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. Sarah C says:

    I love seeing my little ones get really into an activity and even take it places I didn’t think of… But sometimes those places are really messy and I don’t like to put the brakes in things but sometimes I do.

  2. Vicki Barnes says:

    I don’t mind the mess but getting things all together beforehand is sometimes daunting.

  3. I love fingerpainting with my children. It allows a lot of time for exploration and sensory play. The best part of spending this time with my children is that it allows us to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

  4. Kimberly says:

    I’m always surprised at how much I get out of our art experiences. It’s not just my kids who are learning and having fun – it’s me too!

  5. I don’t consider myself terribly creative so I always have a hard time thinking of art activities beyond the crayons and paints.

  6. I love doing art with my daughter! My only problem is that we both lack confidence in this area!!

  7. MY oldest boy loves cutting up cereal boxes and making things with them. He has a very good imagination and I bet he would love looking thru this

  8. I love watching my kids experiment and learn through art. The look of discovery and pride on their faces over-rides the mess (most of the time).

  9. Christine says:

    I like the process and the result…something you can put in a memory-art book for them.

  10. I need to get this book. My boys are not very interested at all in art; they’d rather be doing something else. When they actually do sit down and do something I’ve set up for them, I’m overjoyed. It never lasts as long as I’d like, though.

  11. I love to do creative things with my little guy, but I don’t like cleaning up afterwards: washing up paint, corralling crayons and chalk, picking up the tiny bits of playdoh or paper. I am really hoping to develop my sons interest in art – right now chalk is a favorite, but he’d rather stand on crayons than color for more than a minute!
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  12. Jennifer Radtke says:

    I love how excited my girls get when we do crafts. I also love watching where their imagination takes them. It’s the glitter all over the house and the sequin showers that drive me crazy. It’s finding the random coloring on the furniture because the tiny girl ran off with one of the colors.

  13. I love watching them create and get excited. The hardest part for me is getting the supplies together!

  14. i dislike the color “preschool brown”, you know when you go get a variety of colors for they to mix and try and they slop it all together and pour a dash brush cleaning water all over it for good measure and you are left a soupy, soggy mess of brown paper bits.

  15. i’m usually hesitant to do art projects due to fear of the mess…playdoh in the carpet, inky fingers touching the wall or couch, etc. but i love how my kids really get into what we’re doing when i let them have at it. and i love seeing their imaginations come to life when they tell me about something they’ve created.

  16. I love watching the concentration on their faces when they’re really into the creation process.

  17. i love the enjoyment my kids get out of experiencing art – whether it be a museum/art gallery or their favorite creation at home. the pride/joy they have for what they have created is priceless and it truly impacts how they view the rest of the world.

  18. I think I love just about everything about creating art with my daughter! It’s always so amazing to see the look of wonder and discovery on her face as we do each new thing. :) For her it’s all new and exciting, and it’s so wonderful to be able to experience those feelings again with her. We get to create amazing things together, which also gives us such a great feeling, knowing we brought something to life with our hands. It’s a very special experience! Thanks for having this!
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  19. Lindsay says:

    I love watching the creative ways they use the materials! I always think that they are going to do it one way and they surprise me and do something completely opposite of what I thought of. My girls are so creative!

  20. I love watching my daughter figure out how to create something. I dislike that she compares her work to mine and gets discouraged. This book looks really great!
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  21. I love how my boys really get into the process and get super messy….I also dislike how messy things can get, but it’s worth it!! Book sounds like a great resource for adding more creativity to our days…..

  22. Gretchen says:

    I think the most difficult part of being creative and creating art with my children is their different ages, abilities and interest. It is a hands-on project for me to get everyone started and to a point they can be creative on their own and then it’s time to clean up. I love to see how different their processes are for creating and the outcome!

  23. I love watching my 3 year old’s thought process, and the look of pride on his face when he completes a masterpiece…I dislike that it takes 3 times longer to setup and clean up than he stays interested in the activity.

  24. For my youngest, doing art is a real sensory experience. For my oldest, it’s more like a science experiment- mixing colors and methods to discover something new!
    Sandra´s latest post: New Numbers!

