Large Scale Mural Workshop for Kids

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsSeveral months back, we were thinking a lot about what we can offer children 6 and up in the studio, that felt rich and valuable, while holding true to the integrity of process art. Meri Cherry Art Studio is a process based art studio for kids and we work hard to create content that holds true to values of process art.  *Process Art is about the making and the doing, rather than the finished product.

*all pics by Neil Apodaca

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsOur amazing studio manager, Eryn, had the idea to extend our Family Session framework, into a 5 week experience for kids.  And just like that, the Large Scale Mural Workshop for Kids was born.

“This is the reason kids should take this class.  You can just paint and there is no right or wrong.” Mia, age 10


How to Make a large scale mural with kids

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsWe’ve completed two 5 week sessions so far and we are very proud and excited about this truly worthwhile experience for kids.  At first glance, these murals might appear as a hodge podge of paint and ink, carelessly layered on the canvas. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“I liked that the class made me feel open to doing anything that I wanted on my canvas.  I felt very proud of my work at the end of the 5 weeks.” – Luke, age 8


How to Make a large scale mural with kidsHere is a little about their experience.

We start the Mural Workshop by giving each child an art journal that they use to document their mural making journey as they go, with words, pictures, and moments of creativity.

How to Make a large scale mural with kids

“I like layering a lot of different materials on my canvas. And mixing new colors and making new friends.” Noa – age 7 


How to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kidsStudents begin their journey by exploring large murals in the studio and works by famous artists in books.  They talk about different feelings they want their murals to evoke and how they can communicate those feelings through their painting.

How to Make a large scale mural with kids How to Make a large scale mural with kidsThe students choose and create their own color palette by mixing their own paints. Once the students have their colors of choice they spend time experimenting with different tools, like large and small brushes, rolling pins, brayers, squeegies, etc. to create their first mural layer.

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsEach week the students are reflecting on their experience, working through obstacles, communicating with peers about their ideas and discoveries, and investigating new ways to add details and layers to their murals.

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kidsNew mediums and techniques are introduced each week, including working with oil and chalk pastels, stamping geometric shapes to create an interesting composition, painting with ink, and working with pens and markers to add meaning.

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsEach mural comes out wildly different, as you can see from these photos.  But one thing that holds true throughout the experience is the pride and confidence the students experience from creating something solely on their own that is a reflection of their choices and their ideas and their hard work.

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kidsOf all the classes and workshops we offer, I think the Large Scale Mural Workshop is closest to my heart.  It’s a gift we can offer our children. If you’re in LA, I can’t recommend it enough.

To check our schedule for the next upcoming Large Scale Mural Making Class, please click here.  This class is available for kids six and up. If you are interested in a similar class for adults, we are putting a list together, please email  Thanks for reading along.  Enjoy the process.  Meri

How to Make a large scale mural with kidsmuralclass8How to Make a large scale mural with kidsHow to Make a large scale mural with kids

Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids

Neon Modern Mobiles for KidsI am so pumped about these Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids.  They are so cool and fun to make, my favorite combo.  I have three different versions to share.  If you have a child in the 4-6 range, the neon modern mobiles might be perfect.  If you have a child a little older, head over to Kid Made Modern and check out these fancy Metallic Modern Mobiles.  Modern Mobiles are super fun and surprisingly easy to make using a hook and latch system.  Check it out.

Neon Modern Mobiles for KidsMaterials

You’ll Need…

the Kid Made Modern Bright Bundle Kit


a whole puncher


Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids1. Pick out a piece of the neon sticker board as your “base.” You’re not going to use it as a sticker for this project.  Just keep it as is.  Add washi tape in any cool design you want and hole punch three holes.  Everything you need for decorating is right inside the kit.  It’s like a one stop shop of super cool materials.

Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids2. Pick out a few other pieces of neon sticker board and cut into different shapes.  Hole punch the top and bottom of each shape.

3. Next, cut up a few pipe cleaners approximately in half.  It doesn’t have to be exact.  Demonstrate for your child how to curve the ends so they become a hook.  Younger kids might need a little help with this part. You might want to add a few beads to the middle of the pipe cleaner before you curve the ends.

Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids4. Okay, now you’re ready to hook and latch.  Hook in a pipe cleaner to your “base” and then latch a shape on to the bottom hook.  It may take a little practice but soon your child will start to get it.  You can squeeze the hook a little to make it extra secure but you don’t really need to.

Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids5.  Keep hooking and latching until you have three strands dangling from your modern mobile.

6. Hole punch the top two sides of your “base” and tie a little rainbow string (also in the kit.) Add beads before tying the second side if you want.  Hang in your favorite spot.

Neon Modern Mobiles for Kids*Secret Tip for Kids* If you want, do step 6 first and hang.  Then use the hook and latch method while the mobile is hanging.  Some kids might find this a little easier to manage.  Gravity will be on your side : )

Neon Modern Mobiles for KidsPlease send over a pic if you give this a try.  The Kid Made Modern Kits come in all color combos and make the perfect birthday party gift.  You could even make modern mobiles for kids as a birthday activity.  They are so much fun.

Neon Modern Mobiles for KidsThanks for reading along! Don’t forget to check out our super fancy metallic modern mobiles over on KMM.  xo, Meri

Neon Modern Mobiles for KidsThis post was sponsored by Kid Made Modern.  All opinions are my own.

Celebrating Teachers Making a Difference

Teachers Make  a DifferenceToday is International Women’s Day.  There are so many women in the world to celebrate, from Michelle Obama to Melinda Gates, to Gabby Douglas, and that’s just in America.  Women all over the world are achieving greatness and working day in and day out to make the world a better place.  I want to take a moment to celebrate the women in my life I see making the world a better place day in and day out.  Please join me in celebrating teachers.

Teachers Making a DifferenceI am lucky enough to work with dedicated teachers everyday who honor the individual, practice empathy and patience, and find joy in the process of each child that crosses their path.

Teachers Making a DifferenceThere are thousands and thousands of teachers out there making a difference in the lives of our children.  The precious moments they have with our children make an impact that is hard to measure.  How would a parent know that a child couldn’t find the bathroom and felt scared until they saw a friendly face in the hallway and a teacher guided them to the right place.  How would a parent know that a child was crying because they were being left out on the yard and a teacher sat with that child and created a space for them to feel their feelings and then get back in the game.  How would a parent know that their child stayed a little after class to say thank you to their teacher for being the best teacher they ever had.

Teachers Making a DifferenceThese are the moments teachers don’t talk about.  The nods and smiles they get day in and day out that say thank you for understanding me and taking the time to get to know me.  These are the countless moments that every teacher I know gets up in the morning for.  When there is a silence in a room of fifteen children because they are so engaged in what they are doing.  Or when you can feel the magic in the air because learning and growing is happening right before your eyes.

Teachers Making a DifferenceI’ve been a teacher for 20 years and these are the moments I remember.  These are the moments I see and know that teachers all over the world are experiencing moments just like them.

Teachers Making a DifferenceToday I’m celebrating teachers making a difference and thanking all the great teachers all over the world.

Teachers Making a Difference*Most of these pics were taken by Neil Apodaca


Family Kitchen Cork Wall

How to make a cork wall for your familyI’ve been getting a lot of questions about our family cork wall, so I want to share about it here so you can do it too.  It’s super easy and full of possibilities.  I’ve wanted a cork wall for years, ever since I saw one at my friend Sari’s house.  I grew up with a huge cork board above my bed growing up and it was always a meaningful reflection of my life through the years and what was important to me.  I am so thrilled to have one now to document what’s happening in our family life.

How to make a cork wall for your familyRight now my girls, ages 5 and 6 are way into drawing (for the first time ever!), Cyndi Lauper (that blue mixed media painting is Gigi’s interpretation of Cyndi) and black calligraphy ink for painting (inspired by these incredible self portraits.)

How to make a cork wall for your familyDidi, my 5 year old sat herself down in front of the cork board wall the other day and started drawing Charley Harper foxes on little index cards.  I have spent years trying to get my girls into drawing.  We’ve done tons of observational drawing activities, but they just weren’t that into it unless I was sitting with them.  Well, the tides have turned.  Hallelujah! These girls now love to draw and can just sit and make mermaid drawings for an hour on their own.

