Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the artful parent

I have a new favorite book for exploring creativity with your children. In fact, I believe it's destined to become a classic resource for teachers and parents alike. It's that well done. The Artful Parent was officially released today. Written by Jean Van't Hul, author of one of my favorite sites (of the same name: The Artful Parent) for original activities and in depth interviews  about bringing creativity and art into your daily life with your family. Because I come from a long line of early educators and artists, my standards tend to be quite high- my approach and aesthetic reflect my background. Jean shares my passion for  process art and child-led exploration of materials. I always learn something new when I visit her or come away motivated to try something in a fresh way. Her new book encapsulates that and offers 60 projects along with very thorough information on how to choose the best materials for different ages and how to set up a designated art space. In no other book have I seen this so well organized and beautifully laid out. The photographs are stunning and abundant, but the meat of the content is what makes this volume so valuable- you'll feel like you've just taken a course in early childhood art education. 
 All of this is done in a simple and engaging format that will appeal to parents who only have short windows of time. Pick it up and open the page anywhere and there is something new to learn or a project you probably already have the supplies for, but never even thought of.
 I love when I get to gush on about a book. You may think that I'm biased because I happen to be  within these pages, but truly I would be raving anyway. I just ordered a copy and sent it to my mother for her lab nursery school. It's a good one! What was my contribution...
No surprise, right?! My daughter was super pleased to see her cameo appearance with a cardboard tube project we collaborated on a while back.
Here are the original ones we created. It's always fun to look through old art projects with your children. It gives them an opportunity to really understand their own growth and how their skills and abilities evolve with each year. As a mother, I just love seeing glimpses back in time to more innocent creations. Sweetness that can't be compared.

There are some absolutely stellar contributions from others, but Jean's gorgeous book is a testament to her own brilliance in the field of art exploration with young children. You can find it right here, where you can purchase it directly from her with a free copy of her spring e-book.

Congratulations Jean and happy creating to all of you!
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  1. Oh boy! I'm excited to see the book is out now! I'm definitely getting one; thanks for the review!

  2. I swear! You are a genius, Maya -- Toilet Paper Tube People! My kids will get hours of fun out of these! That books looks great, indeed! Thanks for the recommend.

  3. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, it looks fantastic. Love the tube people, as well! So easy and so much fun. We might have to drag out our stash of tp tubes today after school.

  4. It looks fantastic, I can imagine how much fun my boys would have making things out of there.

  5. These are great and the book looks wonderful too!