The Artful Parent http://artfulparent.com Kids Art & Family Creativity Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:05:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Make Awesome 3D Pumpkin Faces with Playdough and Poke-Ins http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/easy-pumpkin-faces-playdough.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/easy-pumpkin-faces-playdough.html#respond Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:04:33 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17524 The kids and I decorated pumpkins with playdough Jack-O’-Lantern faces yesterday, inspired by the awesome Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool (and that I shared in my post on The Best Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids). Such a fun Halloween activity! EASY PUMPKIN FACES WITH PLAYDOUGH & POKE-INS MATERIALS Pumpkins Playdough (homemade or store bought) Garlic press...

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Playdough Pumpkin Faces - A Fun Halloween Decorating Activity for Kids

The kids and I decorated pumpkins with playdough Jack-O’-Lantern faces yesterday, inspired by the awesome Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool (and that I shared in my post on The Best Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids).

Such a fun Halloween activity!

EASY PUMPKIN FACES WITH PLAYDOUGH & POKE-INS

MATERIALS

  • Pumpkins
  • Playdough (homemade or store bought)
  • Garlic press or playdough press (optional)
  • Poke-ins such as googly eyes, buttons, beads, sequins, feathers, pipe cleaners, and pom poms

HERE’S HOW WE DID OURS

First, we stopped by the pumpkin patch after school and picked up a few pumpkins.

Then I made a couple batches of our homemade no cook playdough. One orange and one gray. I was aiming for black, but the only thing I could think to use (that I had on hand) was our gray liquid watercolors to dye it.

Kids Decorating Pumpkins with Playdough

Everyone got a ball of each playdough color and went at it with their pumpkin.

Playdough Pumpkin Face with Sequin Decoration

Of course, they each approached it very differently and I love the unique pumpkin faces they each came up with!

Daphne used the garlic press to make her playdough hair then added a line of sequin decorations to style it.

Carving Playdough Eyes for the Pumpkin Faces

Maia used a butter knife to carefully carve and shape her pumpkin facial features, including the eyes and eyelashes.

Playdough Pumpkin Faces Halloween Decorating Activity for Kids

Our friend Emily used the playdough in an extra sculptural way, adding all kinds of little details, including teeth, nostrils, hair decorations, and more.

Awesome!

After they worked with modeling and shaping their playdough eyes, noses, mouths, and hair, etc. for a while, I added a dish of some fun poke-ins to the center of the table.

Playdough Poke-Ins

Googly eyes, beads, sequins, pom-pom, and little pipe cleaner pieces.

You could also use buttons, feathers, nature items, or whatever…

Playdough Pumpkin Face with Pipe Cleaner Eyelashes

The kids love them! And used the poke-ins to add detail to their faces—pupils to their eyes, decoration to their hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc.

Sculptural Detail on Playdough Pumpkin Faces

It was awesome! Did I say that already? Okay, I’ll just repeat myself again. It was such a fun, creative activity!

Playdough Pumpkin Faces - A Halloween Decorating Activity for Kids

I highly recommend giving these playdough pumpkin faces a try with your kiddos, either today or even after Halloween!

And make sure to make one yourself. :)

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How to Draw Facial Features http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/how-to-draw-facial-features.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/how-to-draw-facial-features.html#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:40:56 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17409 Remember how much we all got out of that printable on drawing faces? Well, after drawing some faces with that, I decided to take an actual class on how to draw facial features to see the techniques in action and to dive more in-depth into portrait drawing. The class is another online drawing class on Craftsy, which...

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Learning How to Draw Facial Features
Remember how much we all got out of that printable on drawing faces?

Well, after drawing some faces with that, I decided to take an actual class on how to draw facial features to see the techniques in action and to dive more in-depth into portrait drawing.

The class is another online drawing class on Craftsy, which means that I’ve been able to take it at my own pace, from the comfort of my own home.

Gary Faigin, the instructor for this facial features drawing class, is also the co-founder of the Gage Academy of Art and the author of The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression.

He SO knows his stuff!

Just the very first two lessons were game changing for me.

Facial Patterns

Gary teaches that drawing the patterns of the face—the skull shape, the eye sockets, the nose area—will result in a more accurate and recognizable portrait than if you start with the details (such as the eyes) and go from there.

In fact he demonstrated that everyone has their own face pattern and that we can recognize ourselves and those we know by general facial patterns even when no details are present.

“Your sketches will improve as you train your eye to follow the lines of the skull.” – Gary Faigin

Online Drawing Class

Talking about the skull structure underneath, he showed that we need to learn how to draw it so that we can learn how to draw facial features better. And he illustrated this by drawing the skull of a full-size skeleton he had at hand (Mr. Bones) and also by sketching the imagined skull of his live model side by side with the portrait.

