4 Summertime Activities for Kids

Summer is here and kids are celebrating! It’s time for a break from school and the weather is great for playing outdoors. Busy parents everywhere are wondering how to keep their kids occupied during the summer break. We have a few suggestions that might help.

My Artwork Journal by Compendium Kids

My Artwork Journal by Compendium Kids

1) Art Projects

The number of possibilities when it comes to art projects is just about endless! Bring out the inner artist in your child and create a treasured keepsake at the same time with the My Artwork Journal from the Compendium Kids collection. No more wondering what to draw – each spread in this journal has a suggested theme to inspire your child to create a picture.

Staedtler aquarell

STAEDTLER ergosoft aquarell watercolor pencils are a fun medium to experiment with. You can draw with them just like pencil crayons and then use a wet paint brush to blend and wash the colors to make a watercolor painting. When you’re creating art using a wet paint brush you’ll need a heavy-weight paper to prevent buckling. Clairefontaine’s watercolor pads have the ultimate paper to pair with the aquarell pencils.

My Writing Journal by Compendium Kids

My Writing Journal by Compendium Kids

2) Writing Projects

For the young writer, the Compendium Kids collection includes My Writing Journal. Suggested topics such as “I can write about someone who lives in our neighborhood” or “I can write about my grandparents” encourage your child to write about how they see the world. It’s super fun to read these stories again years later!

Now would be a great opportunity to introduce a child who enjoys writing to the world of fountain pens and high quality paper. Many authors step away from the world of technology and write some of their best work using an old-fashioned fountain pen and paper.

A good choice for a first fountain pen for a young writer is the Pelikano Junior. It has an ergonomic grip that guides proper finger placement and the rounded medium-broad nib is easy to write with. The Platinum Preppy disposable fountain pen is very inexpensive, comes in two nib sizes and seven colors and is another good choice for a beginner fountain pen. Don’t forget to buy some ink cartridges too!

Clairefontaine medium size ruled notebook

Clairefontaine medium size ruled notebook

Clairefontaine is the ultimate paper for writing with fountain pens since it has a super smooth finish and handles fountain pen ink very well. Try browsing through the clearance Clairefontaine on our website for deals on notebooks that can be used for kids. Or try out either of the low-priced large or medium size side-stapled and ruled with margin Clairefontaine notebooks.

Calligraphy & French Cursive Handwriting

Calligraphy & French Cursive Handwriting

3) Penmanship Projects

Besides writing poetry or stories, a fountain pen and nice paper can be used to learn or practice French cursive handwriting or calligraphy. If you’re wondering what French cursive is, you can take a look on Google images to see many samples and learning guides. Since cursive handwriting is not included in the curriculum of many schools this is something that students may want to learn at home. To find inspiration and learning guides for calligraphy Google images provides a huge variety of designs!

To learn French cursive handwriting or calligraphy it can be helpful to use French-ruled paper since it has grid lines that are quite useful for cursive writing practice. Clairefontaine paper comes from France and has several notebooks with French-ruled paper such as their inexpensive medium-size staplebound notebook. Our blog post “What is French-Ruled Paper?” will help you better understand what is special about this paper.

Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen

Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen

A couple of good beginner fountain pens to use for learning French cursive handwriting are the Pelikan Pelikano with a fine nib or the disposable Platinum Preppy with a fine nib.

Pilot Plumix Calligraphy Pen

Pilot Plumix Calligraphy Pen

When choosing a beginner calligraphy pen keep in mind that the smaller nibs are easier to write with but are best suited for smaller writing. For regular size handwriting the Pilot Plumix calligraphy pen is a great choice.

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens

Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pens come with four different sizes of nibs ranging from 1.5mm to 6.0mm and can be purchased individually or as a set. Once again, don’t forget to buy some ink cartridges or you’ll soon be running out of ink!

Wooly Bully

4) Games

If a child has brothers and sisters or maybe a few neighborhood friends to play with, good old-fashioned board games and card games are a fun social activity. We have discovered from our own experience that if kids like video games chances are very good they will also love board games and card games! All you have to know is how to count to play a crazy action packed game of Halli Galli. For kids around 6 or 7 years old a story telling game like Once Upon A Time, or a tile-laying game like Wooly Bully will be fun. For kids 8 and older, try the beautifully illustrated story telling game Dixit, the zany rule-changing card game Fluxx, or Turbo Taxi a fast-paced puzzle game. Teenagers that are sci-fan fans will like Race For The Galaxy, other teens will enjoy Shear Panic the strategy game with Wallace & Gromit-like sheep, or the ever-popular Settlers of Catan. If your children haven’t tried playing Eurogames yet, get them one and they may end up being the most popular kids in the neighborhood this summer!

What are your kids doing this summer? We would love to hear about their favorite games, art, pen and paper projects!

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Graduation Gifts 2013

The 2013 school year has almost come to a close for many happy, relieved and proud Graduates. What will you get your Grad to celebrate their accomplishments? We’re happy to share a few of our ideas.

1) The 5 Book

The 5 Book has got to be one of the ultimate gifts for any Graduate. As Grads enter college or the work force they face the challenge of setting goals and making many decisions. What can help? The 5 Book was designed to stimulate thinking and direct your Grad to goals they can use to map out the next five years of their life. Really, I think just about every one of us could use this book.

(Aurora Style Fountain Pen in the color Aquamarine)

2) A Classy Pen

A classy pen can last a lifetime and then be passed on to a future generation of Graduates. Even in a world full of technology a fantastic pen is a gift that is really appreciated. Chances are your Grad has not yet experienced the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen. The sleek modern design of the Aurora Style fountain pen was created with young professionals in mind. Fill it with some Aurora fountain pen cartridges in a deep black ink and impress a hipster!

(Delta Vintage Rollerball Pen in the color Deep Ocean)

If you feel that a fountain pen is a little too old-fashioned for your Grad, a quality rollerball pen that can be refilled with fountain pen ink is a good alternative. A classy rollerball pen works well when signing documents that produce multiple carbon copies. Pulling out a beautiful Delta Vintage rollerball pen for the signature that finalizes a deal is sure to impress! J. Herbin ink cartridges in the color Bleu Nuit would be a nice match.

3) Leather Pen Case

When you invest in the gift of a classy pen, a genuine leather pen case is the perfect accessory. It protects your pen from damage when it is carried in a purse or briefcase. Aston Leather has many fine leather pen cases to fit your Grad’s needs. The Aston single pen leather slip case is a simple, reasonably priced popular choice that comes in three choices of  color.

4)  Rhodia Meeting Book

The Rhodia Meeting Book can help keep a young professional entering the business world organized and on top of their project deadlines and goals. It’s more than just for work meetings though – the layout is based on a method of note taking designed by a professor at Cornell University. This note taking method can help any college student refresh their memory for mid-terms and finals.

(Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal)

5) A Unique Journal

This is an action packed, eventful time of a young person’s life. A unique journal is a great outlet for emotions and channeling creativity. The Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal celebrates the 50th anniversary of the audio cassette with a fun retro design..

6) Eurogames

Chances are your Grad could use some inexpensive R&R with their friends. Why not introduce them to a Eurogame and they can discover for themselves why these games are increasingly popular! Settlers of Catan is a great gateway to the world of Eurogames.

Do you have a Grad in your life? What gift ideas or special plans do you have in mind for them?

Want to win a $25.00 gift certificate to spend at Writer’s Bloc? See the comments below for details!

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