Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mary Ann Kohl

Have you heard of her? I Love Her! Love Her, Love Her!!!! She is an author of several art books for kids. I heard of her for the first time when I read an article in Mothering magazine about a Toddler Art Party. My fearless, artsy friends in my mommy & toddler group (you know who you are and how much I love you!) decided to throw a toddler art party of our own. We had soooo much fun (and made such a mess!). Of course we always did on those mornings we spent together. So that was well over a year ago. I bought Kohl's book, First Art - Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos back then and it has given us hours an hours of creativity, exploration and just plain fun. Her whole philosophy is that art is all about the process, not the product. This philosophy has really helped me lighten up when doing artsy stuff with Taylor. I tend to need structure and rules and creating and exploring with Taylor helps me let go of that and enjoy a little freedom.

Now that Taylor is ready for some more advanced art experiences, I looked up some more of Kohl's books. WOW, she has written a whole lot of books!!! I was incredibly delighted to discover Math Arts - Exploring Math Through Art. Seriously? Math through art? I have serious math issues. Really. There are some fundamental math concepts that I never mastered which have caused math to be a major challenge of mine. It impacts my crafting, too. Sewing is a challenge with all the measurements and calculations. If my husband and I ever get divorced (we won't) I will have to stop sewing because I'm not able to do the math or logical thinking necessary to complete many projects. Seriously. It's a challenge. But, we all have our challenges. Anyway, I tell you all this so you will understand why I was so delighted to discover the Math Arts book. I do NOT want my children (yes we only have one right now, but at some point we hope to have more, God help us all!) to struggle with math the way I always have.

As I continued to browse her books, I came across 2 more that we just had to add to our craft library: Preschool Art and Science Arts. Thank you to my wonderful mother who is supportive of all my creative endeavors and all of my attempts to enrich Taylor's learning. She was so generous is giving us all 3 of these books!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

The books arrived on Tuesday and I cannot even tell you the rush I felt when I opened the box! They were shiny and new, colorful covers, just waiting to be opened. I've been pouring over the pages in all my spare time since I got them. We are going to have sooo much fun doing these projects for years to come. There are a few projects in the Science Arts that are age appropriate for Taylor but many of them are aimed at children 3 - 9&up so this is definitely a book that we'll revisit as she grows.

I urge you, if you have young children in your life, buy these books. They are wonderful!!!

To learn more about Mary Ann Kohl, her other books and her work with young children, read this great interview or check out her website.


laurel said...

thanks for the book suggestions, I will have to check them out.

you may be interested in this math program that I heard about through another blog. I am pretty good at math, but my DH has some issues with math concepts.