MaryAnn Kohl on Art with Anything

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MaryAnn
Kohl qualifies as a national treasure in my mind. For the past 25 years she has been writing books (23 of them!) to share
children's arts and crafts ideas and encourage parents and teachers to value art and creativity. Here she talks about her
new book, Art with Anything, as well as how art has changed in the schools since
she started teaching in the '70s, and even what she would do if she could change our education system.


A_

***Note: Readers will have a chance to win a copy of
MaryAnn’s new book, Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff at
the end of this interview
.***

JEAN:  I’ve really enjoyed your new book, Art with
Anything
, and especially appreciate the idea that you can make art with everyday
items people have around their houses, including address labels, yarn, tin
foil, and salt. What gave you the idea for this boo
k?

MARYANN:  I had two reasons
for writing this book: 1.) One is that we all have so many interesting
materials already at our disposal, and I wanted to focus on using things that
we have or could easily collect without buying materials. 2.) The other idea
was that I thought, "What if we do art five days in a row focused on ONE
material and all it can do? Wouldn't children learn more and develop their
skills more if we did this? And what if the first day was an introductory
exploratory project, and each day built on the first until the fifth day, which
would be the 'fancy day'?" I thought this would be a unique approach to
skill building through art and really good for kids. By the time they get to
the 5th day, they are ready for a really challenging exciting art project.

JEAN:  The format – five days of
projects of increasing complexity with a single material 

– is new for your books. What
made you use this format
?

MARYANN:  See #1.

Another thing I tried to do was
repeat some common techniques throughout the book like making collages or
constructing mobiles. This is a purposeful strategy that builds a child's
skill, understanding, and creativity. To create collages with different
materials will help the child learn new ways to use materials and face the
variety of challenges those materials present. For example, a collage with
tissue paper will be completely different than a collage with buttons, and a
mobile with heavy objects like nuts and bolts will have completely different
challenges than one with cotton balls. All of this combines to help the child
learn through exploring and creating.



JeansPics_06-2010_Pic1840

JEAN:  What are your favorite everyday
art materials and projects from Art with Anything

MARYANN:  You could ask me
this question on any day, and I'm sure my answer would change depending on what
the kids I most recently worked with had created. But today, I will say that I
love love love the Week 4 – Bubble Wrap. Who doesn't love bubble wrap for the
obvious popping fun? The five days of art with bubble wrap are very exciting
and have great outcomes. For example, Day 1 is an introductory crayon rubbing,
Day 2 has numerous painting ideas, Day 3 is a translucent collage, Day 4 offers
a fun way to make fish prints, and Day 5 is the all exciting Bubble Wrap Mural.
I should mention that though Bubble Wrap comes at Week 4, you don't have to
follow the weeks in order. You can do these projects in any order you wish.
They are in alphabetical order in the book just to make it easy for you, but
feel free to choose any week you like any time during the year. The book has 52
weeks so that you have a year's worth of choices.

A few other favorites are:

Week 8: CDs

Week 10: Coffee Filters

Week 23: Hole Punch Dots

and Week 35: Plastic Wrap

JeansPics_06-2010_Pic1845

Oops, can't leave out Week 36: Leaves. I love the leaves
projects!


MaryAnnKohl4 JEAN:  You’ve been encouraging parents
and teachers to prioritize art for 25 years as an author and for longer as a teacher. What are your top tips making art a part of everyday?

MARYANN:  Art is easy to
provide if you tell yourself it doesn't have to be a big deal. And it doesn't!
Not everyone has to be a fabulous artful parent (read: messy)! If you are
willing to provide blank paper and crayons and markers, you're on the road to
providing wonderful creative opportunities for kids. [Did you know that
research shows that children who are allowed to draw daily without adult
interference do better in all academic areas than children who do not draw?
There you have it.] Okay, now add some tape, scissors, and a stapler. Now add a
bottle of glue or a gluestick. Next add some collage materials in a shoe box.
Provide all of this on a shelf or somewhere the child has free and easy access
to its use. As you are more comfortable, add more materials for the child's
use. On special days, bring out the paints and supplies that need a little more
supervision. Cover your table or floor or art area well, provide a damp sponge
for wiping messy fingers, a trash can for responsible child clean-up, and jump
in! I think I would suggest that art be a combination of free and easy art days
(nothing planned) mixed with planned art days that have more involved materials
and art ideas.

To really prioritize, set aside a
time of the day that is good for art, like right after lunch, or when the kids
get home from school and have had a snack and time to unwind. Every family will
be different, but all kids need to feel that art is respected and important for
it to be a priority. That said, let's get the kids outside and playing hard
too. Talk about priorities!


MaryAnnKohl1 JEAN:  What changes have you seen in
our approach to children’s art and art education since you first started
teaching?

