Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Artful Parent

Caught indoors with the kiddos?  Well, look no farther than The Artful Parent by Jean Van't Hul.  Jean Van't Hul is the creative mind behind the blog theartfulparent.com.  

Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination, deepen their creativity, and explore new materials, all while strengthening their fine motor skills and developing self-confidence. The Artful Parent has all the tools and information you need to encourage your children’s creativity through art. You’ll learn how to set up an art space, how to talk to children about their artwork, how to choose the best art supplies (without breaking the bank), how to repurpose and organize the piles of art created, and even how to use kids’ art activities to soften everyday transitions.The more than sixty engaging kids’ arts and crafts projects included here are accessible and developmentally appropriate for one- to eight-year-olds, and they’re a far cry from the cookie-cutter crafts many of us did in school as kids.

What I love about  The Artful Parent is the approach it takes to encourage your child to let their creative sides run wild.  It tells you how to create creative spaces in  your home.  For us that means  having an entire closet devoted to crafting good as well as an art table in the living room.  Art is a great way to get rid of the "I have nothing to do," and "I'm bored."  It teaches parents to really embrace your children's creative side and let them know that there is no such thing as perfect.  My daughter and I have had a ball exploring our artistic interests with this book.  We created Pointillism pictures with q-tips and our imagination.  It also opened dialogue about famous artists like Seurat (which led to a mini art lesson).  

 It was fun to make ice molds with old milk cartons and then let my daughter run wild pouring salt and food coloring on top to see how the salt made tunnels through the ice.  Perhaps the best moment so far was making our bubble art.  Too often we tell kids not to play and be quiet, be good.  They are kids!  This activity had her blowing huge bubbles in a pie pan then covering them with paper and making bright fluorescent pink art!
 The Artful Parent provides the guide and ideas to help you cherish those times with your children where you are free to be creative, free to be fun and free to be you!

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