The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
March is Youth Art Month (YAM) at your Library! Make time to get unplugged and immersed in some family art time. Find out about our system-wide Maker Movement or Tech Tools at your Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL). Creation empowers the maker. Working in pairs or in a group, fosters a sense of collaboration and innovation. That’s what we mean by the Maker Movement. It is a creative, community process that leads to innovation, artistic discovery and lifelong learning.
Making art and being an artist takes a belief in the process. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to show a real talent for art? Some believe it is just natural ability. I firmly believe that folks who profess they can’t do art are just lacking artistic self-esteem. As kids, they let their eyeballs get the most of them. They saw what other kids were creating and panicked. These youngsters bottomed out before they even started because they viewed the art process as a competition. Think about this - Did Mario Andretti win the race the first time he got behind the wheel?
In grade school, do you remember the kids who were grinding away at the pencil sharpener, refining their actions to get the lead point just right? These kids can tell you why a number two pencil is an HB, not too hard or black, but a medium tone, perfect for sketching and test taking. These kids had the right spirit. They didn’t let competition get in the way of artistic enjoyment. Perhaps, they figured out that exploration and experimentation were keys to artistic success.
Three Steps Towards Artistic Discovery
Step 1: Boost a Child's Sense of Artistic Success
What can you do to boost your sense of artistic success in you or your own kids? First, provide your kids with interesting printed visuals and children’s storybooks with colorful illustrations. Allow children to celebrate their innate, artistic talents by providing easy access to art supplies. Essentially, it all could start with a simple box of crayons.
Creative Stories for Kids Featuring Colors
“The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse” by Eric Carle
Rather than use the same old colors, a child paints animals and objects in a variety of different hues. Includes biographical information about the German painter Franz Marc, who created unconventional animal paintings in the early 1900s.
“Little Green Peas : A Big Book of Colors” by Keith Baker
Little green peas make their way into collections of objects of many different colors, from blue boats, seas, and flags, to orange balloons, umbrellas, and fizzy drinks.
“Penguins Love Colors” by Sarah Aspinall
Six little penguins named after flowers and plants decide to paint a beautiful picture on the ice for their mother and end up with paint all over themselves.
“Bear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson
While taking a walk with Mouse, Bear meets many other friends and sees colors everywhere.
“Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood” by F. Isabel Campoy
Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.
“Monsters Love Colors” by Mike Austin
Playful monsters combine their favorite crayons, red, yellow, and blue, to create new colors, including one never before seen.
“Let's Play!” by Hervé Tullet
A lively yellow dot leads the reader through a journey through color, shape, and a child's imagination.
More Books About Color for Kids
Board Books for Ages 0-4
Picture Books for Ages 4-8
Step 2: Celebrate the Almighty Crayon!
Remember when you were a kid and you made your first leaf rubbing? Find a crayon, grab some paper and go on a scavenger hunt. Check out the pattern on the bottom of your athletic shoes. Rub out a design filled with bumps, ridges and grit. Nice discovery, right?
If you haven’t used a box of crayons recently, you’ll find all kinds of new crayon names! I love the trendy crayon colors like macaroni and cheese, jungle green and enchanted forest. My least favorite crayon color is flesh, introduced in 1949. Crayola renamed it flesh tint and pink beige before finally settling on peach – as it is known today. Do you wonder what the most popular crayon color? What is your favorite? Crayola’s 1993 poll found that America’s favorite color was blue! In 2017, the new shade of blue joining Crayola’s color collection is called Bluetiful. Artists said goodbye to dandelion, but consumers voted to “Save the Shade” and voters saved burnt sienna from retirement.
Online Resources for Fun Art Projects with Crayons
Creative Stories for Kids Featuring Crayons
“The Day the Crayons Came Home” by Drew Daywalt
A companion to “The Day the Crayons Quit” finds Duncan embarking on a daring rescue when a group of crayons ask him to save them from various fates that include being lost under a sofa cushion, melted in the dryer or comparably damaging destinies.
