The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway!

by Lina on April 5, 2013

The Artful Parent Blog Tour - Canadian Stop with Keeping Creativity Alive, The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway. Enter this weekend (April 5-8th, 2013)  for a chance to win a copy!!! http://keepingcreativityalive.com/2013/04/the-artful-parent-book-review-giveaway/

Welcome to the Canadian stop of The Artful Parent Book Blog Tour!

I’m happy to announce that I’m hosting my first ever giveaway!  I couldn’t have arranged for a more appropriate item to feature; this book is true to my own passion for art and creativity and sharing all of that with my family as Jean Van’t Hul does with hers!  I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky person. Keep reading to find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

I’ve been following The Artful Parent blog for several years now as a source of great inspiration and ideas for art exploration with kids at home. Jean Van’t Hul, THE Artful Parent, has provided parents, teachers and caregivers a vast amount of project ideas over the years and her new book encompasses over 60 of her arts based activities!

I can go on and on telling you why I think this is an amazing book, and I will ;) but there is one sentence that sums up why I think this book is so great and it’s in the Acknowledgements:

To my mom… for providing the freedom to be creative during childhood, and to my grandmother… for being a kindred spirit, the first real artist I knew, and a continuing inspiration.

Reading this almost had me in tears (acknowledgement tributes often have that effect on me!) I think because I can relate to it with my own family experience and because to me this book is all about providing children the freedom to be creative (so special) and providing inspiration by example (so important)!

The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway. Enter this weekend (April 5-8th, 2013)  for a chance to win a copy!!! http://keepingcreativityalive.com/2013/04/the-artful-parent-book-review-giveaway/

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity is a resource for artful activities but what I really love is that it goes beyond the actual project ideas.  This book is a guide to all parents – those who consider themselves artful or not – and provides basically everything you need to know about how to encourage creativity through art with children.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “I’m not crafty at all!” or take my friend who upon seeing this book at my house said “The Artful Parent.. I’m so NOT an Artful Parent!” But this book speaks to all.. whether you think you’re artful or not and provides guidance as to how to “[Say] Yes to Art”!

The Forward, written by Mary Ann F. Kohl reminds us that being artful is a choice and how “living artfully will be the finest choice you’ve ever made for your family, next to reading books at bedtime and putting nutritious meals on the table.”

The Artful Parent is a tool that encourages thinking and will help you raise creative, productive thinkers and doers. – Mary Ann F. Kohl

Kohl ends the Forward with the following invitation: “Join us and become an artful parent, giving your family the gift of a lifetime of creativity.” This book gives parents the tools to do just that and THAT is why I love it so much!

Before I move on to share an activity we tried, I want to highlight these lists of “Do’s and Don’ts for Talking about Children’s Art” found in the chapter: “Encouraging Your Budding Artist.”

The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway. Enter this weekend (April 5-8th, 2013)  for a chance to win a copy!!! http://keepingcreativityalive.com/2013/04/the-artful-parent-book-review-giveaway/

I share this because it’s so important to consider the ways that we talk to children about their art. How we respond can make or break a child’s interest in creating and has a huge impact on their intrinsic motivation for art and ultimately their confidence.

“Do Say This… Nothing. (When in doubt, zip your lips.)”

Ha. Love it! So true. Sometimes it’s best to just observe.

Okay, our ‘Artful Activity’ experience…

I asked V to flip through the book and select which activity she’d like to try…

The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway. Enter this weekend (April 5-8th, 2013)  for a chance to win a copy!!! http://keepingcreativityalive.com/2013/04/the-artful-parent-book-review-giveaway/

She chose Artful Activity 14: Clay Pinch Pot Nest with Eggs and Bird. Lucky for me I had the materials I needed on hand.. yup, I’m an Artful parent.. why else would I have clay on hand?!

