Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving… Please! No more traced hands that represent those awful stereotypical turkey tails. That is not art and it has nothing to do with being thankful. Thanksgiving is a holiday in which we take time to express our thanks for what we have.  Take some time to share with the people you care for,…

Cool Ali

Weather here in Connecticut is glorious this time of year. I took advantage of the bright sun, moderate temperature and cool breeze to take my first graders out for art class. We read the story COOL ALI by Nancy Poydar and drew on the sidewalk. They weren’t ready to come back in at the end…

Halloween

As Halloween approaches, instead of giving children those pre-cut orange circles and black triangles, give them this ANTI-COLORING BOOK® page. It is a sketch of a pumpkin to be created completely by the child. One of my favorite stories to read around this time of year is Pumpkin Light by David Ray (a Paper Star…

Table Set-Up

I have 6 tables in the art room and each table has 4 numbers on it and is assigned a color. The numbers represent a child and the color is designated by a tablecloth these first few weeks of school. After all of these years, I finally have found a way to make material distribution…

Clean Up

Job ChartI believe that part of art education must include taking care of the materials and the art room. At the designated time, five minutes before the end of every art period, my art students are expected to do their jobs. This job chart reminds them of the assignment they either chose or were given…

Getting off to a Good Start in September

The art room is full of materials that are easily lost or damaged. If acrylic paint dries on a brush, the brush becomes trash. Scissors that are lost cost lots of money to replace; money that could be better spent on other materials. For that reason, I like my students to each be  an “expert”…

Encourage Your Child’s Creativity

Be a role model. Instead of letting your child hear you repeat that old cliche “I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler,”  say “I love to create things!” The process of creativity is more important than the product. If your child sees you taking risks and making things, he or she will follow…

Hot Tips for Art Educators: Materials

I have been teaching art for many years,  having started when there was very little written to guide me in my work. I found that it was the little things that made teaching art to young children difficult, not the big things. My pet peeve was those papers around crayons.  Children used the crayon points…

Creating with “Crayons” with the technology of today

I was very lucky to publish THE ANTI-COLORING BOOKS® and YOUNG AT ART® before publishers began concentrating on publishing books “written” by celebrities and focusing on books filled with licensed characters that exist to promote the sale of toys. I am happy to say that I was recently able to obtain the rights back to…

Why an Anti-Coloring iPad App for “Adults Only”?

Why an Anti-Coloring iPad App for “Adults Only”? When The Anti-Coloring Books® first came out I was not surprised to hear from children how much they liked it, because I worked with children every day as they drew and painted in my art room. The published collection came from the art activities that my students…