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Page 1: The Artful Spring eBook
Page 2: The Artful Spring eBook

Notice of RightsAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews.

Notice of LiabilityThe author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within this book. Neither the author nor The Artful Parent will be held liable for any damages caused either directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book. Please use common sense and all precautions when cooking and crafting by yourself or with your children.

The Artful Spring: Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts

Text and images copyright 2013 Jean Van't Hul

Copyright

Page 3: The Artful Spring eBook

Table of ContentsHow to Use This Book.............................5

Celebrating an Artful Year.......................6

The Artful Year eBook Series..................7

Celebrating Spring.................................8

Spring Favorites...................................11

Celebrate Easter

Easter Egg Suncatchers.........................................13

Artful Bunny Ears.................................15

DIY Papier Mache Easter Baskets.......17

Tissue Paper Nests..............................20

Easter Eggs 12 Ways...........................22

Blowing Out Eggs................................23

Easter Egg Tree....................................24

Melted Crayon Easter Eggs.................25

Dye Easter Eggs with Food Coloring...27

Stained Glass Easter Eggs..................29

Yarn Printed Easter Eggs.....................31

Glitter Eggs..........................................33

Washi Tape Easter Eggs......................34

Holey Easter Eggs................................35

Sticker Resist & Marker Eggs...............36

Bleeding Tissue Paper Dyed Eggs.......38

Mixed-Media Eggs.................................40

Books About Easter...............................42

Recipes for Spring

Cooking Notes..................................44

Bird's Nest Cookies..........................45

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins..........47

Fruity Spring Pancakes....................50

Crock-Pot Millet Porridge.................52

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.....................................53

Bird's Nest Snack............................55

Crepes Two Ways............................57

Spring Greens Salad.......................59

Herbal Vinegar.................................60

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Spring Crafts

Bluebird Paper Chain.......................62

Flower Petal Suncatchers.................64

Flower Stained Glass........................66

A Spring Nature Table.......................68

Leafy Masterpiece............................70

Leaf Stickers.....................................73

Botanical Stationery..........................75

Print Your Own Spring Fabric...............................................76

Spring Drawing Game......................78

Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass.............79

Spring Marshmallow Sculptures...........................................81

Forest Diorama...................................82

Books About Spring...........................84

The Family Garden

Gardening 101...................................86

Family Gardening Primers..................87

Garden Colors Scavenger Hunt.........88

Garden Wish Flags.............................89

Beaded Garden Ornaments...............91

Painted Birdhouses............................93

Garden Loom.....................................95

Weave a Beanpole Teepee................97

Celebrate with Native Plants.............98

Concrete Stepping Stones................99

Books About Gardening...................100

Books About Birds and Butterflies.........................................101

Books About Trees and the Environment.....................................102

Final Notes

Thanks for Reading..........................103

Bunny Ear Template.........................104

Bluebird Paper Chain Template......105

The Artful Parent Book.....................106

The Artful Parent Online...................107

About the Author..............................108

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How to Use !" BookI'm writing The Artful Year e-book series with the family in mind (most of the projects are kid-friendly) but the majority of the crafts will adapt easily for use in the classroom as well. And don't feel that you have to have a child next to you in order to do these projects!

If you are doing these projects with your children, be attentive to their skills, ages, and developmental stages. Use your judgment in

deciding what they can do on their own, what you will help them with, and which steps you might want to do yourself.

Most of the materials mentioned are easily found at your local craft store. However, I created a materials resource for any that might be harder to find locally (liquid watercolors and BioColor paint, for example).

Have fun!

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 5

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In our home, we celebrate the seasons and holidays through art, crafts, and cooking together. We mix the familiar (gingerbread cookies) with the unique and creative (stained glass garlands) and we're always trying out new ideas and combinations.

Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a traditional way to embrace creativity together as a family, and the reverse is true as well: engaging in arts and crafts as a family is a fun way of decorating, preparing for, and learning about the holidays we celebrate.

Instead of buying all of our decorations and materials, we prefer to take the time to make our holidays more fun and meaningful by doing at least some of it ourselves. The rewards? Memories and mementos, creative growth in our children and ourselves, and lots of fun!

Celebrating

an A$ful Year

wi% Chil&en

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 6

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Arts and crafts, using the materials, colors, and themes of the season

Decorations to make as a family

Favorite seasonal recipes that are fun for children to help make (and eat)

Ideas for celebrating the holidays together

Children's picture books about the seasons and holidays

Please join me in crafting and celebrating around the year!

!e A$ful Year

In The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays with Arts and Crafts, I share my passion and ideas for crafting through the seasons and holidays, with one book for each season. Here's what you will find in each of the four books:

eBook Se'es

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 7

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Spring is by far my favorite season. While I love aspects of all the different seasons, and feel blessed to live in a temperate climate and experience each, spring is the one I identify with and enjoy the most. I was born in April, so perhaps I feel a bit of ownership because of that. But I won't deny that a big part of it is the return of the warmth and sun to the earth (especially as winter is such a brutal time of year for me both physically and mentally).

Spring heralds the return of the warm sun, the renewal of life, the appearance of green and color everywhere, and more time spent outdoors enjoying everything nature has to offer, from trees in bloom, birdsong as soundtrack, seedlings reaching for the sun, and baby animals cavorting. Spring is so alive.

Each spring I plunge into gardening with wild abandon, with kids working alongside here and there and then running off to swing, practice cartwheels across the lawn, or bake a mud cake. I plant seeds and seedlings, weed, mulch, turn compost, celebrate each new bulb bursting open, and plan, plan, plan.

Celebrating Sp'ng

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 8

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Maia claims ownership to a larger part of the garden each year with big ideas and plans of her own (the tallest Mammoth sunflower ever, bouquets of flowers all summer long, vegetables to feed the family). Daphne, at three, is an eager plant waterer, hole digger, and bug finder.

Spring is when we reassess our outdoor living space and decide how to make it a bit more kid-friendly, magical, and inviting to the birds, bees, and butterflies. We add a bubble machine, make birdhouses, redo the sandbox play area, create special fairy houses, assemble the makings of a fort, grow a tabletop sensory garden, create an outdoor art area,

make our herbs a bit more accessible to the kitchen door, and of course always add more flowers to the garden.

Easter is the big holiday of the season for us. Much of our crafting energy goes toward dying eggs, decorating for Easter, and thinking of different ways to celebrate in an artful way. As a family, we experiment with different methods of dyeing and decorating eggs. We try our hand at creating baskets and growing our own Easter grass. With some Greek blood in the family, we make a spectacular Greek Easter bread (leftovers make the best French toast!) with a red-dyed egg baked on top. We practice drawing bunnies galore and even try out being bunnies ourselves. (Homemade bunny ears help....)

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 9

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Spring is about birds nesting and laying eggs, and baby birds hatching. As a family of young learners, we do our best to observe (from a respectful distance) while helping when we can (making birdhouses, filling the bird feeders, supplying nesting materials, and incorporating good bird habitat into our garden. We treasure fragile robin's egg fragments we find underneath nests, try to recreate eggs and nests ourselves, and read thought-provoking children's picture books about birds, eggs, and nests to learn as much as possible.

Spring is when the world comes alive--both in nature and on the farm. Babies of all species are being born. Baby chicks, lambs, goats ("kids"), kittens, songbirds, quail, ducklings, calves, foals.... Mothers are both proud and protective of their young. We visit area farms to hold the chicks, feed the baby goats, and watch goat's milk being made into cheese.