  25. I love seeing the creations they come up with. My daughter always surprises me with her choice of colors. I dislike the mess of painting. But it is so worth it that I just grin and bear it!
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  26. Catherine says:

    I’ve been eyeing this e-book – it looks great! I want to like art with my kids, but somehow it often goes wrong. I think we are not enjoying the process but getting frustrated that things don’t turn out like we imagined. And the kids’ frustration makes me flip out. :)

  27. Tamara C says:

    I love how art can wake up my kids brains and inspire them on to more creative expressions. The mess drives me crazy but when the weather allows we do our artwork out in the backyard where the clean up is easier. :)

  28. That looks like a wonderful book… We love arting as a family – it how we hang out together!!!

  29. My daughter is almost two, so we’re new to arts activities. Still just crayons on paper so far. I feel like I have no idea how to inspire her inner artist, so this book would be helpful in giving me direction. Thanks!

  30. Any project that gives us the opportunity to spend quality time with our kids—or grandkids—is well worth the “mess” we may have to deal with. This ebook sounds great.
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  31. I feel like I never know where to start! But I love seeing my two-year-old’s proud face whenever we complete a little project :)
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  32. My daughter isn’t yet 2, so I struggle knowing what is developmentally appropriate for her; that, and I struggle with creativity myself in this area.

  33. the set up and clean up! :)

  34. I love creating with my kids. They’re so talented and help me to find new things to do with old techniques. This book would be a great addition to our art supplies!

  35. I feel that I’m not particularly creative and so I don’t much beyond painting, crayons and play-doh. I would love a book that would help me do more with my little one. My son is in kindergarten now and there’s a woman at his school who is absolutely marvelous helping the kids explore the process not the product of art. But our school is closing at the end of the year and we’re going to homeschool so I’d love something (even if it’s for younger ones) to help give me some new ideas.

    As I must always add, I love this blog – for so many reasons!

  36. I love the way art projects nurture my kids’ creativity, and that it keeps boredom at bay. But I sometimes don’t love the mess it makes!
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  37. My daughter loves art! I am not artistic and tend to shy away from it. I also do not like gathering all the materials or the mess that can sometimes go along with it. This book sounds like it may give me some suggestions for some new ways to incorporate art into her daily routine.

  38. Leilani says:

    I love that my son loves to create…I just don’t have the ingenuity to make up crafts or art projects for him. Also, it can get messy…that’s probably the mom in me that doesn’t like that.

  39. I like create art with them, because they use their imagination…But don’t like the mess!

  40. Melissa says:

    We often have a hard time with doing art for several reasons…a) I never felt like I was any good at art and didn’t really enjoy it, b) my daughter is a perfectionist and always wants me to do everything for her because she can’t make it look how she wants, c) the 1 year old is always getting into the supplies and making a mess! So, we could use all the help we could get! I want to be more intentional about having art time especially as she wraps up preschool in the next two weeks.

  41. Sherry J says:

    I love (though don’t always like) being challenged to let go of the goal. To watch them truly create the finished product.

  42. hannah oliphant says:

    I struggle with my desire to allow creativity and do homeschool. when i see the kids in creative play i just don’t have the heart to stop it and start math. while it puts behind a day i try hard to catch up and encourage myself in allowing them to create. i think this book would be a tremendous help to us!!

  43. i love how much fun he has creating and making messes… but i hate how he draws on things that he isn’t supposed to!
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  44. Its both a dislike and love – Henry turns any kind of art into something I never expected. He likes to break the rules :)
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  45. Stephi J says:

    I love seeing the kids express themselves when they are given new tools at their disposal. It allows them to do something outside the box, express themselves in a new fashion. But what I don’t like is my fear towards it. I feel like the field is so wide you’re open to making something not being ARTY enough.

  46. I love the pure joy in my daughter’s face when she completes and art project. No matter what it is, to her, it is the greatest thing that’s ever been created!

  47. I love everything about it… But I especially love when she is doing something she thought she couldn’t do and this look of amazement crosses her face. I think the only thing I don’t like is that I am not very good at getting out of her way and just letting her do it. She is only three… so hopefully I will get better at that.

  48. My children love having a ‘craft’ or ‘art’ project to do – in fact, most of the things we do somehow end up having this sort of a flair to it . . . even cooking or working outside! I love watching them create in ways I would never have thought – or using those skills in another type of activity.
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  49. Bethany says:

    Looks like a great one! I love watching my kids create and seeing how different their ideas are from each other’s or mine. You can see their own unique personalities in their creations! Thanks for the chance!

  50. I love how children at a your age are not inhibited when doing art. They feel free to express themselves. As a mother and a teacher, my going it to maintain this inhibition and creativity as they grow older and have them begin to use art as a language like reading and writing.