Posts Tagged “Art appreciation”

A Back To School Message from Knolly Nibbles

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Knolly Nibbles was a brand represented at Blogger Bash 2016. We were excited to be introduced to this company for this #sponsored post where we received product for review. As always, the opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Knolly Nibbles 2As we approach back-to-school and the frenzy of finding the perfect sneakers to match the awesome wardrobe… and listen, I have a little fashionista on my hands and a healthy respect for trendy fashion… but at the end or rather beginning of it all, our children need to feel warm and welcome just being themselves. I’m not saying skip on the fashion, its a terrific tool for self-expression but at the same time a larger message of self-contentment should ring loud.

That’s where Knolly Nibble’s story of being a tail-less mouse really fits. After searching and trying on different tails she learns she is awesome just as she is. What a wonderful way to embrace the upcoming school year. And what an awesome message to carry through the school year. Knolly Nibbles is an interactive story app, available for $2.99 this Wednesday (Aug, 17th) at the App Store.

Knolly Nibbles w Via

What’s more is that soon their will be merchandise to accompany this adorable friend and her story. Stay tuned and hop over to the App Store Wednesday for Knolly’s adventure.  You can learn more about Knoll Nibbles by visiting the website: and checking out the super cute video below.


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Art Splash – Interactive Family-Friendly Children’s Art Program at Philadelphia Museum of Art

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While this article is sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art by way of complimentary program admission, the opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. #sponsored

Creative – Engaging – Inspiring:  Art Splash

Art Splash Logo

Art Splash is back for a third year… bigger and better than ever. We’ve had the privilege of attending this amazingly organized family art program each year. Evolving year over year but always true to being educational, creative and engaging for families, not just children.

Art SplashThis year’s program design is no disappointment with a new space in the former library, featuring a super cozy art lounge – perfect for reading, cuddling and building with blocks. drawing on blackboardThe Art Splash studio also features a huge wall chalkboard, allowing children to express their creativity and build off each others’ designs. And of course, no art studio would be complete with out workshop space for creating artistic projects.

Professionally executed, this Art Splash program has it all… a little something for everyone. This year’s theme was inspired by the children’s book A is for Art Museum, showcasing the alphabet through various famous pieces of art. This book has proven to be a successful concept in engaging children in art and has become the perfect backdrop for the newly created exhibition A is for Art Museum located adjacent to the Art Splash Studio.


The Art Splash program runs through September 7, 2015 and offers many components: art studio projects, interactive exploration, book signings and festivals. There is so much to consider that I suggest bookmarking the Museum’s Art Splash page to get all the details. Here are the highlight:

tablet pose with viaA is for Art Museum App. Guests can borrow a tablet from the Art Splash Studio equipped with an interactive and highly engaging self-tour tool. This app features art for each letter of the alphabet using way-finding technology to enable families to further explore the museum. art splash tabletThe tablets are protected in a sturdy hand-held case, designed for little one to carry. As you use the interactive map to find your way through the alphabet (not recommended to go ABC order, btw) the app will automatically sense when guests arrive in the room, offering a picture of the featured art piece for that letter. Families will then have clues, stories, history, activities, audio, etc elements to accompany the art. It’s all part of the adventure of discovering and “unlocking” the masterpiece art on display and participating as a family.  Brilliant.

art splash t is for treeA is for Art Museum Exhibition. Again inspired by children’s book by the same name, co-authored by Marla Shoemaker and Katy Friedland. The exhibit has three main sections: A for Animals, R is for Rivers and T is for Trees. Hands-on activities encourage children to get up close, pay closer attention to the details and offer their own creativity within the exhibit. a is for artMagnetic fabric leaves on a giant tree correspond with several pieces of artwork featuring nature and trees. Children are asked to select a leaf and match the color/pattern in the artwork adjacent to the mural tree. Hands-on activities such as these really embrace children’s tactical needs. No longer are all art museums consider “no touch”.

Splash Studio. “Let you creativity soar at the Splash Studio with new art projects throughout the summer.” (Press Release, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

June 30 – July12 R is for River
July 14 – 26 U is for Up Close
July 28 – August 9  T is for Trees
August 11 – 23  S is for Shadows
August 25 – Sept 7  A is for Animals


Family Festivals & Art Workshops. The Great Outdoors festival is being held on August 2 (10 AM to 5 PM) with the Okee Dokee Brother’s playing at 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Seating is limited so get there early. There music inspires children and parents to go outside and be creative. Family Art Workshops are being offered July 18 & 25 for Painting Up Close; August 1 & 8 Clay Creatures and August 15 & 22 for Nature Prints. Registration is required and classes are in addition to museum admission prices.

Art Splash Author & Illustrator Series. “Your favorite children’s books come to life in this interactive series. Mingle with the authors and illustrators, and enjoy inspiring readings.” (Press Release, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

July 15 – Flotsam by David Wiesner
August 26 – Wolfie the Bunny by Anne Dyckman & Zachariah Ohora

Family Tours. Highly suggested, entertaining and educational Early Bird or Art Explorers family tours. These tours take you on a path through the museum to introduce children to pieces of art through discuss, music, drawing, story and more. Having been on a couple of tours, I must say these are definitely a highlight to our summer visits to Art Splash.

