Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simply Fun Start with Art

Every now and then, I come across a learning tool that catches my attention and takes my breath away. A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels is one of those, and it is a great way to bring art to the table when using our unit studies—a perfect and oh-so-easy fit to so many of our titles. I've included a list at the end of this post to give you an idea of how well this new book meshes with our products!

I’m not particularly artistic or craft-oriented, and I always look for easy crafts and projects that will help kids of all ages learn more about the topic at hand AND enjoy using their creativity in the process. This book does all of that and much more, allowing imagination and ideas to come into play. And that’s GREAT!

Tricia Hodges, the author, has worked with her mom—Nana, an artist—to create this collection of art adventures. She has also included several chapters for those that need help: “How to Start Art with Little Ones,” “Nan’s Advice on Art with Young Children,” and more. Tricia makes things so doable! I just had to try these for myself, so I put on the tea kettle and had my mom come over so that we could try them out together. We had such a good time that we are going to be trying another lesson this week! It was easy to see just how fascinating this would be for kids of all ages, even for family gatherings.

Go ahead and give it a try, and jump right in with them. Tricia is generously offering a special discount to our readers—use discount code USAB to receive a $5 discount when you buy the E-book here. While I am not the most artistic person, these are so easy to use and pure fun. There are so many lessons in this treasure that would work well with our study titles!

            Path to the Beach (Oceans Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            At the Beach (Oceans Unit Study and Sunny Seashells)
            Beach Umbrellas (Oceans Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Sandpiper Shore Bird (Oceans Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Sailboat at Sunset (Sailing Ships)
            Harvest Moon Nocturn (Magnificent Moon)
            Lily Pad (Monet – Gardens Unit Study and Passport France)
            Tornado (Twisting Tornadoes)
            To the Woods (Tremendous Trees)
            Tree Silhouette (Tremendous Trees and Autumn Treasures)
            Tree Reflection (Tremendous Trees and Autumn Treasures)
            Leaf (Tremendous Trees and Autumn Treasures)
            Dogwood Blossom (Spring Surprises)
            Bird’s Nest (Spring Surprises and Tremendous Trees)
            Winter Fun (Winter Wonders)
            Sunflowers (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Hydrangeas (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Queen Anne’s Lace (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Butterfly (Incredible Insects and Gardens Unit Study)
            Tomato (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Fruit Bowl (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Blueberries (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Watermelon (Gardens Unit Study and Summer Sensations)
            Mug of Chocolate (Winter Wonders and Chocolate Challenge)
            Fireplace (Winter Wonders)
            Sparklers (Patriotic Holidays and IndependenceDay)
The chalk pastels are so simple to use, making art easy for everyone. Once you begin using this book, it is easy to take what you’ve learned and apply it to other fun study topics like volcanoes! I can just imagine how that one will turn out—I love all of the color possibilities! Inexpensive and wildly successful art adventures are easy with this collection. A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels is one that the kids will keep asking you to use again and again—learning at its best. Thanks, Tricia, for bringing easy and beautiful art to the kitchen table!


Amanda B.


  1. Amanda, your unit studies have filled our home and blessed our learning times for years. What joy it gives me to know that our art ebook has brought art-filled afternoons to your home! And to know that you and your mother shared those times - just as my mother, the children and I do! Thank you for a wonderful review. You captured the essence of the learning, the joy for all ages - around the kitchen table.

  2. You are so welcome, Tricia. We were honored to review your wonderful book - it will surely help create many fond memories for many families in the years to to come!


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