MARYANN:  When I began in the
70s, everything in art had to have a planned outcome. In fact, I think a
priority of the projects were that they should be "cute" or be a
craft that followed definite steps and had a definite outcome. I don't think we
even began to imagine anything else was possible. I remember the day we
discovered folding tissue and dipping it into colorful dye. My mind exploded!
The outcomes were entirely unique to each child, and they were mesmerized, as
was I. That one project changed everything for me. Many preschools still
operate with the idea that cute little crafts are "art". This is not
true, but times are changing. Since my first book came out in 1985, the
pendulum began to swing towards "independent creativity" where the
outcome of a child's art was unknown to anyone but the child. I am very proud
to have had played a part in changing the face of art for young children. As a
child, I never explored art as an open creative possibility. I think I've grown
in my own creativity and my relaxation about how my art has to look. We've come
a long way and it's so much more fun too!


MaryAnnKohl3 JEAN:  What changes would you like to
see in schools and their art curriculums? Let’s say (just for fun) that
you have the power and the budget to make any changes you’d like to our
education system. What changes would you make?

MARYANN:  Many schools do not
have art curriculums at all, and if any art is to happen, individual teachers
must take this on themselves. Some do, and some are scared to death and just
leave it out because they have no idea what to do. Some schools have art
specialists, and then the teachers in their own classrooms do no art. So
there is a wide gap in art education for our children. Some get lots of
wonderful art; some get zero. If I had the power you have just given me, thank
you!, I would bring art into every classroom as part of the curriculum where
kids are encouraged to explore, discover, and create without an adult sample or
model to copy. The art would be process, not product, oriented, and each
child's work would be an individual expression with the materials on hand. No
two artworks would look alike. Just like snowflakes, our children are each
unique, and so are their artworks. 

In addition, I would provide help or
training for teachers so that they could understand how easy it is to allow for
art as well as music, drama, creative writing, and in fact, all of the arts. I
think if they had training and permission to enjoy the arts, they would. Right
now, many teachers are completely at a loss for how to allow for the arts, and
because their districts do not encourage art education, they ignore it all
together. They are faced with more and more requirements for high test scores,
and think that art will interfere with the challenge. I wish they understood
that allowing kids to have art would actually help them do better on tests.

MaryAnnKohl5

JEAN:  Anything else you’d like to add?

MARYANN:  We each have a whole
brain made of two hemispheres. The entire right half of the brain works on
things that are creative, intuitive, and subjective. This is where the arts
fit. Schools should work to provide education that addresses the whole
brain, not just half. As parents, we must allow our kids the time and the
materials to stimulate the right side of the brain through visual arts, which
includes drawing, painting, and sculpture. And there's a bonus:  Doing art
with our kids is fun, and a wonderful way to spend time together. There is no
better blog on the internet today to help this happen than The Artful Parent
for inspiration and great ideas.

Please visit my blog and my website
for art ideas from all my books. I will look forward to it!

My blog: http://maryannfkohl.typepad.com/blog/

My website: http://www.brightring.com

JEAN:  Thank you, MaryAnn! So much of the art that we do in our home is from your books! We are so fortunate to
have you sharing your ideas with all of us!


A_

Readers who leave a comment to this
interview by Thursday, July 1st at 12 midnight EST will be entered
into a random drawing to win a copy of MaryAnn F. Kohl’s new book, Art with
Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff
.

The random number generator picked #1 this time (first time it's happened with me!), so Rebecca wins the copy of Art with Anything. Congrats Rebecca!

This looks
like a great book. Jean, thank you for helping us to focus on being
creative.
Rebecca


Related Posts

189 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    June 28, 2010 at 6:51 am

    This looks like a great book. Jean, thank you for helping us to focus on being creative.
    Rebecca

  • Reply
    molly
    June 28, 2010 at 6:51 am

    It is so nice to have people who are encouraging art and reassuring parents and teachers that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Thanks to both of you.

  • Reply
    Dawn
    June 28, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This was a great interview, Jean! Thanks for sharing. I am inspired, yet again, to take more artful leaps. Would love to have this book around, too.

  • Reply
    Joy
    June 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I love to book format, it looks so inviting and friendly.

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Thank you both, for inspiring us to take the time to be creative with our kids. We’ve enjoyed MaryAnn’s books from the library on a regular basis and would love to have one on the shelf of our very own!

  • Reply
    erica
    June 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    love her and her books!

  • Reply
    sally
    June 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I was gifted a few of Mary Ann Kohl’s books when I began teaching, and as a homeschool mom I have found them a wonderful resource! This new book sounds EXACTLY like what I have been wanting to do with my children – use one main medium and explore what all it can do!
    Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Beth
    June 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    That book looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing some of the inside with us.

