The Artful Parent’s 6 Year Blog Anniversary (and 11+ Awesome Giveaways!)

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Daphne Drawing at the EaselI started The Artful Parent on this day, six years ago, with a simple introductory post in which I said:

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.

While the Toddler Art Group is no more, the rest still holds true. 

I took a small step into the unknown, starting a blog and writing that first post, and then just continued taking steps, some easy, some hard, some backward, but most forward. 

I know that I've said this before, but when I started this site, I had no idea what it would become, how much it would come to mean to me and my life, how many people would read what I share here, how many heartfelt thank yous I would receive over the years, how many, "Wow, that's such a cool idea and my kids' loved it!" I'd hear.

I had no idea I'd still be writing about children's art 6 years later and having more and more ideas rather than fewer. More enthusiasm for the subject, rather than less.

A few highlights & successes from this past year:

I had no idea what a blog even was when I first decided to begin one. I just knew I wanted to write about children's art and creativity, to share my enthusiasm for the activities we were doing at home and with the toddler art group, and I wanted to create a space that was real

As much inspiration as I have received from magazines over the years, I have often felt that the material was less-than-realistic. The arts or crafts presented as kids' art was sometimes obviously not, the kids in the photos were overly clean (with one cute dab of paint on the nose for effect), and the activities ranged from the overly simplistic to the "who on earth would actually do that?"

It's a Rainbow with a Magic Door and Sunflowers - Daphne's DrawingThe Artful Parent is a place where we can be real about kids' art and parenting. It's true that I try not to feature my neverending laundry pile in every blog post, and that I try to focus on the positive here more than the problems, so the version of reality that you see here might be a bit edited, but still, it's real.

The only ulterior motive I have is that I want you to make art and creativity a bigger priority with the kids in your life. 

I love that I can be myself and share what I love and you still come! I truly find this incredible. I feel so lucky, so blessed, to be doing what I love to do from the comfort of my home and with my family as my partners.

Thank you for reading The Artful Parent and helping to make it what it is today! 

I wish I could meet each of you, give you a great big hug, and say thank you in person. (And then sit down together with your kids and do a superfun art activity.)

Instead, I'm going to resort to the traditional blog fallback and offer some giveaways. That and a virtual hug (can you feel it?).

The 11+ Giveaways

I have an amazing line up of giveaways for you, most from my sponsors and most involving art supplies or other creative family living items. Really awesome stuff! You're welcome to enter any or all of them!

#1 :: Win Art Supplies from Discount School Supply

#2 :: Win 2 Eco Art Kits from Artterro

#3 :: Win a Table-Top Paper Holder & More from Imagine Childhood

#4 :: Mama May i Color Sorting Fun for Little Kids

#5 :: Win Art Supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio

#6 :: A Keepsake Plaque from Memories in Clay

#7 :: Win Children's Art Books by MaryAnn F. Kohl

#8 :: 3 Art Activity Kits from The Art Pantry

#9 :: Win the Artful Parent Books & A Custom-Made Child's Art Smock

#10 :: Win Painting Supplies from Craft Project Ideas

#11 :: Win Art Supplies from Grasshopper Store

#12 :: Win A Bundle of Fun Family Books from Roost Books

#13 :: Win a Bundle of eBooks & eCourses for Busy Parents

P.S. While I've always done giveaways the old school way here (just leave a comment), I've decided to give the Rafflecoptor widget a try this time to make it easier on myself. You still just leave a comment or answer (check the rafflecopter for the question), though!

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  1. Leia says

    I love reading your blog!! You have really helped me infuse art and creativity into my children’s daily lives! Thank you!!!

  2. Amy Calvert says

    Thank you so much for the amazing information and inspiration! My kids are 22, 11, 9, and 2…time spent being creative is NEVER wasted!

  3. Celeste says

    Just recently found this blog from a friend rec. and I LOVE it. Sorry I missed the past 11 years but here is to 11 more!

  4. melinda says

    one of my favourite blog! I love your inspiration, sweet heart… and love that you give trough your blog!
    Happy blog anniversary!

  5. Heather Allen says

    Congrats on your anniversary! This has been a wonderful blog, that I find myself turning to many times a week. :)

  6. Amanda C says

    Congrats! One of my favorite blogs from the beginning. My girls have definitely benefited from my reading your blog! Thanks for all the time and work you put into it. I also appreciate your realness and willingness to express some of your own life difficulties. I know without this blog my girls would not have had as many chances to utilize their natural creativeness due to my own “art fear”. It has been fun for all of us!

  7. Diana Cote says

    Congratulations and thank you for starting this blog, it has helped me and my daughter do a lot of things to do when we were out of ideas. :)

  8. Paige Cunningham says

    I got your book as a gift and lot it. Thank you for sharing your ideas with all of us in helping to bring creativity to more children.

  9. says

    I have been reading and getting inspired by your blog for a couple of years now! Thank you for sharing your creative ideas and sparking the artist in me and my family…. Happy Anniversary!

  10. says

    I have recently discovered your blog and I am so excited! You have already been so inspiring! Congratulations on your success!

  11. peggi b says

    thank you from my grandkids and me for all the great ideas and ideas on making them affordable !!!

  12. Lyudmyla Tarelkine says

    Congratulatutions! You inspire so many people, and make so many kids happy. Thank you!!

  13. Rachel says

    I just found your blog a couple of months ago and I love it ! I never understood the difference between crafts & art until I read your blog and your book. I’m sure my daughter will be the better for it. Our art times are totally different now and a whole lot more fun! Thanks for sharing what you do!

  14. Tatiana says

    Congrats! I have been following your blog since back 5 years ago or do when I was living in Brazil (my home country).
    Moved to Canada and now raising my boys (9&5yrs old) in a different culture. It is all about creativity wherever you are!

