Join The Family Canvas Challenge!

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!

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Episode 10: Kids’ Art Spaces

This is a mini solo podcast episode, where I share the inspiration behind my business, The Art Pantry. I talk about why I view kids’ art spaces as workshops and what kids learn in them that goes way beyond art. I also share about my online course, Design Camp, and have a free download for you with art prompts for kids that are based on the skills I discuss in this episode.

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It’s Not About Art: Skill-building in the studio

The other day I was going through photos of our art space over the years and it hit me how much my girls have learned from having a dedicated art space in our home.

I always say that having an art space is about so much more than just having a place to do art. But I realized that maybe I take this for granted and maybe other people don’t know what happens in an art space over time.

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Episode 7: Back To School: Tips on setting up kids’ workspaces, organizing, and creating more joy and family connection.

It’s Back to School time so Aaron and I thought it would be helpful to share our unique perspectives on the subject. Since I’m a designer and organizer, I share tips on setting up your home environment for back to school success. Aaron is a family coach and education consultant so he shares tips on how to re-think your daily routines to create more peace, joy, and connection in your family.

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How To Incorporate Tinker & Maker Materials Into Your Art Space

Art spaces for kids are places of exploration, investigation, discovery, and creation. It’s important not to limit your materials to only art supplies (especially for kids over age 3), but to offer them a variety of materials to enhance their learning experience.

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Family Art Events On The Road

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.

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Reggio Inspired Art Secrets

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.

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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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