Book Review: Art Lab for (Dads and) Kids!

Art Lab for Kids –52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media promises an activity for every weekend of the year.

Together with your kids -from tots to teens- explore various techniques. Do scribble drawings (p30) or draw with an eraser! (p40) Try your hand at finger painting (p70) or grab hold of string to print with (p80). Make paper masks (p102) and map collages (p108).

For a slice of culture close to home, go to Lab 50 where Susan gives step-by-step instructions on creating batik pieces, with complementary photographs by Rainer Schwake.

Batik Landscapes (p134)

  • Washed and ironed white woven cotton fabric
  • Pencil
  • Liquid acrylics
  • Small containers for paint
  • Clear glue
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Wax paper
  • Water Containers
  • Dishpan
  • Plexiglas


  1. Sketch out ideas on paper with pencil.
  2. Tape fabric over wax paper attached to a firm backing such as a Plexiglas plate.
  3. Start drawing with the glue. Ensure solid lines of glue to block out fabric from paint. Dry completely.
  4. Paint with liquid acrylic. Don’t scrub the brush too much over the glue. Dry overnight.
  5. Wash out glue with a little liquid soap and warm water. Scrub lightly with fingers to get glue out. Allow to dry. Iron to ‘fix’ image on fabric.

In each Lab session, Susan introduces a contemporary artist, featuring his or her works. She believes that “through viewing the art of a wide variety of artists, students can identify with a particular movement or a singular artist’s work. This can reassure young artists of their own work, their own vision.” (p8)

As such, she highly recommends that you visit a gallery or museum with your child: “It can change your life!”

Available at Singapore’s Public Libraries.


  1. Schwake, S.(2012) Art Lab for Kids, Quarry Books, USA


Categories: At Home, Books & Zines, Free

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