Crayons?! you say? Yes, it’s true. Crayons, markers, chalk – all offer endless possibilities for the lucky person who holds them. Plus, coloring and drawing are activities that can be done alone or shared. Today’s post shares some gift ideas for artsy kids of all ages.
Art supplies often pair very well with a “how-to” book. Susie Brooks’ Get into Art series introduces kids to artists and famous works of art, while at the same time giving them the encouragement to try their hand at specific techniques, as well as experiment and be create their own projects.
Crayons and Creativity
This collection of of recommendations focuses on books that engage readers with hands-on activities and exploration. Many of the links take you to the Reading Tub review for the book.
- One Red Dot by David A Carter. A beautiful selection for those who love pop-up books and paper art.
- 1-2-3 Draw Series by Freddie Levin. From Baby Animals and Horses to Dinosaurs (and Other Prehistoric Animals) and Cars, Trucks and Other Vehicles these step-by-step drawing books guide artists in creating objects and scenes. Many of the titles in this series are now also available as Kindle books, as well.
- Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Trucks and Trains by Ed Emberley … or any of the Ed Emberley how-to-draw books. One of my personal favorites is Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book, which is great paired with a few colorful ink pads.
- Rabbityness by Jo Empson. One of the few storybooks on our list. Rabbityness celebrates art of all sorts, and offers a message of being the one and only you.
- The Things a String Can Be by Julie Goulishere. Pair this with different lengths and colors of yarn or twine. Readers can “overlay” their strings with the pages or go off and create their own string art.
The CRANIUM Big Book of Outrageous Fun: The Write-it, Draw-it, Sculpt-it, Act-it Game-in-a-Book-in-a-Game by Baseman is a different kind of art book. It is a collection activities that are hands-on creative fun built for family game night.
See the Art ~ Meet the Artists
Share your own love of art by giving books that feature paintings and illustrations you love. Pair these books with an outing, such as a visit to an art museum or artist’s studio to create an extra special gift.
- Van Gogh’s World of Colors (Baby Einstein Series) by Julie Aigner-Clark. This sturdy board book introduces colors as represented in the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. Pair this with bright, primary-colored finger paints.
- Louie! by Will Hillenbrand. This fictionalized biography introduces young audiences to Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the Madeline books. It would go nicely well with supplies and a Madeline book.
- Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz by Beverly Gherman. There are many layers to this Schulz biography. For the Charlie Brown lover, you might pair this with a framed set of stamps featuring the Peanuts characters.
- When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden. We fell in love with this book when our then 6-year-old brought it home from the school library. The story deftly introduces the painting styles of both Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
- Come Look with Me: Discovering Women Artists for Children by Jennifer Tarr Coyne and Come Look with Me: Discovering African American Art for Children by James Haywood Rolling, Jr. have been hits with every reader. This series of picture books for independent readers is perfectly paired with museum visits.
- How Artists See Series by Colleen Carroll. We read and reviewed three books in the series: HEROES, AMERICA, and WEATHER. Each slim volume features 15-20 paintings and includes a narrative from the artist, who explains their inspiration, thoughts, and feelings.
Your turn …
Crayons are just one medium for connecting kids with creativity and drawing. Do you have any favorite books and/or art-themed gifts that you’d like to share? Add them to our comments and inspire other readers!
Book title links go to Amazon.com. Purchases made through those links can earn donations for The Reading Tub, a family literacy 501(c)(3).
Image links in this post go to our Pinterest Boards. You can support The Reading Tub when you shop for gifts this holiday by visiting smile.amazon.com.