  • Reply
    Karla
    June 28, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Her books always have great ideas. Thanks for sharing her most recent edition.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 28, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I just checked out my first book by MaryAnn Kohl from our library. It is so full of wonderful ideas. I would love to own one of her books.

  • Reply
    FroggyMama
    June 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

    This book has been in my Amazon wish list since before it was released! It looks like a wonderful resource.
    Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway opportunity!

  • Reply
    Arwen
    June 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Great interview. It sounds like a really great book.

  • Reply
    Marie
    June 28, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I am so very excited about this book! I am a Pre-K teacher and have been trying to convince my collegues to switch from perfectly formed crafts to process oriented art for a few years. I’m looking forward to using this book and interview as a resource. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Randi
    June 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Wonderful interview….her books are amazing.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 28, 2010 at 8:19 am

    As an art teacher & mom myself I love Jeans insights. She’s right on point with schools today. The book sounds like an amazing tool to use in my classroom!

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

    My favorite piece of my son’s art that are framed around the house were inspired by Mary Ann’s books. I can’t wait to see this what this book will inspire.

  • Reply
    Annette
    June 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Thanks for the information. I have been viewing your website trying to improve my toddler’s experiences with art. I grew up in the craft “art” method, so it’s all new to me. Thanks to both of you for the advice and inspiration.

  • Reply
    Allison
    June 28, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I couldn’t agree more w/ her vision of art created in schools becoming more about the process than the product. I find it frustrating when it’s fundraiser time at my son’s school b/c then I know what he created will be amazing, but it will also look like everyone else’s..
    I also wanted to say that I am so excited for this book & LOVE the concentration of a particular material for an entire week. I really think that this will help children (and grownups) see something & realize there’s more potential in that object than just 1 simple purpose. It’s not just creating art-it’s teaching a life lesson (a bit redundant, I believe) :)

  • Reply
    frivolitea
    June 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

    It sounds like a great book. And thank you for the interesting interview.

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for this great interview! MaryAnn Kohl’s books have held a treasured place in our home. My kids and I would love this newest one!

  • Reply
    catherine
    June 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

    This book sounds so great! Thank you for the chance!

  • Reply
    rosa
    June 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

    great interview – LOVE the idea of exploring one art “medium” a week… :)

  • Reply
    Kristin
    June 28, 2010 at 8:42 am

    This book looks like it has some great ideas in it – thank you for the giveaway and interview!

  • Reply
    jenn
    June 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

    This was a great interview.

  • Reply
    Heather
    June 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I have several of her great books and lots and LOTS of everything that I save for art projects! Hoping to do lots of art with the kids this summer.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    June 28, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I cannot wait to get this book. I’m obsessed!

  • Reply
    sara
    June 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

    i just requested this at the library! would love to have my own copy! thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Beth
    June 28, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I love Kohl’s books. I love the format of having a project for each day of the year!

  • Reply
    Nickie
    June 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I’ve loved the various projects you’ve featured on the site, and I’m heading to the library this week to pick up a couple of her books. Thanks for the interview!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    June 28, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I just adore MAK — I get a stack of her books & bookmark them whenever I need inspiration. We would make very good use of Art with Anything. Pick me! [email protected]

  • Reply
    shanna
    June 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

    this book sounds fantastic! either way….this is definitely a book to have on our shelves!!
    thanks

  • Reply
    [email protected] Relaxo
    June 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

    This looks great! I’m really good at saving random things to use in our art but them I’m not sure what to do with them, maybe this book could help.

  • Reply
    Carrie
    June 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I would love this for my kids!! Count me in.

  • Reply
    August
    June 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

    This book sounds awesome! I have a 16month old who is just starting to get excited for little art projects and another girl
    on the way so this book will bring years of fun for us!

  • Reply
    michaela
    June 28, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I love Mary Ann’s approach! Thanks so much for introducing me to her. ;)

  • Reply
    annette standrod
    June 28, 2010 at 10:36 am

    How awesome it is to teach our children to create with their hands. such a great self-esteem builder!
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Meagan Grant
    June 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

    what a lovely interview…she is so inspiring. I’m heading back to my own classroom and what a lovely addition this book would be to my library. thanks so much for the opportunity

  • Reply
    Lanie
    June 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

    My daughters would love this book and so would their mommy! :)

  • Reply
    Diana (Ladybug Limited)
    June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I have 2 of her books and keep trying to tell myself that (for the sake of the family budget) I don’t need more, but the concept of growing in confidence with one material over 5 days time looks fascinating! What a wonderful interview — thanks to you both!

  • Reply
    Sonya
    June 28, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I love MaryAnne Kohl and have about five of her books. I’d love a chance to win this one! Thanks for a great interview.

