1. Mmkrieger says

    I’m a fan of both your sites and found Tinkerlab serindipitously while looking for a kale recipe which lead me to another blog that recommended Tinkerlab. From Tinkerlab I found Artfull Parent. The world is large and small. I think what we started doing with fingerprinting with our daughter since she was little 6 months or so has been enhanced and enriched by the ideas at both your sites. She is now 16 months and starting to learn her colors and have a distinct sense of where she wants to use various medias. It is amazing to watch her development as an artist thanks very much for your inspiration.

  2. says

    Great interview! Ironically I found Tinkerlab through The Artful Parent which is just the opposite of the previous person! The calendar looks fabulous! The kitchen table is usually our place to create art, but it nice to have an art space to keep materials and works in progress!

  3. jengd says

    My son LOVES coloring/painting/chalking/markering at his easel.  When it’s warm, we take it out on the deck with finger paints and he goes crazy.  :)  Great interview- I really like those paper plate projects!  Thanks for the chance!

  4. Bethany Roth says

    I’m a big fan of both Tinkerlab and The Artful Parent. Thank you both for the great interview and giveaway. I’ll tell you that the link to the paper options is a lifesaver for me. lol

  5. robin baker says

    Thank you!!!  As I said last night…a mesh up between my two favorite playful learning sites is quite exciting.  :D  We bought some liquid watercolors when I read about them on the Artful Parent; they are just as great as she claims!

    • Rachelle says

      Thanks, Robin! Liquid watercolors are rad, and we must have about 15 bottles on the shelf — they’re useful for so many things!

    • Rachelle says

      That’s what we like to hear, Heidi. I’d love to hear back from you once you get the ball rolling. You won’t regret it!

  6. says

    I read the Artful Parent and have gotten many good ideas from her blog. This interview and the pictures posted made me realize that we would do crafts so much more often if we had a dedicated space.

  7. Sawyerfamily says

    I have followed Jean’s blog for about a year and have found it extremely useful and inspiring. I recommended it to teachers and parents. I would love a calendar to give to a fellow teacher who seems to have forgotten that art should be process oriented and fun!

    • Rachelle says

      Sometimes the job of teaching art falls into the wrong hands, but there’s always the possibility of persuading through inspiration. 

  8. M Wall says

    Great inspiration! I think I don’t have room to devote to an art space, but I bet if I really looked at all the places I have art supplies stashed, I’d make enough room! Thanks for the post.

    • Rachelle says

      Yes, you can do it! While I don’t have a room in the house dedicated to art making, there are dedicated stations that house art materials and creating spaces. Our house is really small, so the dining room has essentially been converted into a studio/eating space. It’s often messy, but it works for us.

  9. Gosia Janik says

    I love Jean’s blog and try many of her ideas with my 4-year-old. Art is not my daughter’s favorite activity, but when I show her the pictures from the blog and tell her that this other girl is also Maia and working on this project, she gives it a try. Including our 18-month-old boy sure is a challenge.

  10. Laanesther says

    I have been following Jean’s blog  for a few months and have used many ideas…even tried to get some awareness at my son’s day care ( so far no luck). Their art is 95% done by the child minders :-(  tinkerlab is a recent discovery for far a good one :-) 

    • Rachelle says

      It can be hard to convert people who have been taught to teach in a certain way, but it’s great that you haven’t giving up on trying! If you have the time, you could try going in to model a few activities for the teachers, just to give them a bit of inspiration. Or, if you can get other parents on board with your POV, you could also try approaching the school as a collective and asking for more process-oriented work. Say no to turkey hands! Good luck!

  11. SS says

    As I was blog hopping, I found Jean’s space on web. I read the top 10 art material for preschoolers and ended up making play dough this morning. I and my daughter had a fabulous time making and playing with it. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Rachelle says

      Isn’t homemade play dough the best? We just made some with peppermint oil for the holidays, and it smells divine! Thanks for the comment.

