I love being creative but sometimes I need to inspire my daughter to get creative whilst I do things at home like cooking and laundry. I am always on the lookout for fun simple self-starter projects that can inspire my 7 year old. Recently I discovered the Sharpie Art Workshop For Kids the perfect solution to quick fun child led creativity so I reached out to the author Kathy Barbo who is also the founder of the top blog Art Projects For Kids.

Hi Kathy,  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 you have turned your love or art into a profession. 

What is your favourite art project to do with kids and why? 

That’s easy, it would have to be some kind of drawing project. It’s quick, doesn’t take a lot of supplies, and will result in something only you can create, so that’s pretty special.

Sometimes I worry I don’t have enough materials for projects but your book Sharpie Art Workshop For Kids is packed with great ideas many with nothing more than a piece of paper and a Sharpie – can you tell us more about the book? 

Sure. A New York publisher approached me awhile back asking if I was interested in writing a book about Sharpie art projects, and I jumped at the chance. I use Sharpies often (to say the least), am genuinely fond of their variety, and had no problem coming up with a brand new bunch of projects. 

I have to add that I had no idea how much work went into writing a book, and all the coordination it takes, so it certainly was a learning process. Seeing my finished book then on a shelf in my local bookstore was rather surreal, to say the least.

Children can fall into the comparison trap when it comes to art and other people’s abilities, how do you encourage kids to have a go in these situations? 

The comparison stage is really just part of the growth process. Most kids, say age 5 or 6, pretty much just create for the fun of it. Then somewhere along the way, maybe age 8 or 9, they start to notice more details, which is actually good, and get more critical of their own work. At that point it’s really important to encourage them to practice (if they have hopes of becoming a more skilled artist) OR continue creating just for the fun of it. Both are valuable outcomes to embrace.

These days, many specialized art books and kits found in stores and online are a great option too. I would just encourage children to just having fun to see where it leads.

What advice can you give to parents who feel they are not arty themselves but want to help their kids be arty? 

Collecting art supplies and making them accessible in your home will show children how art can be a part of their daily life. It will hopefully set them up for a lifetime of creative pursuits.

You can get lots of inspiration at https://artprojectsforkids.org/

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