Spring is baby carrots, bountiful greens, fresh-picked peas, asparagus, fresh eggs, rhubarb, and tiny strawberries with cream. It is the return of fresh, flavorful food to the more limited and heavy winter palate.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 10

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Sp'ng Favo'tes

Fuzzy chicks, woolly lambs, and knock-kneed foals

Birds busy building nests

Pussy willows

Dogwoods and redbuds in bloom

Puddle stomping

Decorating Easter eggs

Walking barefoot on wet grass

Garden planning and planting

The emergence of seedlings

Tasting the first sweet strawberries

Easter egg hunts

Eating peas fresh off the vine

Spring bulbs and the return of color

Infectious happiness and the turning out of the neighborhood

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 11

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Ea)er Egg SuncatchersMaterials• Transparent

contact paper

• Scissors

• Colored tissue paper

• Tape

• Marker

• Ribbon and lace (optional)

Create suncatchers in the shape of Easter eggs from colorful tissue paper, ribbon, lace, and contact paper.

You can also use this method to create flowers, bunnies, or any spring or Easter-themed image.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 13

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1. Cut contact paper to size desired (we aim for approximately 8 x 10 inches). Tape the contact paper to the table, paper side up. Carefully pull off the paper backing.

2. Use the marker to draw an oval egg shape, aiming to fill a large portion of the contact paper.

3. If using ribbon and lace, cut sections to span the width of the egg. Then press to the sticky contact paper, creating stripes.

4. Fill in remaining areas with colored tissue paper, torn into pieces. Press them on flat, or roll them into balls first.

5. Cut a sheet of contact paper the same size as the first, pull off the paper backing, and press this second sheet of contact paper on top of the one you decorated, sandwiching the Easter egg design in between the two sheets. Cut out the Easter egg, preferably leaving about 1/2 an inch beyond the marker line. An optional border can be added around the egg with tape.

6. Hang in a sunny window with tape, or punch a couple of holes and hang with ribbon.

17 The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 14

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Materials• Heavy watercolor

paper or cardstock, 12 x 18"

• Bunny ear template on page 104, or draw your own

• Oil pastels or crayons (light colors work great for crayon-resist)

• Watercolor paints (liquid watercolors are especially nice, but any will work)

• Paintbrush

• Stapler

A$ful Bunny Ears

DIY bunny ears for Easter and pretend play become extra colorful with the addition of crayon-resist painting.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 15

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1. Cut out the bunny ears from the printed template, then place over your watercolor paper and trace the ears onto the paper. Extend the headband lines across the sheet. Or, draw your bunny ears freehand directly on the heavy paper with the headband along the long side. (Don't cut out yet.)

2. Draw on the ears and headband with light colored oil pastels or crayons. Paint over your drawing with watercolors. Let dry. (If the paper buckles, press it under heavy books overnight.)

3. Cut out the bunny ears, then staple the headband into a loop to fit over the head (test it before stapling).

Instructions

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 16

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Materials• Colored tissue paper,

cut or torn into squares or pieces

• Texas snowflakes (large coffee filters used for art), or regular-sized white coffee filters, or white paper towels

• Medium bowl in the desired size and shape of your Easter basket

• Plastic wrap (the cling kind works especially well)

• White glue

• Paintbrush

• Scissors

• Cardstock or heavy watercolor paper

• Stapler

• Balloon

Make your own colorful Easter baskets! Papier mache is a favorite craft activity for kids and allows them to create many different kinds of three-dimensional objects, both decorative and functional.

DIY Papier Mache Ea)er Basket

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 17

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1. Turn the bowl upside down and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the excess inside. Set the plastic-covered bowl over another sheet of plastic wrap or on a non-stick surface such as a plastic placemat or tray.

2. Mix glue with water (about half and half) in a shallow bowl to create your paste mixture.

3. Use hands or paintbrush to cover the plastic wrap-covered bowl with a layer of paste mixture. Press a Texas snowflake over the the bowl, tucking the edges underneath. Rub more paste over the top and add another Texas snowflake, again tucking the edges underneath. (If using regular, smaller coffee filters, you may need to use more than one for each layer.)

4. Rub or brush another layer of paste over the Texas snowflake-covered bowl. Press colored tissue paper pieces all over the bowl, layering them as desired. Let dry completely (1-2 days).

Instructions

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 18

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5. Turn the bowl over and use scissors to cut along the edge, pulling off the excess that was tucked underneath. Gently remove the papier mache "basket" from the bowl.

6. Cut a strip of cardstock approximately 2 x 18 inches to use for the basket handle. Staple to each side of the basket with 2-3 staples per side.

7. Blow up a balloon to fit inside the basket and under the handle, to support the handle as you cover it with wet papier mache. (Tip: Hold the balloon partially inside the basket as you blow it.)

8. Rub or brush the handle with the glue mixture. Press colored tissue paper pieces along the handle. Let dry completely.

9. Pop and remove the balloon. If desired, you can add more colored tissue paper pieces to the interior of the basket and along the basket edge.

10. Fill with shredded paper or real grass. (My daughters love to go outside with scissors and "trim" the lawn, gathering grass for their baskets.) Add Easter eggs!

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 19

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T"sue Paper Nests MATERIALS• Colored

tissue paper (white Kleenex-type tissue works as well)

• Small bowl

• Plastic wrap

• White glue, such as Elmer's

• Water

Scrunching up colored tissue paper, dipping it in a glue mixture, then sticking it to your bowl form is a simple and effective way to craft a nest. (For directions on how to make the eggs pictured, see page 35.)

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 20

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Instructions1. Turn the bowl upside down and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the excess inside. Set the plastic-covered bowl over another sheet of plastic wrap or on a non-stick surface such as a plastic placemat or tray.

2. Mix glue with water (about half and half) in another bowl to create your paste mixture.

3. Tear off small- to medium-sized pieces of colored tissue paper. Dip the end of each wad into the glue mixture and press to the plastic-covered bowl. Repeat with tissue paper pieces until the bowl is entirely covered. Let dry.

4. Gently pull the nest away from the bowl. Nestle a few Easter eggs inside and use for your holiday decorating or for a spring nature table.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 21

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Materials

Instructions

• Eggs, raw

• Small nail or pin

• Bowl

• Water

• Distilled white vinegar

1. Gently poke holes into each end of an egg using a small nail or pin. Make a smaller hole on the top and a slightly larger hole on the bottom.

2. Holding the egg over a bowl, press your lips over the smaller hole and blow (hard!) to expel the contents out the other hole. Continue with as many eggs as desired.

3. Wash the hollow eggs in warm water mixed with a generous splash of vinegar. Let dry thoroughly before decorating.

Blowing Out EggsFor hollow eggs to hang on an Easter egg tree (page 24)--or just eggs that you can keep year after year--you'll want to blow them out first.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 23

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Materials

Instructions

• Blown and decorated Easter eggs (see pages 22-41)

• Ribbon, 1/4 inch wide

• Scissors

• Hot glue gun

• Large branch

• Bucket or pot

• Pebbles or dirt

1. Fill the bucket partway with pebbles. Stick the branch into the center of the bucket. Hold it in place while you add more pebbles to stabilize your small "tree."

