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This was also a way hang out—and we always incorporated an art for me to stay accountable as a parent to the activity. I hoped that if my daughter had an artful family life I was trying to foster. When I art-focused playgroup, she would grow up started the blog, these ideas and actions and thinking of art as a fun and valuable part of parenting in general were still relatively everyday life.

And I hoped the same would new to me and not always effortless. We continued the art group, on and off, me continue to learn and evolve. When my sec- Parent quickly grew, becoming a supportive ond daughter, Daphne, turned one, I started group of artful parents and teachers from all another toddler art group. These groups were over the world who shared ideas, questions, a joyous, messy, connective time for the kids concerns, and encouragement.

Just as we artful parents are all different and our families are different, each child will approach art in their own way.

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They respond to art in different ways, as all kids do, bringing their own person- alities and experience to the table when faced with a blank page and a pot of paint. Maia is my more spirited child; she has moved nonstop since she was born. Daphne, the foster long-term creative development in mellow one, gets revved up and excited when your children. We are day by any means, but we do manage to make different people, our kids are different, and art a priority as a family. We have a dedicated our lives are different.

When I look around our house now, I see the growth of my No one can creative family over the past several years. Our small sunroom- turned-studio is filled with colorful art materials, finished art- do more. I love seeing the reminders that I have said Yes! More important than the visible reminders, though, are the connections art creates between us, the joy it adds to our days, and the creativity it fosters.

Activities such as art and music work well for transitions, can defuse emotional sit- uations, bridge different ages and developmental stages, bring people together, foster self-confidence, and aid in learning about oneself and the world.

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This is especially true when you 3 Artful Parent Years of creative thinking, doing, and making. In ative potential. However, of individual interests. So what can we do? We have the power to build a strong creative foundation before our children reach school age. By offering an environment where it is safe to experiment and create, where questions are encouraged, and where children have free access to the materials they need and enjoy, we can use creative activities to connect with our kids while encouraging their unique interests and aptitudes. We do this not to produce career artists, but to raise children who are confident and comfortable with their creativity in whatever form it takes.

Amazing List of Books that Encourage Creative Play at Home

And, happily, a remarkable amount of learn- ing, habit, personality, and creativity contin- ues to be influenced by home life even after school years begin. Artful Parenting I define an artful activity as any that is full of art, beauty, and creative exploration. As par- ents, we can make our family life more artful and creative in numerous ways. While paint- ing, drawing, and other traditional art-making methods are obvious choices, there are many other activities to consider as well: Trying out new science experiments.

Creative thinking is encouraged by the act of experimenting. Taking a nature walk. There is infinite beauty in the natural world. Observe the veins in leaves, clouds in the sky, the col- ors of flower petals, and more. Enjoy the little things, for one day Cooking. Preparing food together is cre- you may look back and realize they ative, educational, and nourishing. Pretend play encourages imag- —Robert Brault ination, whether planning a teddy bear tea party, playing house, or constructing You can invite art into your home with a Lego city. You can do it by creating space Dancing and making music.

Music and to do art, making art materials available, and movement are ripe for open-ended explo- introducing new concepts and activities. You ration. Have an impromptu dance party, can do it slowly over time or start an overnight drum on pots and pans, or make up new art revolution! No matter how you introduce words to a familiar song. S aying Y es to A rt 5 Artful Parent Here are some problem-solving abilities, and that it can be of the reasons why children thrive when they used effectively to teach and understand make art. Solutions to major them critical sensory input. Artists tell us that problems and breakthroughs of all kinds are art is important for its own sake—as a source of evidence of creativity.

The ability to be cre- beauty and expression, as well as simply for ative is vital to the success of our children the process of creating. Kids tell us that art is and the well-being of the planet, now more fun, an activity they enjoy.

PLAY - 3 simple BALLOON activities your kids will love!

