Where do you go when you need inspiration, validation, or just new ideas? Do you have a favorite homeschool mama author or book?
We have a pretty good art table at our house that the girls use often but I don’t often plan or teach art projects. I grabbed Rachelle Doorley’s book Tinkerlab recently during a sale and I have been loving it! I was looking for artsy ideas and projects for my little ladies but I found so much more than that. I was totally surprised to find that I really loved the introduction, the how & why to create a tinkerlab, and the real life examples and experiences. I loved this part so much that I’m looking for other homeschool mom inspirational books (hence, my request for your favorites).
This book also made me realize that we’re already headed in the right direction with our art table. Here I was thinking that I was doing something wrong because we weren’t doing organized art projects. When in fact, having that open, free range art space is part of the GOAL. We have that. Our art table has paper, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, sequins, feathers, pom poms, stickers, pipe cleaners, stamps, etc etc that the girls are always free to use and create. Our art table is over a carpeted floor so paint is a mom-supervision-required medium but everything else is a free for all (even glitter, much to my husband’s dismay). And the girls use the space daily. Their daily use is what made me seek out more guided art projects.
Although we are doing well with our easily accessible art space, the Tinkerlab book has so many more ideas. There are 4 sections in the book: design, build, concoct, and discover. Each section focuses on a different element of the creative mind. The experiments and set ups in the book are mostly EASY to do and don’t require much more than what I already have at home. There are a few ideas in the build category that involve small toy motors and wire strippers that I’ll leave to my husband….
So many great ideas for getting them to explore and discover without telling them what to do. I love that instead of projects, this book has set-ups. Give your child materials and see what they can come up with instead of telling them what to make. I love this!
As I was reading, I got a quick set-up going for my girls. I gave them paint with q-tips, feathers, pom poms, and plastic forks. Once they got going, I sent them on a scavenger hunt around the house for anything that they thought would be fun to paint with….the only rule was NO actual paintbrushes. This wasn’t a set-up that was directly out of the book but as I was reading, I was catching on to the idea.
(I bought my copy of Tinkerlab from Timberdoodle. No strings, I wasn’t asked to write about it….just sharing something I love.)