Now, this class was all about how to draw facial features, so obviously he taught how to dive in and get the details right—the eyes, nose, ears, lips, etc.

But, he reiterated that we need to start with the general pattern of the face and understand the bone structure underneath so that the finished portrait is more accurate.

“The secret to portrait drawing is not the thing itself, but the thing in relationship to everything else on the head.” – Gary Faigin

Here are some photos of what the kids and I have been drawing, inspired by this class…

Drawing Skulls and Skeletons

Skeletons and skulls…

Maia Drawing a Sugar Skull

A sugar skull…

Experimenting with Charcoal Drawing
Some experimenting with vine charcoal…

Daphne Drawing a Self Portrait

A self portrait…

Self Portrait Drawing for Kids
With lots of detail, both observed and imagined.

Self Portrait and Photo
And another self portrait.

Drawing Facial Features Craftsy Class

Want to learn how to draw facial features better or do you know someone who does? Sign up to take this class!

Drawing Facial Features with Gary Faigin

The class is normally priced at $39.99 but Craftsy is offering Artful Parent readers a special half-off deal so you can sign up for the class today at $19.99! (The half-off deal is good through through November 5th at 11:59 pm MT.)

Learning How to Draw Portraits with an Online Drawing Class

This post is sponsored by Craftsy; all opinions expressed are my own. 

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The Rockin’ Art Moms Kids Art Blogs http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/kids-art-blogs-rockin-art-moms.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/kids-art-blogs-rockin-art-moms.html#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 13:46:10 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17471 Hello, my friends! I’ve been wanting to write a post for a while now to share some of my favorite kids art blogs to give you some new go-to sites for children’s art ideas. And many of my faves, such as Meri Cherry, Art Bar Blog, and Babble Dabble Do are part of a group called Rockin’...

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The Rockin' Art Moms Kids Art Blogs

Hello, my friends!

I’ve been wanting to write a post for a while now to share some of my favorite kids art blogs to give you some new go-to sites for children’s art ideas. And many of my faves, such as Meri Cherry, Art Bar Blog, and Babble Dabble Do are part of a group called Rockin’ Art Moms—which I’ve now joined!*

Sooo… I decided to write about the group instead, since it would’ve basically been the same post anyway!

Some of these sites are ones that I share on my facebook and pinterest pages regularly, and some are new to me, but in exploring them, they are all rocking it with the kids art!

So, check these kids art blogs out for new, creative ideas for your family (or classroom, if you’re a teacher).

If you like what you see, subscribe to their feed if you’re a feedreader kind of person, sign up for their newsletter if you like your inspiration delivered to your inbox, or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram if that’s where you go for your fresh ideas.

Kids Art Blogs by the Rockin’ Art Moms

Art Bar Blog

Art History Mom

Babble Dabble Do

Blog Me Mom

Buggy and Buddy

Encenent La Imaginacio

Fun at Home with Kids

Green Owl Art

Learn Play Imagine

Meri Cherry Blog

Mama Miss

Picklebums

Pink Stripey Socks

Pysselbollaget

The Artful Parent (I had to add myself!)

Tiny Rotten Peanuts

Tinkerlab

Twodaloo

Willowday

Oh, and make sure to check out and follow the Rockin’ Art Moms pinterest boards ::

The Rockin' Art Moms Boards on Pinterest

Rockin’ Art for Kids

Rockin’ Holiday

Rockin’ DIY

*Okay, so this group first came on my radar earlier this year. After a long-ish recovery from my crash, I poked my head up and started looking around at the world around me. And I saw this awesome group! And I was immediately jealous that A. I didn’t think to start it myself and B. that I wasn’t a part of the group!

Follow The Rockin' Art Moms Boards on Pinterest for Creative Inspiration, Kids Art, and TutorialsSo I sat down and had a little talk with my jealous self and told it that yes, I, too, was a rockin’ art mom, and no, I didn’t necessarily need to be a part of a group for that to be true. And that I should celebrate them and what they were doing because we had the same mission—to encourage children’s art and creativity as much as possible. Which is what I’ve been trying to do.

But! I met Jeanette Nyberg from Tiny Rotten Peanuts and Artchoo (who feels like a sassy version of my soul sister) at a conference last weekend and she/they invited me to join them!

I had been too shy and proud to ask to join and didn’t want to crash their party. And apparently they thought I was too big and established.

