The Creative Table: Join the VIP Wait List

Hi friends,

I’d like to invite you join the VIP list for a new project I’m working on that I know you’re going to love! I’m popping in today to give you a little behind-the-scenes so you’ll forgive me for missing my newsletter deadline this week.

Survey Update:

I recently conducted a survey (thank you to all of you who shared your thoughts with me — this community is wonderful!) to learn more about your specific needs, and the finer details are starting to fall into place. I love your dream solutions, and I’m now dreaming up more ways to weave them into this and future projects. Here are some examples:

To have a room where I can provide a big craft table and more shelving for their arts and crafts. Not a corner section in our living room.

I would love more ideas on how to use song and movement together.

Quit work!  I wish I could help with this one! Maybe I can inspire you to start a blog or become an arts educator. :)

More specific ideas that don’t require a great deal of prep.

More time! At least, more time when I don’t have all the other domestic stuff to do too.

I’ve struggled with ALL of these myself, and some of them are still semi-unresolved. While I can’t put more time into my day, I can do more to maximize the time I have prioritize the things that matter most. We still live in a tiny house, and because that wasn’t about to change any time soon, I had to make the most out of what I have. It’s worked for me, and I hope I can share insights into how it can work for you, too.

Do any of these resonate with you?

Technical stuff:

Some of you may have noticed that my site runs slow on mobile, so I’ve finally brought someone on to help me resolve that problem and optimize the geeky side of things. Fingers are crossed that this will make a difference. I’ve also had a pretty annoying popup signup page, and I’ve heard from enough of you that you hate it (please accept my apology!), so that’s now gone.

Mentorship:

I’m working with a phenomenal mentor who is helping me shape this project and turn my creative energy into something tangible and useful. Like some of you, the right side of my brain dominates (so much so, that I have to look up the difference between the right and left sides every time I think about this phenomena!), and having another set of eyes on my work is beyond helpful. Not only that, but I thrive off the energy and support of others, which is a huge reason I was able to write a book, and I know that I can’t go at it alone.

Join me!

Phase 1 of this project is designed to help parents simplify making with their young children at home, and I anticipate that future phases will open up to older children and classroom teachers and their students.

If you struggle to find time to set up creative projects, are in need of organizational skills or planning help, can’t get past the “mess factor,” and want to keep things simple and not too expensive or chaotic, this is for you!

I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes work in the upcoming weeks, and if you’d like to be the first to know about how this program can help you, please join me.

Glittery Hugs,

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Creative Table: Tree Trunk Leaf Collage

This Creative Table prompt invites you to use simple materials that you can easily gather on a walk and from basic supplies in your home.
Simple art prompt for kids with leaves, paper, and paper

Supplies

  1. Paper
  2. Marker or other drawing tool
  3. Bowl of white glue
  4. Paint brush
  5. Fallen Leaves, gathered on a walk

Start with a Nature Walk

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No trees were harmed for this project as we gathered leaves that had already fallen to the ground.

The Set Up

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Clear the table

Draw a basic trunk structure on the paper. Don’t worry about perfection

Place the leaves, bowl of glue, and brush around the paper

Invite your child to create

More Ideas

Add markers or crayons and invite your child to add texture to the tree

Draw leaves or other ideas from their imagination

Draw a bird shape and offer feathers rather than leaves

Drawing Prompt: Fill a Frame

Easy and fun art prompt for kids: Color in frames

It’s no secret that my family likes to draw, and we’re always playing with ways to make drawing more entertaining. We often do this “fill a frame” activity in our sketchbooks while traveling or while waiting for food in restaurants, but it’s also easy to set up anywhere. All you need is paper and drawing supplies.

This project falls under the Creative Table Project, a series of simple art and science prompts that encourage creative thinking skills and experimentation.

In a nutshell, you set up the materials and then invite your child to create.

Drawing Prompt: Fill a Frame

Easy and fun art prompt for kids: Color in hand-drawn frames

Supplies

See our full list of recommended supplies for more kid-friendly materials. Note: This list includes affiliate links

Paper: We used Neenah Exact Index (card stock). I love this versatile, heavy-weight paper

Black Pen: I enjoyed using a Sharpie for this project

Crayons, colored pencils, or markers: I set up Waldorf “Lyra” colored pencils and my daughter chose to use Crayola washable markers

The Set-up

  1. Pre-draw frames on a sheet of paper
  2. Set the frames up next to a container of markers or crayons
  3. Invite your child to create
  4. Feel free to co-create or use your free time to work on your own project

Easy and fun art prompt for kids: Color in frames

I set ours up with colored pencils, and my daughter swapped them for her favorite markers. With set-ups like these, follow your child’s interests. If they have an idea that’s different from what you had in mind, as long as it’s safe, it’s 100% okay!

