Art Lab For Kids - Giveaway - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Art Lab For Kids – Giveaway

| July 6, 2012 | 103 Comments

Art Lab for Kids – Overview

I have a wonderful Arty book giveaway for you today (open to both US and UK): Art Lab for Kids, by Susan Schwake.

If you have been enjoying the Kids Get Arty challenges every 2 months (next link up on 18 July!), as well as our Daily Creativity series, than you will love this Art Lab for Kids!

A fantastic book containing 52 art projects – exploring all sorts of different tools and media – from pastels, to scribble drawings, to printing making, to collages. All the arty stimulation to keep you inspired and motivated for the whole year (and probably longer).

Wonderfully laid out – with a Meet the Artist Section (perfect for you  “Kids Get Arty” project), Materials, Planning and Doing. Finally a small section on “Going Further” – giving you ideas of what else you could to enhance your art or use the technique again.

I also like how Susan shows her students – of all age groups doing different projects. Which makes me feel confident that we will get many years use out of it and that my children will rediscover projects again and again, whilst also learning a little about “real” artists.

Great projects. Great photos. Great book.

I am sure you will be inspired!

Now a little more about the author – Susan Schwake

1. What is your art background?

I went to school for art/art education at Playmouth State University here in New Hampshire. I started my little art school in 1993 out of a church school room. It grew and grew over the years into different studios and finally to my dream spot – artstreamstudios! During the growing stages I worked as artist in residence at many different schools and community organizations with a wide range of people.

2. What first got you into art?

Crayons and my love of computer paper (in that day it was all connected with perf lines, so you could have a really long mural if you wanted to!)

3. Why do you think it is important to teach children about art?

I believe we are born creative people and that the creative skill set is the most important tool a person can possess. It is the creative person who can answer the most challenging needs and teaching art in a nurturing, positive way beginning at childhood paves the way for that to develop.

4. Many grown ups say “I can’t do art” or “I wouldn’t know where to start with my kids?” What is your number 1 piece of advice to a “non arty” parent to help them and their children on an arty journey?

Give your child the space and time and tools to create. Set aside time for that to happen.

5. How do I start exploring art with my children?

Of course I would recommend my book as a guide, but really very first I would start with nature – take a walk in a park, the woods, or a garden and soak up all the details. Stop and smell the flowers, check out the stones, look for patterns!

6. What should be in my basic art box?

A good basic art kit: paper, pencils, crayons, scissors, gluestick, watercolors, tempera set, brushes.

7. Any advice for parents whose children “simply are not interested” in either doing art or looking at art?

Make a sandcastle at the beach, a snow person in winter, cut out your own shapes of cookie dough, try some soap crayons in the tub, scribble on the paper placemat when you go out to dinner. There’s a few ways to get it all started!

You can check out Susan’s website for more info on the book or join her on Facebook.


Sooooo would you like to win your very own copy of Susan’s Art Lab for Kids?

All you have to do, is leave a comment below – telling us, what YOU find most challenging about doing art or crafts with your children! (Then maybe we can address some of the issues for you!!)

You don’t have to .. but I know Susan would appreciate a “like” on Facebook too. Then get your regular inspiration direct from the author!


  • Winner will be picked at random
  • Open to US and UK only
  • Giveaway closes on 20 July 2012
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Category: Books, Kids Get Arty

Comments (103)

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  1. The biggest challenge for me is getting it all cleaned up and putting things away WHERE THEY BELONG!

  2. angela sandhu says:

    The biggest challenge for me is that i wish i was more creative so i can give my son inspiration.

  3. Natasha says:

    My biggest challenge is definitely the clearing up! It takes longer to clear up than doing the actual art! Stuff goes everywhere!

  4. barbara daniels says:

    The most challenging thing with art and crafts is to think of more creative things to do and also how to do it in a cheap manner.