  • Reply
    mes petits artistes (my little artist's)
    June 28, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I LOVE mary ann kohl this week we are doing 3 days of art from her Big Messy Art Book! you’ll have to check it out at: http://mespetitsartistes.wordpress.com/

  • Reply
    Jenny A.
    June 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I’m lucky to have worked in a Mother’s Day Out program that really allowed for the kind of art mentioned here, and now work in my own first grade classroom where I can incorporate art into daily work.
    Would love to win this book!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    June 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

    The book looks like it is full of great ideas to incorporate art into your curriculum.

  • Reply
    Margaret Murphy
    June 28, 2010 at 11:30 am

    My husband, a librarian, brought this book home days before this interview was published and what a joy!!!! I have always thought the notion that art was supposed to “look” a certain way was ridiculous! I am drawn to MaryAnn’s books because we clearly share a similar perspective – “independent creativity” is what it’s all about. MaryAnn is truly a treasure, but more than that, she is a real person, a real teacher. Thanks for this interview. I loved learning more about Ms. Kohl

  • Reply
    Martha S.
    June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I love her books! Thanks for sharing the interview with us.

  • Reply
    Katie R
    June 28, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I grew up with my mother using MaryAnn’s books for our daily art inspiration, and now I find myself drawn to them as well for my two daughters. Her books are absolutely wonderful! Thank you for the interview–it was really interesting.

  • Reply
    Maureen
    June 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I loved reading this interview – thank you. Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  • Reply
    Ashley Chandler
    June 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

    That book looks like a must have! I love all her books and ideas. Thanks for bringing us her thoughts and ideas. And thanks for your inspiration as well!

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I definitely want to check this book out. Sounds awesome. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cara
    June 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I can’t wait to order this book! I have really enjoyed the other Maryann Kohl books I’ve used. I’d say her books and your blog have been the biggest sources of inspiration for arty projects I do at home with my almost 3-year old. Great interview!

  • Reply
    Monique
    June 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I love the idea of 5 days with the same material – I think that would encourage us to do more art, as well as learn more about the material. Love MaryAnn’s books, and thanks to The Artful Parent for introducing them to us in the first place!

  • Reply
    Gianne
    June 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I agree! I love Marianne Kohl. First Art and Math Art have been some of my favorite! Some of her ideas on my blog: cowsgomooandducksgoquack.blogspot.com BTW, love love love your blog too Artful Parent. =)

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I love MaryAnn Kohl’s books and would be so happy to win a copy of Art with Anything to use with my Art Group. Thanks for this opportunity :0)
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Christy
    June 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I would love to win this book. I host a story hour at a local coffee shop and we always end with an art project so I am always looking for new ideas. I have Scribble Art by MaryAnn Kohl and I love it. She is amazing.

  • Reply
    Shawn
    June 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Really
    Must
    Win/buy
    This
    Book.
    My girls will love it. I can tell.

  • Reply
    Heidi
    June 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I really love all your features on MaryAnn…thank you for introducing us to her fabulous ideas! :)

  • Reply
    Basbusa's Mama
    June 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for a great interview! I’ve really enjoyed MaryAnn’s “Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos.” I’ve never been “artsy” myself but I’d love my daughter to enjoy it, so MaryAnn’s book is really helpful for art ideas I never would have thought of.

  • Reply
    Kerstin
    June 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    What a fabulous interview! We love her books. Endless inspiration for art at home.

  • Reply
    Adelle F.
    June 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Another fantastic looking book by MaryAnn Kohl! Love her!

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Great information, I am looking forward to using MaryAnn’s books for new resources!

  • Reply
    Clemencia
    June 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    thank you so much for your generous offer, I think her book is awesome! :)

  • Reply
    Marian
    June 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I’d love to do more art projects with my daughter

  • Reply
    Light
    June 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for the thorough interview! I appreciate Ms. Kohl’s perspective on art – not worrying about the outcome and thoroughly enjoying the process. I wish I could learn more about how her former students have turned out! Curious!!!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    June 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I would love this book for even more great ideas!

  • Reply
    Andi
    June 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    This looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    June 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Jean, thank you for introducing me to MaryAnn’s books. After reading some of your posts I was inspired to purchase a few of her books and have been extremely satisfied with my purchases. I have two small children at home that are loving the hands on projects, as well as a class full of 1st graders that are SO excited that we get to do REAL art! So again, thanks to you both!

  • Reply
    Tyandra
    June 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    As an art therapist and educator, I couldn’t agree more with Mary Ann’s interview. Her books are fabulous. Thanks for featuring her.