Related to this project, my friend Agnes recently launched a company called Plaeful, and they make erasable, washable frame decals that you can stick right up on your wall. We have one in our busy hallway, and I’m always catching my kids filling it in with designs, stories, and color.

Plaeful washable frame from Hello Wonderful

Check out Plaeful.

Plaeful washable frame from Hello Wonderful

Art Prompt: How to Make an Animal Mask out of Paper

How to make an animal mask out of paper

I recently set up this mask-making activity up for my five-year old and loved seeing how she added details and personality to the animal mask template. This project falls under the Creative Table Project, a series of simple art and science prompts that encourage creative thinking skills and experimentation.

In a nutshell, you set up the materials and then invite your child to create.

How to Make an Animal Mask out of PaperHow to make an animal mask out of paper

Supplies

See our full list of recommended supplies for more kid-friendly materials. Note: This list includes affiliate links

Card stock or other heavy paper

Child scissors: blunt, pointed, left-handed

Hole Punch

Elastic String or yarn/ribbon

Markers or Crayons: We use Crayola here

The Set-up

There are plenty of ways to set this up.

Older children: If your child is old enough to use a paper punch and cut with scissors, here’s your set-up:

  1. Fold your paper in half.
  2. Pre-draw the shape of half of an animal face the paper. Be sure the center of the face is along the folded edge.
  3. Set the paper up on a table with markers and scissors.
  4. Invite your child to cut the mask out of the paper and then design and create an animal.
  5. Punch holes for the elastic, tie the elastic on, and wear!

Younger children: If you have a toddler or preschooler who isn’t ready for scissors yet, try this:

  1. Fold your paper in half.
  2. Pre-draw the shape of half of an animal face the paper. Be sure the center of the face is along the folded edge.
  3. Cut the mask out of the paper
  4. Place the mask and markers or crayons on the table and invite your child to design and create
  5. Punch holes for the elastic, tie the elastic on, and wear!

How to make an animal mask out of paper

For more easy art prompts and set-ups like this, visit The Creative Table Project.

And if you try this project or invent a creative prompt of your own, join me on Instagram with the hashtags: #tinkerlab and #creativetable

a Quick Creative Table™ Survey

creative table survey2

If you’ve been with TinkerLab for a bit of time, you may remember when I introduced the Creative Table Challenge a few years ago. Since then, I’ve posted a series of Creative Table prompt ideas as inspiration for setting up provocations and invitations to create at home and school.

Since then, I’ve received a lot of questions about these prompts, so I’m pulling a couple exciting projects together around this idea. I’m excited to share them with you soon!

Popular Creative Table Questions

I want to make the Creative Table resource more useful, so I’m gathering all of your big questions around it. First I’ll share some of the questions I get, and then I’d love to hear what questions YOU have!

Do you set these provocations up for your children every day?

Yes and no. I’ve gone through phases where I have set these up daily, and then other periods where I won’t set them up for a few days. It all depends on the rhythm of our family at the time. For example, when my children were both getting up VERY early, I would set up our Creative Table™ the night before so that they would have an engaging activity waiting for them when they awoke. I also find that summer is a good time for us to have daily prompts because there’s not a mad rush to get out the door early and we can ease into a morning of making. As my children get older, they still enjoy prompts, but they’re also driven by their own ideas and enjoy finding the materials they need in our self-serve maker zone.

Where do you get your supplies?

We order a lot of art supplies through Amazon, such as our liquid watercolors (affiliate – these are a must-have) and black kraft paper for covering tables. We also spend time at Michael’s, but it’s dangerous for me to bring my kids into the eye-candy bonanza of that store. :) We gather a lot of found materials for projects such as foam printmaking and natural supplies on walks and hikes for projects such as this prompt with leaves and glue.

Where do you get your ideas?

I’ve been teaching art since 2000, and many of the ideas come from my own teaching practice. I’m also active online and find great inspiration ideas from favorite blogs and the #creativetable hashtag on Instagram. Other good Instagram hashtags are: #invitationtoplay #invitationstocreate and #30invitationstoplay

What questions do YOU have?

What burning questions do you have about invitations to create and provocations for the Creative Table? Maybe it’s about setting it up, making time for it, the age of your child or children, or the challenges you face with this type of project. Anything you have to share will be useful, and your name with be kept in confidentiality unless you give me permission to share it.

Thank you so much for taking time to fill this out!