  5. Rachael Simmons says:

    The biggest challenge is thinking up different ideas every time so they don’t do the same things each day 😀

  6. Alison Melrose says:

    My biggest challenge is getting my 2.5 yr old daughter to stick to one thing at a time…dolly, crayon, bike, doggie…trying to match her pace is exhausting! Loved art at school and would love her to enjoy art as much as I do as promotes imagination and creativity.

  7. Leanne Allen says:

    The hardest part for me when it comes to art with my children is finding a project that all my children can do at same time with 5yr old 3yr old 2yr old and 7months it can be pretty difficult. Whilst my eldest Ioves making models the 2yr old loves taking his supplies and then tears and tantrums begin.

  8. Stephanie Tsang says:

    The biggest challenge for me is trying to think of new things for my daughter to do.

  9. Tracy K Nixon says:

    I have four little ones and they are very arty like me! I find it difficult to run projects with them over a period of time though – as they want to start and finish a piece all in one go! For example, at the mo we are working on making paper mache hot air balloons – where we are slowly having to build up layers of paper mache over our balloons before we paint them. Once the balloons are complete we are then going to make a woven baskets from card strips and then attach them together with string!! When I first showed the children a picture of the finished products we were going to make they assumed they could do it all in one day and their balloons would be hanging daintily in their rooms that evening! Well NOOOOO – trying to tell them that we need to follow step by step instructions is not easy when they are always so keen to produce a finished product! They tend to want to rush or they lose interest so most of their craft projects are shorter!

    They obviously take after me as I am quite a determined person who likes to get a job done too! I do lots of cross stitch cards and small tapestries as I find making large samplers or tapestries too much effort and time consuming lol! I think we all need to perservere more and learn to have patience!

  10. Edith Howdill says:

    Finding short, easy to make crafts that don’t take ages to cut out or dry or whatever so the grandkids don’t lose interest too fast.

  11. Museum Mummy says:

    My baby is still very little so our biggest challenge is enjoying but not eating or causing complete chaos with paint BUT our biggest challenge and excitement is that we have all these amazing projects still ahead of us…

  12. My current challenge to overcome is having two that both want to join in but at very different levels – the oldest has been crafting and making with me since he was just over a year and the youngest is that age now and wants to join in as well but I need to find activities that they can both do and get something out of.

  13. Andrea Smith says:

    Definitely the clearing up afterwards. It seems to go everywhere and takes longer to put away than to do the craft!!! ;o


    my main challenge is that I am not artistic

  15. lana leman says:

    no talent here

  16. Michelle Best says:

    Biggest challenge is getting cleared up afterwards whilst they are busy getting something else out….

  17. Natasha says:

    The biggest challenge is finding a activity that excites him enought to make him concentrate for more than 10 minutes

  18. Roopa says:

    My biggest challenge is finding new activities everyday, as my girl is now in the phase of “We’ve already done that mom” !!

  19. suan says:

    Having enough patience to let them do it rather than taking over and doing some of it myself because it’s quicker

  20. Ideally, I’d like to also incorporate a little more teaching and instruction during our art/crafting times, but my background is limited and I struggle in helping my children take their creativity to that next level. Anything book that can help me explain techniques, tools and the masters would be helpful, indeed!

  21. Kieran says:

    Biggest challenge – the cleaning up afterwards

  22. Alice Matthews says:

    New materials. I do a lot of art activties , but tend to use the same media a lot.

  23. Kristin says:

    My biggest challenge is a lack of time to prep supplies for the project.

  24. SARAH LAMBERT says:

    My biggest challenge is when asked to help make or draw something all my inspiration goes out of the window,I always no what i want to do but can never work out how to do it lol x

  25. Kelly Wiffin says:

    My biggest challenge is my daughter’s age. When doing craft, I wish she was a little bit older so that she could do more. She is two and a half.

  26. Jenny says:

    My son gets bored easily and wants to do the next craft before we’ve finished the first!