I’m practically a granny in the blog world, having been doing this for almost 8 years! But I’m like my grandma, who is 87 but says she still feels 16 inside. I just want to play! And hang out with the cool kids!

So… Now that I’ve share all that with you, you can, of course, see right through me. I’m so not cool. :) But I’m okay with that. And I’m excited about joining this group of Rockin’ Art Moms!

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Cardboard Art Ideas :: 20 Art Projects Kids Can Make from a Cardboard Box http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/cardboard-art-ideas.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/cardboard-art-ideas.html#respond Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:11:55 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17390 We love using recycled art materials for our art making, and especially like to use cardboard for kids art. My kids call dibs on any cardboard box that comes through the house and use them for all kinds of creative ideas, including forts, dollhouses, trains, a fishing game, homes for their guinea pig, any kind...

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20 Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

This post contains affiliate links.We love using recycled art materials for our art making, and especially like to use cardboard for kids art.

My kids call dibs on any cardboard box that comes through the house and use them for all kinds of creative ideas, including forts, dollhouses, trains, a fishing game, homes for their guinea pig, any kind of pretend play, and more.

Not a Box bookSidenote :: If you haven’t read Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, you must check it out. Your library is sure to have it. Such a creative book!

Besides pretend play scenarios, using cardboard for art just makes good sense.

There’s so much cardboard around us…

It’s FREE…

It’s sturdy…

And it’s begging to be used.

So go rescue some cardboard boxes from the recycle bin and get creative with these art ideas…

12 Cardboard Art Ideas (2-D)

These are mostly 2-D art ideas using cardboard…

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

1. Self portraits on cardboard (on Meri Cherry)

2. Make textured paintings with cardboard (on Jennifer Rizzo)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

3. Make and decorate a journal from a cereal box (on One Good Thing by Jillee)

4. Collage cardboard to make hanging hearts and abstract art

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

5. Nature shadow boxes (on Teach Preschool)

6. Turn a self portrait into a puppet (on Kids Activities Blog)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

7. Collaged faces (on Mary Making)

8. Make your own cardboard stamps (on Housing a Forest)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

9. Credit card art on cardboard (on Housing a Forest)

10. Use cardboard circles as suncatcher frames (on Art and Soul Preschool)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

11. Painting with balls in a large box (on Kids Activities Blog)

12. Make abstract paintings with paper towel rolls and a box (on Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone)

 

7 More Cardboard Art Ideas (3-D)

These are mostly sculptural art ideas using cardboard…

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

13. Create an artful birthday tree (on The Imagination Tree)

14. Building and creating with curves (by Teach Preschool for The Artful Parent)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

15. Make a flower petal art box and suncatcher frames

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

16. Build and paint a box tower (on Meri Cherry)

17. Build your own art with a homemade cardboard construction set (on Happy Hooligans)

Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

18. Color in your box! (on Berry Sweet Baby)

19. Getting 3-D :: painting boxes 

Cardboard Art Easel

20. Plus, bonus!, here’s how to make a portable cardboard easel and art caddy (on Maya*Made)

20 Cardboard Art Ideas for Kids

Do you have some cardboard boxes around your house that you could use for one or more of these kids art ideas?

And if you’re ready to get serious about your cardboard use, here’s a great article on Ikatbag on acquiring, storing, and working with cardboard… including all the different kinds of cardboard out there.

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Microwave Puffy Paint (and 3 Other Fun Things to Do with a Microwave) http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/microwave-puffy-paint.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/microwave-puffy-paint.html#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:32:30 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17345 If you haven’t tried microwave puffy paint with your kids yet, you must. It’s so easy. So fun. You just might be hooked. I know your kids will be. My five year old spent nearly two hours making puffy painting after puffy painting, and then exploring ways to print with the puffy paint. The next...

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Microwave Puffy Paint for Kids

If you haven’t tried microwave puffy paint with your kids yet, you must.

It’s so easy. So fun. You just might be hooked.

I know your kids will be.

My five year old spent nearly two hours making puffy painting after puffy painting, and then exploring ways to print with the puffy paint.

The next day she did it all over again with a houseful of kids who were all extremely enthusiastic about this art project.

All you need are a microwave and 3 simple ingredients. Ready?

Microwave Puffy Paint in Action

Microwave Puffy Paint Recipe

This post contains affiliate links.INGREDIENTS

Oh, wait, that was four ingredients. I guess I wasn’t including the water in my head count.

Microwave Puffy Paint in Squeeze Bottles

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

1. First, whisk together flour, salt, and water in a medium bowl. Whisk really, really well so that the mixture is smooth and clump free (otherwise your kiddo may have trouble squeezing the paint).

