The Artful Parent Book: A Review and a Project

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Artful Parent Book: Blog TourAs a longtime fan of Jean Van’t Hul’s charming, approachable, and ever-inspiring blog, The Artful Parent, I’m thrilled about the upcoming release of her book, The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity. Not only has Jean been a huge source of inspiration to me and countless others, but we’ve become real-life friends and I have a great deal of respect for the way that she encourages her children to find their inner voice through hands-on learning. And her delightful book does not disappoint.

The book comes out on April 9, 2013, so consider this a sneak peek…and read through to the end for details on how you could win your very own copy.

Artful Parent Book Jean Van't Hul

My two-year old and I spent the morning together and I came to the realization that she rarely gets the opportunity to dive into so many of the projects that her older sister enjoyed. Now that I have two children, my girls and I are frequently on the go, my attention is often divided, and their abilities are so different that I usually follow my older child’s interests while her younger sister tags along…and does a great job at keeping up.

Since Jean’s blog was there for me when my first toddler and I got our creative groove on, I thought we’d see what ideas she had in store for us. When I flipped the book to the very first project, Contact Paper Suncatchers, I knew this was for us.

My older daughter and I one made these contact paper suncatchers and this contact paper collage, and we still had plenty of leftover materials to play with.

Artful Parent Book Jean Van't Hul

To make your own suncatcher, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Colored Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Contact Paper (click the link to find it on Amazon)
  • Flowers, feathers, sequins
  • Masking Tape

By some miracle I woke up early and set out all of the materials before my daughter woke up.  To set this up as we did, tape a piece of contact paper to your table. This will keep the contact paper from moving around. Fill a bowl or tray with pre-cut pieces of colorful tissue paper, and then invite your child to attach the pieces to the contact paper.

My daughter’s first instinct was to glue the pieces down, but once she understood how the contact paper worked, she put the glue aside. At some point she decided to layer her collage and realized that she did, in fact, need the glue to stick these extra papers on. If your child takes the project in a new direction as mine did, do your best to go with the flow.

Artful Parent Book Jean Van't Hul

Oh, one more thing…I was also quite honored that Jean invited me to write a piece for her book — what a delight to see this fun provocation in print!

Artful Parent Book Review Tinkkerlab

The Artful Parent is not only jam-packed with sixty simple and creative projects, but it’s also full of tips on the best art supplies for your art pantry, how to talk with children about art, and how to set up an art space.

If you’d like a copy of the book, if you pre-order now you’ll get almost 40% off the cover price. On top of that, if the Amazon price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price. To enter for a chance to win a copy of Jean’s book (if you buy the book for yourself, your winning book would be a great gift!), leave a comment at the end of this post.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 11.27.04 PMContest Details: You must have a U.S. address to win. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 22, 2013, 9 pm PST. Winner will be chosen randomly.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a comment! I loved reading all of your inspiring memories and stories. Congratulations to Megan, comment #26! You will be contacted via email regarding your prize.

The Book Blog Tour

Do you want to see more? Follow along on the blog tour…

March 18 – Tinkerlab – activity demonstration + giveaway

March 22 - Handmade Charlotte - blog post

March 26 – Playful Learning – activity demonstration

March 28 – Nurture Store – feature post + giveaway

March 30 – Make and Takes – feature

April 1 – Red Ted Art – book review + giveaway

April 2 – Kids Activity Blog – interview + giveaway

April 3 - Pink and Green Mama - blog post

April 8 – Not Just Cute – blog post

April 9 – Creative with Kids - interview

April 10 – Imagination Tree – book review

A Question for you…

Thinking back to your childhood, what is the earliest piece of art that you remember making?