Why (I think) We Stopped Using Colored Pencils

Review of the amazing X-Acto School Pro Heavy-Duty Electric Sharpener

Does your child have a favorite drawing tool? My kids adore markers, and it seems to always be their first choice when given a buffet of drawing materials. I've been musing on this question of favorite drawing tools for a while, which is why I sometimes ask questions on Facebook like this or on Google + like this. I have my favorite pens and my kids have theirs, but why … [Read more...]

Easy Art: Air Dry Clay

creative kids clay

Material: Air Dry Clay Have you ever noticed that kids don't need a lot of bells and whistles and fancy stuff to get creative, have fun, and feel on top of the world? Yesterday we foraged some cardboard boxes from a neighbor's move because 4-year old Nutmeg has a vision of building a space station. Today I'd like to introduce you to ONE material that helps build creative … [Read more...]

Why We Would Be Lost Without Tape

kids play with tape

Are you a "Tape House?" We love tape in our house, and it gets used for just about everything: taping up wax paper sandwich bags, taping labels to things, taping art table creations together, taping up marble runs, taping up whimsical installations. A roll of clear tape is a fixture on the art table and we have a big box full of colorful paper tape (this tape from Discount … [Read more...]

Creative Challenge 7: Magazines

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Today I have something extra cool in store for you. Kiwi Crate and I are bringing you a super-star line-up of rockin' kid-friendly bloggers for a no holds barred invitational kid-centered magazine challenge, and an extra-special Kiwi Crate box giveaway at the end of this post. Each of the 20+ bloggers spent some time tinkering, plotting, creating, and playing with their kids to … [Read more...]

What’s One Word to Describe Your Child’s Art Materials?

word to describe art materials

I posted this question on Facebook yesterday, and I loved reading the responses so much that I thought it would be worth sharing here. The comments were surprising, fascinating, and fun, and I'd be delighted if more of us join this mini conversation. In case you're wondering, the first idea to pop into my mind was "accessible." My friend Rebecca said, "My son's art supplies … [Read more...]

Materials Challenge: CD’s + Paint Pens

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This month has been crazy busy, but a few days ago I was actually able to wrap my head around a creative project ahead of time and set this table up *the night before.* Gasp. Do you ever do this? It's been a while since I have, and I always feel like I've embraced my inner-preschool teacher when it happens. Anyway, I look at this sort of project as a provocation: The materials … [Read more...]

50 Art Materials for Toddlers

50 art materials for toddlers

About three weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends to consider a list of essential toddler art materials, and I received some wonderful responses and additions to the list. Thank you to Linda, Di, Miranda, Sally, and Tina for sharing your thoughts with me. Fifty is a big number, so don't fret if you can't gather all of these supplies or if you don't have room for them (I know … [Read more...]

Blending Chalk Pastels

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We started with a box of chalk pastels and construction paper. I happened upon this amazing box for $5 at an art studio sale. They're wonderful, but really, any chalk pastels will do. I'm not  inclined to recommend construction paper because it's not at all archival, but its toothy nature makes it a good substrate for chalk pastels (as long as you're not planning to keep these … [Read more...]

Drippy Slimy Gak

dripping gak

Late last week we made a batch of slime called Gak -- see this post for the recipe -- and it's been a huge success with my almost 3-year old. On day one, N experimented with various ways of interacting with it (rolling, stamping, cutting, pulling), and was excited to introduce her dad to Gak the next day (he loved it, too...it's really fun stuff). Later that day she wanted to … [Read more...]