eBook Review – Art not Craft: The Process of Learning Creatively (and a giveaway, too!)

The following review is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

Have you ever wished you had some new ideas for art experiences beyond playdough, drawing with crayons and painting on an easel?

Do you ever wish art wasn’t so messy and time consuming?

Have you ever wondered how to motivate your young child to get involved in art experiences?

This giveaway has now closed.  The winner will be announced soon.

The ebook – Art not Craft: The Process of Learning Creatively – can help with all these questions and more. The book, written by parenting blogger and early childhood educator, Christie Burnett of Childhood 101, is full of ideas to inspire you to look at, talk about and make art with your child.

Art experiences are important for young children.  Creating art involves sensory stimulation that develops brain connections important for learning.  Creating art helps children organise and communicate their thoughts, solve problems and develops their motor skills.

We all want our children to grow into intelligent socialised adults who make a meaningful contribution to their society. We put a lot of thought, time and effort into ensuring they develop academically, socially and even physically, but often put much less emphasis on their creative development.

Photo by Childhood 101

The Art not Craft ebook makes the process of setting up and trying new art experiences with your child so easy that there is no excuse to neglect this important area of early learning.

The book gives age appropriate project ideas and ways to vary materials to create new experiences in

  • drawing
  • painting
  • collage
  • printmaking, and
  • sculpture.

The book focuses on helping you use and introduce the materials to your child.  This leaves you and your child plenty of space to be creative with the method and materials and create your own unique and wonderful products.

There are also suggestions for talking with your child as they make different types of art – helping you avoid that awkward “It’s not a bowl, it’s an upside down turtle” experience.  And there are suggestions for seeing and exploring the work of other artists in books, at the art gallery and in day-to-day life.

I love doing art projects with my children (despite the mess).  I find it calms them and me and we get a great chance to talk as we are creating.  Art not Craft has inspired me with many new ways to use the materials we already have, and the confidence to explore a bit more with some art materials I’m less familiar with like clay or watercolour paints.

It is always wonderful to share art experiences with your child. You will be fascinated at how creative they are and can gain amazing insight into their world view through sharing art experiences together.  If you are hesitant to do creative art projects with your child, I encourage you to get this book and get started making art.

Head here for more information about Art not Craft or to purchase the ebook. The retail price is $15.95 USD.  Simple Kids readers can use the code ‘KIDS’ at the checkout to receive a $3 discount.

The Giveaway

Three lucky Simple Kids readers will win a copy of Art not Craft.

To Enter

Simply leave a comment on this post answering the question: What do you like or dislike about creating art with your child?

We will draw the names of three winners from those who leave a comment and they will be emailed a link to download Art not Craft. This giveaway will end at Midnight EST on Saturday May 21, 2011. Good Luck! This giveaway has now closed.  Thank you!

About Catherine

Catherine Way is mum to two boys living in North Australia. They read lots, run lots, love to learn new things and are good at finding fun and mischief. Catherine blogs about her family adventures and passion for lifelong learning at Indirect Observations.

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  1. I love watching how excited my son gets when he creates something. I most dislike the mess! :)

  2. I love the freedom of the creative process. I love watching my kids enjoy as they create art. I do not like that my kids are at different developmental stages which makes it challenging to find projects they can do together.

  3. Both of my boys love painting, I love watching their little tongues sticking out as they concentrate on creating master pieces.

  4. Stephanie says:

    My son loves to color and try different drawing tools out. He is 23 months old and loves anything we can sit down together and create.

  5. howpeng says:

    I love to see and stay with my kid when he is doing his art creation because that is my always-busy parents never do with me.

  6. I enjoy letting them be creative, but hate the mess. As they are getting a little older and more able to clean up after themselves I’ve been letting them do more things. This e-book sounds great for a non-artsy mom to get involved in helping her kids do art.
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  7. I’ve always loved art and it thrills me to no end that my son does too, and really, that’s my favorite part, that we can spend time doing something that we both enjoy.

