Art With Kids – It’s The Process Not The Product (so just have fun)


For young children, it’s the process of making the art that matters vs the end product. They are interested in the way the colors mix, the drip of paint and glue being squeezed, the feel of the materials, and the enjoyment of peeling as many stickers off a sheet as possible. They don’t care if their end result always ends up baby poop brown 🤷🏼‍♀️, so neither should you.

Have fun with the making together. Get creative with the materials and tools you use (Pilot was very excited to have ‘space paper’ (foil) to paint on). And don’t feel pressure to save everything they make. Also remember that this is why it’s important for even young children to have good quality (which doesn’t have to mean $$$) materials. How can they enjoy mark making if the crayons and pencils they are using don’t leave a lovely bold mark?

A Basement Climbing Wall | #mylittlehome

A couple of years ago I had a sudden late night epiphany that we should build a climbing wall in our unfinished basement, and low and behold, Thomas made it happen. As we look to finish our basement this year, we decided it was time to spruce the climbing wall up too. Out came the white paint late last night (why do we always start these things around midnight?) and the kids got into the swing of things today too. What they don’t know is that we ordered some fun new holds from Atomic Climbing Holds, are making a huge sensory hammock for play, and have monkey bar holds to add to the ceiling too. Although we have a million other projects to finish up (looking at you kitchen + bathroom), we’re suckers for the fun stuff for our little humans. Can you blame us?

The next morning the kids woke up to a whole new space for them this weekend. We’re not quite done (sensory hammock and expanded section with Swedish ladder to come), but there is plenty there now to keep them busy. Who’s coming to play? :)

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A LEGO Space in LA | #inspiredbyCPS

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I have been in full pudding mode thanks to the flu, but my dear friends in LA have been working hard to create this #inspiredbyCPS LEGO space for their (almost!) six year old son. His baby sister is now on the move and Oliver was desperate for a nook in their apartment where he could build away from interested little hands. With a few clicks on Amazon, they had the perfect place for him to build – a wall mounted shelf desk, organized LEGO storage drawers, wall shelving for displaying his creations, and artwork/lighting for aesthetics (the lightbulb in the hanging light even changes colors so Oliver can set it for “different moods” :). He was so excited at the finished product he didn’t even wait for them to clean away their tools before he started building!

Mirrors | #curatedPSA + #unexpectedtoys

You might have noticed that I use mirrors in all my installs – inside and out. Aesthetically, they are an easy and inexpensive way to make your space feel bigger and brighter. I love adding large mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect light, over desks and work spaces, or hung low to the ground so our small humans can watch themselves play and learn (side note – all kids love looking at themselves in the mirror).

A long or full length mirror is also essential for your dramatic play nook (how else can you admire yourself post dress-ups?).

Outside I often hang mirrors over/around sandboxes and mud kitchens, but you can choose to hang anywhere where you want to add a little more dimension.

You can look to thrift a large (my general go-to) or get something simple like the NISSEDAL mirror from IKEA.

I also love to use small mirrors in play. You can buy acrylic mirror sheets, which are non breakable and make a really lovely play surface – for inside and out (note they will eventually get scratched). I’ve also used smaller square mirror sheets to create mirrored trays for a more portable play surface/display case.

I also keep a couple of table top/hand mirrors with my art cart. They are great when drawing portraits or for adding a new dimension to still life artworks. You can also use the acrylic mirror sheets as a washable canvas.

Minimizing toys – how to do it with (and without) your kids! | #curatedpsa

Get your tiny humans involved in the sorting and organizing, just give them parameters!

In my experience the majority of children are not keen to part with their things. I know the general thought in this post Marie Kondo world is to have them involved with the purging, but I can guarantee you that every single toy will bring them joy (even the ones they haven’t played with in over a year). So, what to do? You want to downsize but your small human belongs on an episode of Hoarders.

Here’s a couple of recommendations:

  • A simple way to downsize and have your children involved is to have a set container/basket side for things. For example the stuffies (because everyone has too many) – if they don’t fit in the designated basket then they don’t get to stay. You’re giving your child control but with very clear perimeters. They may still need help talking through letting go, and almost certainly they won’t choose the toys you would keep, but it is a really easy way to downsize with your child’s help.
  • The other step, is to purge while the kids are away (be brutal, like for realz). Start boxing/bagging up toys you know they don’t use anymore and put them out of sight. I can guarantee they won’t notice anything but their play space feeling easier to play in. If they haven’t been desperately missed in a couple of weeks, donate away!
  • When purging, low hanging fruit are toys that come with kids meals and all the plastic crap you get at birthday parties. Unless your kids have a huge attachment to them, these should go. Toys your kids have aged out of using is another easy one to remove.
  • Make sure not to forget books (this one can be hard, I get it). Start with books you hate reading (we all have them), books that were gifted and nobody enjoys, and books they are too old to read anymore. Little Free Libraries make donating books so easy and anxiety free.
  • Finally, find a task you can do together. At my last install, the five year old of the house was very keen to get involved. We sat together and worked intently for over an hour sorting beads, craft materials, and testing old markers to see if they still worked (which ultimately meant minimizing materials). Being involved helped her feel ownership to the new space and made it easier for her to see how having an organized, cleaner, more minimal space made it easier to play and created.