Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire and encourage children to be artists by providing basic tools and inspiration for them to create. Every Young at ART bag sold, will also provide a bag to a child in need.

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Memories" Day?


     I'd rather not say how many years it has been since I was a child, but some of my childhood memories are as clear as if they were yesterday.  Such is the case every Memorial Day, or as my parents called it, "Decoration Day".

     Each time I smell a carnation I am magically transported to Marv Wallace's house where I would go each year with my mother to pick out flowers to take to the cemetery.
One can't quickly brush by a red, pink, or white carnation to appreciate it's fragrance. You have to stop, breath deep, and fill your lungs with the sweet fragrance!  The flowers, the colors, and the fragrances were unforgettable!
     I don't know if Marv grew the flowers himself or if he bought them from a wholesaler. But in my little girl mind he was an amazing gardener to be able to grow enough carnations, daisies, iris, and others to fill all the buckets lined up in his backyard.  


     Ah yes, the Iris. Most of the Iris we used came from our own yard or my aunt's yard.  There were gorgeous big purple and white ones growing in our yard. Once again, I can't look at an Iris without hearing in my mind my aunt's voice insisting that "they are not Iris, they are Flags!"  She had definite opinions about many things!  I think my dad would go out of his way to bring "Iris" into the conversation just to annoy her!


       Daisies have always been one of my favorites.  It's something about their simplicity and purity.  For anyone who has spent summer afternoons making dolls out of flowers such as daisies and hollyhocks, you will remember the velvety feel of the soft white petals


     Although I didn't fully understand it at the time, I knew it was a tender time for my parents as I watched them, holding hands, looking down at my sister's grave.
Today as I visit the cemetery with my own husband, the sight still takes my breath away.  It seems the green grass, the green trees, and the bouquets of flowers, dotted with small red, white, and blue flags go on for miles.  It is a tender time for me now as we  visit not only the graves of my sister, but also my parents, grandparents, and other family members who have moved on.  Though tender, it is truly a place of peace and beauty. 


     Memorial or "Decoration Day", just as it does now, signaled the beginning of summer.
Summer at our house meant "cook outs" which was just another name for a good old barbecue.  And when there was a barbecue, mom made her famous homemade ice cream!  Peach was my most favorite but that usually had to wait until late summer.  Vanilla, strawberry, and tutti-fruiti were early summer favorites. Nothing tastes more like summer  than homemade ice cream!


     As Dr Seuss said,  "Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."  My beloved memories of Decoration Day were not made from lavish weekend vacations or outings with expensive toys but of simple everyday occurrences that became special because of time spent with those I love.  

     Our hope is that you and your family will spend this weekend safely and making beloved memories of your own.

      Happy Memorial Day 
     from all of us at
     Young at Art

Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Play with Clay?

"We don't stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing"
George Bernard Shaw

     This month we have talked about some of the therapeutic benefits of coloring for anyone from a toddler to the elderly with dementia.  Did you know that some of those same benefits can be found when using modeling clay?  

Research shows that:
     Clay has a natural appeal, just like water and sand.  Clay is a wonderful tactile medium that can be very calming for both children and adults.  Manipulating the clay can be a physical outlet for conveying emotions and reducing stress. Working with clay builds self-esteem.  It is easy to work with giving a child a feeling of being in control as they pound, roll, shape, flatten, and tear.

Ella, age 7

     When a child has learned to express their personal vision in clay, they become empowered in ways that go beyond the art room and they feel a sense of accomplishment when a project is finished.
from artistree.com

More reasons to play:
-Clay naturally stimulates a child's curiosity.  It is so fascinating to the child that it motivates them to work for longer periods of time extending the attention span of some children.

-Working with clay improves dexterity and uses both small and large muscles  Children use their arms, back and shoulders to mold clay.  It also increases a child's eye-hand coordination.

-Children's imaginations are stimulated through the use of clay.  They stretch their minds to develop new ideas.

-A child that learns at an early age that anything that can be imagined can be created is more likely to be more creative and intelligent than a child that only plays with manufactured toys.
from examiner.com/article/the-benefits-of-working-with-clay-for-kids

Aubrey, age 10

Again, we find this information fascinating and we agree with every bit of it. We also agree with Albert Einstein who said:

"Play is the highest form of research"

 So we did some research of our own.  We asked six members of our team
 (ages 3 to 12) to answer this question:

What do YOU like about playing with clay?

Their responses were:
"Gasp! You can make fun shapes and it feels funny!"
"You can make almost anything you want with it"
"You can build people out of it"
"I like to put guys in it and cover them up!"
"I can use my imagination and make stuff"
"It's just....fun!"

