Outside The Box Creation

  • Kids art projects, art class in a box

    Pretty Projects or A Better Process?

    Over the years, I have had discussions with many parents and several elementary classroom teachers about the desire for pretty products versus a valuable process when it comes to kids’ art. The last year I was an art docent in my daughter’s classroom, her teacher was getting pressure from parents of some of her other …

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  • Child drawing with crayons

    How To Talk To Your Child (Or Anyone) About Her Art

    When your child shows you a picture she has just drawn and you can’t tell what the heck it is supposed to be, don’t ask her “What is it?” Although that may be the question that is top of mind for you at that moment, there is good reason to hold back and ask her …

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  • Girl swimming

    Easy Ways to Avoid Summer Slide

    Have you heard of the summer slide? I’m not talking about a playground slide, but rather a slide downward that kids tend to make in learning during the summer. It is sometimes called summer learning loss or summer setback. These names all refer to the phenomena that many children begin the next school year with academic achievement levels lower than they were at the beginning of summer break.

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  • Mom and Kids Unpacking Outside the Box Creation Art Projects for Kids

    Give Mommy Guilt the Boot

    When my children were little, I worked full time. Like many women, I felt guilty when I was at work that I wasn’t at home. I often also felt guilty when I was home that I wasn’t at work! But beyond that, I am a pretty high energy, type A person and I often felt …

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  • Mandala Drawn With Marker

    Drawing Mandalas for the Joy of It

    I’ve been experimenting lately with drawing Mandalas. Mandala, roughly translated, means circle. It comes from Buddhist and Hindu traditions. A typical mandala starts in the center of the circle and radiates outward. They can be precisely measured or drawn organically and free-flowing. They can mean different things to different people, but what I know for …

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  • Instructions for Living

    Showing Up & Paying Attention are Half the Battle

    I was walking on the beach last weekend with my family and we started seeing a few sand dollars here and there. Then suddenly, we noticed an area that had a bunch of sand dollars partially burrowed into the sand. I’ve walked that area of the beach many times, but never noticed the concentration of …

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  • Happy World Art Day

    The Spirit of World Art Day: Empathy

    World Art Day is an international celebration of the fine arts declared by the International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP), a partner of UNESCO. The goal was to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. The date, April 15th, was chosen in honor of Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, …

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  • Kid hiding behind cardboard with hand drawn planet.

    How Can We Make Art More Eco Friendly?

    Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd. As an artist and a business owner, I think a lot about how to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Like many of you, no doubt, it often feels like we are trying to choose the lesser of the evils. But I believe there really is a lot we …

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  • "Street Art" using stencils and blow pens

    Indoor Icky Weather Fun

    We’re in the final, seemingly interminable, stretch of winter weather. In Seattle, we have as many names for rain as Alaskans have for snow. Parents are all looking for engaging indoor activities right now. Frankly, I don’t even really want my dogs to go outside because they get all wet and dirty and leave a …

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  • Messy hands, little guilty surrender with hands up

    The Trouble With Arts & Craft Kits

    You can find arts & craft kits, and now science and STEM kits, all over the place these days. When my kids were younger, I purchased all types of kits for them and was invariably disappointed. Here are my beefs. Perhaps they will help you decide which products to buy when shopping for kits for …

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