  • Reply
    Dina {Made With Bliss}
    June 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

    What a great interview. Thank you so much for sharing & keep inspire many of us…

  • Reply
    Cassandra
    June 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for always shining a light on these great resources… looks like another great book!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    June 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I just bought a copy of First Art yesterday to use with my 14 month old daughter. We’ve fingerpainted in the empty bathtub, made playclay, and like to scribble with crayons on paper. We’re planning on doing some of the messier projects when daddy is around to help this weekend. Blogs like this and books like MaryAnn’s have gotten me off to a good artistic start with her!

  • Reply
    Liisa
    June 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    We already love this book!!!

  • Reply
    Shelly
    June 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Great interview! Her books are amazing! It would be wonderful to have this one too!! Thank you

  • Reply
    jen
    June 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    i just adore maryann kohl and her books! i gathered and read many of these during my art therapy training, and have since collected more after having a tiny artist child of my own. i love what maryann has to say about process-oriented art in the schools! i also love how she says it doesn’t have to be a big deal, and it’s true! sure, we have special art projects many days, but most of the time i just keep out some crayons, pencils, markers, paper, and the magnadoodle, and my daughter fills her down time by drawing on her own for at least a couple hours a day. i do need to introduce scissors and glue more, but for now those are still supervised. ;) hooray for maryann kohl – thank you for interviewing her, jean!

  • Reply
    Brianna
    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, please! I’m addicted to her books, but don’t have this one yet. Creating things with my daughter is the best part of being a mama.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    June 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Great interview! I love her book First Art and have created so many memories with my girls thanks to that book!

  • Reply
    Heather
    June 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    We have enjoyed her other books and are grateful to you for the chance to win this one. I am sure we would enjoy it!!!

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    My children and I could really benefit from the ideas in this book!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    brenda
    June 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    ahh, more ideas on making a lovely fun beautiful mess :-)

  • Reply
    Amanda
    June 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    That’s my kind of art book!

  • Reply
    Jus
    June 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Oh! I would love that book, its looks fabulous! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristy
    June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Jean, thanks for sharing this book with us and for sharing your artful ideas. I am a very “Left Brain” person and was never exposed to art during my childhood. I look forward to your posts so I can get ideas to try with my kids. Thanks for sharing your parenting struggles, too. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this!

  • Reply
    shelli
    June 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I loved this interview! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  • Reply
    kate
    June 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I’m so excited there’s a new book from her. They’re the best!

  • Reply
    Janet
    June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I love MaryAnn’s books and can’t wait to play with the ideas from “Art with Anything”. Pick me pick me!!!

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle, ART IN HAND
    June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    A-Men!

  • Reply
    martha bernhard
    June 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I would love to have this book.
    Martha Bernhard

  • Reply
    Kayte
    June 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I am excited to see the new book. I love the idea of a weeks worth of activites with each material.

  • Reply
    woolcat
    June 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Hi! This book looks excellent. At first I just wanted to nick the yarn painting idea and do that with my four year old, but having read the interview I want to do the weeks properly!

  • Reply
    Amy Field
    June 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I love her books too!! I am always excited to see one!! we have done many of her ideas at my school! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    esther jane
    June 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    what a wonderful resource to have!! thanks for the chance to call it my own!

  • Reply
    candice
    June 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    i was just sitting here trying to think of something to do with thing 1 & thing 2 on this rainy day :)
    we certainly could use this book today!!!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    June 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Oh, yes please! MaryAnn and you are both so inspiring to me.

  • Reply
    Carrie at Rhubarb Sky
    June 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I adore MaryAnn Kohl’s books. This would be a welcome addition to our collection.

  • Reply
    Marie Faust Evitt
    June 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I use MaryAnn’s books in my preschool classroom all the time. Thank you for interviewing her so we can get to know the person behind the wonderful ideas!

  • Reply
    andrea
    June 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    i would love to actually OWN one of her books instead of repeatedly checking them out fromt he library :-)

  • Reply
    Katie
    June 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I love the idea of spending a week with one material. Sounds like fun.

  • Reply
    Linda B
    June 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I can’t wait to see this book! MaryAnn Kohl’s books are amazing!

  • Reply
    sherrieg
    June 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I was checking on this book yesterday, and I’m not able to get this through our library (yet)! I would be so excited to win a copy!

  • Reply
    Alea
    June 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I love it when I don’t have to buy new stuff to do a project – this sounds like my kind of book!

  • Reply
    Nikki M
    June 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I have only recently been introduced to MaryAnn Kohl’s books, and can’t wait to dive into them!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    June 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    We have one of Mary Ann Kohl’s books and would LOVE to have another one! Thanks so much for telling us about this new one and sharing some of her great ideas and thoughts about art education!

  • Reply
    This girl loves to Talk
    June 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I dont know if her books are readily available in australia (probably, but I havent seen) But she sounds like an amazing lady! My kids would LOVE to have a book like this!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    June 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    This book looks wonderful! And I love all the projects you have been showing us!