2. Next, divide your flour mixture between 3-4 cups or small bowls (however many different colors you want to make) and add food coloring or liquid watercolors to each. Mix.

Nancy Squeeze Bottles

3. Finally, transfer your new puffy paint mixture into squeeze bottles. We used these squeeze bottles and thought they were pretty much perfect for this activity, but you could also find squeeze bottles at the grocery store or dollar store (ketchup and mustard bottles work well) or just use a plastic baggie with the tip cut off.

Microwave Puffy Paint in Action

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

Squeezing Puffy Paint

1.  Squeeze the puffy paint onto your paper/cardboard to create designs, images, or patterns as desired.

Microwaving Puffy Paint

2.  Place puffy paint art in microwave and microwave on high for about 30 seconds. We did a bit more for artworks that had a generous amount of paint and a bit less for artworks that were spare.

Microwave Puffy Paint

3.  Remove, let cool, then touch and admire how the paint puffed up and cooked solid.

Microwave Puffy Paint Art

4.  Repeat.

Microwave Puffy Paint Art in Action

5.  Repeat.

Cooked Puffy Paint

6.  Repeat.

Okay, I think you get the idea.

Printing with Microwave Puffy Paint

After using up the paint in the squeeze bottles, Daphne moved on to the paint left in the cups and use it for some puffy paint printmaking experiments. She did some flower printing, lego printing, fork printing, and more. And then microwaved the printed art, of course, and saw her prints puff up.

More Microwave Puffy Paint Inspiration

Microwaving Puffy Paint

3 Other Fun Things to do with a Microwave

  1. Soap clouds with ivory soap (on Happy Hooligans)
  2. Microwave marshmallow experiment (on TinkerLab)
  3. Make Kool-Aid dyed playsilks

We don’t actually own a microwave and were borrowing one for a friend for some fun art and science experiments so we really packed a lot in to our borrowing time.

Puffy Paint and Marshmallows

We did the ivory soap experiment at Maia’s mad scientist birthday party, we made lots and lots of puffy paint art, we watched marshmallow after marshmallow grow exponentially in the microwave, and we even painted our marshmallows with puffy paint first and then microwaved them. Good times.

Microwave Puffy Paint Collage

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The Easiest Ever Glow in the Dark Skeleton Costume http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/diy-glow-in-the-dark-skeleton-costume.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/diy-glow-in-the-dark-skeleton-costume.html#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:05:32 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17184 We’ve just made the easiest ever glow in the dark skeleton costume! It was so easy my kid made it. Mostly. And at the same time we’ve discovered a fun new way of decorating and personalizing our clothes. And not with fabric paint, or appliques, or transfer paper, or any of the many, many ways...

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The easiest ever diy glow in the dark skeleton costume

We’ve just made the easiest ever glow in the dark skeleton costume!

It was so easy my kid made it. Mostly.

And at the same time we’ve discovered a fun new way of decorating and personalizing our clothes.

And not with fabric paint, or appliques, or transfer paper, or any of the many, many ways we have altered T-shirts and clothes in the past.

With what, then, you ask?

Duct tape.

Yes, duct tape.

Easy-to-use, inexpensive, removable tape.

Although I have to say that this tape is special. It’s glow in the dark.

Here’s what you need to create your own awesomely easy glow in the dark skeleton costume ::

Glow in the Dark Scotch Duct Tape

MATERIALS

That’s all!

Daphne created her own skeleton costume (with my help) on a black T-shirt that I picked up for $3 at Target® and a pair of of her black knit pants.

Model Skeleton

She referred to her model skeleton ($3 at Family Dollar®) and to feeling her own bones to decide how her skeleton costume should look.

Making the glow in the dark skeleton costume

She decided how long the tape pieces should be and how many to use (although I cut them for her after she tried and determined that her kid scissors and cutting skills weren’t quite up to the task).

Glow in the dark skeleton costume

I especially love the toe bones along the bottom edge of the pants!

Glow in the dark skeleton costume

She was so proud to try on her new skeleton costume!

And immediately ran to our darkest closet to test the glow-in-the-dark feature.

Yes, the duct tape glows in the dark and it’s A W E S O M E.

Oh my goodness.

I am so excited about the glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume that I want to make myself one.

Glow in the Dark Tshirt Ideas

I also used the tape to write BOO on a black T-shirt for Maia and to add a Jack-O-Lantern face to one for Daphne.

The best part?

The tape is removable. So you can decorate the same shirt over and over again with a different image or message each time. Or use a piece of clothing you might not want to alter permanently.

The duct tape also makes good glow-in-the-dark art as Daphne found out when she used the leftover tape pieces from her skeleton to create an artwork on black construction paper.

