Art Workshop for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences / Art Workshops for Children / The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity.
When I'm needing a little inspiration or a pick-me-up I'll often pull out one of my favourite books. Lately, I've been loving Art Workshops for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences. It's not only the art activities that I like, it's the child-led approach to art, the Amazon description covers it: "The book's unique child-led approach provides a framework for cultivating creative thinking and encourages the wonder that comes when children are allowed to freely explore the creative process and their materials." The sections on creating an art space at home and displaying finished art are some of the best I've read, there are lots of examples and beautiful photographs.
The book also helps parents (and teachers) talk to children about their art, it's useful to have this guidance. The book has a strong Reggio influence as one of the authors is a Reggio-inspired teacher. One of our favourite activities has been the plexiglas monoprints.
The two other art books that I am really enjoying right now include:
Art Workshops for Children by Hervé Tullet (artist and also author of Press Here). It is a guide for parents and teachers to lead artistic workshops for children. It features 12 workshops with lots of easy instruction, materials needed, illustrated examples and photographs. What I like so much about this book (and why I find it refreshing and inspirational) is because it's a little different, it's more.... creative and artistic. Because these are designed to be workshops with many of the activities more than one child is needed, but if you have a couple of siblings, cousins over or a playdate you are set!! Mr Tullet is so very interesting this is a unique book! "I have always refused to run creative sessions where the goal is to make 'nice pictures'. Instead, I have developed my workshops guided by the idea that the art is a means and not an end. Children are masters of creation - they are very intuitive and it is this instinct and their unedited ability to create art that inspires me."
The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity contains 60 art projects for children aged 1 to 8. If you are a fan of The Artful Parent, (and who isn't?) you probably already have this one! Each project is photographed which makes it incredibly easy to follow. I already know many of these art projects but it is so good to have them all in one place, it's almost like a children's art project encyclopedia. Most of the materials needed are easy to find and the instructions are simple. There is also a lovely section on preparing for art which includes useful tips on creating a space for art, gathering art supplies, and storing finished artwork. Flipping through this makes me happy and ready to do some art!