  12. Nolan Reynolds says

    Thanks so much for this!  I’ve been feeling jealous of Jean’s studio for months now, and a little disgruntled that I felt our spare room was better served as a spare bedroom than a studio right now (we have frequent family visits to see our twin girls).  But we do our art in the dining room, and I’ve dedicated an oak cabinet and part of the sideboard to housing art supplies.  Except for the easels in the room, it still looks like a dining room ;)  So I feel better now knowing that Jean’s kids do a lot of their art in the dining room, too! 

    • Rachelle says

      Yes, dining rooms are the best art spaces! We’re in a similar situation, and as much as I’d love a dedicated studio, the beauty of the dining room is that art making isn’t relegated to some back corner of the house. It’s front and center, and integrated into the comings and goings of the family. I’m glad this interview helped!

  13. Bligh18 says

    I just bought that same IKEA table and stools for my daughter for Christmas.  We are in the process of figuring out how to create an art corner in our house.  My daughter asks everyday tro do an art project, so the calandar would come in very handy:)

  14. Liga Krista says

    We just moved to new house and i decided to make the art space just in the middle of kitchen and also theshelves for creative stuff, cause arts is something she likes to do when i am around. Thanks for a so rare possinility- an international giveaway!

    • Rachelle says

      Jean told me that she has fans from over 100 countries, so we HAD to do an international giveaway! Isn’t that thoughtful? 

  15. melissa B says

    would love the win the calendar, as I am not naturally creatively inclined myself.  I spotted Jean’s blog a couple of weeks ago and started following it, and now am glad to discover yours!

  16. Alhowikj says

    I love Jean’s blog — I get so much inspiration from it.  I also have 2 daughters that are about the same age as Jean’s so I find the projects to be perfect for us.  She has so many great ideas!

  17. Ana says

    Jean’s blog and yours are a well of inspiration for my todlers art time. Since I lack imagination when it comes to art, I really appreciate your sharing with us your ideas. By the way, I follow your blogs since about a year ago, but I had never commented before. Thank you!

  18. Natalie Blanch says

    Beautiful Inspiration! I hope to keep following your blog as my daughter grows and delves into the world of art and creativity.

  19. Heather says

    Great interview!  I love Jean’s blog and have been following it for a few years now.  Her calendar looks like a lot of fun and I’ve been debating buying it for kids to have their own calendar, but I’ll wait and see what happens here first I guess.  Thank you!

  20. stacyh says

    Jean is very inspiring and I have been doing some of her projects with my toddler now.  She loves it and it’s great time together.

  21. Bonnie King says

    I love both blogs and have been inspired to do many art projects with my 2-year-old daughter. Your creativity and enthusiasm is wonderful!

  22. Toniabegonia says

    You are both such inspirational women and mamas!  Thank you for sharing your art, your parenting skills, and your process with us all!

  23. Lynne says

    My own children are all grown up but now I work with babies and children in their own homes. So for me I have to set up small art spaces for the day then pack it all away again into my car. I would love a calendar of ideas to use with the children. Thank you Rachelle and Jean for loving children enough to want to teach and inspire the people who care for them.

    • Rachelle says

      Hi Lynne, Having been an “art-on-the-cart” teacher, I’m familiar with the challenges you face in setting up and cleaning up everything, without the luxury of letting it sit ’til tomorrow. Thanks for the sweet comment.

  24. Maura says

    What a great post.  You have me thinking of how I can improve my children’s art space.  I would love to win the calendar to keep my 2 and 4 year old children busy and creative.

  25. Emma Patton says

    Interesting :) thanks for sharing – I’d love to learn more about your decisions for what you decide to keep (vs what can stay), how you manage “stuff” vs. recycling & purging; also how you handle leaving art out & about in case your kids want to go back & finish them later

    • Rachelle says

      Great questions, Emma!
      Here are a related post from Jean’s site:, I keep art that represents milestones (first drawing, first person, first painting,etc.) and favorite projects, but a lot of the art that my kids produce is truly about the process and they forget about it almost as soon as they’ve made it. If I’m on the fence about something, I stash it in a drawer to tend to later. After a few week pass, I usually have a clearer sense of whether it should be saved or tossed. My oldest child is 3, and has yet to return to a piece of work to finish it!