How to make a cork wall for your familyI’m not sure where the shift happened, but it did.  I attribute some of it to my girls getting a bit older, but also to the fact that we don’t watch tv during the week anymore and that has really boosted the play and creativity around here.

What you will need to make a cork wall…

Anyway, back to the cork wall.  All you have to do is order a 3/8 cork roll.  We used a cork roll that is thick so you can put a pin in without it reaching the wall.  I didn’t want to do any backing on the cork or anything complicated so ordering thick cork like this is key. Also, I didn’t want all the seems of the squares so we got cork on a roll. Once the cork arrived, our super duper handy man installed it in our kitchen using Engineered Glue Adhesive.  He basically slathered the glue all over the wall and then stuck the cork on top of it in two large strips.  The seem is important.  You don’t want any gaps at the seem so be careful to line it up really carefully.

How to make a cork wall for your family

Since I didn’t put the cork wall up myself I don’t have too much advice in that department.  It seemed to go really smoothly though and was ready for pinning by the end of the day. The wall was kind of full in a matter of 4.0 seconds.

How to make a cork wall for your familyOur whole family loves our cork wall. I can tell it’s going to have many chapters and definitely take on a life of it’s own.  My husband, who was worried the cork wall was going to look too busy, is totally in love with it.  It’s really functional and the perfect place to rotate all the art that comes home from school.  Everyone in the Cherry clan gives it the big thumbs up.

**I can’t wait to share a special project I’m working on for our wall.  It’s going to make our lives (and yours) waaaay more organized.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading along. xo, Meri

How to make a cork wall for your family

Our Top Ten Movies for Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly moviesWe have completely cut out tv during the week and it has been a game changer for our family. I highly recommend it if you are not doing this already.  My girls are playing more than ever, less cranky and our house feels more alive and happy.  Family Movie Nights have taken on more of a special role so I thought we would share our best movie picks for family movie night.  I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below.  I also wanted to share our new Sven leather sectional because we’re obsessed with it.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly movies*A little disclaimer. Our girls are five and six years old and DO NOT like scary movies.  We keep it very PG around here and a lot of times G. So here are our very not scary faves.

Our Top Ten Movies for Family Movie Night


1. My Neighbor Totoro – I could watch this movie over and over again.  All Studio Ghibli movies are pretty fantastic.

2. E.T. – I know you’ve seen ET but have your kids?  My kids really love this one.  I did a lot of pre talk about certain potentially scary parts, like the beginning and when ET is in that hospital type place.  My girls were surprisingly ok with it and really enjoyed this movie.

3. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Ok, this one is like three movies in one.  I cannot believe how long it is and how strangely made it is, but the great parts are great and the songs are awesome.

4. Heidi – The fact that my girls like Heidi makes me feel like a good mom. Anyone relate?  This movie is just so nice and developmentally on point and I just love it.  We all do.

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly movies5. The BFG – This is probably the most scary of all the movies my girls have watched so far.  My almost 7 year old was totally fine with it but my five year old has been a bit fixated on monsters ever since.  She still really liked it though and if your kids aren’t sensitive, this is such a great one. The book is REALLY good too.  I used to read it to my first graders every year back in the day.

6. Pippi Longstocking – I mean, who’s cooler than Pippi?  I mean, Punky Brewster is maybe a close second, put Pippi still comes out on top.  We all love Pippi in our house.  LOVE PIPPI. We listen to the audio book and watch the youtubes.

7. The Parent Trap – We like the original, though I’ve been told the new one is pretty good too.  Hailey Mills just has my heart so it feels good to pass this one onto my girls.

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly moviesOk, these next three we haven’t watched yet but they are coming down the pike.  I’m just not sure my little one is ready just yet but I wanted to put them on the list because we’ll definitely be trying these out.  These are my three favorites from when I was a kid.  (I also LOVED The Never Ending Story but I know my 5 year old is not ready for the Nothing right now, and in truth, she may never be.)

