“Let’s raise creative thinkers who explore their world, express their dreams, embrace differences, and never lose touch with their inner artist.” – Barbara Rucci
My friend Bar Rucci of Art Bar Blog teaches art classes for children in her home in Connecticut. I’ve often thought how lucky those kids are to have her to encourage them creatively and to offer beautiful process art activities and invitations for them every week. Any child I know would thrive in that environment and enjoy the art activities she offers.
Art Workshop for Children
Well now, even if we can’t all go to Bar’s home for art classes, we can bring Bar and her art classes into our own homes. Because she has a new book, Art Workshop for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with More than 25 Process Art Experiences, that presents her art activities and philosophies together in an accessible and encouraging way.
Heads Up :: I’m giving away three copies of her new book at the end of this post!
Bar’s new book is a beautiful introduction into process art for kids, with conversations about art spaces, materials, displaying art, and parenting throughout.
Above all, though, the book is full of lovely art activities that would work as well with one child as with a classroom full of children. Each activity includes the materials needed, set up tips (great to have!), instructions, and ways to extend or vary the activity.
Plus gorgeous photos!
Here’s a sweet peak into the book ::
Doesn’t that look nice?
We made the cardboard collage faces project from her book and got SO into it, it’s taken over our studio!
We’ve kept the materials out in the studio for over a week, working on our big cardboard faces (and other creations) every day through three separate playdates and with kids ranging in age from 7 through 39. (Did I just call myself a kid? I still feel like one sometimes!)
Cardboard Portraits for Kids
To make the cardboard portraits, I followed Bar’s instructions and cut a variety of big and small shapes out of cardboard for the project. I set these up on the art table, along with glue.
We glued necks on our heads. Added cardboard shapes for eyes and noses, ears and mouths, and even necklaces.
We used black Sharpies to add details such as eyelashes, teeth, etc. to our faces.
Then got out the paints to add color.
In subsequent days and rounds, we drew and painted more, added extra embellishments and got even more 3-D with egg carton eyes and exposed cardboard ridges, etc.
Maia, my 11-year-old, enjoyed making a cardboard portrait as much as my 7-year-old and her friends. In fact, while process art is traditionally associated with younger children, I think that many of the activities in this book can be easily adapted for a range of ages.
We found this activity so inspiring and could keep going and going. Our windowsill is lined with our cardboard faces and I have more ideas for variations. I love ideas like this that continue to influence.
And this is just ONE of the inspiring ideas from Barbara Rucci’s new book!
The Kids Art Book
Bar Rucci shows that process art can be beautiful as well as creativity enhancing and developmentally appropriate. She wrote Art Workshop for Children in collaboration with Reggio-educator Betsy McKenna, who says ::
“All children need just one adult in their life who will cultivate the dawning of their creative process.”
I highly recommend you do yourself and your children a favor and get your hands on a copy of this beautiful, colorful, and inspiring book.
It is available wherever books are sold, online and off.
(And if you like to get your books at the library, check to see if they have it there, too. It’s brand new, so if they don’t have it yet, remember that they usually take requests!)
The Book Giveaway
For a chance to win one of three copies of Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna, simply leave a comment to this blog post by Monday, October 24th at 11:59pm EST and then tell the rafflecopter widget that you’re entering the giveaway. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced here on Tuesday the 25th. Giveaway open to readers in the United States who are over the age of 18. Good luck!
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