boots! Jen at Drawings Under the Table  transformed sweater sleeves into these comfy, cozy slippers for those cold winter nights. To make this easy pattern even easier, she included detailed step-by-step instructions with photos to help you out.

sweater-mittensMittens If you live in a cold weather climate, you know how much you need mittens and how easy they are to lose! Without spending much (or any) money, you can make a few pairs out of your old sweaters. Creme de la Craft came up with these stitch-by-stitch instructions to keep you crafting, warm and stocked with mittens!

sweater-blanketBlanket If you have a lot of sweaters to upcycle, think about making a blanket out of them (you can never have too many blankets!). Basically, We Craft Daily cut her sweaters into a bunch of small squares and sewed them all together. The result was a perfect addition to winter movie nights to keep you toasty while you munch on popcorn in front of the TV.

The Lakeside Collection has dozens of products and ideas to make the most of every season. Whether you’re looking for crafting and DIY ideas or you just want to give your home seasonal flair, look to Lakeside for great ideas and fantastic products.

4 Benefits of Getting Kids Involved in Scouting

scoutsKids are back at school! Not every kid is into after school sports, but they all need something to do between the last bell and when you get home from work. A scouting group may be an alternative activity for your child. Here are 4 benefits of getting kids involved in scouting.

Self-confidence  Joining scouting clubs typically requires learning new outdoor and indoor skills. Demonstrating these skills translate into merit badges.  Learning new skills gives children a sense of accomplishment. While in adult life, new skills and accomplishments sometimes means an increase in salary or a promotion, in scouting, children receive a badge to acknowledge that they’ve mastered a skill; mastery of one skill gives them courage to pursue more difficult challenges.

craftingTeamwork In scouting, kids are involved in troops. Activities – crafting, camping or cooking — are planned around working with other kids, communication and building skills as a group. Unlike working in the classroom where children do individual assignments, kids have to talk to each other, share equipment and supplies – even teach others new skills. Teamwork also allows for socialization and developing friendships they may not have the opportunity to bloom in their regular classrooms.

Value of Volunteering Scouting emphasizes service work. Exposing kids to service or volunteer work early on teaches them the value of giving back to the community and that helping others feels good. Getting involved in community service work also introduces children to the working world before they have to earn a wage. It gives them a jump start on developing a work ethic and helps them learn time management without the pressure of a paying job.  These are skills kids can also apply to school work as well as sports.

scoutsAdvancing Education and Career Development It’s never too early to help your kids with their careers. By getting kids involved in scouting, they can explore interests and activities outside of academics that they don’t have the opportunity to look at in the classroom. The more exposure they have to a variety of activities, the more likely they are to find their own path to higher learning and, subsequently, a career.

There are many after school activities for kids to participate in – whether your child joins scouting, a sports team or dance class, after school activities help mold children into contributing members of society – and it prevents them from spending too much time in front of the television.

 

 

7 First Day of School Traditions to Start This Year

Image source: Flickr

Image source: Flickr

The first day of school is exciting and there are only so many we get to experience with our kids. Here are 7 first day of school traditions to make every first day of school memorable.

Preservation The night before the first day of school is almost as exciting as Christmas. To get rid of that nervous energy, help them craft a box where they can save their papers and artwork for the school year. It will be a collection of their progress and at the end of the year, have them sift through it to create a scrapbook. They can fill it with memories and see how they mature over the school year.

Fashion Show Help them pick out their favorite outfit to wear on the first day back to school. What they like to wear and what looks good for the first day of school might be two different things, so they may need guidance on how to be camera ready. Add something new to the outfit to mark the day – like a sparkly barrette or a hat – and look good for a picture.

Image source: Young Sok Yun via Fickr

Image source: Young Sok Yun via Fickr

Breakfast Your kids no longer get up or eat when they want, so make it easy on them and prepare a breakfast to entice them out of bed. Make an effort, but not so much effort you can’t get to work on time. Make healthy pancakes (it pleases you as much as it pleases them) or French toast (with whole grain bread, of course). Cut up fruit and make the batter the night before so all you have to do in the morning is heat the griddle.

Expectations Over breakfast, have them make a list in a cute, crafty notebook of what they’re excited about for the new school year. Talk about their friends, what they want to learn and their new teachers. Save the notebook and pull it out to review on the last day of school.

Pack It Help them pack their lunches. Make it extra special with a fun dessert and a note from you. Tell them how proud you are of them and what kind of potential they have for the school year. Give them gentle encouragement to finish the day.

Picture It Take a picture of them before they leave for school or at the bus stop. Have them hold up a sign – pre-printed, on a chalkboard, or hand-drawn – with the date, their age and grade. Take an identical picture of them on the last day of school to show how much they’ve changed over the school year.

Dinner

Image Source: Zeetz Jones via Flickr

Dinner The first day of school is exciting and stressful. Treat them to a family meal of comfort food. Make them things only you can make right – like your perfect macaroni and cheese, oven-fried chicken or broccoli pie. After dinner, set up an ice cream sundae bar and take dessert to the patio to talk about the first day of school. Ask about what they did at school, what their teacher is like and who they were excited to see.

It’s just the first day of school, but there are only so many you get to witness in your child’s lifetime. You’ll be glad you marked the days for your memories and for theirs.