Parents tell us that than ever, as we face incredible challenges art is vital to their families because it keeps in our world. Individuals, organizations, and everyone engaged and happy and helps with governments seek innovative solutions ev- the sometimes difficult transitions of the day. As kids engage in art activities over time, their fine motor skills improve. The more they scribble, pendence and self-confidence. They are so the more they are able to control the crayon often told by the grown-ups in their lives how and its movements across the paper.

As chil- and why to do everything. With creative ac- dren learn to control their scribbling, they tivities, children can be the ones with both make a wider variety of shapes, eventually the questions and the answers as they make making all the shapes necessary to write the their own decisions and guide their own ex- letters of the alphabet—any alphabet. S aying Y es to A rt 7 Artful Parent Children become more comfortable with un- certainty and remain flexible thinkers, which is key for creativity and confidence.


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And the more experience they have with a variety of materials and techniques, the more likely they are to try new combinations and ideas. Art allows them to explore feelings and Movement, image, color, line, and imagination deal with both daily and significant events. Art all help children express themselves in a mul- materials can provide a safe outlet for emo- tidimensional way—a way that can expand be- tions.

Feelings and ideas can be reduced to a yond language or may be more comfortable manageable size and manipulated as desired. When we encourage our children to ex- plore art, we encourage them to master them- selves, their bodies, and a variety of tools and techniques. We give them many ways to ex- press themselves. It can help people of all ages, cultures, abilities, and even languages engage in a shared enjoyable activity.

Embrace Art as a Family As parents, we are in the best position to nur- of preparation, and an exploratory approach. Some a strong creative foundation for them. In fact, of you will read this book and meander down I strongly believe that we have the respon- the path, trying out a few new ideas here and sibility to do this to the best of our abilities.

The Artful Parent

Others will sprint along, adopting new We want our children to cultivate their ideas as quickly as you read about them. There own unique, creative mindset, problem-solving is no one right way.


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Pick the approach that abilities, and self-confidence that will con- works best for you. This Are you ready to embrace art as a fam- is much more important than getting them to ily? To begin connecting through creativity create adult-appreciated art in time to win the by drawing, doodling, and painting side by next school coloring contest.

We also want to side with your kids? In fact, I have a simple, have fun together as a family, strengthening open-ended art activity for you to start with— the bond with our children in the process.

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Scribble Art. This The path to an art-filled and creative life is an enjoyable and relaxing activity for all involves an open mind, a few simple tools, a bit ages. S aying Y es to A rt 9 Artful Parent And Watercolor paper or card the results are beautiful! First, use your crayon to fill your paper with a big scribble of overlapping and intersecting lines and swirls. Then, color some or all of the shapes and sections between the scribble lines with watercolor paint.

You can find answers to all these questions in this 35 minute video workshop by Maren Schmidt — a certified Montessori teacher, founder of a Montessori school. Maren has more than 30 years experience working with young children. From bubble prints to musical chairs art, these kids art activities allow children to explore art materials, techniques, and ideas as they grow more creative every day.

Using recycled and inexpensive materials, this book offers utterly irresistible things to make with your kids. The end results are so cute and desirable that they look great around the home, or make wonderfully unique and personal gifts. Kids are natural tinkerers. They experiment, explore, test, and play, and they learn a great deal about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments.

This book is about creative experiments, in all fields, that help kids explore the world. Children gravitate toward sensory experiences playing with slime , figuring out how things work taking toys apart , and testing the limits of materials mixing a tray of paint together until it makes a solid mass of brown. This book is about helping parents and teachers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers understand and tap into this natural energy with engaging, kid-tested, easy-to-implement projects that value process over product.

The creative experiments shared in this book foster curiosity, promote creative and critical thinking, and encourage tinkering—mindsets that are important to children growing up in a world that values independent thinking. In addition to offering a host of activities that parents and teachers can put to use right away, this book also includes a buffet of recipes magic potions, different kinds of play dough, silly putty, and homemade butter and a detailed list of materials to include in the art pantry.

Comments This is a very inspirational video.