A big part of this website is inspiring parents to upgrade their children’s lives. Getting away from screens and into creativity is keyWith a mostly screen-free kid, we are always looking for creative things to do with our time. I often need activities to keep my daughter entertained whilst I work. As such we are a big fan of The Artful Parent, I have her posts set to ‘see first’ on my Facebook feed. So I was particularly happy to get an interview with Jean Van’t Hul the writer and children’s art enabler behind The Artful Parent.

Hi Jean, welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum (or dad) should have to do everything herself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that!  We love that you have upgraded your life by embracing your love of Art and Creativity and using that to inspire others too. 

Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination. What are your favourite activities to recommend to parents who want to encourage their kids to be more creative? 

I absolutely agree that art making is wonderful for young children! I recommend that parents focus on easy and fun process art activities that best allow kids the opportunity to explore the art materials, techniques, ideas, and their own imagination. Some of our favorites are:

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Art can be very therapeutic for children who are experiencing stress in their lives. What art activity would you suggest to try with stressed kids?

Art can help children process what is going on in their world. For that, I recommend any free drawing or painting.

Art can also be quite calming, depending on the activity. Try sensory rich materials such as playdough, clay, cloud dough, and fingerpainting.

Screen addiction is a real issue for many families, and subsequently, other activities can feel less engaging. What art activity can you suggest for kids that are trying to transition away from screens?

If you are looking for art activities that are extra engaging, I suggest action art, art games, or anything that the child is especially interested in.

Action art is, as the name suggests, action oriented. It’s usually a bit bigger, messier, and more active than other art activities. Some action art activities to try are marble painting, splatter painting, and spin painting.

Kids art games involve playing a fun game with someone else, so are extra engaging. We especially love combination man, scribble challenge drawing, and back-and-forth drawing.

And, of course, anything related to the child’s particular interests will be more likely to hold their attention. If the child is into boats or the ocean, for example, incorporate those themes into your creative activities, perhaps making an ocean-based play mat. If your child is into LEGOs, try some LEGO art ideas. If your child is into fairies, make a fairy house, fairy dolls, or some fairy wings.


There is a definite shift away from plastic and consumerism. What art activity can you suggest that makes great gifts for family and friends?

There are so many! Almost any artwork can make a nice gift or card, especially for a family member or teacher. But if you want more ideas, I have a post of 101 handmade gift ideas kids and families can make. 🙂

Art and creativity do not need to cost money. Can you share your favourite nature activity? 

Making nature suncatchers is one of our very favorite creative activities! We make them with flowers in spring and summer and with autumn leaves in the fall. You can use the nature items to make abstract suncatchers, mandalas, faces, and even birds, butterflies, and fairies!

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What do you think the benefits are of art for children and parents? 

There are so many!

The benefits of art for kids include problem-solving abilities, creativity, literacy, fine & gross motor skills, connection, and understanding. It is also an especially excellent way to foster creativity in children. Plus it’s FUN!

But art doesn’t just benefit kids. It benefits parents as well. Art is an excellent tool to have in your parenting toolkit because it can help with connection, transition times of the day, diffusing strong emotions, keeping kids engaged, and more!

Is there anything else you want to share with parents to support them getting arty with their kids?

Keep it easy and fun! There’s no need to do the most complicated Pinterest-perfect art or craft activity. 

Sit down next to your child and doodle side by side or play an art game. 

Keep a few enticing art materials available for your kids to use when they want to draw and paint. 

And offer simple art invitations sometimes.

You can see many more ideas from The Artful Parent at www.artfulparent.com get inspired daily on Facebook 

and on Instagram and Pinterest 

Looking for more creative inspiration see below!