Niko Draws a Feeling, by Bob Raczka and Simone Shin

Niko Draws a Feeling, by Bob Raczka and Simone Shin

NIKO DRAWS A FEELING is an inspiring book for children who love to draw and capture their thoughts and the world around them.

Niko draws everything in his world but in his own way, and loves the feeling when he succeeds. He sees things differently from other people, such as drawing the ring-a-ling of an ice cream truck as opposed to the truck itself. His friends don’t always know what to make of his drawings, but he knows when he has succeeded in his aim and is on to the next drawing to try and recapture the exhilarating feeling. 

This book is a wonderful inspiration to let loose and paint.


My final Gussie Goose cartoon page for TelHi!

My final Gussie Goose cartoon page for TelHi!

This the final version of a learn-to-draw cartoon page for my event today at TelHi's after school program. I will give the 2nd through 5th graders a choice of a cartoon / doodle or this how-to-draw Gussie Goose page. I have already posted the two page cartoon / doodle, which you can find on my Cartooning page along with Gussie Goose as FREE downloadables! 


This little girl would have gotten on the table if her painting required it!

This little girl would have gotten on the table if her painting required it!

One of the wonderfully imaginative results! 

One of the wonderfully imaginative results! 

These photos are from my PUPPIES Art and Craft event at the North Beach Public Library in San Francisco.

This was my first sold out event, with 40 paintings having been created. I love seeing the uninhibited freedom of smaller children. This is a labor intensive event but the children definitely make it worthwhile! The little girl pictured would have gotten up onto the table if her painting had required it!

Please explore my website: as everything can be downloaded for FREE!


Jasmine and Boo Painting Their Room, by Elizabeth B Martin

Jasmine and Boo Painting Their Room, by Elizabeth B Martin

This is an image from one of my books. Jasmine and Boo, her imaginary cat friend have just moved and are fixing up their room. They want everything to look most cheery before they try and make new friends. They are both most creative and get terrific results.

I have been warned mothers might not like this book!

Please check out all my books for free in my Gallery.

How to Encourage Creativity in Toddlers

kids playing
kids playing

Creative play and imaginative arts experiences play a central role in toddlers’ learning and development. You can encourage your toddler and support her creativity with free-flowing creative activities. Here are some ideas. Source: Raising Children 

Polymath: someone who knows a lot about many different things. Source: Merriam-Webster

I read a post titled Why the 21st Century Economy Needs More Polymaths on the Fast Company blog and it got me thinking about kids.

What if you could raise the next Picasso? Picasso is considered the last Renaissance man. He was a painter, sculptor, and poet. Best known for his painting Guernica, he first learned the rules of painting and then had the confidence and creative urge to break every one of them.

Leonardo Da Vinci was another polymath. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, and inventor.

Emilie Wapnick and Multipotentialities

In a great Ted Talk, Emilie Wapnick also addresses this issue. But instead of using the little-known word polymath, she refers to this attribute as multipotentialities.

Now, I’m the first to agree that this is all heady stuff, isn’t it? By now you must be wondering how can all these highfalutin theories apply to your life with a toddler or kindergartner running around the house.

Well, it can. Just take baby steps.

Ideas You Can Start Using Today

Raising Children has these suggestions:

  1. Encourage creativity when your kids play. “For toddlers, creative play is about the process of creating. There’s no right and wrong in how toddlers create and respond to art.”
  2. Don’t criticize your kids’ efforts or misadventures in what they color or create. Instead, always offer praise and encouragement.

Here are some additional ideas from Becoming Mamas:

  1. Does your child want to wear mismatched socks or a striped top with plaid pants. Or, are their color combinations in the clothes they select for themselves a tad garish? Let them experiment. It’s okay.
  2. Visit art museums with your kids. Start with a children’s museum if you have one in your community. Take them to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Northern California where they can see the late cartoonist’s drawings and get involved in activities for kids. If those two activities aren’t available to you, visit any museum located in or near your city.
  3. Does your child play without using toys? This is wonderful for the development of their imagination and creative skills.
  4. As soon as it makes sense, based on your judgment, encourage your kids to solve their own problems.
  5. Suggest that your children play with random items and see how they connect them and create a unique play experience for themselves.

Activities to Promote Creativity in Your Kids

Looking for specific activities for your children? Here are some ideas.

Merriam-Webster defines creativity as “the ability to make new or think of new ideas.” What can you do to promote creativity in your kids’ lives?

Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free and download a Free coloring book here.