  15. Shaivite says

    Congratulations on your anniversary and thank you! I always find creative inspiration here.

  16. says

    Happy Happy Anniversary! Congrats! I have LOVED LOVED LOVED your site and your books over the past 4 years! Looking forward to following along for many years to come!

  17. Nancy says

    Congratulations on your anniversary. I love seeing blogs grow and mature over the years and yours certainly has. Thank you for sharing your inspirations and your life, both the good and the difficult. It is that aspect that keeps it real and keeps me coming back. I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future.

  18. Patti Wilson says

    I would love more crafts to encourage creativity with my nephews and many other children including (when he is older) my soon to come little boy!

  19. Nikki Mayer says

    You inspire me to inspire. My two year old and I share a studio space. Many of our projects come from you!

  20. Elizabeth Vowell says

    While I haven’t been a reader for 6 years, it has probably been about 4 or more years that I’ve been enjoying your blog. Your success has been earned from your sharing of yourself and your talents. Thank you, earnestly, for making being a SAHM so much fun! Much love and increased future successes!

  21. Tommie Sue Schindler says

    Thanks for the great ideas. I’m using them with our granddaughters, 2 1/2 and 4 1/2. Great inspiration!

  22. Melissa Ferguson says

    Even if I don’t win, I love seeing the product ideas! I already pinned that great paper roll cutter :-)

  23. Dena says

    A big thank you for helping me share creativity and art with Naomi…..and in the end making me more artful as well!

  24. Danielle says

    Thank you for doing what you do – you are a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for me!

  25. [email protected] says

    Q1 answer: tape!!

  26. says

    Congrats on 6 years! I have one of your ebooks, and the recent print book and they have been a wonderful resource so far, a counter balance to all the screen time in today’s culture.

  27. Naomi Piehl says

    Thank you for all your wonderful ideas, and sharing the importance of art and creativity with your followers. Art is an area, in which I am always reminding myself, “Don’t squash her creativity.”

  28. says

    I love looking through good books to generate activity ideas to compliment the Kids Yoga class I teach on weekends! The Artful Parent and other books in the giveaway look fabulous!

  29. Cindy says

    Happy Anniversary! You are my go-to when thinking of ideas for my kiddos. Your work has provided so much inspiration over the years. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

  30. Christa says

    Happy Anniversary! Thanks so much! Haven’t tried the Artterro Eco Kits yet, but would love an opportunity. My kids favorite art supplies are watercolor paints and modeling clay.

  31. Elaine says

    Just love your creative & simple ideas. I’m no artist, but even I can encourage the artist in my grandchild with your wonderful tips.

  32. Jenea says

    Happy blogiverssry! I have a 5 and a 3 year old and we have enjoyed so any of your project together. Thanks so much for all the inspiration!

  33. Chiska says

    Congratulations! Thanks so much for reminding and inspiring me to do such fun projects with my kids.

  34. Kristin says

    You achieved your goal with me. Pretty much all the art I have done with my daughter over the years has been inspired by you, and my understanding of process-based art comes entirely from you. I don’t have any of your natural artistic talent, so our projects often are not nearly as lovely as the things you post here. But we still have fun trying.

  35. Alejandra says

    Love your blog. you have gotten us through many a raining afternoon or a sick day or a just want to be creative day. Thank you!!!

  36. Kirsten says

    i think I’ve been following you since *almost* the beginning. Can’t even believe it’s been that long! Happy Anniversary, and thank you for your gentle & encouraging approach. It’s allowed me to get in touch with MY inner artist as I work with my kiddos, and for that I’m doubly grateful!

  37. lisa howell says

    Your blog is great! I love it, you have great ideas ! I will continue to follow you. I just opened my home daycare inaugust . Any ideas for preschool crafts or other centers ideas. Thanks lisa howell

  38. Lisa says

    Congratulations! On the blog, the book, and everything else. So excited for you, and your work here has helped ME get in touch with my art, something I’d pushed away years ago, and is turning out to be a very important piece of who I am and want to be in the world. So thank you.

  39. Jennifer says

    Happy Anniversary
    I’m so glad to have found your blog. You are an inspirtion to the art souls.

  40. Sara says

    The five-year-old loves pipe cleaners and the three-year-old got a box of tape for Christmas and couldn’t be happier.

  41. Sara says

    I want my kids to enjoy lots of time outside, be creative and not afraid to get messy, read a lot . . .

  42. Sara says

    Blocks get a lot of creative use, stuffed animals and little figures are used in lots of stories, oh, and boxes, don’t forget about boxes

  43. Sara says

    I loved doing clay in art class. We had lots of random “junk” that I loved to rummage through to create things.

  44. Sara says

    We paint outside when it’s nice out. If we get out the easel, it goes in the dining room because there’s the most space, but since last August we have a play room with an old school table that makes a great art space.

  45. Sara says

    I’m more likely to go on line if I’m looking for something in the moment. This looks like a great collection of books. I’ve seen some of them and want to look more closely at others.

  46. Irene says

    Dear Jean,
    Congratulations on 6th anniversary and happy to get these giveaways!!
    Your blog contains all every single amazing information and examples to share.
    I really want to take the opportunity for #8 and #12 if I am lucky.
    Thank you Jean.

  47. Melissa millis says

    I’m new here, but love what I see. Excited to try some new things with my kiddos and share ideas with parents I work with!

  48. says

    Congratulations on your 6th Year Blog Anniversary! I’ve been blogging for a number of years and it’s incredibly rewarding! Love the resources you’ve shared and given away, this has given me ideas for resources that I can use when teaching. Thank you :)