Autumn Fun!

Stuck for ideas now the weather is closing in on us? Try our Happydesigner fun tips!

This autumn half term (and beyond!) we want you to enjoy yourselves, even if it feels like it’s getting a bit more chilly! Whether it’s beach walks, days out with the kids at a local park or learning about history in a local National Trust house, there are lots of things you can do to keep kids entertained. But if you run out of ideas and it’s raining outside, we can help you with your autumnal activities. We’ve also got lots of books in the works (haven’t we always!) and you can head to our gallery pages to see what’s coming up!

Diwali Fun

On the 27th October it will be Diwali, the Indian festival of light. Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.

If you have friends who celebrate Diwali why not ask them what you can do to join in, or ask how you can help to celebrate with them? Or if you want to have a go at your own celebrations perhaps you can make your own version of the floor art called Rangoli. Use coloured rice or sand or flowers to make pretty patterns on the floor – although make sure you do this part with a grown-up! Rangoli are meant to bring good luck through the festival; the designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity (god) impressions, or flower and petal shapes.

As Diwali is a festival of light, why not make your own lanterns? Find some empty, washed out jam jars and paint colourful designs around the outside of the jar. Put tealights inside the jars and, when lit, arrange them in pretty patterns around the house. Only do this with an adult present and never leave your candles burning when you aren’t in the room.

Autumn Art!

This time of year is a beautiful one to be out in nature. The leaves are going golden and falling off the trees (apart from evergreens remember!), the conkers are falling from the trees and there are apples tumbling down in the orchards. Everything is golden and fresh, and it’s a great time of year for making art.

childrens illustration

You can buy small canvases from Wilko, as well as paintbrushes, glue and sketch pads. With a grown-up, head out to collect all the bounty you can find around you. Leaves make really lovely patterns, and you can use them as templates to paint round. Or you can stick them onto the canvas and make really lovely pictures. If you get some bark perhaps you can make your own tiny tree picture! Acorns, conkers, shells and pebbles can make fab 3D art too. If you have some empty, washed out jam jars in the house you can make little scenes out of the goodies you collect. Twigs make great little winter trees in scenes, and the stalks from grapes make really cute tiny trees and plants. For some more info about wildlife, and the books Happydesigner has worked on about nature, click here!

childrens book illustrator

Rainy Day Fun!

If the weather takes a really nasty turn (as it no doubt will at some point during the half term, and beyond!) and you’re stuck inside and trying to keep away from the iPads, CBeebies or laptops, here are some quick activities you can do with the kids:

  • Potato printing! We all remember getting a few old potatoes, chopping them in half and carving shapes into them. Make sure a grown-up is on hand, and the paint you use is safe for kids and easy to wash out! Grab some old clothes and a huge sheet of paper and go for it!
  • Make your own instrument. You can make an instrument out of lots of things, but old plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, paper straws and clean tin cans are a great start. Try making holes in different places to create different sounds for woodwind type instruments, and see what happens when a drum tin can is empty, then half full of cloth.
  • Read! Well, this is an obvious one, but reading is a great way to stretch the imagination and pass the time. It may be that your kids get bored quickly, or don’t want to sit still. Why not try to make the book interactive? If the characters in the book make popcorn, stop right there, make some popcorn and continue. The characters go on a treasure hunt? Hide some items around the house and award a prize for the first back with the booty!
  • Write/Draw a story. Again, this can be as interactive as you want. Get some sheets of paper and use your foraged autumnal bounty and create a 3D story out of that. You can use chalk for words, or paint, or pen. Or just tell the story with pictures!
  • Movie time. Sometimes you really just want to chill out, and there’s nothing wrong with finding a good family favourite to watch on a rainy day. But, why not make it fun by dressing up as your favourite character in order to watch the film? Or make popcorn and have a little ice cream to make it feel like the cinema. Perhaps you can make it interactive like the storytelling idea above; if you know the story you could plan a couple of surprises for the kids watching. Maybe you can watch a spooky film and all dress up for Hallowe’en!
happy designer children's illustration

Whatever you do during the chillier months, we hope we have given you some ideas and perhaps even helped you out of a tight spot when it comes to the hundredth request for the same old TV show or hearing “I’M BORED THOUGH!” on repeat! Have fun, stay safe and enjoy!

A few of my previous clients

happydesigner clients

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "Thank you both so much for your hard work and dedication. Sarah is a fantastic illustrator! It is nice to know I have worked with someone who is so professional at her job, and will certainly remember her for the future if I need another book illustrating."
  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • "I am absolutely thrilled with the colours and love the look and overall feel of the book, its so different and unique, thank you so much"
  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love