About this blog

Hello, I am Dr. Louisa Penfold and I work in children’s art education!

I started Art Play Children Learning back in 2016 as a way to help parents do fun and meaningful art activities with kids.

I also work at Harvard University as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Early Childhood Education.

Check out the video below to hear what Art Play Children Learning is all about…

This blog features ideas for how parents can cultivate children’s creativity at home.

To find your way through the posts, I have created the following five directory sections:

  • Kids art activities
  • Family excursion ideas
  • Tips for parents and teachers
  • Amazing artists and educators
  • Academic research

I love connecting with others who share my enthusiasm for art and education so sign up to the mailing list to stay in touch!

A little about me 

Aside from nerding out about art and children’s learning on this blog, I also do some other things.

I am originally from Melbourne, Australia but have lived a very international life.

From 2015-2019 I lived in England while doing my PhD in Art Education. My research looked at the design of children’s creative learning environments in art museums. This work was run as a partnership between the University of Nottingham, Tate and the Whitworth Art Gallery. My PhD supervisors were Professor Pat Thomson (School of Education, University of Nottingham) and Dr. Emily Pringle (Head of Learning Practice & Research, Tate). The research was funded by the University of Nottingham, Brisbane City Council, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The Graduate Women of Queensland Fellowship Fund.

A big part of my PhD looked at the ways that contemporary artists and designers’ experimentation with materials can be used to support children’s learning. You can read more about this in my article ‘Material matters in children’s creative learning’ which was published in MIT’s Journal of Design and Science in 2019. I have also had my writing on children’s art education published in Medium, The Age, and The Australian newspaper.

I have worked as a Children’s Curator at The Ipswich Art Gallery and as an Exhibitions Assistant at Artslink Queensland  in Australia. More recently, I was a Research Fellow on Serpentine Galleries’ Changing Play program in London.

In 2012, I also spent time researching intergenerational learning approaches in American art museums as part of my Master thesis. This research was undertaken in the education departments at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art.

In February 2020 I moved to Boston to take up my current position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Childhood Education at Harvard University. I am currently working on a research project looking at the roll out of universal pre-K across community preschools. I am also working on writing my first book for parents on children’s art education.

Please feel free to reach out and say hello!

Louisa x

P.S. Thanks to Stefan Zander for filming the video.


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