2. Cut ribbon into 5 inch lengths. Working with one at a time, fold the ribbon in half and use the hot glue gun to glue both ends to the top of an Easter egg, creating a hanging loop for the egg. Continue with the rest of your eggs.

3. Hang the eggs on your new Easter tree!

Ea)er Egg Tree

Our Easter egg tree was inspired

by one in my much-loved

childhood copy of A Time to

Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of

Holidays The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 24

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Materials• White eggs

• Large pot

• Tongs

• Crayons, all colors, but white and light colors are especially nice for the resist effect

• Egg carton(s)

• Food coloring & distilled white vinegar (or a commercial dye kit)

Melted-Crayon

Ea)er Eggs

The melted-crayon Easter eggs are hands-down our favorite technique, both for the process and the finished product. While we love experimenting with other ways to decorate eggs, we always do a big batch of melted-crayon Easter eggs.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 25

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1. Place the eggs into a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover pan and turn off burner. Set a timer and let sit for 15 minutes.

2. Gather your materials and prepare your work space. Be prepared to work as soon as the 15 minutes are up.

3. Use tongs to transfer a hot egg to your egg carton or egg cup. Draw on the egg with crayons, letting the crayon melt as you draw.

4. Continue with the rest of the eggs, drawing on one at a time, leaving the remainder in the hot water. (Alternatively, you can keep the eggs warm in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven.)

5. Once your child has drawn on all the eggs, dye them using the food coloring technique on page 27 or with a commercial kit.

17

Instructions

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 26

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Materials• White eggs,

hard boiled or blown (page 23)

• Egg carton(s)

• Water

• Food coloring or liquid watercolors

• Distilled white vinegar

• Cups, 1 for each color

• Spoons, 1 for each color

Dye Ea)er Eggs

There is no need to buy a commercial egg dying kit. You can get equally vivid results with materials in your

kitchen cabinet.

wi% Food Colo'ng

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 27

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Instructions1. Bring water to a boil. Pour into cups, making sure to include enough water to cover an egg.

2. Add food coloring (several drops) or liquid watercolors (1-2 tablespoons) and 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to each cup. Mix.

3. Use the spoons to gently lower an egg into each cup (you can leave the spoons there). Lift the eggs periodically to see if they have reached the colors desired. Leave the eggs in the dye briefly for lighter colors and longer for darker colors.

4. Remove eggs from dye and let dry in your egg carton or on a drying rack.

Note: You can combine this egg dying technique with many of the other Easter egg decorating ideas in this chapter.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 28

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17

Stained Glass

Ea)er Eggs

The combination of marker drawings with a shiny, translucent glue and paint mixture gives these eggs an attractive stained glass effect.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 29

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1. Draw pictures or designs on the white eggs with a Sharpie. Any color is fine, but a black marker will give a more realistic stained glass effect.

2. Squeeze a small amount of glue into each cup. Add an equal amount of paint, one color per cup, and mix.

3. Use the glue-paint mixture to paint the Easter eggs, filling in the spaces between marker lines with color (or just painting all over, as younger children, especially, will do!).

Note: Paint only half of the egg, and let dry, before flipping over and painting the other half, to prevent the egg from sticking to the drying surface.

InstructionsMATERIALS• White eggs, hard boiled or blown

(page 23)

• Sharpies or other permanent markers

• White glue, such as Elmer's

• Tempera paint in an assortment of colors

• Small cups

• Paintbrushes

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 30

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Materials

• White eggs, hard boiled or blown (page 23)

• Yarn or string

• Scissors

• Small bowls

• Acrylic paint, watered down half and half with water. (Or use BioColors.)

Yarn-P'nted

Ea)er Eggs

Roll your eggs around in a little "nest" of paint-soaked yarn for a basketful of unique Easter eggs. This is a great tactile activity for young children!

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 31

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1. Pile up yarn in each bowl to create little nests.

2. Add BioColor paint or watered-down acrylic paint to the yarn. Use hands to mix it thoroughly until the yarn is soaked with paint. Wash hands.

3. Roll eggs around in the yarn, printing them with the yarn designs. Let dry.

17

Instructions

NoteFYI, the acrylic paint is permanent. The BioColor paint stays on the eggs well, but the paint will rub off if you use water and a scrubbing action.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 32

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Materials• White or dyed

eggs, hard boiled eggs or blown (page 23)

• White glue

• Fine paintbrush

• Glitter

Gli,er EggsPaint with glue and then add glitter, for Easter eggs that pop. Not to mention that are super popular with the kids!

1. Use the paintbrush to paint a simple design on the egg with glue (stripe, zigzag, dots, bunny, hearts, etc.).

2. Sprinkle glitter over the glue.

3. Add another glue design and a different color of glitter if desired. Let dry.

INSTRUCTIONS

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 33

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Materials

Instructions

• White or dyed eggs, hard boiled or blown (page 23)

• Washi tape or other printed paper tape

• Scissors

Cut washi tape into geometric or other shapes, or tear into pieces. Adhere to the egg in patterns, images, or randomly, as desired.

Wa-i Tape

Ea)er Eggs

Washi Tape, or similar colorful, printed paper tape, is a simple and fun way for kids or adults to decorate Easter eggs.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 34

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Materials

Instructions

• White eggs, hard boiled or blown (page 23)

• Hole reinforcement stickers

• Food coloring and distilled white vinegar

1. Press hole reinforcement stickers and/or other stickers all over the eggs as desired, either in patterns or randomly. Press the edges down firmly using your thumbnail.

2. Dye your sticker-covered eggs according to the instructions on pages 27-28 (or use a commercial kit).

3. Let eggs dry. Peel off the stickers.

Holey Ea)er EggsTrying a sticker resist technique with hole reinforcement stickers yields a unique Easter egg.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 35

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Materials• White eggs, hard

boiled or blown (page 23)

• Sharpies or other permanent markers

• Small stickers such as dot and price stickers from the office supply store (foil star stickers

work especially well)

• Food coloring and distilled white vinegar

Sticker Res"t & Marker Eggs

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 36

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1. Adhere the stickers to the eggs as desired, pressing the edges down firmly using the edge of your thumbnail.

2. Now draw on the sticker-covered egg with Sharpies.

3. Dye the eggs according to the instructions on pages 27-28 (or use a commercial kit).

4. Let eggs dry. Then peel off the stickers.

Note: Some stickers are more resistant to removal than others. You may need to scrape them off with your thumbnail. The foil covered stars remove easily.

Instructions

Combine a sticker resist

technique with permanent

markers for a creative effect.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 37

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MATERIALSDye Ea)er Eggs • White eggs, hard

boiled or blown (page 23)

• Paintbrush

• Water

• Bleeding tissue paper (sometimes called art tissue) in multiple colors

• Distilled white vinegar

wi% Blee.ng T"sue Paper

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 38

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Instructions1. Tear the colored tissue paper into small pieces. (Alternately, use scissors to cut the tissue paper into geometric or other shapes.)

2. Paint an egg with the water/vinegar mix. Press a piece of the bleeding tissue paper to the egg. Brush more of the water mixture over the tissue paper piece. Repeat with more bleeding tissue paper until the egg is covered as desired. Continue with remaining eggs.

