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Art

"With a subject matter as broad as life itself, the arts easily relate to aspects of almost everything else that is taught."  —Charles Fowler

At Playful Learning, we believe that art plays an essential role in learning. Making and appreciating art is one of life’s most fulfilling pleasures, and when we give children access to inspiring materials, they are better able to share what they are learning with the world. Just as importantly, when they participate in a variety of meaningful creative experiences, children can maintain an uninhibited approach to art throughout their entire lives.

Introducing Collage to Young Children

As a classroom teacher, I was always amazed at the opportunities my students had in the art room. Art was a vital part of the curriculum in the schoo...MORE

It’s Element-ary: Looking at Lines

Swirly, twirly, zig zag, straight—artists use all kinds of lines as they paint, draw, sculpt, and more. I often teach children that just like there...MORE

5 Digital Art Resources for Older Kids

In the early years of my children’s education art was a no brainer.  We crafted, painted, drew and molded.  We put googly eyes on everything we c...MORE

Me: In Poetry, Song, and Art

When I was a classroom teacher, one of the most relaxing, yet beneficial professional development opportunities I attended was a “Picture Book Read...MORE

Art for Toddlers: Smooshy Blob Painting

Give a toddler a paintbrush, and she’ll ask for more paint. Give her more paint, and she’ll probably make a mess. And with that mess comes all ki...MORE

Art for Kids: Fun with Matisse

Using the work of a specific artist as inspiration can be a fun activity with budding young creatives. Recently, I’ve become quite involved wit...MORE

Drawing Inspiration for Young Artists

I have a confession—I’m an art teacher that doesn’t think she can draw. ??!! Now before you think you need to report me to the Art Teaching Offi...MORE

Painting with Toddlers: Black and White

“Before launching into the full spectrum of color, stand at its edge with white and black, the beginning and the end of color.   Black and wh...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Make a Collage Bookmark

Our Summer Book Clubs are well under way and we thought it would be fun to build on the experience by making some inspiring bookmarks! Here is a fun...MORE

Flower Print + Scrape Painting

With blizzards, cold fronts and low temperatures blanketing much of the country, spring and its promise of warm days and flowers poking up through the...MORE

Zen and the Art of Classroom Maintenance

Each classroom has a rhythm. For my fourth grade class, the stretch from winter until spring break develops a rhythm that can only be described as cha...MORE

Sense of Place: Favorite Places Map Hearts

Do you and your family have favorite places that you visit frequently or that you have special memories of?  Most of us do.  Whether they are in ou...MORE

Drawing Connections: Music Inspired Art

As a musician and someone who deals in the visual arts, it’s not hard for me to draw a natural connection between music and art. Both deal in t...MORE

Integrating Math & Art: Calculating Area + Perimeter with Piet Mondrian

Learning to calculate the area and perimeter of rectangular shapes is a required skill in third grade math. The integration of art makes perfect sense...MORE

DIY Digital Gifts for Kids

DIY gifts are an engaging way to involve children in the spirit of giving at Christmas. These digital DIY gifts are perfect for the budding photograph...MORE

Protractor Art: Window Transparencies

So much can be learned when making art, so today I have a project that will not only brighten your winter windows but will show your child how to use...MORE

The Art Cart

As the girls get older I am making a slight shift in my outlook on creating spaces for them… With younger children I recommend a more curated c...MORE

The Daily Draw

Drawing is a language of expression. It is a way for children to make their individual creativity visible. Children can represent ideas with drawing....MORE

Connect Literacy to Wonder: Letter Drawings

Can letter-sound correspondence be learned from imaginative play? Yes! Here’s how. Most young children learn the alphabet and corresponding lett...MORE

Picture Book Project: The Bear’s Song

Having three children under the age of seven in the house amounts to a lot of picture book reading! Every now and then we come across a picture book...MORE

Sense-sational Painting

I still remember the day I got my first pair of eyeglasses. I was in third grade and really nervous about my classmates making fun of my new accessor...MORE