And again immediately ran to the closet to test the glow-in-the-dark feature.

And again determined that it was SO COOL.

I think you might need a roll of this tape. Just sayin’.

The easiest ever diy glow in the dark skeleton costume

For more about Scotch® Duct Tape products, you can check out the Scotch® Duct Tape website or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Disclaimer :: 

I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products from Scotch® Products. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

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Praise for The Artful Parent Book (Plus Signed Copies and a Giveaway) http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/artful-parent-book-praise-giveaway-signed-copies.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/artful-parent-book-praise-giveaway-signed-copies.html#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:55:38 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17303 I was reading some of the 100+ 5-star reviews you have left for my book this weekend and boy, I have to tell you, I’m feeling good now. I wanted to say a big, big thank you to those who have left reviews for The Artful Parent on Amazon. I really appreciate it! Writing a...

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The Artful Parent Book Reviews and Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.I was reading some of the 100+ 5-star reviews you have left for my book this weekend and boy, I have to tell you, I’m feeling good now.

I wanted to say a big, big thank you to those who have left reviews for The Artful Parent on Amazon. I really appreciate it!

Writing a book is not the easiest thing in the world, but those reviews made all that work SO worthwhile.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here are just a few of the awesome reviews ::

The Artful Parent Book Reviews and GiveawayAdore this book, while reading it you find yourself thinking in such a positive ‘can do’ approach to art and creativity. I am a mother to two children under three and an art teacher and I have found this book so useful. – Joleen S.

My almost 3 year old daughter adores this book so much! She flips through it almost daily, invariably demanding one of the art projects she sees. Sometimes she even sleeps with it! I love the ideas that the book provides, as well as the many suggestions as to what art supplies are worthwhile having on hand. I ended up using her suggested list to make a big art supplies purchase… – Auschick

This beautiful art book is such a great resource – all the activities are so fun and so easy to set up. I love that there are so many different ideas for allowing children of all ages to explore art. Not only is it full of fabulous ideas, but it is very well written and is illustrated with colorful and vibrant photos. We love it and highly recommend it! – Craig Louis Citro

The Artful Parent is so beautifully done it’s inspiring to adults and children. I reference it frequently and love that Jean uses pictures of her own children and herself making art together. It makes it very personal and user friendly. – Jenny T.

I read this book at a time i wanted so much to build quality into the time i spend with my kids. It has put a beautiful strong mark on my parenting style, and has made my kids happier and more creative... i highly recommend it to all parents, preschool and early years teachers. – Mrs. Othman

“Get out Ms. Jean’s Book!” is a regular request at our house. I am not someone who does crafts for fun, so I felt a bit awkward about doing arts and crafts with my kid outside of the usual tray of watercolors and paintbrush or a pack of commercial playdoughs. This book is a marvelous guide and changed my parenting and our house for the better! The book is clearly written, well-organized, easy to read, and full of great creative activities for various ages. I feel encouraged and capable when reading her instructions (quite different from how I feel in the aisles of a craft store!). I give the book as a baby shower gift now.- Chris J. Sparks

I am so glad I bought this book! I am an active crafting mama but I have gotten so much use out of it! Especially with my almost 5 year old! – Ashlee N. Geesaman

I would so highly recommend The Artful Parent for parents wanting to add art to their young home. I found Jean’s tips for set up and creating space for art in the family most helpful.  I am learning how to plan ahead just a little bit to incorporate art into our everyday. – Michelle Anne Layton

The Artful Parent Book Screenshot of Five StarsNote :: Bolded emphasis is my own. Some of these are excerpts of the original reviews, for the sake of space. You can read the full reviews as well as more of the 111 reviews of my book on Amazon.

If you’d like a copy of The Artful Parent book for yourself or as a gift, you can buy it on Amazon,  Roost BooksBarnes & Noble, and your local independent bookstore.

I also now have a limited number of signed copies available for sale here (US only for now). The first 4 who order will get a set of Yoobi color layer markers for free (a $5 value) with their book, just ’cause. The next 6 will receive a set of washable Up-and-Up markers.

Plus! I’m offering three signed copies of my book as a giveaway! Feel free to enter even if you already own my book; you can share the second copy with a friend or teacher or give it as a holiday or baby shower gift…

The Artful Parent Book Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d like a chance to win one of three signed copies of The Artful Parent book, please leave a comment to this post and then come back up here and tell the Rafflecopter widget that you’d like to enter the giveaway. The giveaway is open to readers worldwide.