3. Let the tissue paper dry. Remove the tissue paper pieces and admire the colors left on the eggs.

Using bleeding tissue paper to dye eggs is a

fun technique for toddlers on up.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 39

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Mixed-Me.a Eggs MATERIALS• White or dyed eggs,

either hard boiled or blown (page 23)

• Printed tissue paper (look in the gift wrap section) and/or printed paper napkins

• Scissors

• White glue, such as Elmer's, or Mod Podge

• Paintbrush or foam brush

• Permanent markers, such as Sharpies

The egg is your canvas. These Easter eggs combine the decoupage technique (always popular with kids!) with drawings for a unique result every time.

The Artful Spring : Celebrating the Season & Holidays with Family Arts and Crafts by Jean Van't Hul www.ArtfulParent.com 40

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Instructions1. Cut images out of the printed tissue paper and/or paper napkins.

2. Thin glue with an equal amount of water in a small dish and mix thoroughly (or just use Mod Podge).

3. Use brush to paint the glue mixture onto the egg. (Work on a section at time, rather than the entire egg.) Press colored tissue paper or napkin shapes and images to the glue-covered egg. Brush more of the glue mixture over the tissue paper. Repeat entire process until the egg is decorated to your satisfaction. Let dry.

4. Draw pictures and designs on the eggs with permanent markers.

VariationAdd glue and then glitter or sequins to your mixed media eggs for some some extra sparkle.

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Books ab/t Ea)erThe Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen and Sally Anne Lambert

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

The Bunny Who Found Easter by Charlotte Zolotow and Helen Craig

Max's Easter Surprise based on the characters created by Rosemary Wells

Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

The Night Before Easter by Natasha Wing and Kathy Couri

The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich and Donald Saaf

A Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor

The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous

A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays by Tasha Tudor

Eggday by Joyce Dunbar

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Slow Cookers

My Flour of ChoiceI bake with King Arthur flours and often use their White Whole Wheat Flour either alone or in combination with all-purpose flour. Their "white wheat" is actually a whole wheat flour that is milled from hard white spring wheat. It has the nutrients of regular whole wheat, but it produces a lighter flour that is easier to bake with.

I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour in place of, or in combination with, all-purpose flour in many recipes. If you prefer, however, you can use all-purpose flour or do a half-and-half mix with regular whole wheat flour.

We use our slow cooker (Crock-Pot, or any brand) to have hot porridge ready in the morning when we wake up and healthy soups ready for dinner even when we're away from home all day.

Metric EquivalentsIf you use metric measurements when baking, please refer to the conversion tables here.

Cooking Notes

Cooking with KidsChildren can help make any of the following recipes. The recipes I've chosen, such as bird's nest cookies and bird's nest snacks, are especially suited for making with kids because of the simplicity of the recipes and the fun factor of dipping, rolling, and poking. The finished result may not be ready for the pages of Gourmet magazine, but the fun is in the making, and anyone lucky enough to eat them will surely focus on how delicious they are.

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Bird's Nest CookiesIngredients• 2 sticks butter, at

room temperature

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 cups white wheat flour

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 egg

• Sweetened, flaked coconut, one bag

• Small Easter egg candies or peanut M&Ms (You can also use dried raisins and/or almonds for the eggs)

Bird's nest cookies are an adorable spring-themed treat that is super fun for kids to help make. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Jam Thumbprint Cookies. Makes 2 dozen.

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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add vanilla. Add flour and salt, and continue to mix until the dough forms.

3. Break off chunks of the cookie dough, and with your hands roll it into medium-sized balls (about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter).

4. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a tablespoon of water to use as an egg wash. Empty the bag of coconut flakes into a wide, shallow dish.

5. Dip each of the dough balls into egg wash, then transfer to the dish of coconut and roll around until thoroughly coated.

6. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet. Press your thumb gently but firmly in the center of each cookie, creating the nest shape. Bake for 25 minutes.

7. Press the Easter egg candies into the nest while the cookies are still warm.

8. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Instructions

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Strawberry Sho$cake MuffinsMuffin Ingredients• 1 stick butter, at room

temperature

• 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

• 2 large eggs

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 1/2 cups white wheat flour

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredients• Fresh strawberries

• 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

• 1-2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

These muffins are low in sweetener; you can serve them for breakfast or a snack.

A quick and easy alternative to traditional strawberry shortcake.

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1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 12-section muffin tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. With the mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.

2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

3. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Add half of the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, and the final half cup of milk, stirring gently after each addition. Do not overmix.

4. Divide muffin batter into muffin tin sections, sprinkle the tops with sugar (optional), and bake for 20 minutes.

Muffin Instructions

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1. Slice the strawberries. (Kids love to do this part. Even toddlers and preschoolers can cut strawberries with a butter knife.) If desired, toss with a sprinkle of sugar before setting aside.

2. Whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Mix in the sugar and vanilla.

3. To assemble your shortcakes, slice the muffins in half horizontally, add a dollop of whipped cream, and then a large spoonful of sliced strawberries. Set the top of the muffin over your goodies and enjoy!

Assemble Your Strawberry Shortcakes

VariationsInstead of strawberries, you can try blueberries, raspberries, bananas, mangos.... They are delicious with any fruit!

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Fruity Sp'ng Pancakes

Ingredients• 2 cups white

wheat flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 4 tablespoons melted butter

• 2-3 large eggs

• 2 cups milk

• 1/2 cup blueberries (thaw first if frozen)

• 1/2 cup strawberries (thaw first if frozen)

• 3 squeeze bottles (such as cheap plastic ketchup bottles) or plastic sandwich bags.

Create flowers, eggs in nests, and other shapes with pancake batter that's been tinted with fresh fruit. My daughters get very excited to see each new pancake design hot off the griddle.

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Instructions1. Puree the blueberries and strawberries in the blender, one at a time, rinsing out the blender between berries. Set purees aside in individual bowls.

2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter.

3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the egg mixture to each of the fruit purees and stir until just combined. Combine the final 1/3 of the flour and egg mixtures together with the milk--this is your plain batter. (Note: If any batter is too thick, add a little milk.) Put each pancake batter into a squeeze bottle or a sandwich bag (if using a plastic bag, cut a small hole in one corner).

4. Squeeze both the tinted and plain batter onto a hot, greased griddle in the shape of flowers, eggs, nests, birds, and other creations. Cook until the edges of the pancake are dry. Flip and cook on the other side.

5. Serve with butter, syrup, and fresh fruit.

45

If desired, you can create additional colors with other pureed fruits or vegetables, or with food coloring. Add a dash of sprinkles for speckled eggs.

Variations

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Crock-Pot Millet Por'd2

1. Mix all ingredients (except the toppings) in your Crock-Pot or slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. Serve with desired toppings and milk, kefir, or yogurt.

Ingredients

Instructions

• 1 cup millet

• 4 cups water

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 tablespoons butter

• Toppings such as fresh or dried fruit, honey, shredded coconut, and/or nuts

Have a hot, healthy breakfast ready when you wake up! Millet is a nutritious and delicious whole grain that makes a great breakfast porridge.

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Ra3berry Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee CakeCoffee Cake Ingredients• 2 1/4 cups white

wheat flour

• 3/4 cup sugar

• Zest from 2 lemons

• 3/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

•½ cup ground or finely chopped almonds (optional)

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 3/4 cup plain yogurt

• 1 egg

• 1 - 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries

• 8 ounces softened cream cheese

• 1/4 cup sugar

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 1 egg

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients

As good for an afternoon snack as it is for breakfast!

