I’m so excited to introduce Maker Mom Ana Dziengel to you today! Ana blogs over at Babble Babble Do and is an architect and industrial designer by trade. This is clearly shown through her unique projects which are so vivid, original and beautifully designed. I love Ana’s creative eye on taking simple materials such as wood, paper or clay and turning them into fun toys and projects for the kids. Ana’s also an expert on blending science and art and creating awesome activities that are also educational and fun. Not to say the least, her photography is amazing!
Read more ahead to get Ana’s tips and inspirations for getting creative with kids and make sure to check out her blog for tons of fun and unique ideas!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
Hi! I’m Ana, a mother of three kiddos and a designer by trade. I believe in the power of art, design, and science projects as a way to engage young imaginations. I like to think of my blog, Babble Babble Do, as an online studio space: a place parents and educators can come to find hands-on creative projects for kids.
What are your tips on getting creative with kids?
- Don’t fret if your kids aren’t interested in a project, ask them to try it anyway. Depending on the day and their mood my kids are often reluctant participators in our projects. I still ask them to try an activity even if they claim to be uninterested. Sometimes I’ll tell them “Try it for 5 minutes and if you don’t like it you can do something else.” I usually find they end up staying and enjoying the activity. And when they do end up leaving after 5 minutes, I don’t worry about it.
- Leave art materials out for impromptu projects. Some of the best projects my kids have ever done were ideas they dreamed up on their own using materials I had left out on the table. One day I found my 4 year old daughter cutting paper dolls out of fancy reflective paper I had purchased for a project. I love it when kids create without adult intervention.
- Hands off the art please! This is a hard one for me but so important for kids. Set up a project and, if necessary explain the steps or process, then back away. Micro managing children’s artistic process will extinguish their creative spirit so let them explore projects on their own. If they ask for help be there to assist but try not to direct them. Sometimes I have to leave the room for this to happen and I’m always amazed at the final product when I do.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration?
Materials. I love working with a variety of materials. I try to think about the properties of materials and how to exploit them or use them in an entirely new way. The other thing that inspires me is color! I love the way a few bright colors can instantly lift my mood.
What are a couple of favorite activities you’ve done with the kids?
My daughter’s all-time favorite are Clay Houses.
One for the boys are Perler Bead Mazes:
And one of my favorites is Watercolor & Oils:
If you were stuck on a desert island with the kids, what crafting materials would you absolutely need to have?
Paper, scissors, and pens/pencils. These are the basics for good reason. With these tools we could write letters home, make toys to pass the time, engineer a boat off the island, and draw pictures of our experience on said island 😉
And because we love books and are always looking for good recommendations, what are some of your favorite children’s books?
Iggy Peck Architect, The Big Orange Splot, The Giving Tree, and Don’t Move the Muffin Tins.
Last, who are some of your favorite bloggers that inspire you?
I have so so many bloggers I love but I’ll mention a few of my latest obsessions: Meri Cherry at Meri Cherry Blog – She’s a friend of mine too, how cool is that?
And all the Rockin Art Moms: here they are on Pinterest!
Thank you so much Ana, for sharing your tips and tricks to stay creative with kids. Those watercolor and oil paintings look like amazing fun and create such beautiful patterns of colors. I know my daughter would love making those clay houses and that Perler bead maze is something I can see both my son and husband enjoying!
Visit all of Ana’s creative projects over at Babble Babble Do and follow her over on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!
P.S. If you’d like to be featured as a Maker Mom, please drop us a note here! We’d love to hear from you.