Today is a big day, not only do I have a colorful project, Dreamy Suncatchers, inspired by a fantastic new book but I had the opportunity to interview the author, Jean Van’t Hul!
I received a copy of this book for this review- all opinions are my own.
I think most folks who are interested in art and creativity for kids are very familiar with The Artful Parent, Jean Van’t Hul’s inspiring blog. Not only has Ms. Van’t Hul created a tremendous online resource for parents to find wonderful art ideas to try with their kids she now has published two books, her latest being The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipes–Over 175 Family- Friendly Activities.
The first thing I noticed when I received this book was how packed it is with ideas. There are more than 175 ideas for activities! I was also struck by Jean’s belief that crafting, art making, and cooking are wonderful ways to connect with your children and her encouragement to use the celebration seasons/holidays to spend time with your children. How many of us have fond memories of making holiday cookies with our mothers, or summer nights stargazing with dad? And how many of us want our children to have equally beautiful memories of their childhood to carry them through life? If this describes you, then you will want to check out this book.
So first up is our interview. See it here.
We also tried one of the activities from the book that Ms. Van’t Hul is pretty famous for: Melted Bead Suncatchers. I’ve always wanted to try this activity so I jumped at the chance to include it in this post! Roost Books was kind enough to supply a downloadable PDF of the so that you can try this at home!
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Dreamy Suncatchers for Kids
- Pony Beads Here are the two types we used Clear and Neon. These also produce gorgeous suncatchers!
- Pie Tin
- Mini Muffin Tin
- String Here is the type we used in my fave color Hot Pink
DO THIS OUTSIDE ON A GRILL! Melting plastic creates fumes so this activity should only be done OUTDOORS!
- Step One Place a layer of pony beads in your pie tin and muffin tins.
- Step Two (Adults ONLY) Place your tin/pans on top of hot grill. Stay close by! Begin checking them after 5 minutes. They may take up to 15 minutes to melt depending on how hot your grill is.
- Step Three Let cool
- Step Four When the beads are cool, pop them out of the tins.
- Step Five Drill a small hole in each of your suncatchers to hang them.
- Step Six Thread string through 3-4 of the mini suncatchers then tie that to the bottom of the main suncatcher.
You’re done! Because these are made of plastic you can hang them indoors or out.
Aren’t they lovely?
Where to Find The Artful Year
If you want a copy of The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipe then hop over to Amazon and order it! It’s also available at Barnes & Noble, and directly from Shambhala Publications Inc.
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