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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch springform pan.

2. Mix flour, sugar, and lemon zest in a food processor. Add the butter to the flour. Pulse until the butter/flour mixture is crumbly.

3. Reserve 1 cup of the butter/flour crumbs for topping. Add ground almonds to the reserved crumbs (optional).

4. Dump remaining crumbs into a large bowl and add baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, and 1 egg. Mix until mostly smooth. Gently stir in raspberries. Use spatula or hands to spread batter over bottom of springform pan.

5. To make the filling, beat softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over the batter in the pan. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.

6. Bake for 1 hour. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is done!

7. Let cool completely. Enjoy!

Instructions

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Bird's Nest Snack

An edible bird's nest to build and then eat, made of a delicious peanut butter dough and pretzel sticks. Add candy eggs or a little marshmallow peep once the nest is completed.

Ingredients

• Pretzel sticks

• 1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

• 1 cup powdered sugar

• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 1 cup powdered milk

• Candy eggs or marshmallows

(Makes four nests)

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Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and powdered milk together with an electric mixer.

2. Divide the dough into four and give each child a dough section and some pretzels.

3. Create a "pinch pot" with the dough by first forming it into a ball, then putting your thumb in the center and working around the perimeter with your thumb and fingers. Widen the central indentation until you are satisfied with the nest.

4. Poke and place pretzel sticks and pretzel pieces in the peanut butter dough to create a more realistic nest. Note that younger children may just poke the pretzels in the dough ball for a more abstract sculpture effect, as in the photo of my three year old at right.

5. Add a few candy eggs or marshmallows to the nest to serve as eggs. Or include a marshmallow peep for a bird!

6. Once the nest is complete, admire and then eat.

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Crepes Two Ways

Ingredients• 3 large eggs

• 1 cup milk

• 1 cup white wheat flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for the pan

Crepes are a favorite with kids and adults alike. Fill them with spring vegetables for a savory dish or with fruit for a sweet one.

1. Mix eggs, milk, butter, and flour in a blender. Let sit for an hour.

2. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated, nonstick pan. Tilt pan in all directions to thinly spread the batter to about 6-8 inches in diameter. Cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping and cooking for 30-45 seconds on the reverse. Remove from pan and keep warm in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven. Repeat process to cook more crepes.

Instructions

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3. Add your choice of sweet or savory toppings to your crepes, and roll up.

• Spring vegetables, such as spinach, peas, baby carrots, lightly steamed or sauteed with butter

• Chopped herbs, such as parsley or chives (optional)

• Shredded cheese of choice (optional)

Fill with Spring Vegetables

Fill with Fruit• Berries or fruit, chopped or mashed

• Mascarpone or cottage cheese (optional)

• Sweetener, such as a drizzle of honey or a teaspoon of sugar (optional)

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Sp'ng Greens Salad

Ingredients• Lettuce, spinach,

arugula, mizuna, or other spring greens

• Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, or chives (optional)

• Spring vegetables , such as peas, radishes, and baby carrots

• Edible flowers, such as pansies or chive blossoms (optional)

• Olive oil

• Vinegar, such as balsamic or the herbal vinegar on page 60

• Salt and pepper

Instructions1. Wash and dry the greens. Place in a salad bowl. Add herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers as desired. Toss.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and toss again. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Salads are an easy way for kids to be involved in making dinner (& they're more likely to eat their vegetables if they're involved in growing and preparing them!).

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Herbal Vinegar

Ingredients• Fresh herbs, such

as basil or (pictured here) chive blossoms

• White balsamic vinegar

• Jelly jars or other small glass jars with lids

• Parchment paper

• Strainer or sieve

Instructions1. Wash and dry your herbs and roughly chop. If using chive blossoms, keep the blossoms intact.

2. Loosely pack your jelly jars with the clean herbs. Pour the vinegar over the herbs, leaving a 1/2 - 1 inch space at the top. Place a piece of parchment paper over the top, then screw your lid on.

3. Place in a cool dark place, such as a cupboard, for 1-2 weeks, or until it reaches your desired flavor intensity.

4. Strain the herbal vinegar to remove the herbs. Return the vinegar to the glass jars. Try it out on your next spring salad (page 59)!

It's so easy and satisfying to make your own herb-infused vinegar to use in salad dressings and cooking!

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MaterialsBluebird Paper Chain

Bring birds indoors with this artful paper chain. Perfect for spring or party decor!

• 12 x 18" watercolor paper or other heavy paper

• Bird template (page 105), or draw your own

• Scissors

• Paint, tempera or BioColors

• Glitter

• Tape

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1. Cut paper into three strips, 18 inches long by 4 inches wide. Fold each strip into thirds, accordian-style.

2. Hold the bird template over the accordian-folded paper and cut through all layers, making sure to leave at least 1/4 inch of folded paper between the birds (at the beaks and tails).

3. Paint the paper birds. Add glitter if desired. Let dry.

4. Connect two or more paper bird chains together with staples or tape. Hang with tape to decorate your home.

Instructions

VariationsMake paper chains with any spring-themed image. Ideas include flowers (my daughter makes a lot of these!), bunnies, eggs, lambs, and chicks.

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Flower Petal Suncatchers

Materials• White paper plates

(the thin, cheap kind work best)

• Scissors

• Hole punch

• Ribbon or yarn

• Transparent contact paper (also called sticky back plastic, outside of the U.S.)

• Flowers and leaves

Flower petals and leaves are arranged into circular mandala designs in these colorful suncatchers. You can also create all-over random patterns, faces, flowers, or striped Easter eggs with this technique.

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1. Cut the center out of your paper plate.

2. Fold a piece of contact paper in half and cut out a circle 1/2 to 1 inch larger than the hole. You now have two circles of the same size.

3. Pull off the paper backing of one of your circles and adhere the contact paper to the back of the paper plate, sticky side facing the side you would eat from.

4. Press flower petals, small leaves, and leaf pieces to the sticky side of the contact paper, arranging them in a radiating, circular design.

5. When satisfied with your design, press your second contact paper circle over the flowers, sticky side down, to sandwich them between the two pieces of contact paper.

6. Punch a hole through the paper plate at the top of your suncatcher. Thread a length of yarn through the hole, and tie it to form a loop.

7. Hang the suncatcher in the window and admire it when the sun shines through!

Instructions

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Materials

Instructions

Flower Stained Glass Be creative in the way you bring flowers into your home. Not only can you have bouquets on your table, but you can put flowers on your windows as well for a colorful, but natural, stained glass effect.

• Transparent contact paper (also called sticky back plastic)

• Flowers and leaves

• Tape

• Scissors

1. Choose the window you'll use. A multi-paned one is effective, but not necessary.

2. Cut the contact paper into pieces to fit each pane. If using a non-paned window, you can cut one or more large sheets of contact paper to span the width of the window, or just do a small section.

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3. Pull the paper backing off the contact paper and tape each piece, sticky-side up, to your table or work surface.

4. Arrange flower petals (not the whole flower unless very small and flat), and leaves as desired, across each piece of contact paper, making sure to leave ample contact paper uncovered to stick to the window.

5. Remove the tape and adhere each "stained glass" panel to a window pane. Continue until all panes are covered.

6. Stand back and admire the color of the flowers as the light shines through!

Notes• Your flowers and leaves will lose some color

over time. It can be interesting to watch and comment on the process with your kids.

