Jean Van't Hul and Daughters - Family Photo

About Jean Van’t Hul

Jean Van't Hul of The Artful Parent, Photo by BrackettStudios

Photo of Jean Van’t Hul by Rebekah Brackett of Brackett Studios


Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by. My name is Jean Van’t Hul and I am the writer and children’s art enabler behind The Artful Parent.

I live with my family in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. I am passionate about children’s art and creativity and want to share that passion with you.

On The Artful Parent, I share ideas, information, and inspiration to encourage you to enjoy and share art with the kids in your life (whether in your home or your classroom). I write about children’s art and creativity, seasonal crafts, and family fun. You can expect:

  • EASY and FUN kid-friendly arts and crafts
  • Unique Ideas as well as Tried-and-True Favorites
  • A Useful Resource with hundreds of art activities to keep your family happily creating and learning day after day

Kids Art Books by Jean Van’t Hul

This post contains affiliate links.

I have written two books about children’s art, seasonal crafts, and fostering creativity.

  • The Artful Parent  is full of tips on getting children started in art and helping your family live more creatively. 
  • The Artful Year follows the four seasons with 175+ activities for seasonal and holiday arts and crafts.
How to Start a Childrens Art Group - Tips and Instructions

My Art Background

I drew and painted my way through childhood, then went on to study art history and studio art at Wellesley College. My first jobs after graduating were at an art museum and an art magazine, although I later left the art world to work in nonprofit development.

After my first daughter was born, my interest in art was revitalized and I realized that I wanted to raise her in an art-rich environment and to encourage her creativity and imagination as much as possible. I read books about kids’ art, including Young at Art by Susan Striker and First Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl.

Guided by the ideas I came across, I started a Toddler Art Group with several other moms and their toddlers. We met weekly and did everything from body painting and papier maché bowls to printing with flowers and making our own puffy paint. We also returned to the basics (painting, drawing, and collaging) again and again.

If you are interested in starting your own kids’ art group, I have written a guide on how to start a children’s art group.

About Jean Van't Hul and The Artful Parent

Why Blog?

Started The Artful Parent was partly a way to chronicle and share the experiences with the children’s art group, and also as a way for me to focus more on what it means to me to be an artful parent. I want to parent in a way that encourages creative expression, imagination, joyfulness, and a love of learning, not just in my daughters but in our entire family.

I also wanted to welcome others to join me as I attempted to be an artful parent.

Where to begin

If you’re new here (Welcome!) you might like to start with my Arts and Crafts Directory or some of my more popular posts.

To Connect

Leave a comment on a blog post, e-mail my team at [email protected], use my contact form, or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram. I would love to hear from you! You can also subscribe to receive weekly inspiration via email, follow me on Pinterest, and subscribe to my YouTube channel.


  • Reply
    Combine Art & Read Alouds | Practical Pages
    September 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    […] Jean Van’t Hul of Artful “Why Read Aloud Time is Drawing […]

  • Reply
    13 Must Read Parenting Books For New Parents (Yearly Update)
    December 6, 2016 at 3:08 am

    […] The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity – Jean Van’t Hul […]

  • Reply
    How to Neatly Display Your Child's Artwork
    January 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    […] to the traditional refrigerator display.     I was very intrigued by the ArtKive app that Jean mentions in her […]

  • Reply
    Rosemary Connelly
    August 18, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Hi! I am the Chair for The 2019 Big Draw Festival Delaware, part of the and we are planning lots of Free family events for October. One of the activities is tracing bodies! Your post is an excellent example of this and I wondered if you would give us permission to share your post on our social media sites? Crediting you of course. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    Michael H Rabinowitz
    March 22, 2020 at 1:22 pm


    My daughter Nica Rabinowitz offers online creative projects for
    children of all ages. She is a fiber artist and just
    moved from Brooklyn to Asheville NC.

    In this time where so many people are homebound with
    children seeking creative positive activities I believe her
    abilities and virtual classroom courses would be what
    parents are striving for right now.

    Her company is and her website devoted
    to providing online workshops is

    Please contact me to find out the possibilities of using your platform
    to inform parents and families of her service.

    Thank you


  • Reply
    Brenda Blackburn
    April 8, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    I am the Dean for Business and Service Careers at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC. I love your website and I wanted you to know that I made a video to highlight your website as a resource to share with parents and grandparents during this time of “stay at home” order. I am sorry that I didn’t know how to pronounce your name, so I hope I didn’t butcher it too badly. 😬 Our college posted it on their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can view it here: We are hoping it will be a helpful resource for families.
    Thank you for all you do to inspire families in their creativity!
    -Brenda Blackburn
    -Child and Family Specialist
    -Dean for Business and Service Careers
    -Blue Ridge Community College

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      April 10, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing The Artful Parent with your audience of parents and grandparents, Brenda!

  • Reply
    Can You Draw With Crayons on Canvas? – Improve Drawing
    June 24, 2020 at 7:18 am

    […] Jean Van’t Hul, the author of the children’s book, The Artful Parent, has a different take on melted crayon art. For one of her projects, she initially planned to put crayons in a hot glue gun and squirt the resulting mixture with it. She got this idea from Pinterest. When she carried it out, however, the result wasn’t successful. […]

  • Reply
    Annie Lightfoot
    July 3, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I just wanted to say how inspired I am by your website and all the work you do and have done. I love using your ideas and coming up with crafty things to do with my 5 year old.
    During lockdown, I created a page called Arty Annie on Facebook.

    I have connected with you on Instagram so I hope you enjoy some things I do too.
    Thank you again for such wonderful ideas. You’re an amazing inspiration.
    Annie Lightfoot

  • Reply
    Hollie Young
    December 2, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Hi Jean,
    I love your work and want to make other families aware of your books and website as a fabulous resources for building art into their homeschooling days! I am a former teacher, a mom who is homeschooling, and one of the founders of Thoughtful Play ( where we develop play-based activities and curriculum for Kindergarten. We incorporate art into our interdisciplinary component of our curriculum called Explorations, yet the focus is on science or social studies with an art component. We want to share with families how they can expand their daily art engagement. I wanted to ask if it is okay for me to include your website in one of our blog posts about finding good art resources?

  • Reply
    Eliane Marie Genain
    February 4, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I participate to your blog paying monthly a contribution
    I would like to know why do I have again to buy the art packet you propose on your site.
    Could you please give me an explanation.
    Thank you

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