Father’s Day Chalkboard Art Project

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 18) and this chalkboard art project is the perfect gift to make for dad! Well suited for any age to create – this cute, framed artwork can be displayed at breakfast on Father’s Day, and then kept on dad’s desk year round.
Materials you will need:
black paper (scrapbook quality works best)
white or peach colored pencils
chalkboard markers and/or white gel pens
colorful markers (for the frame)
a basic wooden frame
Step 1  Cut out a piece of black paper that will fit within the frame you are using. An easy way to do this is to trace the around the cardboard frame back, or the frame’s protective glass to achieve the exact size you will need.

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 2  Lightly trace a cute design on the paper using white or peach colored pencils. Quotes look especially good done in chalkboard style writing, so you could have your kids write something such as, You’re a COOL dad or You’re a BEARY good dad – something fun and sweet. Pinterest always has some good ideas if you need inspiration!
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 3  Using white gel pens or chalkboard markers (mine are from OOLY), trace over the pencil designs to create the finished artwork.
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 4  An easy way to decorate the frame is by dotting a confetti pattern using colorful markers. Sharpie paint pens would work perfectly for this, or multi-surface markers such as the ones I’ve used. You could also easily use regular washable markers, but the colors will bleed a little bit on the frame’s wooden surface unless you paint it first.

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 5 Add the artwork inside the frame, and have fun displaying your chalkboard masterpiece for dad on Father’s Day!
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She offers private art lessons to children in Jersey City and Hoboken ages 4 – 12 years.

Final Camp Riverbend Open House May 6

Choosing a camp for this summer?

Join us at our final spring Open House Saturday May 6, 11 am – 2 pm.  Last day to catch our early bird enrollment discount!  Games, crafts, and cooking for children and parents.  You can meet some of our amazing counselors and tour the camp site. Free!  RSVP required to [email protected] or 908-580-CAMP.

Camp Riverbend is 30 minutes from downtown Jersey City; daily summer bus service included.

Camp Riverbend “Wild West” Open House Saturday April 8

Choosing a camp for this summer?
Join us at our Open House Saturday April 8, 10 am – 12 noon. We’re rounding up cowpokes and buckaroos to join us for some rootin’-tootin’ “Wild West” games, crafts, and cooking for children and parents. You can meet some of our amazing counselors and tour the camp site. Free! RSVP required to [email protected] or 908-580-CAMP.
Camp Riverbend is 30 minutes from downtown JC; daily summer bus service included

All Saints Episcopal Day School Tour


Tours are conducted during the school day to provide prospective families an opportunity to see the school in action. For families exploring admission for the 2017-2018 school year, tours are offered on the following Tuesdays:

September 20, 2016
September 27, 2016
October 11, 2016
November 22, 2016 
As space is limited, advance registration is required. To register, click here:
Please arrive by 8:45 AM for a brief presentation by the Head of School and a glance at our Spirituality assembly, followed by a tour. This event is intended for parents only.

CVM Kids Show with Toomai String Quintet

Con Vivo Music invites families to join us on Mother’s Day for an interactive kids show with The Toomai String Quintet! Toomai will lead an exploration of how improvisation manifests itself in music of different styles, featuring works by Duke Ellington, Cachao, Perapeskaro, and J.S. Bach.

FREE – Kids Show with The Toomai String Quintet
Sunday, May 8 @ 2pm
The Barrow Mansion – 83 Wayne Street, Jersey City, NJ

Toomai has performed in many capacities throughout the United States, with appearances at Lincoln Center, the 92nd St. Y, Philadelphia Arts Alliance, and for the Miami Civic Music Association, among others. The quintet was a pilot ensemble for Carnegie Hall’s “Musical Connections” program, and they continue to perform regularly in schools, hospitals, and alternative care facilities throughout New York City. In addition, the Toomai String Quintet has brought its array of educational programs to students in California, Florida, and across the Northeast, and has presented interactive concerts in collaboration with organizations such as California Institute of the Arts, The Juilliard School, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

Parenting in Public – Saying Goodbye

14. IMG_1780



With the start of the school year, the summer comes to an end. Often, it’s a time for goodbyes. Whether it’s a grandparent going back home, or a friend moving away, or a teacher finding another job – goodbyes are inevitable. Children who get easily attached are more affected than others; all we can do is cushion the blow.

  • Finding closure

I remind my kids of the departure the day before. We usually make a goodbye card for the person leaving and/or wrap a simple, meaningful gift – it could be a framed picture of the two together or a book that they both enjoyed. During the activity, I explain why the person is leaving, and where they are going. We talk about all the memories and I encourage them to express their feelings. We talk about if and when they will see them again and ways in which they can stay in touch if that’s a possibility. If not, I tell them that they will always have the happy memories of the time spent together. This process provides a sense of closure for the kids and prepares them for the farewell. When the time comes to say goodbye, the children having already processed their feelings are able to separate easily with limited tears and without beseeching the person to stay.

  • Cheering up!

I plan an activity that the children enjoy—a trip to the park or a play date—right after the goodbye so that the children’s focus shifts away from the sadness to excitement.

  • Staying connected

I also make a concerted effort to stay connected with the people they are attached to so that if they ask for them, they can talk to them over the phone or Skype, or even visit if possible. It provides security in that the children don’t feel abandoned.

  • Explaining goodbyes

Even if children seem unaffected by it, it’s still a good idea to talk to them briefly about the person leaving. Children, especially the younger ones, aren’t able to verbalize their feelings and might find it confusing. It’s safer to explain it than to ignore it. “The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.”


Note: This is the final part of the series, “Parenting in Public.” As a parent of two little boys, I have tried and tested the techniques shared in this blog and I hope you were able to find some of these ideas helpful. Thank you all for reading! Until next time…


Sara Zaidi is a child therapist and the creator of Building Healthy Minds and Happy Families. With advanced degrees in psychology and mental health and over ten years of clinical experience, Sara helps parents navigate through the challenging early stages of their children’s lives by explaining the cognitive, emotional and social development of children from a neurological and behavioral perspective. Read her parenting blog at www.sara-zaidi.com/parenting-blog and visit www.sara-zaidi.com to learn more about her work.