• To remove your stained glass, simply peel off the contact paper from the window. Use window cleaner or soap and water to remove any flower and leaf residue from the windows.

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Spring Nature Table Ideas

• Flowers

• Pussy willows

• Potted bulbs

• Bird's nest, real or pretend

• Robin's egg fragments

• Forsythia stems to force indoors

• Feathers

• Pretend eggs, purchased or handmade

• Animal figurines (lambs, chicks, foals, ducklings)

• Leafy branch

• Other nature items

• Magnifying glass for viewing detail

A Sp'ng Nature Table

Collect and display spring elements and mementos from around the garden and home, and on nature walks.

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MaterialsLeafy

Ma)erpiece

• Leaves and ferns

• Stretched canvas, any size

• Plain white or light-colored paper

• Water-based printing ink (acrylic paint works, too)

• Newspaper & scrap paper

• Mini paint roller (from the hardware store, used for corners and trim in house painting)

• Large plate or acrylic box frame, for rolling out the ink (see page 77)

• Brayer (hard rubber roller, found at arts and crafts supply stores) or old rolling pin

Make botanical art worth hanging by printing with leaves and flowers on canvas.

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1. Protect the work surface with newspapers or a splat mat.

2. Paint the front and sides of your plain canvas with acrylic paint or BioColors (a light color works best). Use all one color or a combination of colors. If you want a white surface, paint it white, rather than leaving the canvas uncoated. Let dry.

3. Go on a nature walk around your yard or neighborhood to collect leaves of various sizes and shapes. You can include leaves from houseplants as well.

4. Prepare for leaf printing by protecting your work surface and gathering all your materials.

5. Squeeze a small amount of ink on the plate. Roll it around with the paint roller to thinly coat the roller.

6. Place a leaf, vein side up, on a sheet of newspaper or scrap paper. Roll the paint roller over the leaf to coat it evenly.

Instructions

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6. Set the leaf, paint side down, on the canvas you have prepared for the print. Set a clean piece of scrap paper over the leaf. Press down firmly with your hands, or roll a clean brayer over the paper-covered leaf to press it down evenly. Carefully lift up the paper and leaf to reveal your print.

7. Continue to print leaves and ferns in one or more colors on the canvas until you are happy with your design. Make some leaf prints on paper as well. Let dry.

8. Cut out the paper leaf prints and, using Mod Podge or glue, glue them to your canvas as desired for a more complex and layered botanical image. Let dry, then hang.

Variations• You can also use this method to decorate

paper, including stationery (see page 75), wrapping paper, and journals, and to make your own stickers (see page 73).

• For leaf printing on fabric, see the activity on page 76.

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Leaf Stickers Materials

Print your own seasonal stickers with new spring leaves. Use for art, gifts, or to decorate letters and cards.

• New and other small leaves

• Full sheet sticker paper (sold as full sheet address labels)

• Water-based printing ink or acrylic paint

• Newspaper & scrap paper

• Pen

• Scissors

• Mini paint roller (from the hardware store, used for corners and trim in house painting)

• Large plate or acrylic box frame

• Brayer (hard rubber roller, found at arts and crafts supply stores) or rolling pin

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1. Follow instructions 1-6 from Leafy Masterpiece on pages 70-72, making your leaf prints on full size sticker sheets instead of on canvas. Let dry.

2. Use a pen to outline the leaf prints (optional).

3. Cut out the stickers, leaving a 1/8-1/4 inch margin around the pen line.

4. Pull off the paper backing and apply the stickers where desired, such as to decorate envelopes or blank notecards.

Instructions

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MaterialsBotanical• Leaves and ferns

• Plain white or light-colored paper postcards, notecards, envelopes, or journals

• Printing materials as found on page 70

Decorate blank cards and envelopes with botanical prints.

Stationery1. Follow instructions 1-6 from Leafy Masterpiece on pages 70-72, but this time, instead of printing on canvas, make your leaf prints on blank notecards, postcards, and envelopes. Let dry.

2. Add a greeting or note and mail! Or, tie a set of cards together with a ribbon and present as a gift with some homemade leaf stickers (page 73). These make a great Mother's Day gift for a mother or grandmother!

Instructions

Great for Mother's Day!

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P'nt Y/r O5 Sp'ng Fab'c

• Leaves and ferns

• Plain white or light-colored cotton fabric (or white T-shirt, scarf, skirt, handkerchief, pillowcase, napkins, etc)

• Fabric paint (I like Jacquard brand)

• Newspaper & scrap paper

• Mini paint roller (from the hardware store, used for corners and trim in house painting)

• Large plate or acrylic box frame (see next page)

• Brayer (hard rubber roller, found at arts and crafts supply stores) or old rolling pin

• Iron

Materials

Decorate your own fabric with gorgeous prints of all the new spring leaves and ferns.

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Instructions1. Prepare for leaf printing by protecting your work surface with newspaper or a splat mat. Gather all your materials.

2. Put a couple spoonfuls of fabric paint on the plate. Roll it around with the paint roller to thinly coat the roller.

3. Place a leaf, vein side up, on a sheet of newspaper or scrap paper. Roll the paint roller over the leaf to coat it evenly.

4. Set the leaf, paint side down, on the fabric where you want the print. Set a clean piece of paper over the leaf. Roll the brayer over the paper-covered leaf to press it down evenly. Carefully lift up the paper and leaf to reveal your print.

5. Continue to print leaves and ferns in one or more colors until you are happy with your fabric design.

6. Let dry overnight, and then iron, following the instructions on the fabric paint bottle to set the paint.

7. Use your new fabric to create a pillow, skirt, napkins, or flag. Or, if you printed directly on a clothing item, it's ready to wear and enjoy!

Note: Once the fabric paint is "set," you can wash and dry it as you would any fabric.

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Materials

Instructions

Sp'ng Drawing Game

Draw with your child or in a group. This back and forth drawing technique makes for a fun bonding activity and also allows each participant to both inspire and be inspired.

• Drawing tools, such as markers, colored pencils, or crayons

• Paper

• Timer or hourglass (optional)

1. Provide everyone with a sheet of paper and one or more drawing tools. Each person draws something related to spring on their paper, then passes it to their left (if playing with three or more) or swaps papers (if playing with one other).

2. Participants draw another spring-related image on the paper they have, then pass or trade again. Continue to draw and pass as long as desired.

Note: With older children, you can experiment with a timer (1-2 minutes per turn, for example) if it adds to a fun game atmosphere.

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Materials• An assortment of

leaves

• Easel paper

• Crayons with the paper removed (we use chunky crayons, but any size works fine)

• Watercolors in spring colors (liquid watercolors work especially well)

• Vegetable oil

• Tape

• Scissors

• Paintbrush

Leaf Rubbing

Stained Glass

Combine leaf rubbings with watercolor resist to create a beautiful spring stained glass for your window or door.

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1. Spread leaves out on the table, vein side up.

2. Place a sheet of the easel paper over the leaves and tape it down.

3. Rub across the paper, gently but firmly, with the side of a crayon. Repeat with other colors as desired.

4. Paint over the crayon rubbings with watercolors. Let dry.

5. Cut the paper into pieces to fit your window panes.

6. "Paint" the uncolored side with a light coating of vegetable oil.

