by Erica Curtis

IMG_4305 (1)Build social-emotional skills with art therapy activities for kids ages 6 to 9.

Making art is a great way for kids to sort through their emotions and learn how to solve problems in creative ways. This standout choice among art therapy books for kids is filled with activities for you and your child, whether you’re looking for a fun weekend activity with high social-emotional value or you need in-the-moment strategies for resolving conflict. Together, you’ll learn how to harness the power of art to soothe worries, get organized, ease transitions, and much more!

The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

by Erica Curtis and Ping Ho


Even the best talk-based practices in parenting can be limiting. How can art help parents temper storms of emotion, defuse sibling conflicts, get teeth brushed, and raise happy, successful kids? In The Innovative Parent, Erica Curtis and Ping Ho integrate cutting-edge research, years of clinical expertise, and their own parenting experience into a revolutionary yet practical guide to creative parenting. Plentiful illustrations and anecdotes bring concepts to life and show art in action with kids and parents.

Together, Curtis and Ho let parents in on art therapy trade secrets to help children make sense of emotions; build connections with others; develop problem-solving skills; resolve day-to-day conflicts; process and retain information; confront fears and anxiety; and much more. These are complex tasks for something as seemingly simple as making art, yet therein lies the beauty of The Innovative Parent: its down-to-earth approach is simple, doable, and fun.

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“. . . when you’re knocking but they’re pretending that nobody’s home, art gives you a key to get in through the back door.”

– The Innovative Parent

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PRAISE for The Innovative Parent

“Raising children is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in life—and with this wonderful guide you will find a fun and effective way to make your connections with your kids more fulfilling and effective in cultivating resilience and joy in their lives. Erica Curtis and Ping Ho offer a practical and innovative approach to going beyond words to communication with our offspring that offers them creative experiences to get in touch with their inner lives and themselves in artistic activities involving music, visual images, and dance that provide a deep enrichment in their lives and enhance our relationships with them as they grow with innovation, collaboration, and resilience front and center. Bravo, and thank you!” – Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. New York Times bestselling author

“I salute your effort to bring art therapy principles to new parents. I am a big fan of Art Therapy! Thank you for your important work with children and parents!” – Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D., Happiest Baby, Inc.

“I LOVE your book. You have made a wonderful book, and not just for parents but for any educator or sponsor of educational programs. Moreover, it’s deep engagement with the human heart and mind provides a path forward for both novices and experts, intrigued by the ability of the arts to engage, activate, inspire and teach.” – Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH,  Harvard Medical School; Founder and President of the Foundation for Art & Healing

“The Innovative Parent manages to avoid the pitfalls of countless parenting books and tools. It offers sensitive, creative, and mindful parenting techniques that are specific yet flexible. While no child comes with an instruction manual, this book is the closest I’ve found to one in anchoring me—both as a parent and as a creative person—in what I know.” – Dr. Einat Metzl, Chair of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy, Loyola Marymount University

Articles by Erica

Holiday Activity Starter – Foundation for Art and Healing (December 2020)

Overcoming Sheltering-In-Place Tantrums – Parenting OC (May 2020)

Anxious About Traveling – Parenting OC (July 2019)

Soothing Anxious Children – Parenting OC (June 2019)

Holiday Art Activities for Healing Trauma – UCLArts and Healing (December 2017)

Transforming Objects Transforms Yourself – Follow The Things (December 2017)

Making Meaning -UCLArts and Healing (Dec 2014)

Embrace the moment: Quick holiday de-stress tips -Indian River (Dec 2014)

Beyond Words: Why we should talk less and make more -Lifespan Learning blog (Oct 2014)

7 Books Sure to Inspire Creative Expression -Foundation for Art and Healing blog (August 2014)

Shape Up Your Practice with Metaphors -Lifespan Leaning blog (March 2014)

Giving: Is it always good? -Lifespan Leaning blog (Jan 2014)

Gifts from the Heart: ART Activity -UCLArts and Healing (December 2013)

Re-Visualizing Relationships -Lifespan Leaning blog (September 2013)

ADHD Treatments and Remedies -by Jeremy Warner (Erica Curtis contributing writer/expert) (April 2013)

Picture This: Healing Trauma through Art – UCLArts and Healing (January 2013) and Live Well UCLA (July 2013)

A Creative Spark of Gratitude -All Things Healing (November 2011)

Get Organized from the Outside In -Special Education Advisor (October 12, 2011)

The Anatomy of Self CareSpecial Education Advisor (June 8, 2011)

Is the Behavior in My Child’s Control?: A Question of Consequence  –Special Education Advisor (May 2, 2011)

Understanding Client Imagery in Art Therapy –Journal of Clinical Art Therapy (May 2011)

Preschool for Children with Special NeedsSpecial Education Advisor (March 13, 2011)