  27. Laura says:

    Ink marks all up her hand! My daughter left handed and pulls her hand accross the page

  28. Victoria H says:

    Coming up with new and interesting ideas is a problem as I am not good at art so would not be abe to help with the more complicated elemennts =[

  29. Karen Barrett says:

    Tayloring activities to suit individual children, their ages, ability, concentration span and willingness.

  30. not allowing my perfectionism to get in the way of my little boy’s experiments and processes

  31. Terri says:

    Can I confess that it’s not too challenging for me? I’m artistic myself and love doing art with my girls. Perhaps my biggest challenge is coming up with things that are age-appropriate and not too challenging.

  32. Susie M says:

    My biggest challenge is trying to source low cost materials when trying out a new craft – I don’t want to spend a fortune only for it not be enjoyed or “boring”.

  33. Louise says:

    The mess! Paint and glue everywhere, and bits falling off their masterpieces!

  34. cheryl lovell says:

    I find it frustrating when my son drops glue everywhere! Note to self: put newspaper all over the floor first!

  35. Gina says:

    My biggest challenge is finding activities that my son will enjoy and want to do for more than 5 minutes. :) At (almost) 2 years old, he doesn’t have a large attention span and quickly changes his mind about what he enjoys! :)

  36. Anne Thompson says:

    Working in a preschool I find many are keen to paint glue and be creative, but persuading some others can be difficult, for boys who are tractor mad we have a pair of old wheels (from broken toy) and they enjoy making tyre tracks. It makes a good effect.

  37. Christina Field says:

    Biggest challenge is stopping my 2 year old grandson,from spilling water etc.

  38. Danielle says:

    My biggest challenge is teaching my children that it doesn’t have to look perfect. Both of them are perfectionists. I have no idea where they get that from. I’m not a perfectionist at all! Once they get past that, they usually feel really proud of what they have done.

  39. Patricia Crowley says:

    My biggest challenge is having enough work space for them to create!

  40. Denice says:

    My biggest challenge is trying to find new ideas for activities, they just love them and are far better than me :)

  41. Jo gibbons says:

    I am creative, but it’s finding inspiration and great ideas to motivate my children to do art activities rather than just sit in front of the computer/wii/ds.

  42. Keran says:

    It’s definitely tidying up especially when paint is involved!!

  43. Michelle says:

    The biggest challenge I have when crafting with my kids is getting them to finish! They enjoy it so much no one ever wants to stop and put everything away!

  44. Patricia says:

    Making it something that different ages and (and two very different temperments) will want to be involved in and enjoy.

  45. Carolin says:

    My biggest issue is to stop Amy from putting everything in her mouth. She’s only 14 months old, but I would love to get crafty with her…

  46. Damyanti says:

    My biggest challenge is not worrying about all the places the paint will drip & letting go of my idea of how something should be done and being led instead by my son.

  47. Me! I need to motivate myself to say, “let’s get started!”

  48. David McGinlay says:

    Id like to win a copy for my friend who has a lovely little boy…

  49. Angie says:

    The expense of building up a supply of materials!

  50. Rachel M says:

    My challenge is keeping the children focused and keeping the tasks as simple as possible

  51. Joanne Baldwin says:

    My biggest challenge is my perfectionist 4 year old daughter! She has a vision of how she wants her art to look and she gets very frustrated that she doesn’t have the skills yet to be able to accomplish what she wants to. I found her trying to colour in a picture of Tinkerbell and she was practically sobbing because she had gone out of the lines.It’s quite sweet, but I do want her to have fun with creativity and not be stifled by the idea that she isn’t “good enough”. So this book looks like it has lots of fab ideas to get her having fun and going with the flow.

  52. Jaseos Harpos says:

    The most challenging thing is definitely the mess! Facing having a mess to clean up afterwards and letting the kids do it all themselves (as much as they can) whilst resisting the urge to do it for them because its a bit wonky or not quite right!

    I’ve liked on Facebook too (Jaseos Harpos)

  53. nicola says:

    I have a 10 year old daughter who wants to be a designer who would love this.

