Family Time Calendar: Color Your World

Art projects are fun, but come Friday afternoon, who has the energy or patience? This afternoon, amuse the kids -- and relax yourself -- with a coloring project. Grab a giant picture you can all work on at the same time; you'll be amazed at how relaxing just coloring (inside or outside the lines) can be.

What you'll need:
Crayons or markers
A giant coloring book or pad, such as those in the Red Barn Studio line
A soothing classical or jazz CD

What you'll do:
The key to making this fun and relaxing is proper preparation. To cut down on the "Mom, he took the blue one!" feuds, get a new pack of crayons or markers for each of the kids as well as yourself. Choose what design you'll color, and assign each artist a section to work on. If you have kids still of the indiscriminate-scribbling age, you might want to give them each their own page to work on, to avoid arguments with older, more practiced siblings. Spread out on the floor instead of a table so that everyone has equal access to their sections. (You'll also rediscover how fun it is to lie on your tummy.) Then turn on the music and let everyone settle into their places. Let the music and the rhythmic sound of crayons on paper soothe everyone's minds as you work on your collective masterpiece.

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