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. Feeling like there’s a “right” way to do it, even though there isn’t. I just need to get over my perfectionism!
    Sarah – Recipe Love´s latest post: Easy Taco Soup

  2. Love his pride in the finished project; don’t like the cleanup!
    Cynthia´s latest post: Attachment Parenting- A fathers role

  3. I dislike how I want things to turn out perfectly instead of just enjoying the process.
    Krissa´s latest post: Cooking Together…Risotto Primavera

  4. I love seeing her joy in using tools and how it helps her express herself – we frequently suggest drawing feelings out when they seem too big for her. I really dread the endless stacks of used paper and her resistance to drawing on scratch paper.
    Brenna´s latest post: People Difficulties

  5. I love the joy of watching the creations come to life, the cleaning up after is not fun LOL!

  6. I dislike crafts that show you exactly what the finished result should look like, but I often don’t know where to start to guide them toward creating their own visions. This book sounds perfect for me!

  7. I love watching her work with something new for the first time…dislike the mess some days. :) This book looks great! Thank you!
    wideeyedwren (at) gmail (dot ) com
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  8. What I like: the fun, the laughing, the excitement!
    Dislike: cleanup!

  9. I love the pride and joy in their eyes as they create!

  10. I dislike the mess that comes with it…I am trying to work on that!

  11. I, like probably everyone else, dislike the mess. My kids are 3 & 2 so knocking over things, glue on the floor, and bath-time after…sometimes it just seems too much work, though I *KNOW* it’s worth it….they love it and always ask to do it.

    Sarah M
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  12. I don’t like the mess. Also having three young children trying to create at the same time gets hectic for me.

  13. Michelle says:

    I love the joy of completing an art project and then putting it on display for my child to be proud of!!

  14. Julie W says:

    I love doing art/crafts with my children, but have trouble keeping up with new ideas of things to do.

  15. Melissa o. says:

    I love watching them get excited by their projects!! I love displaying them and the pride on their faces when they show them to people!! :)

  16. I love how accomplished they feel after completing their project, especially if it was one that took a lot of effort or focus on their part to finish. The clean up – ugh. And beads. But beads is just a personal thing since the little one is still putting everything into her mouth. I love beads when they are all old enough to recognize what is food and what is not.
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  17. my dislike is not having the supplies so they can be creative as they wish.

    thanks for the giveaway.

    apple blossom´s latest post: Creamy Cookie Dessert

  18. I love the sense of joy my child gets- you can literally see her world opening up in her expression. I hate the prep work and searching for materials at a good price!

  19. The part that I dislike about creating art with my children is the setup. I always feel that I spend more time setting up the activity than my children do participating in the activity.

  20. I dislike the messes, but love how engaged they all are!

  21. I LOVE being crafty myself. I wish my daughter did but at 3 1/2 years old, she shows very little interest. This book sounds like the perfect solution! When we do art projects, the hardest part is letting go and letting her create her masterpiece without giving her input. And of course THE MESS! is always a pain. Planning on getting more creative outside this summer – water color outside on the grass, finger paint the deck, etc…

  22. Haha. I simultaneously like and dislike the messes that my 3-year-old son makes when we have art time. It always reinforces my awareness of his “boy-ness”, which I love wholeheartedly.

  23. I love art where there are no rules. My son is such a perfectionist, if he has too many guidelines he bases his success on other examples.

  24. This sounds like a fabulous book. I love watching them make discoveries about their own art (“look mom, I drew a happy face!”), but I struggle to have the supplies and knowledge about how to introduce them to new ways of creating art.

  25. I love the outcome…beautiful creations from my boys. But I am always a little anxious when we start. What about the MESS? How big will it be? Do I have enough carpet cleaner on hand? You know the basics worries of a mother of two boys with carpet under her table!!!!

  26. I love the way that each child puts their own individual spin on a project. It’s such a treat to see the ways they make each project their own. I don’t love the clean up process but it’s much more tolerable when everybody helps and we make it into a game :).

  27. I like watching them create something I never would have considered.

    I don’t like when they get distracted too easily. It just tells me that they’re either beyond that craft or it’s too far above their head.

  28. I love being forced into-the-moment, rather than managing other tasks ‘alongside.’ No matter how much else I have to do, I always feel like we’ve done something so worthwhile when we’ve made art together. (Despite the mess.)
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  29. Melissa says:

    I love watching the kids enjoying themselves and learning in the process!

  30. I love seeing how excited my girls get when I bring out the paints and other supplies. I dislike that I haven’t figured out a good way to give my girls access to their supplies whenever inspiration strikes them, but at the same time keeping them in “approved” areas of the home only – I need to work on that!

  31. Danielle says:

    I love to see my child’s eyes as she experiments with a new type of art. We did fingerpaints the other day and she was very timid at first just barely getting paint on her finger. By the end she was squishing paint inbetween her little figers and having a blast! I don’t mind her making a mess- I just don’t like cleaning it up!

  32. I love watching their eyes sparkle, and how instensley focused they can get. They love to see them up on the wall. My son also names his art projects like a real artist. I love to hear his names and I record them somewhere on the project with the date.

  33. jessica says:

    what seems possible with my 4 year old is often too hard for my 2 year old…so we try to keep her occupied while we do other things.

  34. I like to see him totally engaged in the project :)

  35. I love to see the smile on his wee face!

  36. Jennifer says:

    I love her excitement and pride … And afterward when says that she loves making art with me.

    What I don’t love is when little brother tries to eat paint. Yuck!

  37. I dislike having to say “Come on, time for bed!” when he’s so actively engrossed in another one of his masterpieces…

  38. I want so much to make art part of my child’s life several times a week, but I have no idea where to begin (outside of crayons and play dough). This seems like a wonderful resource!
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  39. I love, love, love that my Little M is so very HAND ON when it comes to art. She isn’t satisfied until her hands, and elbows are covered in paint!

  40. Love the way they are able to express themselves and show their personalities through art.

  41. Sometimes I have a hard time letting the kids just create! So I dislike the feelings I get when I want to control or put boundaries on their art.

  42. Kimberly says:

    I like having opportunities to introduce activities to my kids that don’t involve the tv or electronic toys. I really dislike all the cleanup though – especially after painting!!

  43. I dislike how quickly my son will rush through something that I went to a lot of trouble to prepare. I guess it is his age but no matter what I try, he is never engaged for very long. I really need this book :)
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  44. Like- watching them create what I would not have thought of. Dislike- gathering materials, figuring out what to do with the plethora of finished projects.

  45. vaedra hall says:

    I love this idea! I run a Daycare/Preschool out of my home and I’m always looking for creative ideas to do w/my kids! I especially love things that I can adjust to work with my little ones and the bigger kids at the same time!

    Can’t wait to read more……

    Thanks for so many good ideas!!!

  46. HEATHER BRANDT says:

    I like how happy the process of making art makes my son but I admit that the art process is something I have to schedule sometimes and be deliberate about because it is not as comfortable to me as reading or writing….

  47. Amanda T. says:

    I love seeing how much my daughter enjoys it. Little one’s can be so creative and that’s the beauty of it how imperfect perfection can be.

  48. love the creativity, don’t love the different ages and abilities and not being able to keep up with all 3.

  49. Cristina says:

    Love to see his excitement, creativity and interest. I also love to see how proud he feels when I exclaim how wonderful his creations are.

  50. I’ve never been the artistic type, so doing ‘arts & crafts’ intimidates me. I can’t draw for my life, and my creations are not so visually pleasing, to say the least. But my daughter enjoys doing crafts, and I guess that’s reward enough to get me out of my comfort zone.