- Create semi-structured, innovative, fun-to-make Craft Kits that are safe and educational, helping kids explore their creativity.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Source recycled materials and supplies, creating Craft Kits and activities that are age-appropriate, helping teach children about recycling and the importance of caring for our environment.
- Offer Continuing Education. Providing adults with information about child development, useful learning resources and practical teaching tools.
- Continue supporting and promoting VIP Services, Inc and our community, seeking opportunities to involve children (and adults) art and crafts.
Why we're special...
PintSize Picasso Art Supplies and Craft Kits are created for busy adults who want to enhance the quality of the time they spend with their kids. The Craft Center is loaded with art supplies and the Craft Kits come with everything a kid needs to complete an activity, as well as helpful information, tips and suggestions. Our first priority is saving parents time and money by offering a line of arts and crafts products that are convenient and economical. Plus, fun and educational for kids, helping them develop their creativity, their imagination and their fine motor skills.
Craft Kits are fun and challenging, introducing kids to new art techniques and learning opportunities. Each kit comes with easy step-by-step instructions and suggestions for different ways a project can be done. Since there is no ‘right way or wrong way’ to do an activity, our Craft Kits encourage kids to do their own problem-solving. This flexibility lets them make lots of their own creative choices. We think kids benefit the most from art-play when they are allowed to make choices and when they truly believe that everyone is creative.
How it all started...
Several members of my family are school teachers, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the idea for PintSize Picasso started with one of them. For Christmas 2007, my Aunt Katie, who is unbelievably creative and talented, made her four-year-old granddaughter Olivia, the coolest gift I'd ever seen. Aunt Katie took an ordinary plastic organizer and turned it into a kid's arts and crafts "dream come true." She filled the drawers with art supplies, crafty materials and homemade craft projects. Imagine the look on Olivia’s tiny face when she saw all that cool stuff, like felt tip markers in every color of the rainbow, water color paints, colored pencils, glitter glue, stamps, crayons, scissors and so much more.
Aunt Katie filled another drawer with simple craft kits she made by hand. Using odds and ends stashed in her craft closet, Aunt Katie filled individual bags with all kinds of different activities. Each bag came with directions and all the supplies Olivia needed to do a project. At first Olivia didn’t quite get the idea. But, when Aunt Katie showed her a couple of the projects, describing the project to Olivia, she realized how much fun she was going to have. Nobody was surprised when Olivia wanted to get started right away. It was obvious that Aunt Katie had put a lot of love, thought and creativity into making this amazing gift, not to mention hours and hours of her time.
I thought Aunt Katie’s idea was brilliant and I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities...
I loved the idea of creating a line of children’s craft kits to make life easier for parents. As many adults will admit, not all of us consider ourselves to be as clever and as creative as my Aunt Katie. And, few of us have that kind of time to spare. But, all parents want the best for their kids.
My mind was spinning with ideas. A few nights later I dreamt of naming the business PintSize Picasso, feeling it was catchy and descriptive. Subconsciously, my dreams must have been inspired by reading about a woman named Julie Aigner-Clark and the company she started. I was fascinated to learn about her journey, getting started in her basement, naming the company and the success she achieved. She and her husband started the business in their basement using borrowed equipment. They began producing videos for babies to begin exposing them to arts and science, creating one of the most unique products and successful businesses ever. I’m sure you recognize the name Baby Einstein!
Olivia's parents Laura and Josh, like many families, both work. Like many young families, they don’t have a stash of art supplies and crafty stuff, yet. I imagined that the convenience of Aunt Katie’s Christmas gift to Olivia was an enormous benefit for Laura and Josh. Not to mention the hours and hours of fun Olivia would have. The best part…Laura and Josh didn’t have to do any of the running around or any of the work, which seemed like an amazing solution for their busy lives. They said Olivia loved making the crafts and they loved sitting down with her; talking, laughing and lending her a hand when she needed help. Josh and Laura were able to focus 100% of their attention on Olivia and what she was doing, saying that the time they spent with her was the best part of their hectic day.
I wanted to make sure that the Craft Kits had the look and the feel of being “homemade,” differentiating ourselves from other craft kits. I found that there were lots of craft kits for kids out there. Yet, none of them encourage kids to express their creativity by making choices and problem-solving. To get the most benefit from art-play, experts suggest (and I agree) that arts and craft activities should have lots of flexibility, allowing kids to create art in their own way.
Then, I started thinking about ways I could take PintSize Picasso to another level. I began looking for ways to make a difference, for people and for the environment. One thing led to another and it made sense to start looking for ways to use recycled materials in the Craft Kits. I am continuously looking for materials I can buy from manufacturers that they would normally throw into the trash.
The next obstacle was finding a place to set-up shop. I needed to find a place where the craft kits could be assembled and the manpower to do the work. It was my good fortune when I learned about VIP Services, an amazing organization, just a few miles from my house. It’s been a bumpy ride as I work out all of the details starting out. The folks at VIP (thanks Rose, Rob, Vera, Donna and Nancy) have been very patient with me and they have helped me work out many of the logistics. I’m really looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about how PintSize Picasso came to be and thank you for visiting the website, a work in progress. Or, should I say, an artwork in progress! I would love to get your comments and/or suggestions about anything to do with PintSize Picasso. I’d especially love to get your ideas for new craft kits and for suggestions about finding more recycled materials we can use. Contact me directly at CarriePski@PintSize-Picasso.com