  8. I enjoy the excitement my daughter has in trying something new. I don’t like that we don’t really have a good space in our house where a mess can be made easily.

  9. Jennifer says:

    We are an art heavy home & I am thankful to have an “art cabinet” in our kitchen where my 4 year old can help himself to his favorite supplies for DIY projects (unfortunately the 1 year old has just discovered said cabinet–fun!). I enjoy watching both kids explore their sensory & artistic sides through a variety of art mediums–playdough, paint, drawings of all kind (crayon, pencil, marker, etc). I just wish it were a little bit easier (on mom) to get those bigger project supplies out (and put away)–this keeps us from producing as much as my budding artists would be probably be up for.

  10. Deborah R says:

    We do arts and crafts almost every day in our house and we all love it (except my husband who comes home to the mess but he doesn’t get a vote!). I love watching their development through art. Scribbles to shapes to figures to full blown pictures. It’s amazing to see.

  11. Oh, this book sounds perfect for me! My 2 1/2 year old LOVES art and I much prefer art over cookie cutter “crafts”. But I soon run out of ideas and inspiration. I love the creativity that art inspires, the outlet of expression that it gives children. My least favorite part would be the preparation and making time for art during the day.
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  12. I enjoy so many things about creating art with my gorgeous girl. She is somewhat delayed in the area of motor development so, at the moment I am particularly enjoying seeing her strengthening core muscles and motor development showing as she uses crayons, markers and brushes, manipulates play dough and sticks and unsticks all sorts of things.

  13. This book sounds great! I love doing arty things with my daughter (2 1/2), but since her baby brother came along, it’s been much more challenging to start a really messy project – all too often, she needs cleaning up just as the baby needs to be held. So that’s what I dislike – trying to coordinate a project while managing two kiddos, but I love watching her explore a medium, her delight with it’s properties – her discovery of it.

  14. WOW, that’s a simple? and effective way to get started, yet it’s considered? as a very heretic instruction for teachers. This is so amazing.
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  15. I love seeing my daughters use their imaginations and create things I’ve never seen them make before. The first time each of my girls drew a face was really amazing for me.

  16. Christy says:

    I like seeing how we can use the same medium but their work is so much more than mine becuase I think too much and they just do.

  17. I don’t consider myself very artistic so I struggle to know what to do with my son. This book sounds like it could give me lots of great ideas!

  18. I love doing projects and seeing my son’s creativity emerge. I hate the inner battle that rages as I try to relax and let go of the fact that EVERYTHING will be a mess when we are done . . . .

  19. Creating art with my 2.5 year old is HARD for me. I am a dancer, actor, mover – it’s difficult for me to find activities that involve our hands, cutting, drawing, etc. and hard to get excited about it together. I just saw this book the other day and it peaked my interest – I hope I win!

  20. like an above commenter…I love the process and hate the clean up. Living in a rented home that is all white walls and white curtains just adds to the challenge. I love sunny days when we take it outside!
    Susan@improvamama´s latest post: Playful Practice- Rules

  21. melanie says:

    I love to sit beside my kids enjoying a cup of tea and watching them drawing, painting and creating.

  22. I am a firm believer that art is about the process not the product when it comes to young children, but my three year old thinks that art is about seeing how quickly he can break the crayons, crumble the chalk, snap the pencils, and saturate the paper with paint until it rips. He has some strong destructive tendencies, and I am struggling with finding a way for him to enjoy art and the process without it becoming a battle between us.
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  23. I’ve only tried paint a few times with my 2 year old, and he has been hesitant to get into it and get messy. He loves crayons and markers and the like though. I need more ideas about fun things to do with my little one!
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  24. So many supplies-the kids always drag them out and leave them everywhere!
    Want this book! :-)

  25. Tiffany says:

    Our household does not have a strong creative streak, and I personally need structure to surround creativity for me, so using art has not been an easy thing for me to do with my children. This would be a good book to help with that!