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I think this will be my favorites of all her books! I love how it all builds on each other.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    June 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Until about 2 weeks ago, I was one of those parents (like the teachers she talks about) that had no idea of what to do with art. I’m not “crafty” or “artsy”. Then I stumbled upon your blog and I am so excited that I’ve wanted to try everything! My 20 month old and 4 year old are really responding to the creative outlet. Thanks for introducing me to MaryAnn Kohl’s books – the only thing I have to decide now is which book(s) to order! They all sound great. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Reply
    Megan
    June 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    This book just looks so amazing! What a great resource – and the building in complexity is such a fabulous brain-development piece. I would SOOOOO love to win this!

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I love Mary Ann, we have several of her books and my kids LOVE them. Thank you both for the inspiration you provide those of us who are lessly artistically gifted!

  • Reply
    Trisha
    June 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    MaryAnn Kohl is my hero. As an artist, art teacher, and mother I am constantly striving to achieve what she talks about in this interview: process vs. product driven art experiences.
    We are currently trying to help our co-op daycare teacher switch her craft time to an art experience time centered on the principles that MaryAnn talks about. I think one of her books might be a great help.
    Thanks for this great interview!
    And, thanks, MaryAnn for doing what you do best!

  • Reply
    Trisha
    June 28, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    MaryAnn Kohl is my hero. As an artist, art teacher, and mother I am constantly striving to achieve what she talks about in this interview: process vs. product driven art experiences.
    We are currently trying to help our co-op daycare teacher switch her craft time to an art experience time centered on the principles that MaryAnn talks about. I think one of her books might be a great help.
    Thanks for this great interview!
    And, thanks, MaryAnn for doing what you do best!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Bowen
    June 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I’ve enjoyed her other books. The simple-to-complex format sounds interesting!

  • Reply
    Jill
    June 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Wonderful interview, as always! Sounds like a fabulous book!

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I would love a copy of this book! If I don’t win it, I’m going to buy it anyway. Thanks for the great interview!

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I would love a copy of this book! If I don’t win it, I’m going to buy a copy anyway. Thanks for the great interview!

  • Reply
    Molly Hyde=Caroom
    June 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    We love all of MaryAnn’s books and use them all the time! This would be a welcome addition to our library!
    Thanks for a wonderful blog and a fantastic interview! I love where she mentions education the “whole brain”. I am a homeschooler and this is one of the reasons that I am!
    Your blog is fabulous and I am always happy to see that there is a new post!

  • Reply
    Robin
    June 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Excellent interview. Amazing looking book

  • Reply
    sarah
    June 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I love your blog and we are having so much fun with your ideas. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Debby
    June 29, 2010 at 12:22 am

    It’s n to hear about the lady behind the
    books. Love her art ideas.

  • Reply
    Erica
    June 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I’ve added this book to my wishlist, but of course would love to win one! Thanks for the interview and the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Lindsay R
    June 29, 2010 at 1:13 am

    would love to have this one, as well as so many of her others! what a great interview! thanks for the chance!

  • Reply
    toasted
    June 29, 2010 at 2:16 am

    It would be brilliant to have this book on hand for idea, inspiration and motivation

  • Reply
    Agnes
    June 29, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I am so inspired by Kohl’s books and The Artful Parent blog! I just ordered watercolors, the divided paint jars, and con-tact paper from Discount School Supply yesterday! I loved Kohl’s comment about the importance of art in school. Art is just as important as math and science. Thank you for this wonderful interview.

  • Reply
    Sandi
    June 29, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    June 29, 2010 at 6:29 am

    It sounds like and amazing book, I’d love to win.

  • Reply
    Lynne
    June 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I sometimes struggle to plan affordable art experiences for my family day care kids, I would love to win this book for them.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I am so excited to hear about this book!

  • Reply
    Karen
    June 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

    This is a great interview! Thanks.

  • Reply
    Kat
    June 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I have to say, bubble wrap is one of our favorite materials to use with the art we do as a family

  • Reply
    Kristin
    June 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Sounds wonderful. I’d love to have that book.

  • Reply
    Rebecca K
    June 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for sharing this interview! I’m a huge fan of Maryann Kohl!

  • Reply
    Gayle Parent
    June 29, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I enjoyed this interview with MaryAnn! It’s nice to have someone say that what I did instinctively with my kids was a good thing to do. I gave each of them a dishpan filled with colored paper, drawing paper, scissors, crayons, watercolor paints, etc. When they wanted to use them, they were to let me know, and as long as I could supervise (probably while cooking), they were free to explore their materials. I never had a problem with drawing on walls or cutting the curtains! Thanks MaryAnn!

