Homeschool & Building A Life With Intention

Did you see my post about our upcoming road trip? If so, you know that our family is embarking on new adventures and that we are opening up to some radical changes in our lifestyle. We are putting a lot of focus on our hopes and dreams for our family and are taking some big steps to build a life with intention.

One of these family dreams is to offer our kids an education that is full of incredible life experiences and uninhibited exploration. We don’t know exactly what that looks like or how to achieve it, but we know we are ready to try something new to get there.

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Q&A: Navigating Art With Siblings

Reader Question:

“The difficulty I have is my daughter (5 years) as much as she loves to do art/craft like her brother (18months) there are times where she just wants to do something more grown up or even different to her brother. How would you plan this so they can do it side by side?”

When I sent out a recent reader survey, the issue of siblings came up again and again. So I am going to respond to this specific question, but also share some tips that will hopefully cover the other sibling questions that have been raised. Overall, it seems that the biggest struggle when it comes to siblings and art is managing multiple ages, abilities, and attention spans.

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My Home Tour

It’s been a while since I have shared photos of our entire house. I was recently interviewed by Glitter Guide about our home and how to encourage creativity and playfulness, while still keeping things organized and stylish. The amazing photographer, Vivian Johnson, shot the photos and has beautifully captured the spirit of our home and play. Thanks for taking a peek into our family home. I’d love to hear from you and learn how you bring creativity and playfulness into your home!

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Layered Canvas Family Project

This layered canvas turned out to be one of my favorite art projects I have done with my kids. It started off as a holiday Advent activity and turned into something we will be doing all year long. The basic idea is to work on one canvas over many days, adding a new material every time. Because it started off as an Advent activity, each material was a surprise, hidden inside of a bag for that specific day. This quickly became a fun game where they would try to guess what the next material would be. If a material didn’t fit inside the bag (like on day 1), I would set it up like an Invitation To Create and surprise the girls that way. Although we tried to do this every day during early December, I quickly realized that it was going to have to be every other day- and sometimes we’d go a few days without working on it. This made it a much more enjoyable experience and helped me realize we could continue on indefinitely! Here is what our process looked like…

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Holiday Family Art Prompt And Advent Activity

One of The Art Pantry readers, Emily Holzknecht, recently shared with me her family advent art tradition. I absolutely love this Advent activity! Emily creates a bag of art materials for each day of the Advent calendar. On Dec 1, each person in the family gets a canvas and they open the first bag of art materials. They use the same canvas each day and open a new bag of materials to add to their work.

This project is sort of like an invitation to create, advent calendar, & art game all in one. I love the idea of building on the same canvas with surprise materials each day.

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Make-A-Wish Collaborative Art

Last Saturday The Art Pantry team was invited to create a playful family experience for the Walk For Wishes event held at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Ca. This was a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation to raise money in order to fulfill the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions. If you haven’t heard of them, check out the Batkid wish they granted almost two years ago. Incredible.

I’m happy to say that the event raised enough money to grant 13 wishes!

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Summer Reading Recommendations: Learning At Home

A reader recently asked about my recommendations for books on setting up creative learning spaces. She specifically wanted to know about books inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. It got me thinking that I should put together a list of my all-time favorite resources- not only for setting up learning spaces, but also for expanding creative learning opportunities at home.

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The New Playroom – E-Guide Launch!

Today is an exciting day! I am finally launching my first e-guide, The New Playroom, a step-by-step guide on how to set up a home art space for kids (actually, I am launching my first two e-guides at once! I have also created a bonus guide, Invitations to Create, but I’ll leave that for another post).

For the past 13 years I have been on a mission to help kids gain creative confidence by exposing them to artistic materials and process-oriented art at a young age. I believe that being creative and understanding how to use tools and materials to make things is an essential part of learning.

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I am a strong believer in the Reggio Emilia saying, “the environment is the third teacher” (the first two teachers being adults and peers). When we create spaces in our homes that are stocked with interesting tools and materials- that are organized and inviting- we are giving our kids the message that they are creative and capable little beings. We are inviting them to explore the world around them through these materials so that they will gain confidence in their natural creative abilities and take these skills with them as they grow older.

Through my work I help clients design art spaces in their homes and schools. But this is not enough. I want to reach more families than is possible with a one-on-one service, so I created this guide for you to tackle it on your own. The New Playroom offers all of the insights that I have learned over a decade of working with kids in creative settings. I take you through my design process when working with clients and give you every tip and trick in my tool belt. And if you ever have a question or need a little encouragement, I’m here for you.

Thanks for joining me in this launch day celebration!

Click here to learn more about the guide or to make a purchase. And don’t forget about the bonus guide, which includes 30 days of easy art prompts!