Art Splash 2015The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-684-7840


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Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain with Art & Van Gogh

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Continue with us as we explore fine art and famous artists this summer as part of the Summer Family Fun Series. This week, let’s have a closer look at Vincent Van Gogh. Here’s one of many of his self portraits… you’ll note that he doesn’t smile in portraits.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

His biography details a lonely and short lived life but his legacy shall live on forever.  Click on the image for additional facts about Vincent Van Gogh and continue below for more ways to bring this master artists to life today.

Do you remember Make Van Gogh’s Bed from last week’s Summer Family Fun article?  This fun story features textures for children to touch in the artwork and features two of Van Gogh’s famous artworks: “Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Aries” and “The Starry Night”.  And while speaking of touching art, here’s a free interactive “Touch Van Gogh” app to get behind the scenes in the featured painting. Below, check out the video tribute to Van Gogh – it is beautiful and showcases the lyrics for “Starry Starry Night” to honor “The Starry Night” painting and his amazing talent.

A very clever resource is Who Can Save Vincent’s Hidden Treasure? featuring a unique way for children to explore Van Gogh’s art. The book comes with a decoder, letters to his brother, Theo and map for an adventure back in time to explore Van Gogh’s world and studio.

Click here for an interactive kid-friendly informative tool.  Learn about his drawings and technique. For a little nonsense fun, check out this little game.  And for something a bit more engaging… try this online puzzle of “The Starry Night”.

This post was not sponsored. The ideas and opinions expressed herein are strictly mine own.

Van Gogh Hidden Treasure pic

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Avoiding the Dreaded Summer “Brain Drain” with Art & Edgar Degas

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So the Summer Family Fun Series continues, as does our art exploration. Last week we looked at Jackson Pollock thanks to a favorite little pig, Olivia. Since the story also contained “Ballet Rehearsal” by Edgar Degas, we figured why not explore Degas a bit further.

The same Classical Baby: The Art Show that we mentioned last week, also features the famous Edgar Degas painting, “Ballet Rehearsal” in a cleverly animated way.  Animation is a wonderful tool for introducing and engaging children in fine art. Here’s another example:

Another trick is using texture.  We love Make Van Gogh’s Bed because it showcases the artwork with a “touch the art” feature on each page. Check out “L’Etoile” below with the tulle skirt.

Touch the Art feature in Make Van Gogh's Bed

Touch the Art feature in Make Van Gogh’s Bed

Again, there are many great resources on Amazon or in your local libraries, these include: Degas and the Little Dancer, Junior Edgar Degas His Life and Art, and a personal favorite board book: Dancing with Degas. The Junior Edgar Degas is of particular interests as it is an ebook with geography, vocabulary and critical thinking built into its interactive format. It also features a quiz and free supporting materials.

Art is a great summertime topic because it combines so many fun elements.  Take this Edgar Degas Coloring Book, something the littlest ones and older ones can enjoy together, especially if combined with the Dancing with Degas board book as mentioned above. Older siblings can use both of these to engage younger siblings.  Art projects are great for rainy summer days or as a distraction from the heat… check out this Edgar Degas idea from The Crafty Crow.

For more Degas fun, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Dancers and Degas interactive online exhibit and tool kit.  We conclude our Edgar Degas round-up with a word search by

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Welcoming Spring with Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

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Finally a stretch of beautiful weather!!  What to do, what to do?

"Spring" Photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

“Spring” Photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

But before the endless list of yard work and household projects settles in… think about taking advantage of the spring breeze with the kids.

Bubbles on the porch…

A bike ride

around the block…

Stroll through your local zoo…

Or for something unique & unexpected – visit the Philadelphia Mural Arts for a walking tour.


“Building The City” photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

While the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program offers several tour options (including two new ones as mentioned below), please note that there are murals only viewable if on foot.  The Mural Arts Program offers two walking tours: Mural Mile North and Mural Mile South, both available as guided tours through the city.

The two newest guided tours are Philadelphia’s Reimagined Landscapes Mural Tour and America’s First Highway Mural Tour.  Each as described below per the press release information provided by Mural Arts Program.  Click here for more information on tours, schedules, group tours and pricing. The Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia offers a variety of Youth Education Programs and has partnered with Commissioner Arthur C Evans and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) on an upcoming Mural Arts Program in 2014 called the “Porch Light Project” featuring “a series of powerful murals that showcase how participatory public art can be used in addressing a variety of behavioral health challenges” (Press Release April 1, 2014).

Philadelphia’s Reimagined Landscapes Mural Tour travels through Philadelphia

"Kensington" photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

“Kensington” photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

neighborhoods Frankford and Kensington to share stories of Philadelphia’s 17th, 18th, and 19th century commercial corridors, when the entire industrial area was known as the ‘Workshop of the World.’ Visitors view modern-day murals, listen to their stories, and discover how time changed these reimagined rust belt neighborhoods into reinvigorated 21st-century residential and creative arts enclaves.”