8. The Dark Crystal – I remember this movie just kind of blew my mind when I was a kid.  I’m psyched to see it again as an adult and see if it stands up.

9. Flash Gordon – Flash Gordon was and will always be my favorite movie of all time.  I love it.  I know every word, every song from the Queen soundtrack and often find myself “flying blind on a rocket cycle.” I nearly died when the movie Ted came out and they used Flash as the muse in the movie.  I never knew that was like a thing.  I thought I was the only one who loved that movie my entire life.

10. Swiss Family Robinson – This movie also blew my mind.  I loved the family so much and was in awe that their life was so different than mine.  I can’t wait to watch this one with our family.

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly moviesWhat do you think of our list? Did we miss anything? Probably.  I just realized we haven’t even watched The Princess Bride yet! That’s a great one.  The good news is we are in love with our new sofa and now that we’re not watching tv during the week, it’s so nice to curl up on the couch Friday night or Saturday morning and cuddle all together.  I’ve wanted a leather couch forever and this one is super buttery soft and the color is gorgeous. We all love it.  Now, how to solve the fighting over the corner problem.

Family Movie Night - the best family friendly movies

This post was sponsored in part by Article. All opinions are my own. All pics by Neil Apodaca.

Self Portraits for 3-5 Year Olds

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsI have been dying to get this post out there because every parent needs a self portrait like this in their life.  Self portraits for 3-5 year olds are my absolute fave, though I’m pretty much a sucker for all self portraits by kids.  They capture a moment in time like nothing else and are total keepsakes.  So forgive the excessive photos happening here.  I had to say goodbye to these portraits when they went home with the kids so they will just have to live on here forever and ever.

These self portraits were done by 3-5 year olds.  You can 100% do them with older kids and they will be amazing!!! I want my girls to do one of these every year for the rest of their lives. This idea was inspired by some black and white self portraits I saw on Brillante Design’s instagram feed.  I attempted one with my daughter, Gigi, and it morphed into this process, that I am totally in love with.

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsMaterials

*Warning* This is a messy project we did over two classes to allow for drying time. If you are worried about mess, this may not be the project for you.

black sumi ink (we got ours at Daiso, the Japanese dollar store but you can buy it online here)

small paintbrushes

large watercolor paper about 18×24 and small watercolor paper about 8×10 (I like Canson  brand)

chalk pastels

Examples of Picasso’s Self Portrait work for inspiration

Steps (first class)

1. Our first class we set out a small piece of watercolor paper, black ink, a brush and mirror.  We talked about the shapes we see in our faces and had the kids study themselves in the mirror. Then we demonstrated painting the shapes we see in the mirror with the black ink.  This was a quick activity to help us with the scale we were hoping to achieve on the big paper.  *Tip* If this is your child’s first time working with black ink and a brush, we recommended starting on another surface to just free paint.  It is super exciting and different to work with sumi ink.  Your child will likely be more ready to follow directions if they have some time to explore first. The ink will stain so wear art clothes or a smock.

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year olds2. Now it’s time to go big.  You’re going to set the small papers aside and say “now that we’ve practiced small, let’s see how we can go BIG.”  The kids will have a better understanding when you say big now because the paper size is so different.  We talked about the size of the paper and how we are going to try to fill the whole paper with the face shapes we see in the mirror.  We demonstrated this as well. When finished set the papers aside to dry completely.

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSteps (Second Class)

3. Now it’s time to add color.  This is where it can get really messy so be warned.  Pastels are fantastic but the chalk will likely get all over their clothes and faces.  But don’t worry.  It easily washes off.

You might want to say something like, “Okay kids, it’s time to start adding color. I wonder what colors you will add to your self portrait? Chalk pastels work best when you rub them on their sides, blend them with your fingers and smudge.”  Kids love to blow away the “fairy dust” from the page too. We demonstrate how to use the pastels in front of the kids as we’re talking.  If you want, here’s a full tutorial I wrote on how to use chalk pastels with kids. These kids below totally rocked it.