The Artful Parent Book Review + Giveaway. Enter this weekend (April 5-8th, 2013)  for a chance to win a copy!!! http://keepingcreativityalive.com/2013/04/the-artful-parent-book-review-giveaway/

The book provides a range of activities which explore different materials accompanied by project examples so that families can collect the materials and either follow the instructions directly or simply use the activity as inspiration. The latter is what interested V. She wanted to get her hands dirty like Maia’s (in the picture) but she had her own ideas about what she wanted to make. She randomly chose to make a turtle!

V: “But I don’t know what a turtle looks like?!”  So we looked up ‘turtle‘ on google images, she chose one as her model (a cartoon version!) and got off creating! Our clay (being a bit old) was tough, so I watered it down and tried softening it by throwing it against the table to get the air pockets out. Once our clay was ready she created the shell body and was set to attach the head, legs and tail.

This was a good opportunity to teach her about scoring when attaching clay parts so that the pieces would have something to hold on to. Using the scoring tool (a fork or pencil would work just as well) she carved a cross hatch design on the surfaces of the clay to be attached and wet them both a tiny bit, then gently squeezed the adjoining pieces together.

Artful Activity: Clay building with Kids, http://keepingcreativityalive.com

I went off to do something else and came back to her getting really fancy with decorating her turtle’s shell…

Artful Activity: Clay building with kids, http://keepingcreativityalive.com

Apparently she decided this would be a leatherback sea turtle!

Artful Activity: Working with Clay, http://keepingcreativityalive.com

Although we’ve had the clay in our cupboard since before Christmas, it took a little bit of inspiration to remind us to pull it out and make something. The Artful Parent book is FULL of inspiration!

Win a copy of The Artful Parent Book!

I’m excited that I have a copy to giveaway!

To enter for a chance to win leave a comment here sharing your favourite artful memory as a child!  I’d also love to hear how you parent artfully already or what you would like to improve upon in that area. Simple as that!

Giveaway details: You must have a Canadian or U.S. address to win. Deadline for entries is Monday April 8th, 2013, 11pm EST, one day before the book is officially released! Please include your email address so I can reach you if you win! Winner will be chosen randomly.

For additional chances to win you can:

Each time you do one of the above, leave a comment here letting me know. Good luck!

Thank you for reading and supporting Keeping Creativity Alive! I hope that I will have more opportunities to offer giveaways to you in the future as well!

* Disclosure: I received two copies of The Artful Parent book – one to review (and keep) and one to giveaway! All opinions expressed are my own.

Follow The Artful Parent Blog Tour

March 18 – Tinkerlab – activity demonstration + giveaway

March 25 - Handmade Charlotte - feature post

March 26 – Playful Learning – activity demonstration

March 28 – Nurture Store – feature post + giveaway

March 30 – Make and Takes – feature post

April 1 – Red Ted Art – book review + giveaway

April 2 – Kids Activity Blog – interview + giveaway

April 3 - Pink and Green Mama - feature post

April 4 - Peas & Carrots Studio - interview

April 8 – Not Just Cute – feature post

April 9 – Creative with Kids - interview

April 10 – Imagination Tree – book review

April 11 - Let’s Lasso the Moon - parent & child book review

April 14 - Teach Preschool - activity demonstration + review + giveaway

****************************************************************************

ETA:

Thank you to everyone entered The Artful Parent book giveaway!

Congratulations to our winner, Kristal! I hope this book inspires many artful memories for your family! I’ll be in touch via email!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jakers19 April 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

I have to admit that I need to be more focused on being an artful parent. This blog and the other blogs it has introduced me to has definitely lit something up in me, so I am excited to be a little more hands on. Two recent memories are when my 5 year old took a weekend to make her own book from scratch, called “My Book if School,” and the day I got to go talk to her and her preschool classmates about what I do as a graphic designer – for their understanding, I didn’t use that term, but instead used “artist.” Great turtle, btw, V!

