Helen Collins - artist

6 Steps to Self-guided Creative Time for Your Kids

Nov 04, 2019

Creative corners are always fun for everyone, from toddlers to teens, even for the adults. If you saw my last blog post, you'll know what essentials I like to include in my kids creative corner, but what are the best ways to encourage your child to play independently and spend lots of time in self-guided creative time?

Here are my six tips! Feel free to try some, all, or none them...because you know what's best for your kids, but these are some of the things I've seen as a mum and teacher, time and time again that inspire even our littlest artists to spend hours creating  (and give mum or dad a much needed few moments to themselves). 

1. Introduce everything in stages 

It might start with just the pencils and the paper. Then move on to stickers and tape, but whatever is in your creative corner, introduce it over a few days, even weeks. Introduce things gradually. This will encourage your child to explore each item that is there, rather than just "all the things" all...

Continue Reading...

My 6 Essentials for Setting Up a Creative Space for Your Child

Oct 09, 2019

At THE FOX BOX art class adventures I'm all about giving kids access to the skills and tools to set them off on their own creative adventure. My classes begin with an instructional element that will demonstrate a particular creative skill. Once the students have tried this particular activity out, they are then encouraged to create their own adventures leading to a personal masterpiece! 

After more than 15 years of teaching young children I have come to witness over and over again, the self-confidence, calmness, the connection with themselves and others,  the relaxation and development of the imagination, that creating art can bring to children ....and adults too! 

Yes, I have a seemingly endless supply of paints, and paper, and glue (no glitter!!!), tape, texts, coloured card, and the space to make a mess that you probable would rather not have at home, but you can create a similar environment with only 6 simple resource.

So what exactly do you provide in this...

Continue Reading...

Flowers can talk to your kids!

Jul 27, 2019

If you're kids are anything like mine, packing toys, or keeping their room tidy is probably not high on their list of priorities as a three and five year old. I suppose we could just say 'kid will be kids' and do it ourselves. Perhaps we feel strongly about making sure they form good habits, but are not totally comfortable with the constant 'nagging' to make it happen, or the overuse of rewards and consequences to enforce it. We're just try to guide them to form good habits, right? If there was a magic wand I could wave to give you the answer to how to make this happen, I would, but I do want to share a little experience that has helped in our house...in the hope it might be helpful to others too. 

I recently came across these words of Eckhart Tolle: "Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature."  When I heard it (coz, yes, audio books seem to be the only 'reading' I...

Continue Reading...

Santa is Dead - and apparently I killed him!

Dec 21, 2018

Yep, I call it "The Day Mrs Collins Killed Santa"! I arrived at school and set up for class as usual. It wasn't long until the end of Term 4 and the days were filled with fun and Christmas excitement. Today however was a little different. Once the school gates opened I was surprised to have a small group of parents, visibly frustrated, at my classroom door demanding an explanation as to why their children had come home and announced "Santa is dead!" When they had asked their child to explain, "Coz Mrs Collins said so" was their response!  

Now as a teacher you want the kids in your class to remember things you say, but this....even though I had not said those exact words, was NOT something I had planned on having them learn, let alone remember! (Yep - heart sinking, squashing the panic that was rising up inside. What had I done?) 

It's ok, if you're wondering, Santa's NOT actually dead! Sorry, spoiler alert! He's well and truly alive, and very, very real...for those who...

Continue Reading...

Making Christmas More Mindful

Nov 21, 2018

Are you super excited about Christmas, the lights, the tree, the countdown, the fun... but at the same time slightly dreading the craziness, the chaos and the stress? Gifts, family, functions, and an overload of festivities can sometimes all feel like more madness than magic! How does calm, beautiful, special and fabulously fun sound?

Well, I'm a self declared Christmas crazy person! Yep, it's def one of my favourite times of the year! But I very much dislike how insanely busy and stressful it can get. So this year, in line with my "Slow Down and Enjoy" motto I embraced at the beginning of the year, I'm aiming for a more mindful Christmas season!

What will I change? How can you do it too? Does a more relaxed, meaningful and enjoyable Christmas sound good? Well, I'll going to share my 4 goals with you (and if you follow me on insta you'll be able to keep tabs on how it all goes!) But this is the plan and I hope it can be helpful to you too:

Focus on Kindness  

A few years ago,...

Continue Reading...

Creating Happy Hearts Through Art

Sep 07, 2018

So often I hear people say, "Oh, I'm not creative", or "My child's not the creative type". We can be quick to dismiss 'creativity' in ourselves and others because we have a view that if we can't paint a 'van Gogh' we aren't good at art. Allowing our children to have some creative time, regardless of the outcome, can play a huge part in their happiness.

I truly believe that art can help out kids be happy! 1 in 4 young people these days suffer from anxiety. There are so many pressures on both us and our kids in the craziness of life. Taking time to just explore, create, and "be" is so important. 

Recently I watch an interview on the Today show about raising resilient kids. They interviewed Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of The Resilience Project. Having had a very similar experience to him, myself and teacher and having done volunteer work in Kenya, I could very much relate to what he was saying. Three main things he identified as what we need for happiness: 


Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.