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsThe kids will likely get this really easily and totally get into it. Have a damp towel or sink nearby so they can wash themselves off.  As you can see all the color choices were so different and exciting.  We were kind of standing there mouths agape while this was happening.  When you’re done you can spray the work with aqua net hairspray or special spray from the craft store.  My advice would just be to put these babies in a frame as soon as possible. Aren’t they incredible??

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsSelf Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year oldsIt was so sad to say goodbye to them.  Thankfully my daughters both made one and they will be hanging in our kitchen the minute we are done with our remodel. So, even though this is a messy one it is sooooo worth it.  Self Portraits for 3-5 year olds for the win!

Thanks for reading along. xo, Meri

Self Portraits - Great art activity for 3-5 year olds

How to Open an Art Studio for Kids

How to Open An Art Studio for KidsI’ve received many emails this year about how to open an art studio for kids.  Though I appreciate the good intention behind these emails, they often cause me pause.  I mean, how can I speak to 20 years of hard work, failure, success, following my intuition, going into debt, finding a life partner, having kids, pounding the pavement and finally speaking my truth, in an email?

I moved to California 21 years ago this summer.  I knew I wanted to work with kids but I didn’t know how.  I’m a natural when it comes to kids.  I think I get it from my dad.  He was a teacher before he went into finance.  Kids love him.  My friends loved him growing up.  Maybe I watched him.  I’m not really sure.  I just know that if there’s a kid around between the ages of about 2 and 10, it’s a pretty safe bet we are going to hit it off.  It’s always been like that.

I’ve also always loved art.  From a young age I could draw and had pretty good ability with my hands to make things.  I hung out with other artsy friends and we were always picked to do arty things in school.  I found my confidence in art.  And probably my escape from things that were stressful growing up.

Meri CherryOne thing I payed close attention to growing up, was this big word I heard a lot.  “Entrepreneur.” My grandpa, Harry Goldstein, was an entrepreneur, and I could tell from the way my mom talked about him, what he did was something of value.  My grandpa was the first person to bring the surf and skater culture from the west coast to the east coast where we grew up.  This was a great source of pride in my family. It was something I understood intrinsically. Do things people haven’t done before.  That’s cool.

So though I am a teacher and an artist, above all else, I am an entrepreneur.  I crave the world of possibilities.  I yearn for it.  And though I have spent years teaching art to children, it is the possibility of what I can create, discover, bring to fruition, that drives me.  I think it’s taken me 43 years to figure that out, but now that I know, I know.

I’ve had several businesses in my life, from painted shells at the beach club at 4, to jewelry made from fishing equipment and erasers at 10 with my number one cuz Erica Reitman, to drawing characters on clothing at 15, to a children’s t-shirt company designed by kids for kids, that I sold only 5 or so years ago.  From that very real, yet fragile last business, I learned I’ll never go into credit card debt over a business ever again.  It was one of the most stressful periods of my life and one I don’t wish to repeat. But, that business, which was in talks to be in every kids Gap in the country before the the recession hit, taught me many things. Among them,  photoshop, quickbooks, how to to sell, how to put myself out there and the power of loneliness.

Meri CherryWhen I met my husband Evan in 2005 I learned what it meant to have a partner, a real partner, that has your back in every sense of the word.  I couldn’t do half the things I do without Ev’s support.  He is my everything and I know that with all my heart. He helped me go back to teaching, get out of debt and and receive a steady paycheck again.  What a relief it was to NOT be my own boss.

A year or so later came my girls.  They taught me how much I loved doing art with kids again and how good I was at it.  They got me back in my game and filled me with a passion to blog about creativity and how passionate I was about it.  My girls were my guinea pigs for what worked and what didn’t and my models for all the endless photo shoots. Oh, the photo shoots. “Girls just wait, one more pic, can you just please stretch the slime one more time!”  Man, I have asked a lot of them over the years and I am grateful for every post they helped me create.

When I left my teaching job for the third time in almost 15 years I didn’t know what I would do.  I just had to leave and thankfully I had Ev’s support.  He believed in me and all that I was capable of.  So I left my job and got a new one as an atelierista at my girl’s preschool.  And I just crushed it.  It was so much fun.  I poured my heart into that studio and I loved every second of it.