  54. Andy D says:

    My biggest challenge is keeping a lid on the enthusiasm of my little boy

  55. kerry Locke says:

    The temptation to help is sometimes over whelming – but I bite my tongue and resist because art is all about self expression and the kids love making their own decisions xxx

  56. kate says:

    my biggest problem is how different both my children are! my 4 year old daughter is a perfectionist she wants everything to be perfect and easy to do and when it isnt she gets frustrated and refuses to do anymore and likes to be quiet and concentrate whereas mny 2 year old little boy is obsessed with just pouring paint/ glue/glitter etc etc etc everywhere and destroying things then running off covered in it all!

  57. Katherine Aitken says:

    The most challenging thing is getting started. Once we have an idea or a theme, then we’re away and one idea sparks off another. But to actually get that initial spark can be very time consuming!

  58. Victoria Boland says:

    I’m not very arty or creative myself so don’t feel like I’m the best person to be doing things like that with my son.

  59. nikki lane says:

    My biggest challenge is trying to help my 2 sons at the same time! I start helping one, and the other needs help, i do something for one and the other wants it done the same (usually the younger) then older son doesn’t want the younger to have the same as him, so i have try and find another design or whatever it is i’m doing that the younger likes better. And so on and so on. lol :)

  60. Maris says:

    My biggest challenge at the moment is to get my son to use something else (crayons, pencils) than marker pens. Also I find it hard to restrain myself from taking over to improve what he does.

  61. Solange says:

    The mess that is made and all the tidying up afterwards

  62. k dunn says:

    getting everything you need at the same time and then the mess afterwards!

  63. Kelli Crowley says:

    I struggle with keeping my 3 yr old Grandson on task.
    His attention span is very short, I raised 2 girls and have 2 older Granddaughter ‘s.
    Coming up with ideas for them comes easier for me. I lack the knowledge and previous experience to know what will keep him intrested .
    Thank You for any help and have a Blessed Day.
    Kelli L Crowley

  64. This book sounds fantastic! My biggest challenge is probably that I LOVE doing crafts outside, but it gets so windy, and then the wind messes up the kids’ projects!

    Other than that, washable art materials have taken most of the stress out of art projects with children for me :)

  65. Aisha says:

    My biggest challenge is having kids take ownership in their work and not RUSH through it!

  66. Isil says:

    Sounds like a lovely book.

  67. Kim M. says:

    My biggest problem is cleaning up. After all that fun, who wants to do chores? :)

  68. Ashleigh says:

    my biggest challenge is that i amn’t naturally creative so sometimes i find it hard to come up with ideas and inspiration x

  69. Amy Rhodes says:

    Getting glitter out of the carpet we currently look like we live in Fairyland!

  70. Claire Higgins says:

    The hardest thing is to let the children create freely, with tryin to offer guidence

  71. Gemma Clark says:

    were a very creative family so love nothing better than making, drawing, crafting etc. I would say the most challenging part of it is getting it all put away afterwards as the kids do have a tendency to get it everywhere :)

  72. Erica Wilmer says:

    Thanks for the chance to win! I find the most challenging part is the different ages of my kids–3 and 6. So it is tough to find things that are fun for them both AND challenge/interest them both.

  73. Georgie Aronin says:

    Having to keep pulling off strips of cellotape. They can’t use the dispensers as they’re too sharp so an alternative would really help.

  74. Sam says:

    My biggest challenge is finding arts and crafts that my 2yo enjoys doing – he has some sensory issues and doesn’t like certain textures.

  75. Pamela gossage says:

    Letting them do things for themselves and not offering too much help

  76. Heather Shaw says:

    My biggest challenge is finding affordable craft items which can be combined – i have lots of random bits but nothing that can be put together!

  77. lisa williams says:

    My biggest challenge is trying so hard t draw something better than my 8 year old son. he certainly never got his art talent from me :(

  78. Robyn Logan says:

    Definately the cleaning up! But also finding age appropriate tasks for him as well.