Lino Block Printing for Kids

Kate from An Everyday Story is with us today to share a great DIY on block printing with the budding young artists in our lives. Lino block printing...MORE

6 Games to Play With Your Child at the Museum

Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share some great ideas for learning through play at art museums. Are you visiting an art museu...MORE

Picture Book Projects: Extra Yarn

Randi from Swoon is with us today to share a fun project to compliment the inspiring book, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. Being displaced and living with...MORE

Collaborating with Nature

Kate from An Everyday Story is with us today to share a fun way to bring together an appreciation of nature and our creative spirits… It starte...MORE

An Invitation to Independently Explore

Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share some great tips on encouraging independent explorations with your children. In an age where more and...MORE

How to Kill Your Child’s Creativity

Kids are born creative geniuses. But unfortunately, by the time they reach the third or fourth grade, their creativity has sunk. With intelligence, t...MORE

Growing Your Child’s Creativity With Constructive Criticism

Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share some great advice on giving our children honest and useful feedback. By now we all know...MORE

Crafts For Kids: DIY Springtime Masks

Randi from Swoon is with us today to share some easy and fun springtime masks for the little bunnies in our lives. The transition from winter...MORE

Meaningful Literacy: Vegetable Stones for the Kitchen Garden

I think the dream to carve out a little spot in our yards to grow our own produce is a common one. Growing and nurturing something with our own hands...MORE

Nature in Your Craft Box

Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share some ideas and inspiration for encouraging the little makers in our lives. Including natural object...MORE

Weaving 101

Heather of Poppy Haus is with us today to share a DIY on a wonderful weaving project for kids and grown-ups… I can’t wait to try it! In...MORE

Ideas + Resources for Collaborative Art

Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us today to share some inspiring resources for creating collaborative art with the budding young makers in ou...MORE

Starting a Communal Loom

Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us today to share a wonderful community building, art making activity—starting a communal loom. Re...MORE

Color Theory for Little Ones

Randi from Swoon is with us today to share some fun tips for exploring color with children. Don’t forget to watch the video with your aspiring...MORE

Printable Bookmarks Two Ways

Monique of Green Acorns is with us today to share useful bookmark printables to inspire the young readers in our lives… There have been so many...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Painted Stick Mobiles

Monique of Green Acorns is with us today to share a lovely craft that puts all of the cool sticks we find on our nature expeditions to good use! Toda...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Needle Felted Acorns

Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share an inspiring fall craft activity, needle felted acorns. I am already picturing a big bowl of these l...MORE

DIY Tear Off Notepads

Around here we are pretty serious about paper. It seems as if we never have enough! Like most families, we love to have notepads handy to make lists,...MORE

Picture Book Project: The Dot

  Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us to share some creative project ideas for one of our favorite children’s books, The Dot by Peter H...MORE

DIY Chalkboard Shadowboxes

Randi from Swoon is with us today with a lovely DIY for making Chalkboard Shadowboxes! They look like just the thing for a fun afternoon of open-ende...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Recycled Bird Feeder

Bird Feeders are a constant source of inspiration for our family. Kate from An Everyday Story is here to share a lovely DIY on how to create one from...MORE

10 Ways to Beat Summer Boredom

Randi from Swoon is with us today with a lovely list of activities that we can share with our children during these precious summer months… Ha...MORE

Scissor Practice for Preschoolers

If an activity is a good developmental fit for a child it becomes evident in the amount of time he spends on it. Often a child will want to repeat th...MORE

Authentic Art Materials for Toddlers Part Four: Chalk Pastels

Kate from An Everyday Story is here to share the next post in her series about introducing authentic art materials to toddlers. Today she is explorin...MORE

All Natural Tie-Dye DIY

You are in for a real treat today! Randi from Swoon is sharing some great recipes and techniques for making lovely natural tie-dye creations… O...MORE