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Lina April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

It’s so fun to observe what they take interest in creating! I bet your visit to your daughter’s school will be a memory she will hold on to forever. She must have been so proud.. pretty cool to have an artist dad! Not that other occupations aren’t cool.. but you know what I mean!

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Heather April 6, 2013 at 8:37 am

My favorite “art” memory would be decorating cookies, I used to love doing gingerbread men, and sugar cookies at Christmas time. It’s fun to mix creativity with cooking, and Charlotte loves to help bake, then decorate, or “color” the cookies!
Great blog Lina :)

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Lina April 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

So sweet! Baking memories with family are up there as all time favourite times, aren’t they?! Thanks for coming by and your kind words!

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Sharon April 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

We used to do a treasure hunt…. We would make booklets from construction paper and then go for a walk through the trails….. Leaf rubbings and twigs…. Drawings and found treasures got glued into the book…. And we wrote about our walk…

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Very artful indeed! Thanks for sharing a great outdoor art adventure idea!

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Megan April 7, 2013 at 11:52 am

Most of my time doing artwork or crafts as a child took place on a bright red table. It was my parents kitchen table when they got married and when my sister and I were young, they got a new table. So, My dad cut the legs down to “kids size” on the red table and it became a place to do crafts. My mum used to make us play dough which was always fun. The best part is that now the red table is in my basement and I will be setting it up for Nathan to do his crafts on when he is a little bit bigger.
Megan

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Lina April 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Love the story about the red table and so special that it will see another generation through creative exploration! Thanks for coming by and sharing your story Megan!

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Becky April 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Wonderful blog, Lina! My mother was so kind but so busy as a farm wife/mom that she had few moments to consider special things like art. I love her for how good and caring she was but wish that I had had those early experiences and tried hard to provide them for my own children. I do recall asking her if I could color the border on the white paper napkins before setting the table when I was age 5. That was over 50 years ago-amazing what memories stay with us and thus with our children too. I recall that she allowed me to bring in beautiful fall leaves and create a centerpiece on her living room coffee table when she was entertaining friends. Love your clay project. I will look for this book to share with my daughter who tries to set the stage for great art opps in the home for her own children. Thanks for leading me to your blog. . . .love it!

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thank you Becky! I’m so happy that you came by and appreciate you sharing your stories. It really is amazing what memories stay with us!

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Robina April 8, 2013 at 1:45 am

Growing up my mom helped me to be resourceful and creative. She taught me how a potato can be used to create nice motifs and stamps, how I can preserve flowers and make cards out of them. During holiday season wraping gifts with brown paper either painted or stamped was a big family thing. I am very proud that my mother’s openness to anything everything enabled me to who i am today. She’ll take bunch of flowers and arrange them so nicely while at that time flower arrangements had very limited designes. She is the one who told me you can create your own fashion sense even if you can match only your shoes and bag and that trend came way later. I just feel that freedom to express either on walls or canvas broden my appreciation for variety.
Thanks for creating a platform for souls who value creative process and care for nourshing it.

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thank you Robina for sharing your artful experiences! Beyond the activities, it sounds like your mom really gave you the freedom to explore your creativity. What a gift! I so appreciate your kind words!

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robina April 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

I also recall that my would save us onion skins and we’ll sharp our pencils to create flowers and then use pressed flowers, onion skins and sharped pencil skin/flowers to create cards. I am yet not a parent while I work for a place where we believe in laying to learn curiculum.

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Andrea April 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

My mother is very artistic, always has been. As a child I always had the best art projects, not because she did them for me but because we did them together…my favorite was the Wright Brothers plane made out of toothpicks!
My best memory though was making costumes for our backyard circus…my mom would give me and my sisters all her extra fabric and let us sew crazy costumes. We would create dresses and capes and then use them in our “performances”….the pictures are hilarious, but the memories are priceless.

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

So special! Thanks for sharing! I’m loving hearing these stories!

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Sofia April 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Kaia started scribbling at 9 months and hasn’t stopped since. Now at 18 months, we now have an art wall covered with her creations. She is very proud of it.