  79. jennie jackson says:

    finding the time to do it

  80. Gary Humphrey says:

    I really hate the cleaning up

  81. Anene Cee says:

    Currently it is finding space to do some of the more messy crafts!! Usually i would just stick them by the outside table to get as covered in paint, glue and glitter as they like but the weather is keeping them inside, so unfortunately the fingerpainting and spraypaints will have to wait till it’s sunny again!

  82. Kate Cunningham says:

    Biggest challenge is breaking things down into little chunks and letting them do it – not doing it for them or ‘finishing off’!

  83. Robin Brooksbank says:

    keeping the concentration going for more than ten minutes on one task.

  84. Caroline French says:

    I’m quite arty so i love encouraging my children to get creative but as i have a 3 year old and a nearly 2 year old i find it difficult to manage them being crafty at the same time! The eldest always gets annoyed with the younger one interfering so i often have to give them separate play ideas but again they always want what the other has in their hands! This would be a wonderful gift for my older nephews as they also love being creative!

  85. Emma Jackson says:

    The biggest challenge is not to help them too much and to let them be creative and do their own thing :)

  86. Sarah Ballantyne says:

    My biggest challenge is finding things that my 2 girls can do together. The little one always wants to do the same as her big sister but can’t manage yet so I have to find ways to simplify it for her or find a similar project that she can do.

    I have liked the facebook page x.

  87. Isabelle says:

    finding art acitivties fun enough to keep them entertained

  88. Caroline says:

    The biggest challenge is finding enough things to do with the materials we have, without spending a fortune!

  89. Rachel Wallace says:

    I find it hard to let my niece get on with it without helping her too much!

  90. Diana says:

    The biggest challenge is how to keep a group of kids of mixed ages happy all at the same time. The older ones usually do well if a project inspires them, but little ones have short attention spans!

  91. Paula Phillips says:

    I would like to be able to do more craft things myself to enable me to help my children and to know where to get ideas from to make things.

  92. Mark Palmer says:

    My biggest chllenge is a total lack of artistic ability.

  93. Bernie says:

    Persauding my kids to stop!! they do some lovely things but never no when to finish – so what was at one stage a real masterpiece is covered with more glue, more glitter and just more of everything! I have to be really quick to rescue some things ‘before they are finished’ so that Grandma gets some lovely things.

    I am hoping that in time all their enthusiasm will convert into real skill.

  94. Paul Witney says:

    With a 4 year old and a 10 year old, I find it hard to keep them both happy. They often lose interest or just make a mess.

  95. Maria Jane Knight says:

    My lttle boy is two and LOVES arts and craft, the messier the better as far as he is concerned! The only challange i have is dealing with the tantrums when all the paints and glue and stickers have to be put away.

  96. katherine grieve says:

    The mess!! i hate mess, but i do love doing all the crafty arty stuff with my girls x

  97. Laura Godfrey says:

    I love arts and crafts and so does my daughter especially painting, everyday she asks for the paints to come out. The trouble is that she doesn’t want you to help her, and if you try and help her she storms off and sulks. At the age of 2 she tries to be very independant.

  98. Jenny Rogers says:

    The clearing up afterwards, and getting the glue to dry and stay stuck.

  99. Lesley Bain says:

    The biggest challenge for me is definitely lack of imagination. I get stuck for ideas when doing arts and crafts with my kids….and am always on the look out for fun simple activities for us to do together.

  100. Claire says:

    Getting my son to sit at table and stay focus , not wander around with loaded paintbrush etc

  101. Clare Martin says:

    The biggest challenge for me is my lack of imagination and also the fact that I am rubbish at drawing etc. My five year old daughter can draw better animals than me!

  102. Carolina J. says:

    Finding the time for everything is the biggest challenge!

  103. sairz eastham says:

    most challenging, glitter – oh god the mess 😀

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