Happy New Year! Every new year I get the urge to do a little re-decorating and get organized in our home. Do you feel the same way? If you do and you’re thinking of re-working your kid’s art space or setting one up for the first time, I’ve put together my top 5 tips to help you get started.Read More›
Two years ago, I was inspired by an Art Pantry reader, Emily, and her family advent tradition of working on one canvas for each day of the Advent calendar. I loved the idea of layering different materials each day on a collaborative canvas and turning it into a fun game that we could do together as a family.
We adapted this idea and worked on our canvas about twice a week for a month. Each time we worked on it, I would bring out a new material, hide it in a bag, and set it out on the canvas for my girls to discover. They loved the anticipation of not knowing what the next material would be!Read More›
When we began planning this 3-month Airstream tour around the US, I knew right away that I wanted to host pop-up family art events along the way. I wanted to connect with families across the country and share creative activities that might inspire them to bring more art and creativity and into their lives. But how was I going to pull that off?
The best thing about being a blogger is the friendships that I have made with other art teachers and creative mamas around the world. So once we had our trip route down, I of course went straight to my community of art teacher friends along the route and asked them to collaborate on a family art event in their town.Read More›
Let me introduce you to my favorite new book about process art and Reggio-inspired learning. Friends, meet Art Workshop For Children. Art Workshop For Children, please meet my friends. I’m sure you guys will get along really well.
Art Workshop for Children, by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna, is a breathtaking book (the photos literally made me gasp when I first flipped through the pages) filled with unique process-based art activities for kids and tips on how to prepare your art space for creative exploration. I especially love the thoughtful reflections woven throughout the book by Reggio-inspired educator, Betsy McKenna, on how to raise creative thinkers and why this is important for all children.Read More›
You probably know this by now, but I am a huge fan of the incredible art teacher and blogger, Meri Cherry. I remember discovering her work a couple of years ago when she wrote a post about wood working with toddlers. I immediately felt a kinship and was so excited to find another Reggio inspired art blogger. We eventually got to meet in person over a plate of tacos and we both couldn’t stop blabbering on about Reggio and kids art. We have been friends ever since! Meri has a way of sharing her experience as a teacher that is unlike any other teacher and blogger I know. Her beautiful photos and down-to-earth voice bring you into her world and make you feel like you are being let in on a secret. So it’s no wonder she recently published an e-book called Art Secrets Every Teacher Should Know, A Reggio Inspired Approach.Read More›
This summer, my hubby, Aaron, decided to run a small soccer camp for some of the 7-year-old girls that will be on his team in the fall. It’s been a while since I’ve taught art classes and we thought it would be fun to add an hour of art to each day of camp. Then, to top off this already incredibly cool camp, Aaron decided to add in dessert adventures at the end of each day (walking around town, in search of the yummiest treat!).Read More›
Rebecca Picker is a mother of 3, performer, costume designer, and founder of Studio Sprout, a children’s art studio and discovery garden in Santa Cruz, California. Rebecca and I have been friends since first meeting in college at UC Santa Cruz. When we re-connected at a college reunion a few years ago, she was super excited to hear about how I had started a toddler art studio out of my back cottage. This got her thinking…
With a little encouragement from me and a lot of talent and drive on her part, she too was able to start a successful children’s art studio at home. I recently spent a morning at her art studio enjoying her amazing program and finding out a little more about how she managed to follow her passions and create a fulfilling business as a stay at home mom.
As we prepare to launch the new Art Pantry website, we decided to hold a focus group for a few local mamas to get some feedback. With Valentines day coming up, we had the perfect excuse to get everyone’s creative juices flowing.Read More›
Here are some fun photos from our last two weeks of the Winter session. Both weeks were dedicated to a variety of print-making techniques (because there are so many great ones to try for young children!) I would like to go into detail about each of the techniques, but I am on maternity leave and trying to take it easy. Our healthy baby girl, Ora, was born March 11th. She’s adorable, full of love, and sleeps really well :)
Enjoy the photos and I’ll be back with more documentation from the new session next week.
Our hope was that the kids would use glue sticks for their collages so that they could take them home in time for Valentines day. As it turns out, 1 and 2 yr olds would much prefer to to squeeze white or colored glue rather than rub an unfamiliar clear stick onto their paper- imagine that!
For the last part of class, the teachers brought out our super fun floor painting tools and a canvas for some gross motor painting. The toilet plungers made really cool circle prints, but the child-sized broom was probably the hottest commodity.
After each class, we added painters tape to the canvas to preserve some of their work before the next class got to the painting. Once all of the classes have had a chance to add to the 2 canvases, we’ll peel off the tape and see if we can find the contrast between the classes.
While some kids got messy on the floor, the table was full of various tools for more collaborative painting.
The 3s, 4s, and 5s classes worked on an entirely different type of beading project. They began with a block of wood, markers, paper shapes, nails, and mallets to make the base for beaded sculptures. Of course they loved the hammering part!
After drawing on the wood and hammering nails and paper shapes onto their blocks, the kids attached craft wire to the nails (we used Twisteez craft wire, which is super flexible and coated with colorful plastic). Finally the kids threaded the wire with beads before attaching the other end of the wire to another nail on the wood block.
Some chose to embellish their sculptures with glue, glitter and more collage items.
We even had a sibling pop in to help her older sister finish her sculpture!
Don’t you love how they turned out?! Once finished, kids can experiment with bending the wire to create all kinds of new sculpture forms.