Art Workshop for Children is not just another book of straightforward art projects. The book's unique child-led approach provides a framework for cultivating creative thinking and encourages the wonder that comes when children are allowed to freely explore the creative process and their materials. As children work through these open-ended workshops, adults are guided on how to be facilitators who provide questions, encourage deep thinking, and help spark an excitement for discovery. Children explore basic materials and workshops that use minimal supplies, and then gradually add new materials to fill the art cabinets as well as new skills and more complex workshops. Most workshops are suitable to preschool-aged children, and each contains ideas for explorations and new twists to engage older or more experienced artists.
Interspersed throughout are sidebar essays that introduce perspectives on mess-making, imperfection, the role of adult, collaborative art, and thoughts on the Reggio Emilia method, a self-guided teaching philosophy. These pieces underscore the value of art-making with children, and support the parent/teacher/care-giver on how to successfully lead, question, and navigate their children through the workshops to result in the fullest experiences.
Bar Rucci is passionate about two things: children and art. She is a professional graphic designer, art teacher, blogger, and mom to three creative thinkers. Bar graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in art and a minor in early childhood development. After college she spent a decade on artistic entrepreneurial pursuits. She painted murals, designed textiles, created a children’s clothing line, and finally taught herself graphic design. It was this last venture that became her calling, allowing her to stay home and raise her children. In 2012, she began her blog, Art Bar, a place where she explores her love of child-led art experiences and handmade things. Soon thereafter she began teaching art in her home. For more inspiration, visit Bar’s blog and follow her on social media:
Betsy McKenna is a firm believer in the brilliance of the young child and their natural born creative process. A Reggio inspired teacher and administrator; she is passionate about creating high quality educational opportunities for all children. She currently resides in New York City as an educational consultant and leadership coach, and has three grown children who remain her greatest source of inspiration.