Disney Art Academy

art academy

Disney Art Academy is more than just a game. It’s like a little drawing school in your Nintendo 3DS!

My sons tested it for me*, and I am excited to get my hands on it. I love drawing and coloring and my niece is a big Disney fan so I’ll be making pictures for her with it!


The 11-year-old likes the guided lessons. The game characters, including Minnie Mouse herself, guide you through the steps of drawing characters. Then when you are finished, the game takes your drawing and puts it into a scene! You can share your artwork through Miiverse or social media, and even print it out.

The boy says: “It’s a pretty fun game. For artists who want to draw and like Disney. At the end it was really funny because they showed a variation of the picture.”



You can set your own pace and choose from 80 different Disney and Pixar characters – yes, including Elsa from Frozen. 

But we’re sticking with Ms. Minnie for now.

Disney Art Academy for Nintendo 3DS $29.99

*Product was Provided by Nintendo

Books and Bugs at the LA Times Festival of Books

Got a kid who’s crazy about bugs? Bring her to the LA Times Festival of Books April 9 & 10 – fun and educational for the whole family.

la times festival of books poster
poster by Shawn Nielsen

Think of it as Woodstock or Lollapalooza or I guess now Coachella for books. The annual LA Times Festival of Books, happening this weekend at USC‘s campus, is a huge celebration of books, authors, media, music, and creativity. There are presentations and signings all day and demonstrations and performances. There are kids’ pavilions, the pretty campus of USC, and a possible Metro ride for your family in it so you can avoid parking.

LA Times Festival of Books bug bites

Adam the Entomologist, host of the new kids’ TV series BUG BITES on KCET, will be showing off live insects each morning from 10 to noon, capped off by a butterfly release! BUG BITES brings life to the miniature world of insects on a gargantuan scale, using a colorful animated cast to explore a world rich in undiscovered secrets. BUG BITES airs Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. on KCET.

LA Times Festival of Books bug bites screenshot

Also appearing in bugland is Andy Harkness, a Disney Animation artist who is the author of the children’s book Bug Zoo, a charming tale of a young boy who opens a zoo full of bugs and troubleshoots his poor attendance challenges. (Ages 3-5). That’s happening on Saturday the 9th at 5:00 on the Children’s stage, but many other Disney publishing authors and books will be present throughout the weekend.

LA Times Festival of Books Bug Zoo cover

There’s so much to do at the LA Times Festival of Books for families. If you haven’t yet been, this is the year to check it out!