Meri CherryThen the phone started ringing.  “Can you teach an after school art class to a bunch of girls at my house?” One after another, the calls came in.  Before I knew it there weren’t enough days in the week to teach all the classes. I had to hire another teacher just to keep up with the demand.  It was an almost startling surprise.  I kept saying to Ev “I think this might be something.  This feels like a real thing. Should I open an art studio?  I think I’m ready.”

Ev would always say to wait.  “Wait until you can’t do another thing with what you’re doing already.  Wait until you can’t fit another person in the garage for a pop up class or add another class at someone’s home. Then you’ll be ready.” I waited two years. And one day, I was ready.  Ev peaked his head into the garage and felt the energy and saw all the people and he said “You did it baby. You’re ready.” We signed a lease on the studio two weeks later.

How to Open An Art Studio for KidsSo when I get these amazing emails, from women I admire and respect, trying to make a life worth living, asking how can they too open an art studio for kids, maybe I’ll refer them to this post.  My 43 years of living.  It won’t be the same journey as mine, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, listening to your heart, pounding the pavement, making mistakes and letting people help you and love you, one day, you’ll be ready too.

Happy New Year! Thank you for the chance to share my journey with you. xo, Meri Cherry

Meri Cherry
*all black and whites by Neil Apodaca

The Process Art Workshop

Live Process Art WorkshopThe Process Art Workshop is back! It was such an amazing success, we’ve decided to do it again…and again and again.

Please sign up for our email list below and be the first to receive notifications of dates and locations.

Process Art Workshop 


Process Art Workshops at Meri Cherry Art Studio will include…

Live Process Art Workshop

*The Online Process Art Toolkit – a download link and a printed version at the event

*6 Hour Process Art Workshop with Likeminded Women, Teachers and Moms Learning, Sharing and Being Creative Together

*A Walk Through the Tool Kit as we practice hands on Process Art Invitations to Create and activities

*A collaborate Process Art Experience

*A lovely catered dinner from a favorite local restaurant

*Q & A with Meri Cherry and Team

*Certification of 6 Staff Development Hours upon Request

*A Special Curated Open Studio Experience You Will Love

Live Process Art WorkhopThese fabulous women joined the first workshop and here is a snippet of what they had to say about their experience…

“The workshop ran very smoothly, giving the perfect amount of time for each activity. I loved that we got a peek into each aspect of what you do in your studio. I have already taken what I learned home to my own kids, and to my private lessons as well. Thank you for putting on this wonderful workshop!”

“That sped by so fast! It was also the best workshop I’ve attended in the past three years. Your pacing and organization were superb. Thanks for all you’ve been doing for years! You’re an inspiration to us all!”

“Thank you for such a special workshop yesterday. You are amazing! I am so grateful to you for inspiring and connecting us all, and for sharing your experiences and knowledge.”

“I want to say thank you for this wonderful unforgettable day, for your genereosity in sharing your experience with us. You do a great job!!”


Live Process Art WorkshopWe are so grateful for all the connections that have been made so far, and the amazing Process Art rippling effect that is happening as a result of these workshops.  We will continue to reflect on each workshop and tweak it based on all the thoughtful feedback we’ve been receiving so that each workshop is the best it can possibly be.  This is the beginning of a fantastic journey we are so excited about.

Live Process Art WorkshopMake sure you click subscribe to our email list above to be the first to know about our 2018 Process Art Workshop Tour.  We can’t wait to say we’re coming to a city near you!

Live Process Art WorkshopIf you have any questions about the workshop, please don’t hesitate to email me directly at

Live Process Art WorkshopHappy happy holidays.  with love of the process, Meri Cherry and Team

Live Process Art Workshop

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies for 2018

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018It’s time for our family holiday gift guide including 5 Big Purchases I don’t regret buying my kids and our favorite art supplies for 2018. Last year’s list was such a hit that I’m doing it again with our new favorites.  One item is a repeat because it’s super awesome and all the rest are new suggestions that we absolutely love and do not regret buying our family for a second.  They are all great family gifts that keep on giving. Happy Holidays!

