Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I hope everyone had (and is still having) a great holiday. It will be another week before I'm back to school with kids' art to share, but I came across this bit that I forgot to post earlier in the month.

OK, so it's not totally related to art lessons, but it may give students a different perspective to think about.  I was recently at an estate sale browsing through a room filled with books and old photos. The lovely colored picture on the front of this book caught my eye.

I started flipping through it and realized that it was a 1938 art/activity book for kids titled, The Home University Bookshelf.  I snapped it up, anxious to take it to school to share with my students the pictures of what kids in the 1930’s did for entertainment (before computers, TV, etc.).  It is really a charming book.  
Here are a few of the pictures:

My brother and I used to try all sorts of these hand shadows!!
I thought it was cool that the book was designed for boys and girls with cooking, sewing, woodworking, and building model airplanes as well as art and activity pages all in one place.  Here is a type of page I can remember doing in my childhood -- finding what is wrong with the picture.  Remember these??  Sort of like an old fashioned Where's Waldo!!


  1. What a great find! That is really interesting to see activities from a 1930's perspective. I love a good estate sale.

  2. I always look forward to them, hoping I'll find some great "treasure" from the past (like this book).

  3. The beginning shadow puppets so cool. I never thought when I was playing with a a flashlight and making birds on the walls I was doing art. It is advanced to have a boy AND girl book from what I've seen.

    My classroom had some really old books in it. Most were junk but one was especially amazing. It was a picture dictionary from the 40's with amazing prints. It was all falling apart but I saved them to frame for my baby girls room. I also used some in a word mural we made at the school. Some of the pages totally show the mindset of the time, even in a dictionary. I'll have to post it too to show you. Love vintage stuff.

  4. Hi. When I was a child I had two volumes of this set. Somewhere along the way I lost one of the books. I have volume III. I have been looking for the other one that I had, but I don't know which volume it was. All I remember is that it had a poem or song in it entitled "Come Little Leaves." Do you have any information that might be helpful to me? I would love to find this book. Thank you. Debbie Berry (I'm on Google Blogger too!) :)