Traditional parenting books tell you not to give crayons to your child until they are 11 months or a year old… :-/ I think that this has to be geared to the child and that with supervision, a child should be exposed to art as soon as possible.

Thank you for your blog!

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Sofia! I didn’t know that about traditional parenting books.. I agree that there’s no need to put limits on art creation at any age!
Warms my heart when I hear about kids feeling pride for their work!

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Tracey April 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I fondly still own a pet turtle rock that I painted, in addition to recalling the search for the perfect rock and how my rock changed with every layer of paint until I decided it was just so. A muddy looking turtle! I also have fond memories of tracing our bodies on giant paper and then making the clothes for them by coloring on paper and cutting and gluing.

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Tracy. What I didn’t realize when I put out the request for stories is that I’d be collecting such a great list of artful examples!

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Tracey. What I didn’t realize when I put out the request for stories is that I’d be collecting such a great list of artful examples!

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Steph April 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I would have to say that my favourite art memory as a young child would be in the kitchen with my Mom. She would always let me mix all of the ingrediants in her homemade banana bread recipe that has been passed down in family the family. I remember decorating the top with different nuts and sprinkling nutmeg and cinnamon on top (maybe a little too much as I got carried away being only 5). She would also make amazing shortbread cookies and we could go wild on how we wanted to decorate, and we could go as creative as we wanted. I loved that about my Mom. I now have my first child. Right now she’s 3 months. Cooking is a huge part of our family. My husband considers himself an “IronChef” so when our daughter gets a little older(obviously) I will have her in the kitchen getting creative.

I defintely need some ideas on how to get “more” creative and artsy. I know it’s all about using your imagnination and being inspired but I would love to the opportunity to read a book on how I can pass along something special to my daughter.

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Steph April 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I would have to say that my favourite art memory as a young child would be in the kitchen with my Mom. She would always let me mix all of the ingrediants in her homemade banana bread recipe that has been passed down in the family. I remember decorating the top with different nuts and sprinkling nutmeg and cinnamon on top (maybe a little too much as I got carried away being only 5). She would also make amazing shortbread cookies and we could go wild on how we wanted to decorate, and we could go as creative as we wanted. I loved that about my Mom. I now have my first child. Right now she’s 3 months. Cooking is a huge part of our family. My husband considers himself an “IronChef” so when our daughter gets a little older(obviously) I will have her in the kitchen getting creative.

I defintely need some ideas on how to get “more” creative and artsy. I know it’s all about using your imagnination and being inspired but I would love to the opportunity to read a book on how I can pass along something special to my daughter.

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Thank you Steph for coming by and sharing your artful stories. Reading your post made me hungry and inspired to do some baking with my girls!

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Kristal April 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Ooh, this sounds like an amazing book! Thank you for the chance to win a copy. My mother was never an artsy type, but my grandmother was. I remember going over there on weekends and she would teach me how to sew and paint. I have three girls of my own now, and although I lead a very creative life myself, I have trouble doing creative things with the kids. I’d love to flip through this book and give the exercises a try!

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yiola April 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

This is an extremely inspiring blog ~ thank you for sharing your ideas with us.
A creative experience… for me there are so many and they really exist in the every day moments I have with the children. For example, last weekend I took the children on a hike through the ravines along 16 mile creek. My son Gallaway stopped to collected twigs — thick ones, thin ones, long ones, short ones and he began exploring nature. With one he scribed into the dirt, with another he used as a walking stick, with another he waves in the air like a wand.
Then there’s the time the children, both Sylvia Clare and Gallaway, took apart the entire basement and reconfigured it, couch cushions, tent, tunnel, and blankets, even turning over the trampoline to create some sort of new world that had secret passages ways and hidden rooms that were decorated in the most creative ways — using diapers (clean ones of course!) as decoration!
These spontaneous, child inspired and child driven moments are the ones I like to call creative. Of course they are made possible by the opportunities they are given – the places, spaces, materials and time.
I would love to read the book you recommend to see what new perspectives exist to provide opportunities for creativity — for me, there is nothing more important that to see my children engaged in creative thought and exploration.
Thanks Lina!