7. Press the stained glass panels to your window, oily side to the glass. The oil will make them stick by themselves.

Instructions

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Materials

Instructions

• Marshmallows, pastel-colored or white

• Toothpicks, round style is best

1. Optional but recommended step: Spread the marshmallows on a cookie sheet and leave them out for a week or two to make them harder and stale.

2. Build structures with the marshmallows by connecting them with toothpicks. Continue to add toothpicks and marshmallows until satisfied with your sculpture.

Mar-mallow Sculptures

Pastel-colored marshmallows give a little spring twist to this childhood favorite. Perfect for rainy spring days that keep the family indoors.

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Materials

Instructions

Forest Diorama

Learn about forest ecosystems and celebrate Earth Day or Arbor Day by creating your own tabletop forest.

• Branches, leaves, and flowers

• Playdough or clay

• Paper

• Drawing tools

• Animal figurines (optional)

• Fabric or other additions, as desired

1. First, go on a nature walk around your yard or local park, collecting branch tips, leaves, and flowers. Note: Some public areas have rules against picking vegetation.

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2. Back home, create miniature trees and shrubs by sticking them into balls of playdough so that they stand upright.

3. Arrange the trees and shrubs into a forest on a tabletop. (Preferably not the dining table, so the forest doesn't have to be removed at dinnertime.)

4. Add additional features of the natural ecosystem such as a river or lake (perhaps a blue scarf or playsilk), mountains, rocks, and a sun. You can use

playdough, fabric, magazine pictures, drawings on paper, or your own ideas for these.

5. Now populate your new forest with animals, birds, and insects, using play figurines and/or paper animals that are drawn (or found in magazines) and cut out.

6. Play with your new forest diorama and use it as a discussion starting point about local or world ecosystems.

Instructions

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Books ab/t Sp'ngSpring is Here by Will Hillenbrand

and then it's spring by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead

How Mama Brought the Spring by Fran Manushkin and Holly Berry

The Listening Walk by Paul Showers and Aliki

Spring by Gerda Muller

Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and James Endicott

Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur and Leslie Evans

A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer and Linda Bleck

Spring's Sprung by Lynn Plourde

It's Spring by Samantha Berger

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray and Lauren Stringer

Waiting Out the Storm by JoAnn Early Macken and Susan Gaber

Little Lamb by Kim Lewis

The Flowers' Festival by Elsa Beskow

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Gardening 101Materials

• Seeds and seedlings

• A small plot of ground or some potting soil

• One or more pots, such as peat pots, traditional plant pots, or yogurt cups

• Trowel

• Watering can

Planting seeds and seedlings, watering them, and watching them grow day by day is rewarding for gardeners of any age. Gardening is truly fun and (mostly) easy, even for the novice.

Choose kid-friendly flowers and veggies such as peas, carrots, zinnias, and pumpkins and give them plenty of water and sunshine, following instructions on seed packets. The books on the next page offer more extensive seed lists and suggestions.

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Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots, by children's gardening guru Sharon Lovejoy, is a wonderful book on gardening with children and includes the basics on getting started as well as magical ideas to inspire a lifelong love of gardening.

Gardening Primers for Families

NurtureStore blogger Cathy James' gardening ebook,The Garden Classroom: 52 Kids Gardening Activities, is full of many fun and educational ideas for family and school gardens.

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Garden Colors

Version 1 : Paint Chips

78

Pick up some spring-colored paint chips (color sample cards) at the paint or hardware store and see if you can match each color with items you find in nature.

1. Make a list of all the colors you'd like to find (light pink, fuschia, butter yellow, white, lavender, spring green, etc.) on a piece of paper.

2. Set out on a walk around the backyard or on an excursion farther away (a botanical garden or a drive through the countryside) and observe the colors all around you, while looking for those on your list.

3. Take photos of the colors that match your list. If desired, you can get prints made and create a collage or scrapbook with the spring colors and images.

Version 2 : Photography

Scaven2r Hunt

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Garden W"h Flags Materials• White cotton fabric

• Paper or cardboard, to use for the template, cut into size desired for wish flag

• Light colored chalk

• Pinking shears or regular fabric scissors

• Pentel-brand fabric crayons

• Tape, painter's or masking

• Iron

• Ribbon, 1/4-1/2 inch wide

• Sewing machine

• Colorful fabric for backing (optional)

Our wish flags flutter in the breeze, carrying our hopes and dreams for the garden and season.

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1. Use the paper template and chalk to trace triangles onto the white fabric. Cut out using the pinking shears (an adult job).

2. Tape the triangles to your work surface with the painter's tape, pulling the fabric taut while you tape it down.

3. Draw your garden wishes on the white fabric using the fabric crayons. Our wish flags often include sun, rain, butterflies, birds, bees for pollination, worms, and lots of flowers.

4. Remove the painter's tape.

5. Iron the fabric to set the designs, following the instructions on the fabric crayons.

6. Sew the ribbon along the top of the wish flags, connecting to form a banner. (Optional: Before sewing, pair each white triangle with a brightly colored one as a backing. See flags on previous page.)

7. Hang the wish flags in your garden where they can work their magic.

Instructions

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Beaded Garden Ornaments Materials• An assortment

of colorful beads

• Pipe cleaners

• Wooden dowels

• Hot glue gun

• Thin, flexible wire (such as jewelry wire)

Decorate your garden with colorful beaded garden ornaments. Stringing beads is fun for older children and great for honing the fine motor skills in younger ones.

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1. Wrap and twist one end of a pipe cleaner to a dowel. String beads onto the other end of the pipe cleaner and then twist the end of the pipe cleaner back, to hold the beads on. Add another pipe cleaner to the dowel and continue the process until you have 5-6 beaded pipe cleaners on your dowel.

2. Squeeze glue from the hot glue gun over the pipe cleaner ends that are wrapped around the top (to secure them all in place). If desired, glue a large bead at the very top.

3. Make as many beaded garden ornaments as desired and then wire them to stakes or poles in your garden. We use ours at the top of the poles that hold up our garden wish flags.

Instructions

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Painted Birdh/sesMaterials• Plain wood

birdhouses (inexpensive ones can be purchases at craft or garden stores, your local bird club, or make your own)

• Liquid watercolor paints

• Paintbrushes

• Acrylic sealer or Outdoor Mod Podge (regular Mod Podge is not weatherproof)

• Foam brush

• Mounting hardware

Colorful birdhouses brighten up the garden, add an inviting nesting spot for neighborhood birds, and are lots of fun to paint!

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1. Paint your birdhouse(s) with one or more colors of liquid watercolor paint. Let dry thoroughly.

2. Use the foam brush to paint one or two coats of acrylic sealer over the outside of the birdhouses. Let dry.

3. Mount your colorful, new birdhouses as desired on poles, fences, trees, or other safe places. (Keep them high enough that cats and other animals can't reach the nests.)

VariationInstead of painting the birdhouses, consider decorating them with leaves, lichens, sticks, mosses, and bark for a more natural bird abode. Attach the nature items with wire or thumbtacks (pressed in firmly so birds can't remove when borrowing house decorations for nest making).

Instructions

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Notes• Keep the bird perch, the entry hole, and the

interior free of all paints and sealers. Birds, especially fledglings, need the rougher, more natural wood to climb in and out.

• The best birdhouses are those that can be opened because they should be cleaned out each year.