      Recycling and purging: When my daughter was really into making recycled sculptures, we had a huge box full of stuff for her to sort through. When it became unmanageable, I asked her to choose a few things and we recycled the rest. Today she spotted a box that our neighbors put out in the trash and asked if we could bring it home, and I love that she has that sensibility to repurpose materials without them overwhelming our home.

  26. says

    after following the artfullparent blog for a few months now  there is so much inspiration! And yes i am thinking of doing a kids art group! 
    greetings from the netherlands!!!

    • Rachelle says

      You can do it, Melissa! It really doesn’t take much — just start with a few materials and easy access to them so your kids can create when the mood strikes. 

  27. Kari Richmond says

    Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway! We follow Jean’s blog and are blessed to be part of her Toddler Art Group.  My dream is to one day get her into my house to help me better plan and organize the kid (and grown-up) creative spaces in our house!

  28. says

    How lovely to read more about Jean and her creative pursuits. I feel like I know her and her blog for ages. I’ve followed The Artful Parent for really long now! Infact, discovered Tinkerlab via Jean’s blog.
    I’m so grateful that this giveaway is international! Love this calendar and had told Jean the day she launched it that it’s on my wishlist! :))

    • Rachelle says

      I feel like I know her too, Rashmie. She does a great job at opening herself up to her readers. And I’m so glad to know you through her now too!

  29. Agnes says

    Thank you so much, Jean, for inspiring me to make art readily available to my two kids.  Our food cabinet has three shelves and now the lower two are for art supplies! 

  30. Andrea Despain says

    thank you! my oldest isn’t as into as I sometimes think I’d like him to be (art, that is)- but I love still giving him the opportunities. Occasionally, he’ll stick with something for more than  30 seconds! That makes it all worth it!

  31. Kate says

    I enjoyed reading this interview so much.  As a stay at home mom of two (3 1/2 year old son and 3 month old daughter) and a firm believer in the virtue of art and creating an artful space, I am inspired to revamp our current dining room-turned play room/art gallery/baby toy room!!!  Recently I strung up all of my son’s artwork from the past three months (Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas inspired work) on a line with paper clips in said room and am delighted every time I walk in there because of the color and festiveness!  I love the idea of shelves for art supplies as well as designating a SPACE for art.  Thank you.  I would love the calendar of art ideas, crossing my finger!

  32. Natalie R Mickelson says

    We use our screened in porch during the warm months for our art space. Since it’s currently 20 degrees outside I’m longing for some indoor art space with room to spread out. Maybe this will motivate me to get the basement organzied and set up!!

  33. Linda says

    I am so glad I found the artful parent!  You have reinspired an old, tired mama on her second go around with kids.  Thank you! 

  34. Jennifer says

    Thanks for your 5 core art supplies! My new years resolution will be to have at least one new crafty project a week. Thanks so much for all the great ideas. Your blogs are super!

  35. Heathersantora says

    Just found your blog & FB page – so excited to get art-y. Moving next week & am eager to reconfigure our art space. Our apt is small so I gotta get creative. Thanks for the ideas – going to move our supplies out of drawers & onto shelves forsure.

  36. Kim says

    I love when two of my favourite blogs come together!  Thanks so much to both you, Jean, and Rachelle…inspiring moms… amazing women.  I admire your creativity and generous spirits.

  37. Au0812 says

    I stumbled across your blog from the Bambini Creativi link on my facebook page.
    I am Art Education student and am very inspired by your blog so far ~ and look forward to getting lost in it!!!

  38. Mariashope17 says

    This was such an encouragment to me and inspired me with great ideas for more creative learning/exploring with my kids. Thanks so much!


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