Tinkerlab Art Starts

TINKERLAB ART STARTS: 52 Projects for Open-Ended Exploration
by Rachelle DOORLEY
November 2020 – Roost Books / Shambhala (US)

Get inspired with hands-on creative prompts for children ages 3-8 featuring simple materials you can find at home from an experienced art teacher.

Open-ended art prompts that give children opportunities to think creatively rather than follow directions are essential to raising learners who are comfortable with the unknown and eager to tackle it with problem solving skills, self-efficacy, and critical thinking.

From drawing, painting, and paper cutting to making three-dimensional art with clay and recycled materials, these 52 fun and engaging ideas for creative art play use everyday household materials to get kids engaged in their own explorations. These activities are led primarily by the environment. The set up itself is the teacher and will encourage children to think of creative ways to use the provided materials. With foundational information at the start of the book, parents will understand the power of art prompts to foster children’s creativity and will be given a variety of ideas for creating a makering space and encouraging self-directed play.

Art Educator Rachelle Doorley is the founder of TinkerLab.com, a website that advocates for creative self-expression. Rachelle holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University in Arts Education and a BA from UCLA in Theater Design. Prior to founding TinkerLab, she was an elementary and middle school art teacher, oversaw education programs in art museums, and was a costumer for Warner Brothers and Universal Studios. She’s in her second term as an Artist in Residence in the Cubberley Artist Studio Program, Palo Alto. Rachelle has written articles on creativity and arts education for School Arts Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, and FamilyFun Magazine. She lives on the Stanford campus with her husband and her two curious daughters.

Praise and Reviews:

“This book provides an invaluable resource and process for both parents and teachers to nurture a child’s discovery and creativity. An early childhood education gem!” —Jennifer Winters, director of Bing Nursery School at Stanford University

“Doorley has done it again! Drawing on her many years of experience, notably as founder/director of TinkerLab, she shares, in an encouraging and wonderfully accessible way, just how the right mix of simple art materials and children’s curiosity and imagination with an open ‘invitation to create’ can produce magic at your kitchen table.” —Steve Seidel, faculty director of the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education