One of my VERY FAVORITE people in the world is Jean Van’t Hul who writes the popular kids’ arts and crafts blog, The Artful Parent. Her blog is chock full of inspiration, and if you’re not already following her, you might want to go ahead and do that now!
Today I’m thrilled to help Jean kick off the Blog Tour for her newest book, The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipes.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Jean’s highly acclaimed first book, The Artful Parent has been a terrific resource to families who want to infuse their homes with art activities, and now, dear friends, she’s assembled yet another book, The Artful Year. It is so good!
While her first book rocks, this book is sheer brilliance. Why is that? It delivers projects and recipes that are organized by SEASONS, to help us busy parents and caregivers come up with ideas that connect directly to what’s happening right now, be it spring, summer, autumn, or winter.
My children are always tuned in to seasonal events, and I can already see how handy this book will be when it’s time to dye Easter eggs or when pumpkins start to show up in our market.
Shall we take a peek?
Since we’re on the edge of Spring, why don’t we begin with the Spring chapter. Each section starts with an introduction to the season, followed by tons of art activity and recipe ideas that can be done with children.
Shown below: Easter Eggs with Food Coloring, Melted Crayon Easter Eggs, and Leaf Stickers
The Summer section includes 11 Summer Crafts, 15 Recipes, and 10 projects that encourage outdoor creativity.
Shown below: Blueberry Hand Pies and Sand-casting. We’ve tried both of these and they are STELLAR projects.
Come Autumn, you’ll undoubtedly be inspired by leaves, changing trees, pumpkins, Jack-o’-lanterns, spiders, and Thanksgiving. This section has your back!
Shown here: Melted-Crayon Leaves and Fill in the Jack-o-Lantern Faces
Since Winter is a time to hunker down and get cozy indoors, the Winter chapter of the book is enormous and delivers projects for Christmas, the New Year, general Winter crafts and recipes, and a huge section on Valentine’s Day.
Shown here: Crushed Candy Cane Topping for Hot Cocoa or Cookies (I just LOVE the hammering involved with this and can’t wait to try this with my kids) and Tiny Gingerbread House
Testing out The Artful Year with my Kids
After pouring over this book, I had to test one of these projects out with my own children. While we are constantly making things, as you might imagine, there are so many projects in this book that I have yet to try. One that caught my eye is called Foil Heart Valentine Cards.
We had a playdate and I asked the kids if they wanted to try drawing on a heated cookie sheet with crayons. They were skeptical at first and asked to see the book for inspiration. In hindsight, my question probably raised a red flag in their minds — why one earth would I invite them to draw on my cookie sheets??
I shared the book with them and they were game! So I covered three cookie sheets with aluminum foil, heated them in a 350 degree oven, set up some crayons and thick towels to protect my table, and we were off…
The basic idea here is to heat the cookie sheet until it’s warm enough to melt crayons. Draw on the foil. Reheat the sheets if they cool too much, and then add your creations to cards.
This was a super fun and original project, and I’m so glad the kids gave it a go.
More from The Artful Year
26 MORE BLOGS will be sharing their sneak peeks into The Artful Year, and you won’t want to miss them. Some will share interviews with Jean and others may be giving away books. It’s a fun month ahead, and I hope you’ll check out The Artful Year in these other places, too!
The Artful Year Giveaway!
What is your favorite season and what do you hope to make from Jean’s book?
There are 2 chances to win!
Chance #1: Leave a comment in this post with your favorite season, and what you hope to make from Jean’s book — you can find the full table of contents here. Note: this giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Sunday February 8, 2014. Winners will be chosen by random.org, and notified via the email attached to the comment. Thanks and good luck!
Chance #2: Be sure to sign up for the TinkerLab newsletter (it’s filled with creative inspiration, 100% free and it comes out once a week) for yet another chance to win a copy of this book (details will be sent out later this week).
THE ARTFUL YEAR BLOG TOUR FEBRUARY 2015
February 3 :: Tinkerlab
February 4 :: Creative with Kids
February 5 :: Toddler Approved
February 6 :: Tiny Rotten Peanuts
February 7 :: Art Bar Blog
February 8 :: Meri Cherry
February 9 :: Teach Mama
February 10 :: Playful Learning
February 11 :: Fun at Home with Kids
February 12 :: Mother Natured
February 13 :: Red Ted Art
February 14 :: Picklebums
February 15 :: tba
February 16 :: Left Brain, Craft Brain
February 17 :: No Time for Flashcards
February 18 :: Buggy & Buddy
February 19 :: Nurture Store
February 20 :: Kids Activities Blog
February 21 :: MollyMoo Crafts
February 22 :: Let’s Lasso the Moon
February 23 :: Childhood 101
February 24 :: Handmade Charlotte
February 25 :: Babble Dabble Do
February 26 :: I Heart Crafty Things
February 27 :: The Imagination Tree
February 28 :: Inner Child Fun
Date tba :: Hands Free Mama