So based on another scientific Young at Art study, we have determined that 
playing with clay benefits your mind, your body, and your soul
but mostly..... it's just plain FUN
and we highly recommend it!!


(Coming Soon!! Young at art Book 2 and sculpture art bag!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Five More Minutes.....Please?


We all know that one of the most challenging tasks for a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, or anyone else who works with children is to get them to do what they were asked to do, when they were asked to do it.  Often the reason the child does not immediately obey is because he or she is focused on doing something fun. Who wants to leave when you are thoroughly enjoying what you are doing? Right?

The late and great psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) was way ahead of his time when he prescribed "coloring" for his patients.  Jung felt that it would help his patient's access their subconscious and new self-knowledge.  Many psychologists today suggest coloring to their patients as an alternative to medication, as a means of relaxation, and as a calming tool.  It can help the individual focus on the act of coloring intricate pictures for hours on end, vs. focusing on intrusive and troubling thoughts. 

Doing therapeutic artwork can help reduce feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness.  The focus we place on the project at hand, and on an object can replace negative and unhelpful thoughts from entering our minds.  The step of acting and doing vs. observing is a powerful deterrent to focusing on physical or emotional pain.

Adult coloring books clearly help serve many purposes that are beneficial.  They are highly effective for many reasons, and the ideas behind them have stood the test of time, even if they feel like they are only the latest fad.  Try one out and you may just surprise yourself. (huffintonpost.com/7 Reasons Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental, Emotional and Intellectual Health)


Who knows, maybe your roles will reverse.   It might be your child with arms folded, toe tapping, and impatiently waiting, and it might just be you saying, "Just five more minutes....please??

(P.S.  Our Book 2 and Young at Art bag are close to being available!  This one focuses on sculpture!  Watch for it soon....
We're thinking of making a Book 3 and art bag just for grown-ups. Is that something that would interest you??  As with the other bags, for each one sold, one will be donated.  The "grown-ups bag" would be donated to a women's shelter, immigrants, or any other adults in need.
Let us know your thoughts!)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

COLORING - Not Just For Kids Anymore!


     One can hardly go anywhere these days without seeing a variety of coloring books for sale--for adults!  Can it be that in this hectic and stress filled world, one could actually find rest and relaxation through an activity as simple as coloring?

     It wasn't hard to find research on the benefits of coloring for any age.  Here is just a sample of what we found.

     Coloring for the Elderly

"The effects of coloring activities for people living with dementia show positive outcomes, most notably a decrease in agitation and anxiety.  The therapeutic value comes in part from a participant's need to concentrate and in doing so they may 'forget' their troubles.  Relaxation and meditative moods often follow.
     Benefits of coloring for Seniors

  Improves moods
  Relieves stress
  Reduces agitation
  Promotes socialization and reminiscing
  Provides an outlet for self-expression
  Helps to maintain motor function
  Improves dexterity (grip control)


      Coloring for Adults

   Psychologists often suggest coloring as an alternative to medication
   Boredom and stress can be triggers for emotional health issues. Coloring can help.
   Coloring can be calming for those with PTSD, anxiety, and stress issues.
   Coloring can invoke easier and happier times of childhood.
   When coloring, we utilize areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration.
   Both the right and left side of the brain are utilized when coloring.
 Negative thoughts can be replaced by positive and pleasant thoughts.

   Benefits of coloring for kids

Coloring helps a child practice holding a writing tool and develops tiny muscles.
A child learns hand-eye coordination through coloring.
Children learn to develop the skill of patience and learn to focus on details.
Coloring allows a child to relax and be comfortable while creating.
Children can learn to recognize color, hue, line, perspective, shape and form.
Eventually a child can learn to plan as they choose colors and order.
Coloring allow a child to have quality quiet time.

     These are all great reasons for someone of any age to explore the world of coloring.
However, we here at Young at Art feel there are some really important things that were missed in these studies.  We surveyed our team and wanted to share with you our own findings.

     Each person (ranging in age from 3 to ..... well, let's just say "adult") was asked the following question:   "What do you like about coloring?"

Here are a few of the answers we received:

   "It's fun to design and there are so many colors.  I love abstract and mixing colors"
"It's fun and you can use your imagination"
"I like to see how the colors come together differently each time you play.  I love playing with pattern and texture depending on how you hold the crayon, pencil, or marker"
"I like color!"
"It's so fun!"
"I like to show people what I'm imagining"
"It makes me feel like a kid again.  A little break from the grown up world."


          Based on our own scientific research we came to the conclusion that coloring, no matter how old you are, is just plain FUN!  So next time you are feeling a little bored, a little anxious, or a little creative and a little imaginative, grab that box of crayons and
escape to the wonderful world of color and crayons!!  You'll be glad you did!  ;-)