Barbara Kingsolver and her family lived as locavores for one year. Better for health, better for the planet, not to mention better taste. Read about it in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It will have you craving summer heirloom tomatoes and planning your summer garden patch.
Mod Market is my new fave place to grab lunch in Boulder.
Their flatbread pizza has whole wheat crust.They've got fruit infused sparkling water flowing from their soda fountain, and they offer receipts that display the calorie count and nutrition information for your meal. I also love the super groovy, white setting. They're doing something new; healthy, modern and delicious.
Have you ever seen art that makes you want to dig deep and get busy making stuff? Studio 22 artist Kristin Fitzgerrell is an artist who reinvents the everyday. Reclaimed wood, wire and metal shapes seem fresh and new with her modern and accessible eye. Super fab bullseyes are her new thing, but she's making one of these fancy lights for me!
Umbra Fisk from GRIST mag advises a well-meaning auntie on choosing the safest, cleanest art supplies for children. While she's at it, she includes some GREAT advice for parents on how to do art with children. Read: Art is messy. Get over it. Your child's creative development depends on it.
• Large plastic tub • 2-3 boxes of cornstarch• 3-5 inexpensive squirt bottles filled with water and food coloring or liquid watercolor paint (available at www.discountschoolsupply.com)Put the bin outside, or on a tarp on the floor and show your child how to work the squirt botlles. Encourage your child to spray the colored water liberally over the cornstarch and to observe and interact with it in every stage of wetness. The more water your child adds, the more interesting the result, but it can take some time. This activity can work over several days. The final result is a fascinating, Thixotropic liquid (one with properties of both a liquid and a solid) that will keep everyone fascinated for hours.Extension: Read the classic Dr. Seuss story Bartholomew and the Oobleck along with this activity.
While hot cars and cramped airplanes definitely aren’t the place for mural painting, art explorations while traveling can be simpler and more doable than you might think. With a few offbeat art supplies and a simple bag or pouch, it’s possible to stretch beyond the usual coloring book and crayons to provide low-mess, engaging, and truly creative art experiences for your child. You may even get a moment to crack open that summer novel you’ve been dying to read. Travel Journal Kit A truly special vacation should live on in memory. Making a travel journal with your child is a way to combine art, early literacy, and scrapbooking all in the same meaningful activity.
You’ll need: Carrying case Journal (you can buy a pretty one, use an office supply notebook, or staple together a stack of printer paper) Writing and drawing tools: markers (thin and thick tip), crayons, colored pencils Camera Glue stick Envelope—for collecting special treasures—a feather, a ticket stub, a note from grandma
Each day, you and your child can pick one or more memories to record. Children younger than 5 will likely draw their memories and tell the accompanying stories verbally. Parents can record the children's words (preferably verbatim), underneath the drawings in caption or story form (book format helps literacy development). Let your child take the photographs and glue special treasures in the book as well. At the end of your trip, you’ll have a delightful collection of child-centered memories to look back on. Don’t forget to have your child ‘read’ it to you before bed.
It turns out that many of the major, modernist painters of our time, including Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, were influenced by the art of children.
The NY times spoke of Paul Klee and his place in "modernist tradition that sought refuge from academic constraints in the somewhat mythical paradise of an untrained eye that sees the world afresh, a childlike hand still unshackled by habit and skill."
Flying cotton balls? Splatting stockings? Tire swing painting? Some art projects were just made to be done with the whole body. If the typical art project is akin to a tea party with crayons, these high-velocity, active, and messy art explorations are the trampoline. They engage the big motor muscles, developing eye-hand coordination, balance, hand and wrist strength, agility, and motor planning. For parents who like to stay active, it just takes paint, paper, and a few common household items to create a head-to-toe art experience for your fast-moving child. Cotton Ball Splat Ages: 2–10 You’ll need: Bag of cotton balls Large sheet of easel paper Liquid watercolor paint* mixed with water (or food coloring mixed with water until it works like paint) Bowls for paint Splat Away Tape or pin the easel paper to an outdoor fence or wall. You can also leave the paper on the ground, but the effect is a bit less dramatic. Fill your bowls with liquid watercolor/water or food color/water mix. Stand back from the paper about 2–6 feet (younger children closer). Your child will dip the cotton ball in the paint and throw it at the paper. Try different colors, different styles of throwing, and different quantities of paint. The resulting mural will be a colorful, abstract, and glorious exploration in color, movement, and physics. Modification: Fill some spray bottles with paint and water and spray away! Liquid watercolor paint is available at Discount School Supply.
I love this website/e-zine. It's a lovely little corner of the internet about thoughtful ways to parent, cook, purchase, and all while taking care of the environment. Great content, cozy design. It's a winner.
At Clementine Studio, an art space for children in Boulder, CO, I often set up an art activity called ‘Anything Goes.’ I arrange a six foot table with the most inviting materials I can find: colorful paper and wooden shapes, tubes, cubes, spools, and baskets overflowing with embellishments; bright pom-poms, bendy pipe cleaners, funky buttons, sparkly glitter shakers, glue, scissors, and vibrant bowls of creamy tempera paint.