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yiola April 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Ah… wait… MY childhood experience… that’s a bit more challenging….
There was so much free outdoor play that most of my recollections are of setting up games in our court… anyone remember the game show the Mad Dash? I remember all the neighbourhood children getting together and the sidewalk slabs were the squares and we used a deck of cards to guide our movements… Invented games… and scaring my darling little sister with the “chicken chicken” game are what initially come to my mind with I think of my childhood and creativity —
For me, creativity was really about outdoor play, inventing games and it was mostly a relational act… it wasn’t something I engaged in much alone.
My alone creativity was done at school through creative writing and other interesting learning task
Yiola

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Thanks Yiola! Ha.. ‘chicken chicken’, I completely forgot about that!! I must have repressed that memory! :) LOL!

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Suzanne April 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm

It’s so nice to have found your passion and share it, thanks Lina. My family had a farm and both my parents were so busy all the time they had no time to do crafty projects with us. However my mom has always been a great seamstress, she knits/crochets and loves to dance. She always encouraged me to play music and be creative and she still puts up every year in their Christmas tree an ornament I made in school when I was maybe 7. I wish that art was more a part of me as I see how my girls love to draw, cut, tape, color, write endlessly. I am not artsy either so am really interested to see how I can inspire more!

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Thanks Suzanne for sharing your experience! It’s never too late to find your inner artist!

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Kerrie April 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Hello Lina,

Even if I don’t win the book, I will most likely go buy it. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention! I have been a crafty mom to my 5 year old daughter, but lately we have become so focused on homework (yes homework in SK!) that we haven’t done anything crafty in a while. I actually just gave my big craft box full of crafty materials to my daughter’s home daycare provider and I told her to give it back to me empty! But its all good. I feel good knowing I can start all over again. I can get this book and buy the materials needed for each project.

My favourite artful memory as a child: making God’s Eyes with my grandmother. My grandmother lived in Tuscon, Arizona for 6 months of the year and she would gather long sticks from the insides of cactus trees. We would make a cross with the sticks and wrap yarn around them in a variety of different colours. Very 70′s!

Sincerely,
Kerrie

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Thanks so much Kerrie for coming by and sharing your story! I’m loving hearing about all of the artful experiences. God’s Eyes.. I’ve never heard of those.. will check it out!

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Eugenie Eckler April 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Thanks Lina… this is a great site. My son is 16-months old and I have been wondering about when to introduce crayons and the like to him. (Now, I will get some asap). I have been worried that since I lack artistic and creative talent, that I would be inhibiting him. I loved the point about how to talk to kids about their art work… not that I would have been insensitive or anything, but it is just a good thing to think about. Hope to follow this blog and be inspired so that I can lead my son in the right direction. When I was young, beads were it! I loved making bracelets.

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Lina April 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Eugenie! For sure, get the crayons going, paint even! My little one (just turned 2) enjoys painting with watercolours – just a simple watercolour paint set and paper. Providing opportunities to explore is the best thing you can do!

I’d love for you to come visit here again. Let’s keep this conversation going!

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Maye Abdel Shafy April 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm

In a world of iPhones, iPads and fast technologies, it’s wonderful to see someone who poses and puts their children’s creativity and artistic mental well being ahead of everything. This is inspiring for all parents!
Thanks for the opportunity to share this.

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Danielle Davies April 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm

My very good friend lent me her ‘Encyclopedia of Crafts’ one rainy weekend, and my mom got out a stack of newspapers for me to weave a mat. I was so excited to have made something that was kind of practical…up until then, I was mostly a coloring kind of kid. But making that mat made me realize arts and crafts could be functional too. And of course, fun!

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