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Garden Loom Materials• 1 x 2" boards (or tree

branches if you like the rustic look)

• Screws and electric screw driver (much easier, but any screw driver will work)

• Twine or yarn

• Assorted fabric strips, ribbons, yarns

• Natural materials such as grasses, flowers, and twigs

A simple wood frame can be built to use for garden weaving with a combination of nature materials as well as fabrics and ribbons.

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1. Arrange your boards or branches into a square or rectangular frame with legs, and attach with screws. You can prop this against a fence or tree, or anchor the ends in the ground for a loom that stands up straight. Click here for the PDF instructions for the version pictured here. (Note: If you don't want to build anything, use an old hula hoop for your loom.

2. Tie the twine onto the loom, either in the traditional vertical warp pattern, or in a more free-form spider web design, as pictured here.

3. Weave flowers, grasses, twigs through the twine as well as fabric strips, yarn, and ribbons. (Don't be surprised if you see birds snagging a few items to line their nests!)

Note: If you used all-natural materials such as cotton and wool, you can cut off the weaving and toss the whole thing in the compost when you're ready to do a new one.

Instructions

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Materials• 6-8 bamboo or

other poles, 8-10 feet long

• Garden twine

• Assorted fabric strips, ribbons, yarns

• Natural materials such as grasses, flowers, and twigs

• Pole bean seeds, soaked overnight

Instructions1. Prepare the ground for your beanpole teepee, in an area that gets 6-8 hours of sun a day. If building this on the lawn, dig up the turf in a horseshoe shape (leaving space for a door) and amend the soil with compost.

2. Create the teepee frame with the bamboo poles, securing the bottom end in the soil and tying the top ends together with twine.

3. Tie and wrap twine between the teepee poles from top to bottom, leaving a space open between two poles for the doorway. Tie on and weave in ribbons, fabrics, and flowers.

4. Plant bean seeds around the base of the teepee and water thoroughly. Note: You can build your teepee anytime during the spring, but bean planting time varies according to your climate so make sure to read the seed packet for guidance.

5. The beans will grow up the structure, creating a living teepee playhouse.

Weave a Beanpole Teepee

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Celebrate wi%

Ideas• Some local organizations have an annual

native plants sale.

• Native-plant nurseries are becoming more common, although many sell only wholesale quantities. Ask them which local nurseries carry their native plants and seed in smaller quantities for the home gardener.

• Get native plant suggestions from botanical gardens, arboretums, local birder groups, and local chapters of the Native Plant Society.

• Or, ask at your nursery for recommendations. Smaller, independent nurseries are often better for this. Consult www.nativeseednetwork.org to see if they have information on native plants for your area.

• Consider what you would like to attract to your yard (birds? hummingbirds? butterflies?) and select plants with this goal in mind. The above groups often have lists of native plants that attract these particular animals.

Native Plants

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For Earth Day and Arbor Day, consider celebrating by planting a few natives in your yard. Native plants have been around for thousands of years and therefore attract and are better for local populations of birds, insects, and other wildlife. Plus, because they are suited to your locale, they often require little care.

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Concrete Ste6ing Stones

Materials• Bag of dry concrete

• 12" plastic flower pot saucers

• Plastic drop cloth

• Petroleum jelly

• Disposable plastic gloves

• Pebbles, shells, leaves, and other nature items

1. Grease the inside of the plastic pot saucers with the petroleum jelly. Arrange on the plastic drop cloth.

2. (This step: adult job only.) Mix the concrete according to the instructions on the bag. Use gloves and refrain from breathing the concrete dust. Pour the concrete into the prepared molds and smooth the top.

3. Press pebbles and other nature items into the surface of the concrete in any design desired. Let dry (2 days) then remove from the mold. Place in garden.

Instructions

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Books ab/t GardeningIsabella's Garden by Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow: A Compost Story by Linda Glaser and Shelley Rotner

Flower Garden by Eve Bunting and Kathryn Hewitt

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

How Groundhog's Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry

A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Yucky Worms by Vivian French and Jessica Ahlberg

What do Roots Do? by Kathleen V. Kudlinski

A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards & Anca Hariton

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and Priscilla Lamont

How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan and Loretta Krupinski

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Linnea's Windowsill Garden by Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals and Ashley Wolff

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An Egg is Quiet by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Riki's Birdhouse by Monica Wellington

Birds in Your Backyard by Barbara Herkert

Two Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Birds by Jim Arnosky

Books Ab/t Birds Books Ab/t Bu,erfliesA Butterfly is Patient by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart and Higgins Bond

My, Oh My!--A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies by Tish Rabe, Aristides Ruiz, and Joe Mathieu

From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heligman and Bari Weissman

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Books Ab/t 7

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Charlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child

Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers

Miss Fox's Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli and Anne Kennedy

Winston Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming by Jean Okimoto and Jerimiah Trammell

Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman by Esme Raji Codell and Lynne Rae Perkins

Maple Syrup Season by Ann Purnell

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro

The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas and Violeta Dabija

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith and Cyd Moore

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Environment & Ea$h DayBooks Ab/t Trees

& Arbor Day

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Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this book and found some fun seasonal activities to try, decorations to make, and recipes to explore with your children, as you celebrate spring.

Over the next few pages, you'll find the templates mentioned in the previous pages, more information about me and my projects,

as well as a preview of my new book, The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity.

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.

A$ful Bunny Ears Template

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Bluebird Paper Chain Template

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Available NOW!

is about raising children in an art-rich environment to encourage creativity, imagination, and self-confidence. It includes everything parents need to know about getting started with children's art, stocking up on supplies, setting up an art space, and talking to children about art. In addition to the whys and how-tos, it contains over 60 of my favorite art activities for kids.

The Artful Parent book will be available in bookstores everywhere beginning April 9, 2013, and is available now for preorder from Roost Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's, and your local independent bookstore.

Creativity, arguably the most important skill of the 21st century, starts at home! Order your copy of The Artful Parent today to learn easy ways to encourage your kids to be their best, most creative selves and have a blast in the process!

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art & Creativity

Page 107: The Artful Spring eBook

I have been writing about children's art and creativity for the last five years at ArtfulParent.com. I regularly post simple and fun children's art activities as well as our adventures in the kitchen and outdoors, children's literature we love, and creative play ideas. You can browse my visual arts and crafts directory for hundreds of creative ideas and projects to explore with your kids.

For a regular dose of art inspiration and information, sign up for my newsletter.

Connect with me on Facebook and Pinterest or send me an e-mail at [email protected].

!e A$ful ParentOnline

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My name is Jean and I love everything arts, crafts, and creativity. My special passion is children's art and I aim to inspire and encourage parents and teachers everywhere to make art a bigger part of their kids' lives. My two daughters (ages 7 and 3) both inspire and indulge me in this area daily.

I grew up drawing, painting, and crafting, and later studied art history and studio art at Wellesley College. My first jobs in the "real world" were at an art museum, art magazine, and a public broadcasting station.

Jean Van't Hul

When my first child was born, I refocused my attention on creating an artful home environment for my own family, and I began teaching toddler art classes and writing about art for families--through my blog and magazine articles, and now my books.

If I'm not engaged in art with my kids, or writing about it, you can probably find me gardening, hiking, or doodle-writing in my notebook.

Ab/t

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Stay tuned for the next book in the series, Spring Crafts & Recipes