Much of the time, children approach the table tentatively, look longingly at all of the inviting materials, and turn to ask:
“What am I supposed to make here?”
“Well my friend, what do you want to make? You can make anything.”
After I watch the child’s face light up in anticipation of the possibilities in the word ‘anything,’ very often, I watch it fall again when the child realizes that there are no directions for making ‘anything,’ and self-doubt sets in.
This moment is the magical, possibility-filled moment of the day. I call it the creative edge; a defining element of both art and the creative process. When a child is inspired by the challenge to create something new, she has met her creative edge.
A child engaged in the creative process feels challenged because every area of her brain is engaged. The creative process develops both right and left brain abilities to dream, plan, brainstorm, problem-solve, synthesize, interpret, express, and execute an original vision.
As a parent, you are likely interested in helping your child develop her creative abilities. When choosing art activities for your child, you’ll want to make sure that the activity you provide has the potential to support the development of real creativity.
A child’s creative edge is a magical place. When encouraged to explore this place in their own way, children learn to think creatively. The act of creation is natural, joyful, nourishing, and developmental for children. When you provide opportunities for your child to engage in creative thinking, stand back and be prepared to watch her glow, hum and shine.
Look for this article in Mindful Mama magazine. www.mindful-mama.com
This documentary is about a child artist, who, at the age of 4, was painting wonderfully, masterfully complex abstract works that gained the attention of art dealers, collectors and the national media. Do you think she had help? Watch this thought provoking movie and decide for yourself. ClickMy Kid Could Paint That to watch the trailer.
You won't believe what ended up on the top 10 toxic toys list for 2008! Alex Crayons! I've always thought that since art supplies are labeled non-toxic, then that label must be accurate. Nope! Alex crayons have extremely high levels of mercury. Exposure to toxic levels of mercury can lead to neurological disorders. Scary, and who knew? Click on Top Toxic Toy headline to read the list!
Bev Bos is one of my heroes. She is the director of the Roseville Community School in California and she has been teaching, leading workshops and otherwise transforming people who work with children for many years. Her life is about encouraging children to play, play, play. She sets up incredible environments for children - nothing is too elaborate (She has been known to 'build' forests, castles, and imported snowdrifts on her playground in California). She is the author of books on play, music, art and cooking with preschoolers (Together We're Better and Don't Move the Muffin Tins), and is considered by most to be the (very warm) mother of the process art movement. Check out her 'Good Stuff For Kids Workshop' in CA. It's a yowser!
This book is as fascinating as it it gorgeous. Did you know that many major, modernist painters were not only interested in children's art, but used it as a model and inspiration for their own paintings? Picasso, Kandinsky, Chagall and Miro were all avid collectors, observers, and protectors of children's art. I love showing the paintings in it to children and trying to guess which works are by 'famous artists' and which are by youngsters; It's tougher than you might think.
1.The arts teach children to make good judgements about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgement rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
4. The arts teach children that complex forms of problem solving are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.
5.The arts make vivid the fact that words do not, in their literal form or number, exhaust what we can know.
6. The arts teach children that small differences can have large effects.
7. The arts teach children to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe to be important.
Elliot Eisner, a professor of education and art at Stanford University, from Beyond Creating: The Place for Art in American Schools, 1985, p.69
One of the most inspiring places for children I know is paper scissors Oranges. Simply magical, authentically creative, and very beautiful, it is the work of Susanna Carrillo and lots of little ones in Darien, CT. www.paperscissorsoranges.com
Clementine Art nurtures a process that has all but vanished from the lives of modern, busy children; the process of real creativity. Children are naturally creative. Picasso said “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Too often, activities for children ask too little of them. “Follow these directions and you’ll get a glass jar filled with layers of colored sand.” Pretty? maybe, creative? no. Widely used crafts like these miss an important opportunity to support children in the creative process: nourishing both right and left brain abilities to dream, brainstorm, plan, problem-solve, synthesize, interpret, express and execute an original vision. The word ‘creative’ has become a ubiquitous buzzword, plastered on children’s products from craft kits to math games, but the essence of the word; the power and ability to invent, is missing from the outcome. In order for an activity to support the development of real creativity, it must allow children the space, materials, support and respect to engage in the creative process; a process that involves the invention of something new. What makes an activity creative? Children's work is creative when it:
Is open-ended: Children are in charge of the outcome, regardless of what the outcome looks like.
Engages imagination and feelings: Children have an opportunity to discover what it is they want to say, and how they want to say it.
Emphasizes the process: The act of creating supports organizational, problem-solving, social, motor, science skills, literacy, and much more.
Children who are engaged and supported in creative thinking, glow, hum and shine. The act of creation is natural, joyful, nourishing, and developmental for children.
I've been delighting in and learning from children for almost 20 years as a teacher, and former owner of Clementine Studio: Art Space for Children. I love to watch a child's spirit emerge and develop through the process of art.
Clementine Art provides little hands with the natural, simple and lovely art products they need.