A Perfect Day of Family Fun
Part One: Create With Amore Learning!
Classically trained actress, published illustrator, fine artist, personal trainer and Amore Learning Instructional Coach McLean Fletcher has some fun ideas for you and your kids this fall. McLean encourages you to practice seeing like an artist, or better yet, like a child - with curiosity, imagination, and hope. (Go to @gethappyly on Instagram for a two page printable summary of this adventure.)
McLean’s pick for this week is a home-made puffy paint self-portrait!
Make home-made puffy paint with ingredients you already have! This is a super fun activity I’ve done several times now in quarantine with my 6-year-old niece. We enjoy making the paint together, and she loves “globbing” it onto paper for hours afterward.
- Kid’s glue
- Shaving cream
- Food coloring
- Sturdy paper
- Napkins or a rag for wiping brushes
- A cup of water
- Tupperware (or any containers to hold paint)
First, pour about ¼” of glue into each container. Then mix in about 2 inches of shaving cream.
Next, add whatever food coloring you like. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the color wheel!
Note: The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. You can make the secondary colors by mixing them together. Red and blue make purple, blue and yellow make green, and yellow and red make orange.
I prompted my niece to do a self-portrait of how she felt. I urged her to ignore what she looks like, and paint what she feels like. Ask your children what words they would use to describe themselves. Don’t worry if they don’t understand the prompt precisely, as this is complex thinking and it takes practice. My niece said words like “purple, unicorn, watching clouds, climbing trees, nice daughter, good student, and pizza.” I encouraged her to go outside of the box with her portrait and she created a masterpiece. I am certain you and your kids will do the same!
Have fun and happy painting!
Part Two: Explore With Happyly!
After exercising your creative minds it is time to burn some energy, so let’s seek out a place in nature that reminds your child of their artwork! Bring the painting on an excursion to see if you come across a spot that triggers the feelings your little artist created in the self-portrait. Take a photo of your child holding their art there - you can even frame the two together as a fun reminder of your adventure!
For a fantastic variety of backdrops that might work with your creative vision, head east to for a happyly curated afternoon of outdoor fun!
Start by making your way to Kingman and Heritage Islands. This often-overlooked wandering spot near RFK stadium (adjacent to The Fields at RFK) is a great place to run, play and explore. Wander the quiet, rustic trails of the park, which is managed by Living Classrooms. The project is ongoing and dedicated to providing free access to nature for the community, and especially local children.
Before you return to your car, (parking information available via the first link above) explore the spectacular playground at The Fields of RFK, or bring a ball to kick around in case the playground is too crowded to allow social distancing.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, make your way to The Capitol Riverfront for memorable southern cuisine and laid back yet polished hospitality at Due South Restaurant, a member of the extremely popular local Georgetown Events family of restaurants. For even more casual dining, check out their adjacent waterfront space at Due South Dockside, which is first come first served.
After an early dinner, grab a cone from Ice Cream Jubilee next door, and take a stroll around The Yards Park, or along the riverfront boardwalk toward The Navy Yard. Your little artists will love walking over the bridge and you will enjoy endless photo opportunities available on this vast property. In fact, thanks to the amazing and diverse backdrops along this journey, your children likely found the perfect place for a photo to compliment their self-portraits!
Please tag your family's highlights on Instagram @gethappyly, @amorelearning, @georgetownevents, @duesouthdc and #gethappyly! We love hearing from you!
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Amore Learning is a boutique education business offering creative enrichment programs, personalized tutoring, and consulting. Founded by fourth-generation Washingtonian Chloe Kaplan, the Amore team continues to grow and is now made up of fourteen teachers and curriculum coaches, and participates in over a dozen DC schools - half public and half private. In addition, Amore recently launched a non-profit component, A4A (Amore For All), which serves children who are distance learning from Title I schools.
From its humble beginnings, Georgetown Events was built from the ground up, and has blossomed over the years with the help of the local community. Each establishment, with its unrivaled charm, captivates city natives and travelers alike with local cuisine and welcoming faces. No matter the destination, guests escape to a place where the drinks are cold, the food is fresh and new friends become family. While these flavors, faces and places may take you away in the moment, they will always bring you back.
Join us at Due South, where we delight in southern traditions with our time-honored food and genuine hospitality. Located only three blocks from National’s Park, Due South is revered by Navy Yard locals as the best place for craft cocktails, draft beers, and delicious house-smoked barbecue.