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The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity--Includes over 60 Art Projects for Children Ages 1 to 8 Paperback – April 9, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Van’t Hul, mother of two, lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. She has been writing about children’s art and creativity on her blog, The Artful Parent, since 2008. A graduate of Wellesley College with a major in art history and studio art, Jean worked in various art and nonprofit fields before devoting her time to writing and raising kids. She loves to share process-oriented art, seasonal crafts, and joyful learning opportunities with her own daughters and through her children’s art groups, her magazine articles, and on her blog. To see what artful adventures her family is up to, visit www.ArtfulParent.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590309642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590309643
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I absolutely ADORE this book! As a former art teacher and now Mum to 3 young kids of my own, this book sets out everything I would love to say to all parents and teachers, and so much more eloquently than I ever could. It starts with such a helpful guide on how to get started with setting up creative spaces in the home, with lists of must-have materials and useful resources. Then there is a huge range of easy and beautiful art activities to try that are really accessible to all and cover a wide range of media and interests. Jean has written this so effortlessly and comes across in such a warm and friendly way, like a best friend offering her wisdom over a cup of coffee!
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I have three young children. When i had just one toddler, it was easy to pull out a pad of paper and encourage my daughter to draw with me. With three though? I just feel guilty that I'm sitting with the kids coloring and making a mess instead of doing something else. This book addresses this- its an inspiring reminder to put a value on art with my children, backed up by the many reasons why open ended, developmentally appropriate art exploration is important for my kids.

The author has long been an inspiration for me through her blog, but I love how well she speaks to me in this book. A lot of the ideas in the book have been mentioned in her blog over the years, but many are expanded upon and tied in with developmental phases in the book. None of it was earth shattering to me, but art with children has been an interest of mine for years now, and I have read a lot on the topic.

What makes this book special? Well, I appreciate that the author has a laid back attitude about art. I like that she is a busy mother like me. I appreciate the projects she suggests and more specifically the suggestions she makes for making time and space for art in the home. Its a very practical approach and the voice of experience shines through for me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a studio educator at a museum and parent of young children, and I'm excited to say I've found a book that I'll be referencing for a long time to come.

Being already firmly rooted in the ‘process over product’ camp when it comes to approaching artmaking with kids, I ordered this book out of curiosity. I wondered whether it reveal something new or end up at the bottom of a pile of books I had high hopes for but probably won’t read. Since I didn’t yet know her approach well enough before reading her book, I didn’t know what to expect.

To my surprise, Van't Hul found a friendly and approachable way to ignite NEW excitement about what I already believe. After reading the book I felt encouraged as a parent in my effort to fill my own family's life with art and creativity. Though only a few of her project ideas in the book were new to me, I found myself thinking of ideas I could try in my home and at work right away. So, this book works for me exactly as I want it to, and as I think it was designed: helping me re-see ways for me to be a supporter, co-learner and facilitator of learning and fun with my children and students.
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Format: Paperback
I was so excited to get my hands on this lovely book by Jean Van't Hul. I was the least creative art student while growing up so doing arts & crafts with my own 2 young girls does not come naturally to me. This book covers the why's, the how's, and even the when's of fitting art into your family's lifestyle. I loved her review of various art supplies and the many projects to inspire how to use them.

I particularly love that Jean shares an easy example of what a day filled with art looks like from a practical scheduling point of view. I realized I've been making too big of a production of our art efforts which is exhausting to mommy and means we do it less often. She simplifies the approach so you're more likely to offer the opportunity for creativity as part of a normal routine. My girls are going to definitely benefit from having this book in our home!
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Format: Paperback
The Artful Parent is full of so many easy and creative ideas - 60 different projects for you
to complete with your children and fill your home or classroom with beauty.
The best part is that they are all focused on the "process" not the final "product"
(a mantra a repeated daily in my classroom as an art teacher)
and her children's work reflects it through out the book.
Jean's book is a wonderful and rare departure from the usual craft books filled with
beautifully styled projects for children that were obviously created by an adult.
The artwork in her book is child made and genuine. This book is filled with beautiful photographs of the process and the children with their finished projects, my own daughters enjoy flipping through it as much as I do. This will be my new go to book recommendation for parents of young children - a perfect Mother's Day gift with some art supplies! It is every thing I hoped it would be, just like having a copy of her blog to flip through for fun ideas and inspiration.
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Format: Paperback
I love art - I love creativity and I have four kids ten and under. This book has been such a gift to us - it's simple enough that my ten year old can read the idea, get supplies (after she finds them) and create, and the littles can have a few simple supplies and feel like Picasso. It uses a lot of things around the house (gathering four kids to get to the art store is challenging)...and, most of all, it's creative stuff that's fun for me, too! It's open ended enough that all my kids can be successful and feel proud of what they accomplished. The book itself is beautiful (the pictures rock!) and makes me want to open it....so thankful we have it for summer fun!!
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