Here are The Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies for 2018

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. All of the best pics in this post are by Neil Apodaca.

Best Family Gifts - knock hockeyNok Hockey

This was my favorite family gift of the year.  We had this exact Nok hockey set in our house growing up and I was so psyched when it appeared on our front door for my five year old’s birthday from her aunt and uncle.  It’s such a fun game and can easily be stored under a bed or up against a wall if not in use.  We love it! *If you get it, there are a ton of really cool shots my dad taught me when I was young and my girl’s have now mastered.  I’m sure you can look up Nok Hockey shots on Youtube and learn them too.

Fort Magic TheaterFort Magic

This is my one repeat from last year’s list because it’s that awesome and totally grows with your family.  We LOVE our Fort Magic Kit.  Check out the nail salon we made another time.  This holiday season we decided to make a Theater of Performing Arts because my older daughter is big into performing.  She wants to be an actress so creating a theater with the fort kit was the perfect fit.  We’ll be performing all month so if you want to grab tickets, let me know : )  The kit is easy to store, has super helpful clips that help you attach any fabric and now they have special fabrics to different creations.  Definitely worth the price tag.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018Micro Kickboard Scooter

If you’ve watched my instagram stories you know my girls are hardcore scooters.  We live in sunny Southern California so riding around outside is pretty much an all year option.  We also have polished concrete floors, so my girls just scoot their little hearts out all around the house.  Both my 5 and 6 year olds loooooove these scooters. They come in two sizes (2-5) and then one for older kids.  We have the 2-5 size for both my girls and they are still great and both my girls are pretty tall.  Love, love, love these scooters.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018Sonos Speakers

Another thing you’ve probably noticed from my stories is that we are a music family.  We constantly are playing our favorite pandora stations and songs throughout the house on our Sonos speakers.  The sound is incredible and each speaker can get really loud and still sound great.  We have one the girl’s rooms and then a few around other areas of the house.  It’s so nice to turn the tv off and listen to our favorite songs while creating, hanging and scootering (of course.)  Not to mention, the dance parties are pretty epic.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Ok, so maybe this is more a gift for the parents, but c’mon, doesn’t a delicious almond milk latte to start off the morning make life better for the whole family?  I thought so.  So the Breville Espresso Machine is number five on the list of Best Family Holiday Gifts of the year. I know this machine has a hefty price tag but if you’re going to grab a coffee everyday at your fav coffee shop, sometimes twice a day, it is soooooo worth it.  Our latte habit was a bit out of control and this machine totally saved us.  It’s easy to use and makes killer lattes.  Definitely recommend and I bet you can find one with a coupon for Black Friday.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018Last year I created a list of all of my favorite art supplies.  I haven’t changed on most of those items though I’ve added a few of my very favorite no mess art supplies below. Nobody wants a mess.  I get it.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018thin Kwik Stix

If your kids love to paint, but you can’t stand the mess, Kwik Stix Paint Markers are the way to go.  We use these guys all the time.  They come in great neon, metallic and rainbow colors.  They dry in about a minute and we love the way they glide on paper.  Kwik Stix are a constant in both the art studio and our home.  Definitely a great purchase for your art area, no matter how big or small. We make big family signs with these all the time, like the one below for grandma.  I’ve also written two posts about these markers if you want some more ideas.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies for 2018Personalized Art You’ll Want to Frame

Make Your Own City

MT Washi Tape

Anyone else totally frustrated by washi tape lately.  I mean, what is the deal? It doesn’t stick now that every company and their mother makes washi tape.  Mt Washi Tape STICKS.  The colors are beautiful and they have really cool patterns.  This is tape I can recommend.

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018Art Supply Organizer

We’ve had our art supply organizer for 4 years and I love it just as much as I did when we first got it.  It used to be my go to present for friends but unfortunately you can’t buy it for 19 dollars on Amazon anymore.  Boon sells it but the price is pretty steep. I know it’s a bummer.  I will say this though, it will be something you’ll love for years and will grow with you as your kids grow, so you might decide it’s worth it.