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Mary Ann Kohl’s approach is so freeing, really. The books we have (and your blog) keep us inspired to keep our art experiences child-centered and let the kids discover something for themselves. It’s really neat how it’s so much more magical for them and me when we do, compared to when we assemble some craft (which has its place too.) And I like the idea that even if our schools can’t do the art with our kids the way we’d like, we can do it at home with them ourselves. Thank you for another great interview, Jean!

  • Reply
    Darcy
    June 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you! Your blog is my go-to resource for my own budding toddler art group. And we adore the projects we’ve tried from MaryAnn’s ideas so far.

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Sounds like a great book. I love anything that helps children create! I hope I win!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    i like the week long project idea. this would be great for my girls!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    June 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    This is helping to rekindle the inspiration in my own artwork! I have shared this with several friends and my kids teachers. It is so important for kids to just create and explore and to not worry about the finished product.

  • Reply
    Emma
    June 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Ooh I would love this book! I’d never heard of MaryAnn Kohl until I visited this blog, but I’ve been inspired. And the book sounds wonderful – I’m thinking of homeschooling my son when the time comes so I’m storing up ideas at the moment – but when I asked about it in my library today they’d never even heard of her. I’ll have to check out Amazon. Thanks for enlightening me!!!

  • Reply
    Kristin Gail
    June 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Ooooh! Thank you so much for the interview and giveaway. Have been sniffing around this book since you first mentioned it.

  • Reply
    Erica
    June 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This looks like a great book, I would love to win! Thanks so much for hosting a giveaway of it!

  • Reply
    Carolina Berta
    June 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I would love to have this book & use it with my little girl. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Jaclyn
    June 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I need to own this book! I’m starting a “learning group” (a co-operative home-nursery-school) in the fall with some friends, and I plan to incorporate LOTS of art for our pre-schoolers!

  • Reply
    Mindy
    June 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    As another posting prek teacher, I love MaryAnn’s books! I also try to preach to other teachers at school, it’s the process, not the product that is important!

  • Reply
    Dani
    June 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    This book looks great! Thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Thanks Jean!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    June 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I agree – she is a national treasure!

  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art author
    June 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    My husband told me to read through the comments. I just did. Thank you everyone. I am absolutely humbled and honored.

  • Reply
    Michaela
    June 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for a wonderful interview with an inspiring teacher/author! I completely agree with MaryAnn’s philosophy of how art education should be, and her books are full of great ideas to use with my own kids at home.

  • Reply
    Geni
    June 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Jean, your blog, and your interviews have opened up the world of art for me and my son. I actually had an art day birthday for his birthday using one of Ms. Kohl’s books. Thank you Jean and Ms. Kohl.

  • Reply
    Nina Laight
    June 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I love Marann’s books. We are currently using First Art and Scribble Art for my six year old boy (not too into art) and my three year old girl (the big art fan – she would paint and craft all day)!

  • Reply
    Anna - Three Sneaky Bugs
    June 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I agree – she is pretty fantastic!

  • Reply
    Sara
    June 29, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    A focus on our whole brain is appealing!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    It’s so important to remember that it is the process not the product that we all remember. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Amy A.
    June 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I love Mary Ann Kohl and love her books. I would love to own her new book! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 30, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I love this woman! And I am keen on her idea of building more and more complicated projects with a single material. I can see that when my kids become familiar with a material or idea, they re-visit it and their skills improve! They dare to do more with it than what I might have shown them. I am excited about this book!

  • Reply
    Jenny Rebecca
    June 30, 2010 at 1:02 am

    What a wonderfully inspring interview!

  • Reply
    P.A.
    June 30, 2010 at 1:03 am

    What a great interview–we enjoy many of her books and look forward to using this one too!

  • Reply
    Aussie Mum
    June 30, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I’m a big fan of MaryAnne Kohl and have a couple of her books but there is always room on my bookshelf for another. Fingers crossed and thanks for sharing your great childrens art ideas.

  • Reply
    Jesse
    June 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I love Mary Ann Kohl! Her books are a wonderful resource for parents and teachers alike. I can’t stop collecting them!!!

  • Reply
    ksmama
    June 30, 2010 at 9:44 am

    We own both Toddler Art and Preschool Art. I LOVE them and refer to them often. We would love to use this one expand our art with everyday objects!

  • Reply
    Christie - Childhood 101
    June 30, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Even in the early 90s when I finished my teaching degree there was still way too much emphasis on a cute finished product that allowed for little (or no) creative input by the child. I too am so heartened to see the shift that has now happened thanks to leaders like MaryAnn.

  • Reply
    treen
    June 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    This book sounds great, especially since I’m starting to homeschool this fall! I’ll also be looking her up at the library.

  • Reply
    treen
    June 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This would be an excellent addition to our personal library, especially since I’m starting to homeschool this fall. I’ll also have to check her out at our local library!

