The beginning of The Artful Parent

Share & Comment

Maia’s Marker Drawing on Paper and Table

Hello no one and everyone. My name is Jean Van't Hul and I am mom to a 2 1/2 year old girl, Maia. It'€™s the beginning of a fresh new year and seems a good time to begin the blog I'€™ve been thinking about. I'm calling it The Artful Parent and plan to write about the intersection of art and parenting.

While I'm no expert on either art or parenting, I organize a weekly Toddler Art Group which has allowed me to witness and to be a part of the art experiences of several children. Every Wednesday for the past year and a half my daughter and I have invited a group of toddlers and parents into our home studio (aka large laundry room with easy-to-clean cement floors) for art activities ranging from drawing and collage to making playdough and painting on canvas. When we started, the toddlers were each about a year old and many of them put their crayons, and even their paintbrushes, into their mouths as much as they drew or painted with them. Now they make collages and multimedia drawings, and many of them have begun to carefully fill their paper or canvas with paint. I have written an article (Small Hands, Big Art) about this group for Mothering magazine.

In this blog I plan to write about the Toddler Art Group, about my daughter's art experiences, and, above all, about my attempts to parent in a way that encourages creativity, art, curiousity, and learning.

Share & Comment
Subscribe to The Artful Parent newsletter


  1. Andrea McMann says

    Very cute, Jean! I’ve heard beginning blogging compared to talking to yourself. Keep at it. I still “talk to myself” most of the time, but I’m not sure if there’s anything wrong with that! :)

  2. Shelly Rossiter says

    I found you through Parenthacks.
    Good luck with your endeavor. I will be checking in to see what you are doing and for ideas to try with my children.

  3. snhamlett says

    Hi Jean!
    I noticed your link in your sig from a post on MW and I’m so glad I found you! This is the kind of information I’m always looking for since I’m trying to prepare my youngest for PreK next year. Look forward to reading more! :)

  4. says

    Great idea! (both the art group AND blogging about it!) So far, I really enjoy your writing. Keep up thw good work! And props for being an inspiration to the tots!
    I will link from my site. And when Twilli is old enough (only 5 mos now) I’ll probably start a group as well!
    I’m an artist. My teen son’s friends seem pretty impressed w/my work. Maybe I should host an art pizza party 4 them!
    cheers! renee

  5. Amanda says

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and after browsing through all the way to the beginning – I saw that you wrote the article in Mothering. Funny enough, I was thinking of that article as I read your other entries :) My son is 16 months and I am always looking for ideas to bring art into his daily life. I’ve subscribed to your blog and I look forward to reading more of your great ideas.