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Spider Web Crafts and Activities :: The Ultimate Guide http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/spider-web-crafts-activities.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/spider-web-crafts-activities.html#respond Fri, 10 Oct 2014 08:19:32 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=16785 Spiders and spider webs are all around us—an important part of the natural world that we are all familiar with. Halloween has laid claim to spiders because of many people’s fears and misconceptions. Personally, though, I find spider webs beautiful. And spiders, if not beautiful, don’t scare me. (Don’t get me started on cockroaches, though!) Whether you...

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The Ultimate Spider Activity Guide

Spiders and spider webs are all around us—an important part of the natural world that we are all familiar with.

Halloween has laid claim to spiders because of many people’s fears and misconceptions.

Personally, though, I find spider webs beautiful. And spiders, if not beautiful, don’t scare me. (Don’t get me started on cockroaches, though!)

Whether you find spiders creepy or not, the spider and spider web imagery comes into  its own at Halloween time. If nothing else, it’s a great time to learn more about spiders!

Here, I’ve collected some awesome spider web crafts, art activities, play ideas, and foods to make and enjoy this Halloween.

Ready?

10 Spider Web Crafts for Halloween

Spider Web Crafts - second 5

(Crafts pictured clockwise from top left)

1. Make paper plate spiders (on I Heart Crafty Things)

2. Cut spider webs out of coffee filters

3. Or try huge ones out of plastic garbage bags (on How About Orange)

4. Make Handprint Spiders (on Housing a Forest)

5. DIY Glitter Spider Webs (on Happy Clippings)

Spider Web Crafts - first 5

Spider Web Crafts for Kids, Continued

6. Spin a paper plate spider web (on No Wooden Spoons)

7. Weave spider webs from sticks and yarn using the traditional God’s Eye craft as inspiration (at Small for Big)

8. Make stiff yarn spider webs (by The Artful Parent on Modern Parents Messy Kids)

9. Chestnut spiders (on Red Ted Art)

10. DIY spider sack craft (on Modern Parents Messy Kids)

10 Spider Web Art Ideas

Spider Web Activities for Kids - first 5

1. Do some marble rolling to make your own painted spider webs

2. Styrofoam printed spiderwebs (on TinkerLab)

3. Fingerprint spiders (on Tinkerlab)

4. Watercolor resist spider webs with rubber cement (on I Heart Arts & Crafts)

5. White on black spider web paintings and collage (on Dollar Store Mom)

Spider Web Art for Kids - second 5

Spider Web Art Ideas, Continued

6. Crayon resist spiderwebs (by The Artful Parent for Let’s Lasso the Moon)

7. Glue resist spider web art

8. Make colored chalk spiderwebs (on Pink and Green Mama)

9. Try some salty watercolor spider webs

10. Make Mondrian-inspired spider webs (on Mrs. T’s First Grade Class)

10 Spider Web Activities & Play Ideas

Spider and Spider Web Activities for Kids - first 5

1. Make a climbing Itsy Bitsy Spider (on My Little 3 and Me)

2. Try a spider playdough activity (on Fantastic Fun and Learning)

3. Throw things at a giant sticky spider web (on Hands on As We Grow)

4. How to capture and preserve a spider web (on Play Create Explore)

5. Edible Glowing Spiderwebs Sensory Play (on Fun at Home with Kids)

Spider Web Activities for Kids - second 5

Spider Web Activities & Play Ideas, Continued

6. Learn about spiders with these predator and prey spider web games (on Mother Natured)

7. Weave a giant spider web (on Made)

8. Make spider webs on the light table (on And Next Comes L)

9. The spider web gross motor challenge (on No Time for Flash Cards)

10. Make a giant spider web maze (on Hands on As We Grow)

 

10 Spiders and Spider Webs You Can Eat

Spider Web Food - first 5

1. Spiderweb pancakes (on Mama. Papa. Bubba)

2. Spider Web Pretzel Snacks (on Mom Endeavors)

3. String cheese spider web snack (on Creative Kids Snacks)

4. Halloween spider pizza (on Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons)

5. Spiderweb pizzas (on The Domestic Mama)

Spider Web Food - second 5

Spiders and Spider Webs You Can Eat, Continued

6. Easy Mini Donut Spiders (on It’s Always Autumn)

7. Spider infested chocolate chip cookies (on Hungry Happenings)

8. Spooky spider cupcakes (on Skinny Taste)

9. Spiderweb Sugar Cookies (on It’s Always Autumn)

10. Spiderweb Cookie Pizza (on Crazy for Crust)

Whew! That’s a lot of spider stuff! Which one is your favorite? Will you give one (or more!) of these ideas a try with your kids?

