Jean Van’t Hul’s The Artful Parent is a how-to manual for purposeful parents who want to incorporate more art into family life. Sprinkled with essays by additional contributors, The Artful Parent offers the lowdown on making time for art with kids, setting up an age-appropriate indoor art space (or outdoor, if weather permits), making basic supplies, as well as a philosophy for discussing children’s art in such a way as to empower children to keep exploring, experimenting, and creating. The latter half of the book outlines specific art activities (with age suggestions), including “Quick and Easy Art,” “Getting Fancy,” and “Action Art,” all of which are sure to be kid-pleasers.
Van’t Hul, a parent of two small children, started blogging her art ideas before they became a book and seems to understand the time and space crunches most families experience, as well as the energy required of parents to proactively offer art to young children (one mess after another!). She prepares the reader with simple ideas for minimizing mess and disorganization. Readers who gravitate toward organization will also be pleased with the ideas and resources offered at the back of the book.
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