  • Reply
    treen
    June 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

    oops. sorry about the double post.

  • Reply
    talitha
    June 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I’ll either buy the book or win it! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Barb
    June 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I love all of her books. Keep ’em coming!
    Barb

  • Reply
    Laura
    June 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading the ideas in the book. My little one will sit and draw for hours–which is great! I need a little help coaxing her to try some other methods.

  • Reply
    Heather
    June 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    This book looks really exciting and useful for parents. Thanks for the iterview!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    June 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Really loving preschool arts and art with toddlers and twos. This new book will be a great source of inspiration.

  • Reply
    Allison
    June 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    It is obvious by the number of comments how well loved Mary Ann Kohl is. She is an inspiration to process oriented art educators and parents. I have tried to check out this new book at our local library, but they do not have it yet. I cannot wait to see it.

  • Reply
    Kylene Brooks
    June 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    This looks like a great book- I teach Kindergarten and have a toddler. I would love to look at her ideas and use them with kids!

  • Reply
    Rachelle
    July 1, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Hi Jean,
    I recently started a website with a focus on raising creative children, and your site has been a huge inspiration. This is a fabulous interview — I agree with you that MaryAnn is a treasure. Her books also fill my shelves, and have since I started teaching art to kids many years ago. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve posted a link to your site off of mine — please let me know :)
    http://www.tinkerlab.com
    Keep the great posts coming!
    Rachelle

  • Reply
    Sherry and Donna
    July 1, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I’m a little ashamed to admit that I am not aware of MaryAnn Kohl here in Australia but I certainly look forward to investigating her books. Anyone who writes books with new ideas to give inspiration and encouragement for children’s creativity is definitely an author I want to get to know!
    Cheers, Donna :) :)

  • Reply
    Shenandoah
    July 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    This book looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Robyn Beaufoy
    July 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    We love MaryAnn’s books! So excited there’s another one for us to dig into :)

  • Reply
    Stacy of KSW
    July 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    We like to make art with anything everyday, but I’m sure it will look much cooler with this book as our guide!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Oh, I LOVE Ms. Kohls books and ideas. I love how everything is so open-ended to allow individual creativity as well as allowing many ages do the “same” project. She has such wonderful ideas!! Would love to share her new ideas via her book with my daughters!

  • Reply
    Christy
    July 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    A while ago, I purchased two other Mary Ann Kohl books after reading about her on your blog. I love her books! And I love your website, too – thanks for all the great art inspiration!

  • Reply
    AnnGeeDee
    July 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I love her books and would love to own this one instead of checking it out from the library when it comes in. Thanks for keeping us inspired.

  • Reply
    Allison
    July 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Wow this book looks awesome!! I especially like the idea of five days with a particular material! I will be seeking this book out in the future – that is if I don’t win it! I appreciate the chance.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    ohhhh… this looks like a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing! and of course I sooo hope we win! :)

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I really enjoy her books! :) Look forward to reading this one.

  • Reply
    Christine - Origami Mommy
    July 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    This sounds like a fantastic book, and I agree with her vision of art for children.

  • Reply
    Alison
    July 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Oh, I love the projects I’ve been seeing on blogs from this book! Please consider me entered in the contest!

  • Reply
    Annette
    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Great interview, thanks.

  • Reply
    Winston
    July 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Looks like a great book.

  • Reply
    Marnee
    July 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Wow what an inspiration…we love art in this house and having the book around for on going inspiration would be wonderful :)

  • Reply
    Kiasa
    July 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I’m so inspired by this post/interview. Thank you! Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough art with my daughter (almost 4 yrs), but it is good to know just free time to draw is great for her too. I really want this book–the ideas sound so fun and fabulous!

  • Reply
    Bibliophile
    July 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    How exciting, sounds like a great book! I’m working through some projects in Early Art with my 17 month old; so far our favorites are the aluminum foil sculpture and the painting-through-the-bag. Love MaryAnn’s books!

  • Reply
    Gail
    July 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    This book looks fantastic. Thanks for the great interview. Once again, I am way too inspired!

  • Reply
    Becky
    July 1, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Love it! Looking forward to following you on your blog too!

  • Reply
    char
    July 1, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I love Maryann’s emphasis on every child’s artwork being (like the child) a unique snowflake. It called to mind several schools I’ve visited (most, actually) where the hallways are plastered with children’s work. There’s a narrow range of uniqueness allowed–you really have to study the pieces to find differences.
    As a school teacher, I blush. I wish I could do it differently! It’s hard in a factory model to foster individuality and self-expression. But I will never give up trying.
    Thanks for sharing the interview (which, I confess, I have not read all of yet–will come back and savor it, I’m sure). I think I would love this book at home and at school…

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