Summertime, Kids, and Calligraphy
Summer’s drawing near and I’m already looking forward to fun with the kids. Lately, I’ve wondered exactly what will keep them occupied with constant activity and challenges aside from sitting in front of the television or playing video games.
For the past few days, my husband and I have been brainstorming ideas and struggling to find a variety of activities to stave off boredom.
Luckily, I discovered an idea last week during class when our instructor mentioned calligraphy for a new generation. She explained that if we expose our kids or grandkids to this art at an early age, then the art form will thrive. Classmates agreed and stated that encouraging children to visit calligraphy workshops or an occasional meeting exposes them to hands-on experience, which creates more enthusiasm for hand-lettering.
Suddenly, I experienced an “a-ha” moment. I realized this season offers the perfect opportunity for me and the girls to spend quality time while they learn the basics of calligraphy.
A 30-minute mini-workshop will allow the girls to explore their artistic talents and learn a new skill. Each session will give them the chance to build on their new-found skills and incorporate it into art and daily life.
Although I haven’t experimented with this approach yet, I thought I’d share a few ideas for parents looking for a different summer project to try with kids. And, don’t worry if you’ve got boys. The industry includes highly successful male calligraphers who create magnificent lettering.
Consider inviting children ages 6-17 for a mini-workshop. They should enjoy this new activity since children are normally exposed to art throughout school. If you have a third grader, it’s possible they’ve been exposed to cursive writing recently, so this workshop should be easy for them.
In case you’d like to try the workshop with your kids, I’ve indicated a few tips to get started:
- Start with tracing paper and calligraphy markers (found at craft and art stores). If you’d rather not invest in the markers, try using a ballpoint pen.
- Gather calligraphy letters to trace. Copy letters from your calligraphy book or print letter examples from www.speedballart.com (found in “art studio” section under “art lessons”). You’ll find lettering techniques for the kids to trace.
- Practice tracing with pencil. Once the child feels more comfortable with the pencil, he should feel more confident writing or tracing with the calligraphy marker.
- Try an easy project with cardstock. Have the child write his name in calligraphy on plain, colorful cardstock. Then, offer embellishments, like stamps, stickers, and glitter to decorate the paper. Add the finished piece to a scrapbook or hang it in the child’s bedroom.
I’d suggest doing this project about once a day for a half hour to an hour or break it down to once a week and place any unfinished work to the side for your next session. Finishing a project will encourage your child’s inner artist and teach them a new skill for the summer.
What new projects have you lined up for your child’s summer?