Are you a sticker fan?  We (especially me) love stickers.  Pipsticks is a super cool sticker subscription membership where you get a bunch of really fresh, fun stickers every month to create with.  We use them for all kinds of projects including collages, sticker stories and making note cards.  It’s a great gift item for someone you love too.

Kid Art and Literature BoxKid Art Lit Subscription Box

Another subscription I love is KidArtLit’s Art and Literature subscription box.  The maker’s are great friends of mine and they’ve done a killer job combining process art with gorgeous books to create ready to go inspired art making at home.  They even incorporate the box into the project.  This one might be a great idea for a grandparent to gift the grandkids.  It’s an absolutely lovely gift idea any family would love to have.

Process Art Toolkit for Parents - Everything you need to know about Process Art for KidsProcess Art Toolkit – Of course I have to include my favorite gift of all, The Process Art Toolkit.  It has everything you could possibly want to know about Process Art including over 30 ideas you can implement immediately.

If you know for sure you want to buy the Toolkit click here.  If you want to learn more about it, click here for all the info plus access to the Process Art Workshop coming up in LA.

I hope you like the list and I introduced you to some new great items.  Happy Holidays to you!!! xo, Meri

Best Family Gifts and Art Supplies  for 2018This post was sponsored by Kwik Stix and Fort Magic.  All opinions and ideas are my own.

Fort Magic Theater of Performing Arts

Fort Magic TheaterEvery year around this time we like to bust out our Fort Magic Kit and make something fantastic we can enjoy for a while in the playroom.  Let me just say, I don’t know how quickly my girls are going to let me take down this theater. Oh my goodness did we have fun with this.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Fort Magic TheaterYou may have seen our Fort Magic Nail Salon from last year.  It was awesome.  My girls spent hours in there and it was during a time when all they wanted to do was get manicures all day.  My husband and I thought of doing a puppet theater this year but when we asked the girls, my little one started crying and my six year old was like, meh. I was surprised but as we started talking about it we realized they loved the idea of a theater, but they wanted to be the stars, not the puppets! (duh, mom)

Fort Magic TheaterSo, I present to you, Fort Magic Theater of Performing Arts…

My husband put it together and our girls were his assistant.  Grandma also helped quite a bit while I took pics and shared stories on Instagram.

Fort Magic TheaterI’m not exactly sure how, but as soon as the theater was open, girls from all around the neighborhood starting to show up to perform.  It was like some sort of performers sixth sense.  They just kept coming.

Fort Magic TheaterThe drama was in full bloom and we loved it.

Fort Magic TheaterOne of the things I love about Fort Magic is that it’s super easy to put together and the possibilities are endless.  The clips for hanging the fabric are amazing and you don’t need more than what they give you in the kit to make something awesome.  We just hung some old ikea curtains and wrapped some yarn around the bars and hung a sign.  It’s all about the sign if you ask me. I, of course paid extra for front row seats.

Best Family Gifts - Fort Magic TheaterOur amazing neighbor Neil is an awesome photographer, so all the super clear photos here are by Neil Apodaca.  I took the others.  Check out his feed on Instagram.  His late night pics of the Malibu skies are incredible and his pics on the baseball field are super cool.  I am so grateful Neil has girls who love all of our crazy happenings over here. I’ve always dreamed we’d have a home where kids always came over and just hung out and had fun and felt comfortable.  It feels so good to be cultivating that now.

Fort Magic TheaterThese girls had a blast.  All six of them performed without an argument in sight.  Woo hoo.  Gotta love neighborhood friends.

Fort Magic TheaterI mean, look at all this joy!

Fort Magic TheaterAnd all this drama.

Fort Magic TheaterMy mom added the gorgeous scarf hanging in the back.  It adds quite a dramatic flair, don’t you think?

Fort Magic TheaterGigi wants to be an actress when she get’s older.  “Mama, my favorite thing in the world is performing. I want to be an actress when I get older.”  Why Gigi?  “I want everyone to know who I am.”  Do your thing girl.

Thanks for all the fun Fort Magic! Fort Magic Theater for the win!

Fort Magic Theater

*This post is sponsored by Fort Magic.  All the thoughts and opinions are my own.