America’s First Highway Mural Tour travels along the

"How We Fish" photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

“How We Fish” photo courtesy of MuralArtsProgram

country’s first highway, Lincoln Highway, also known as Route 30. Visitors learn about how the highway was born, where it started and ended, and view murals that dot the landscape on this tour through  culture-rich West Philadelphia.”

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post.  I was invited to attend a media review but was not compensated for this article.  The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are strictly mine.

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Inspiring Children's Art Appreciation Through Music

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Our mission started many years ago with the idea to introduce my five-year-old to fine art. He had an interest in US history, so I found ways to combine his curiosity with my desire to teach him some art appreciation. Of course, the idea grew from there and the seedling of Homeroom At Home was planted.

Many years later, as I continue to expand on this concept I’m overjoyed with the varying resources available to parents wanting to introduce fine arts to their children. One vibrant example is Hope Harris’ Picasso, That’s Who! (And So Can You!) album, where eleven tracks keep kids entertained and curious about art and famous artists. Simply ingenious!

From Drop Box

You’ll find excellent dance rhythms and meaningful lyrics to engage and teach children. The title track is a favorite with its Spanish tone and emphasis on art being a true means of expression with lyrics such as “He painted his own way. Didn’t care what they might say. He painted from his heart. Making magic through his art.” A piece worthy of being named the cover. Find a clever Picasso online activity here for the kids.

Ms. Harris delivers a diversified collection of music and artistic focus. Artists include Georgia O’Keeffe, Romare Bearden, Jackson Pollock and Claude Monet among others. Each song will peak the curiosity of children and as such I’ve included some additional links to assist parents with introducing these artists and their famous works of art to kids. I particularly like the interactive site on Matisse and the cross-word puzzle for Grandma Moses.

As far as my favorites here, boy it’s hard to say but I love the soft flow of song 10: “Impression, Monet” and I particularly enjoyed “A-C-T-I-O-N” (track one) and just HAD to look up Jackson Pollock with the idea of “drip it, drizzle, flick it all the time”. Her song titled “Grandma Moses” was interesting in that at such a late age Grandma Moses just started painting, again Ms. Hope inspires with such an encouraging piece. Her eighth song introduced me to Romare Bearden and his unique collage technique. I love the song and this artist. From track to track you can’t go wrong and the diversity in artists Hope features is refreshing.

Sweet and simple, every child should hear “Paint a Picture, Too” encouraging them to try something new and believe in their talents. And in Hope’s words, “With Picasso, that’s Who! (And So Can You!) my goal is to spark curiosity and inspire creativity. I want kids to look at the world around them, be motivated to visit art galleries and museums, and to realize that artists are everywhere, making all kinds of art. I’d like to say to every child who hears this music, ‘Now it’s your turn…paint it, glue it, draw it, mix it, try it! All the artists on this albums did, and you can, too! It doesn’t have to be perfect. Use your imagination and have some fun.’”

Picasso That’s Who (ANd So Can You!) can be purchased via Amazon or downloaded via iTunes.

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Finding Art

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Mark getting a close look at pen & ink work.

This past spring I had the pleasure of attending a course a Wilmington University and just by chance landed in the College of Technology and College of Arts & Science building where student artwork was being displayed in the hallways.  During our break periods, I would wander up and down to check out the various pieces.  I learned of the Annual Art Exhibit and Open House via flyers posted.  My husband and I decided to check it out.

"Beach Wedding" by Allie L. Foster

The Open House was held on a Friday in March and was free to the public.  This is a perfect opportunity to introduce your school-aged children to art and particularly by student artists.  This exhibit wasn’t overwhelming which makes it ideal for a focused evening out and leaves plenty of room for open discussion without over doing it.  I highly encourage parents to check out the local college and university art programs for similar community events and open houses.  Simple, local, affordable and unexpected way to fold in an art appreciation discussion for your kids and show the up & coming artists some support.

"Black Sun" by Allie L. Foster

My favorite piece was “Beach Wedding” by Allie L. Foster.  Beautifully executed in a textured format with rich colors… wish I could have purchased this off the wall.  Ms. Foster had another eye-catching piece on display titled “Black Son”.  This grey-toned piece was very unique.

One gentleman offered a poem for display, while others replicated the Masters of Art.

Johnny M Tucker Jr Poem

A truly different piece of artwork was Susan Wolfe’s “The Pieces Fit” featuring a variety of ink patterns in a quilt-like manner.

"The Pieces Fit" by Susan Wolfe

Another favorite was Samantha Andrew’s landscape with pretty greens and pinks.  It was a calming scene to me.

Samantha Andrew

Lastly, I want to mention a beautiful photograph taken by Morgan Sweede titled “Shout” although there were numerous photographs worth mention with uniquely captured angles, lighting and editing.

"Shout" photographed by Morgan Sweede

The Wilmington University Art Exhibit was truly a treasure to find.  Parents, keep your eye out for these small gallery opportunities.  The artistic talent was amazing and it made a truly enjoyable evening out.

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