Spiders and Spider Web Crafts - 10 of the best ideas for kids   Spiders and Spider Web Foods - 10 fun foods, snacks and desserts

Spiders and Spiderweb Activities - 10 of the best ideas for kids   Spiders and Spiderweb Art Activities - 10 of the best ideas for kids

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Taking Time for Creativity with Online Painting Classes http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/online-painting-classes.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/online-painting-classes.html#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:36:10 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=17145 As parents, it’s too easy to let our own interests and our own creativity get buried under the mountain of responsibility that comes with raising a family. I know I am guilty of this—even while doing my best to encourage creativity in my children (and other children around the world). But let’s not forget our...

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Taking Time for Creativity with Online Painting Classes

As parents, it’s too easy to let our own interests and our own creativity get buried under the mountain of responsibility that comes with raising a family.

I know I am guilty of this—even while doing my best to encourage creativity in my children (and other children around the world).

But let’s not forget our own creativity and our own creative expression.

We need to get out the paints for ourselves sometimes. (Or the clay, the camera, the spices…)

What better example can we set for our children than to model creativity ourselves?

Some ways we can find (or reconnect with) our inner artist

  • Set out an art material to explore.
  • Dive into a book on art techniques.
  • Set up art dates with a friend.
  • Or take a class, whether locally or online.

Set Up for Painting

That’s what I’m doing. As you know, I’ve been taking a series of online art classes from Craftsy and loving them.

Here are the classes I’ve taken so far (& my posts about them) ::

Figure Drawing (Giving [Free] Online Drawing Classes a Try)

Mixed Media Essentials (Taking Online Art Classes, including tips for sharing those classes with kids)

Drawing the Human Face (Drawing Faces for Kids – Plus a Free Printable Guide)

Family Photography (How I finally Learned How to Use My DSLR Camera!)

Pumpkin Still Life Painting in Acrylics

Currently I’m taking one of their online painting classes, called Acrylic Painter’s Toolbox.

With some of the other classes, the kids have joined in and learned alongside me or I’ve shared some of what I learned with them. This acrylic painting class has been all mine, though, for the most part and I am really enjoying learning acrylic painting tools and techniques.

Painting side by side with children

I set up a still life at the kitchen table, get out my materials and paint.

Painting Rock Monsters

The kids often come paint beside me but mostly do their own thing—paint rainbows or rock monsters, for example. (Although they were intrigued by the palette knives and gave them a try.)

I am learning so much!

I really like the instructor, Rheni Tauchid. She is confident and funny in a laid back way and is obviously very knowledgeable about paints and painting (she even has a couple of books on the subject). Just watching her apply the paint in different ways and with different tools has greatly expanded my own knowledge of acrylic painting.

Still Life Paintings from Online Acrylic Painting Class

I am taking my time with this class and have repeated the exercise from the second lesson—a still life painting—three times so far. I also want (and need) to repeat the following lessons (layering acrylics in thin washes almost like watercolor) as my first attempt at it was laughable.

I’m only halfway through the class so far, but am loving it.

Online Painting Classes for Acrylic Painting

I should note that the materials list for this class is long and a little daunting. I bought a few new things—palette knives, some acrylic gel medium, and a handful of liquid acrylics—but besides those, I have just used what I already had (basic acrylic paints, brushes, poster board).

Taking this class and this time to focus on my own artistic skill set and my own creativity feels like such a wonderful luxury.

And while I’m doing this for myself, I also like knowing that my kids are seeing me spend time following my interests and exploring my creativity.

I really believe that by investing in our own creativity, we invest in the creativity of our family as a whole, especially our children.

Now, two notes.

The first is a GIVEAWAY…

Acrylic Painters Toolbox

Craftsy is giving away one of their online painting classes, Acrylic Painter’s Toolbox, (normally $39.99) to one Artful Parent reader. To enter this giveaway, visit this link on Craftsy and join using your email address or Facebook.

If you’re already a Craftsy member, all you have to do is visit the link, click the “sign in” button, and sign in with your Craftsy account. If you’re already logged in to Craftsy, be sure to log out before clicking the link or you won’t see the special sign up/log in screen.

Giveaway open through Wednesday, October 15th to readers everywhere. Craftsy will pick two winners from all the entries.

Click here to enter to win.

Good luck! And be sure to check out the class after you enter…

Taking Time for Creativity with Online Art Classes

And my second note is about sponsorship disclaimer stuff…

Craftsy has allowed me to take this class for free and is sponsoring this post, as they have done for my previous posts about their classes. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. All words are my own.

I want to talk with you a little bit about this sponsorship thing, more so than I’ve done in the past.

