Art Starts

ISBN 9781611806687

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52 Projects for Open-Ended Exploration

Get inspired with hands-on creative art prompts for children ages 3–8 featuring simple materials you can find at home.

TinkerLab Art Starts encourages children to focus on the process and experience of art instead of the outcome.  Open-ended art prompts are essential for raising learners who are comfortable with the unknown and eager to tackle it with creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Offering ideas on how to create an art space and foster self-directed play along with a wide range of prompts—from drawing, painting, and paper cutting to sculpting with clay and other three-dimensional art—these 52 projects inspire creative art play using basic supplies and everyday household materials to get kids engaged in their own explorations.

Softcover, 176 pages.  6.5 x 9 inches.

Roost Books, 2020.



"Oh, how I love this book! It speaks to my inner child in a way that only open-ended art invitations can. This book is filled not just with simple and beautiful invitations, but with incredibly sage advice on raising twenty-first-century creative thinkers." —Barbara Rucci, author of Art Workshop for Children

"This book provides an invaluable resource and process for both parents and teachers to nurture a child’s discovery and creativity. An early childhood education gem!" —Jennifer Winters, director of Bing Nursery School at Stanford University

"Doorley has done it again! Drawing on her many years of experience, notably as founder/director of TinkerLab, she shares, in an encouraging and wonderfully accessible way, just how the right mix of simple art materials and children’s curiosity and imagination with an open ‘invitation to create’ can produce magic at your kitchen table." —Steve Seidel, faculty director of the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

About the Author:

Rachelle Doorley is an arts educator, community builder, and founder of the popular creativity blog Tinkerlab. She studied costume design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked on Hollywood films before finding her true calling as an arts educator. After teaching art in Los Angeles schools, Rachelle earned a master’s in arts education from Harvard, and then oversaw docent and education programs at the San Jose Museum of Art. Rachelle lives with her husband and her two curious daughters in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, where she leads workshops on visual thinking and hands-on creativity. Rachelle believes in finding fun and meaningful ways to make every day creative, and can often be found experimenting in her sketchbook, taking her kids on adventures, and asking lots of open-ended questions. Rachelle enjoys chai tea, hand-drawn letters, train travel, hikes in the woods, artist studios, and ocean air.