Additional formats: eBook.
“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 4 & up
Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher's encouragement leads her to change her mind.
“Frankencrayon” by Michael Hall
If the crayons cannot stop the scribble monster, this picture book and the play "Frankencrayon" may have to be canceled.
Additional formats: eAudio
"Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson
One evening Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversize purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement.
More Books for Kids Featuring Crayons
Step 3: Explore Artistic Discovery
Support and enhance your child’s love of art by creating something together as a family at the Library or at home. Get excited about trying new things. Art can make your life Bluetiful! We hope the resources below will help you plan fun family art days.
Arts & Crafts Programs @ the Library
Arts and crafts can be fun for the entire family!
To learn more about our upcoming programs:
Check out our programs page online.
Pick up one of our program guides at any of our Library locations.
Or call us at 419.259.5200.
Art Books to Help Kids and Parents Get Creative
Provides over sixty art projects for children designed to inspire creativity and imagination, including creating artful envelopes, tracing shadow shapes, and making collage frames.
With an emphasis on nature and recyclable materials, an ultimate craft resource, filled with a vast array of art projects that adults and children can do together, engages children and activates their imagination, while teaching them critical skills.
“Art Lab for Little Kids: 52 Playful Projects for Preschoolers” by Susan Schwake
Developed for the younger set, 4-6 year olds, and targeting one of the most critical developmental periods for children, "Art Lab for Little Kids" is the perfect book for both parents and teachers who are seeking enriching and unique experiences to offer this age group.
“Dribble Drabble: Process Art Experiences for Young Children” by Deya Brashears Hill
Creative art should offer children the opportunities for originality, creativity, fluency, flexibility, and sensitivity. All activities are easily adaptable for children from age two to eight. The 145 process-oriented art activities cover a wide range of media including painting, crayons, collage and sculpture, chalk, and printing.
More Art Books to Inspire Creativity
Celebrate Arts & Crafts Days
International Scrapbooking Industry Day - March 4
Quilting Day - March 17
Pencil Day - March 20
Crayon Day on March 31
Resources for Teaching Art and Kid-Friendly Art Projects
The Artful Parent is the parent’s resource for easy and fun kid’s art. Creativity helps kids and Parent Thrive!
Artsy Craftsy Mom is a great resource for easy and fun kid-friendly arts & crafts. Pablo Picasso’s blue period paintings are great for seeing the power of color. Check out “Top 10 Pablo Picasso Projects for Kids.”
Deep Space Sparkle will help you find the right project for multiple ages.
Art Factory provides lessons on various artistic techniques.
Kinder Art offers art lessons from preschool through high school.
"Draw, Paint, Sparkle : Creative Projects From an Elementary Art Teacher" by Patty Palmer
25 kid-tested lessons in drawing and painting — perfect for children ages 5 to 10. Encourage and empower kids to make art! The 25 art lessons in this book present step-by-step drawing instructions paired with a range of painting techniques and styles for endless creative exploration. Designed by an elementary art teacher, each creative exploration offers tips on using the best art materials (that won’t break the bank), shares art-making techniques that add variety and ease to the projects, and provides insights on engaging kids in the process.
|"Hands On! Art Projects" by Various Authors|
The Hands-On! Series is designed with any classroom in mind, aiding teachers and students both in the school environment and the at-home classroom by educating children about the amazing subjects of science, math, art, and nature, and more importantly, giving young learners the tools they need to explore and learn about those subjects on their own.
Develops both art and literacy skills through the craft of bookmaking, inspiring elementary-aged children to read, write, and tell stories with their creations. Creative, fun, field-tested projects for teachers, parents, counselors, or other caregivers to work through with children ages 3-8 include 17 different blank book designs.
"An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work" by the National Gallery of Art
Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of full-color images, this family-oriented art resource introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their work, with corresponding activities and explorations that inspire artistic development, focused looking, and creative writing.