While I rely on sponsors to keep The Artful Parent going, I turn down more than I accept.

I am very particular about the sponsors I work with and the products I recommend. I only share those that I believe in. And that I believe could be helpful and good for you, my fellow artful parents and readers.

Some feel like such a good fit—quality children’s art products or an open-ended construction toy that we use and love—that I am happy to work with them. Craftsy is one of those that just feels like a great fit, even though it’s more for us parents than for the kids per se.

But beyond the financial support of The Artful Parent, I am especially thankful to Craftsy right now for giving me the opportunity and motivation to pursue my own interests and creativity.

I have to admit that I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store.

And if I have gushed in this post, it is from the heart.

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The Art of Strewing http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/strewing.html http://artfulparent.com/2014/10/strewing.html#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:45:24 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=15333 Do you strew? If not, I’m going to encourage you to give strewing a try this week. I first learned about strewing when I interviewed Kristen Marra of Pepper Paints years ago and have practiced it myself ever since. I included a section on strewing in The Artful Parent book (pages 23-26) and have probably mentioned strewing in...

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The Art of Strewing

Do you strew?

This post contains affiliate links.If not, I’m going to encourage you to give strewing a try this week.

I first learned about strewing when I interviewed Kristen Marra of Pepper Paints years ago and have practiced it myself ever since. I included a section on strewing in The Artful Parent book (pages 23-26) and have probably mentioned strewing in passing on the blog from time to time, but decided that it was long past time for a proper post.

First, though, what does this funny word mean?

Strewing is the art of casually yet strategically leaving “invitations” for learning and creativity out for your kids to discover on their own.

NOTE: Strewing is not about adding to the clutter. It’s about creating subtle but irresistible invitations. Product placement if you will. Strewing works best, in fact, in an uncluttered space.

This is not about, “hey kids, let’s do a project!” Or, “I brought home a new library book; read it.” Although there’s a time and place for those.

Playing with Magnet Sticks on the Fridge

Strewing is more about helping your kids explore and play and create on their own. It’s about introducing or reintroducing materials, books, concepts, in a non-pushy way that lets them own the experience and gives them the thrill of discovery.

In fact, think hands off… Do your own thing and ignore him (or pretend to ignore… you’ll definitely keep tabs if he’s young… use your own judgement.)

So, what and where to strew? Here are some ideas:

Remember, think simple invitations rather than, “here’s a project.” And if the strewed items are in a place they wouldn’t expect them, they’re more likely to *see* them.

Books for Strewing and Exploring

Books pictured from top left :: Comics Squad: Recess!, The Big Orange Splot, On My Beach There are Many Pebbles, Beautiful Oops!

Books (opened to a page on the sofa, bed, or table) ::

  1. A new graphic novel on the sofa
  2. A wordless book (for pre-readers and early readers)
  3. A touchy-feely book (for toddlers)
  4. A big grown-up photography book about elephants or sea life or construction

Building with Magnetic Shapes

Construction ::

  1. A basket of blocks or magnet tiles in the middle of the floor
  2. A container of toothpicks and a bowl of grapes (or marshmallows, blueberries, cheese cubes, styrofoam pieces, etc)
  3. A basket of straw builders and some playsilks

Drawing Inspired by Mustache Stickers

Art ::

  1. Set a sketchbook open to a fresh page, with some markers and a sheet or two of hole reinforcement stickers
  2. Get out the playdough, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes.
  3. Put a fresh sheet of paper on the easel along with paints or collage items
  4. Set out a challenge paper and pen or stickers

Strewing with Nature

Nature ::

  1. Set some nature finds on the table or in a basket
  2. Leave a pair of binoculars and a bird guide on the windowsill
  3. Set up a microscope near the nature table

Toy Cash RegisterToys ::

  1. Set out a couple of matchbox cars, tape, and cardboard tubes
  2. Line up some animal figurines along the edge of a table
  3. Bring out a toy cash register and pretend money

The idea is to choose ideas, materials, and books that will inspire your kids’ imagination, creativity, play, curiosity.

Some of your strewing ideas may be ignored, but you know your children and their changing interests and abilities best; work with that knowledge.

I also tend to strew with items that the kids can do or use on their own without too much supervision (you can watch out of the corner of your eye) or mess (I wouldn’t consider shaving cream art to be a good contender for strewing, for example).

You Choose book by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart

The Art of StrewingBook pictured above :: You Choose by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt

Ready for your assignment?

Give strewing a try.

Right now, while it’s fresh in your mind.

Set out something or a few somethings that you think will spark your child’s interest. And then go about your day.

I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

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