...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


paper blue bird in 30 minutes

quick dry

Some days are hectic, and we can run through an entire day and not create anything in the art room. When that happens - usually after dinner - all the kids will want to do is plop in front of the TV and call it a "movie night." Problem is we just had a few - two in a row. So this is when both Aaron and I both sit down in the art room {the kids naturally follow} and we look through our craft books for a quick project. Since Aaron picked up some extra paper plates from the local pizzeria tonight, we decided to make a paper plate blue bird.

Find out how it turned out here, on The Art of Family Crafting blog or by clicking on the Crafting Corner box on the right, where we'll be posting all of our creative art projects.

p.s: although we had a craft night instead of a movie night, while we were painting our plates blue, I asked the kids to tell me what other things are blue. Each said, "Thomas, Jay Jay, Dora's crystal..." all cartoon characters!

{sighing} well, at least I tried....

monday posts: family-oriented journalism

Although we may not always have the answers to our children's inherent “but why” reactions - it’s an opportunity for all of us (the family unit) to expand and deepen the understanding of what’s happening around us in the world today. While there is so much negative media out there - there are also positive ones making big differences all around the world - and it is these types of stories that I would like to weekly post on Mondays.

I encourage you to use your knowledge, ideas and experiences, and to even take a few moments to do further research on each "current events" to help guide a family discussion at the dinner table each night this week, and share what's happening in the news. Perhaps on Wednesday, you can study a map together after talking about the blizzards up north... or craft a weather wheel, track temperatures, measure rain fall, and so on. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings, what's good, what can we learn from it... and what, if any, changes can we make as a family?

Weekly "Tabletop News" will be posted on Mondays and will include:

Trapp Family LodgePeople & Places - From Ghandi to the seven wonders of the world, this section will feature influential and interesting people and places of our time (past and present), as well as cover current event news stories that impact people and places around the world; teaching children about cultural and societal similarities and differences. 

Health - How much do we know about our bodies? This category will cover educational features as it pertains to the human body. The more we know together, the better we can make individualized decisions - especially true when it comes to picky little eaters. From nutrition to exercise - informative tips and ideas to help encourage an all-around healthier family life-style. 

Waiting for the busEnvironment - What is pollution? Why does snow have to melt? From the simple,to the most complex questions and issues, this category will cover news stories focusing on our changing planet. It’s one thing to adapt into a “greener” life style, but its another to understand and appreciate why we should... and why now instead of tomorrow.

Cashing InEconomics - Although financial news is boring to most {like me}, teaching young children about money is critical to their long term understanding and responsibility for themselves and our economic society. This category will feature ideas on how to explain the financial process, institute a family financial plan, and encourage active participation and contribution to the family’s financial goals.

My hope is to inspire you to have healthy discussions about current events with your children. While thinking about it throughout the week - think creatively on how to extend  the learning beyond the dinner table - For example, take a trip to the library together to check out books about the historical person or country you spoke about, sign up for charitable walks, visit a recycling center, and your local bank to make deposits from their piggy banks, etc.

Not all categories will be featured each week, as much of it will depend on what's in the news, which will always be sourced for you to check out and learn more.

I hope you will join me on this new project of family-oriented journalism - If you know of a news item that falls under these topic guidelines, please let us know by leaving a comment. 

blog update


OK. Yesterday on The Art of Family an announcement was made.
Today there would be an update to the blog that you have all grown to love. So are you ready? Any guesses to what the update is? Love poems….? Maybe not?
Let me give you a hint…

I, the author of what you are reading at this very moment, have never written a blog post in my whole live. I am not who you think I am. I am….
…her husband.
Don’t let the smooth taste fool you. I have no writing experience. I limit the comments on the Art of Family I write to 2 paragraphs or less because that is how long I usually last before I run out of literature. English class was a beating for me in high school and in college, I wrote in COBOL more than I did English… so you will need to bear with me. Be patient. And more important – when you leave comments, be polite. So on to the updates…

getting organized - kids art room

Recuperating from the holidays and Ava's birthday took me longer than I had anticipated. And that's only because I'm keeping myself busy with other things - like getting ready for 2011 (and even that's taking way too long!). Which makes me realize going through this process that the entire month of January should be dedicated to this effort, instead of also trying to do a hundred and one things at the same time too. Still - it's been nice seeing changes around the house, especially in the art room - where it is incessantly messy everyday.

The hardest part was putting away their masterpieces from last year. I usually decorate the room with all their fun art - but it was time to de-clutter and make room for new ones right? I purchased this large container box last year where we started to drop in the children's paintings and 3-dimensional art. And thank goodness - both Noah and Ava's favorite pieces of 2010 all fit inside.

Saved Projects

These dollar baskets do more than sit pretty on the shelf. Each contain different types of paint bottles we've acquired (finger paint, acrylic, tempura, etc)...

Paint Baskets

milestone 5 - ava's matryoshka birthday party

Ava's birthday party... oh my, where to begin? Turning 5 is one thing, and celebrating this milestone birthday is another. The theme was an easy decision - while having coffee with my sister, I shared with her my worry that I didn't want a party that looked like Disney had thrown up all over it... and while sipping - I realized that another longtime passion of Ava's is matryoshka dolls!

She's been collecting these since she was 2 - and loves to nest, name, and play with every set she has. I mentioned this to Ava, and she jumped up and down with excitement. When we talked about her cake, she asked for polka dots. So my mission was clear - matryoshkas and polka dots.

Since invitations had to be sent out early in December, World Market coincidentally sold matryoshka holiday cards. The fact that they read "Happy Holidays" was timely... and that it unfolded 5 growing dolls - resembling Ava and her birthday year - had me sold.

ava 5th birthday party invitations

And you could just imagine my own sheer of excitement when I stumbled upon Lolah Pop Vintage Baby who made a polka dotted dress with its very own matryoshka doll! I ordered one right away in her size and it arrived a week before the party. 

favor table


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