Homemade Gluten-free Play Clay

Annie from Alphabet Glue is with us to share a fun gluten-free play clay recipe. Over the last few months I have slowly started to remove gluten from...MORE

Authentic Art Materials for Toddlers Part 3: Paint

Kate from An Everyday Story is here to share the next post in her series about introducing authentic art materials to toddlers. Today she is explorin...MORE

Art on a Whim… Building an Art Library and How to Use It

Becky from a Sweet Hot Mess is with us today to share all of her favorite resources for exploring art and artists with children… My children lo...MORE

Collaborative Art: Making a Masterpiece Together

My favorite thing about art is how it transcends the normal lines that divide us. You don’t have to have incredible technique to create somethi...MORE

Learning with Circles

Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share lots of inviting ways to engage our young mathematicians in meaningful and educational activities...MORE

Authentic Art Materials for Toddlers Part 2: Charcoal

Kate from An Everyday Story is here to share the next post in her series about introducing authentic art materials to toddlers. Today she is explorin...MORE

DIY Tin-Can Stilts

Randi from Swoon is with us today to share a wonderfully nostalgic DIY on how to make stilts for the children in our lives… If your children ar...MORE

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk!

Since I started making my own play dough last year,  I’ve been wanting to try out more homemade versions of childhood favorites. Sidewalk chalk is...MORE

From the Bin: Paper Bag Lantern

Heather from Poppy Haus is with us today with another inspiring DIY project using re-purposed products from the the recycling bin. I don’t know...MORE

Authentic Art Materials for Toddlers: Introducing Clay

Kate from An Everyday Story is here to share the first in a series of posts about introducing authentic art materials to toddlers. Today she is explo...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Animal Mosaics

Randi from Swoon is with us today and is sharing a wonderful mosaic project that is not only good for developing fine motor skills, but serves and a...MORE

From the Bin: DIY Recycled Vases & Flowers

Heather from Poppy Haus is back today with another creative craft project, where the materials can be gathered directly from your recycling bin. I lo...MORE

From the Bin: DIY Art Caddy

I am so happy to welcome our newest contributor Heather Jennings, who is the creative force behind the inspiring blog Poppy Haus. She is sharing a gr...MORE

Crafts for Kids: Printable Bunny Mask

Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, we have a serious case of Spring fever around here. When stuck indoors for many days in a row, finding t...MORE

Small Acts: Love Letters to Your Children

We can all look back on a time in our lives when an encouraging note or “love letter” had a huge impact on us. Letters are a great way to...MORE

Small Acts: Simple Origami Hearts

I have been pondering the approaching Valentine’s Day season. This year I thought it would be fun to focus on simple, small acts that remind th...MORE

Holiday Crafts with Kids: Winter Dioramas

We have Randi from Swoon with us today to share another fun project that families can enjoy together during the holiday season. We can’t wait t...MORE

Holiday Crafts with Kids: Frosted Windows

We have Randi from Swoon with us today to share a fun project that families can enjoy together during the holiday season. You may have heard of proje...MORE

Holiday Crafts with Kids: Paper Trees

We have Randi from Swoon with us today to share a sweet holiday craft that families can create and enjoy together during the holiday season. During...MORE

Story Machines

Annie Riechmann from Alphabet Glue and Bird and Little Bird is with us today to share a lovely activity that will bring a new level of excitement to...MORE

12 Creative Apps for Kids

I am thrilled to have Rebecca from ThirteenRedShoes back with us today. She has a great list of creative app recommendations for the budding young ar...MORE

Tabletop Puppet Theater

Our beloved puppet theater has been a source of hours of creative play for our family… Today Randi from Swoon is with us to share a lovely hand...MORE

My Little Dress Up Book

Randi from Swoon! is with us today to share the lovely little dress up book that she created for her daughters. I can see that this little book could...MORE

Handmade City Play Mat

If I had to pick a theme to describe the phase of learning my girls are in, it would definitely be “imaginative play!” As young children,...MORE