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An Artist Mom Shares Tips for Entertaining a Toddler

Crocs Spotting: A Mommy & Mini Play Day

Welcome to our new series with Crocs, in which we celebrate the ways their notoriously comfortable shoes show up in the world on creative, hardworking people.

Maintaining a creative work-life balance is nothing new for artist Denisse Wolf. Denisse creates large-scale, Pop Art-style portrait paintings out of her studio in her San Diego bungalow, where she lives with her hubby and 1-year-old daughter, Greta. “I have the luxury of working from home,” she says, “but then you add a toddler to the mix and it’s just craziness sometimes.”

Since they’ve been home more these days, the parents have found themselves constantly tapping into creative ways to switch up their daily routines. Challenging as it is, Denisse has been cherishing the tender moments as much as the hiccups.

Curious for a peek inside Denisse’s world as a talented artist and cool momma, we caught up with her and her little girl at home.

1. Even pancakes feel like a special event.

“Greta’s obsessed with pancakes with different fruits, and I let her pick the ones she wants that day to make it interactive,” says Denisse. More topping ideas: Lemon and sugar, Nutella, PB&J, chopped nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate sauce (if you’re feeling saucy).

2. Work with what you've got!

Denisse used cardboard for clouds and a tent she already had (though you could use a sheet) to create an indoor camping scene. “My father was big on storytelling,” she says. “He used to write scripts and make actual sets for me to play in. I want to incorporate the same idea of fun and make-believe into Greta’s life.” Painter's tape can become a road on the floor for cars; cut sponges can be stamps.

3. Get into costume—often.

"Dressing up was one of my favorite childhood memories. My parents had a clothing store, so I had easy access to props," says Denisse. “I have homemade animal masks we play with all the time, but you don't even need that—I found Greta playing with my shoes the other day and it made me so happy!”

4. Let the outdoors inspire you.

Go on flower-picking excursions, pretend your neighborhood is somewhere exotic, bring along bubbles or chalk, or paint the fence with colored water. “Fresh air and a good run is life!" says Denisse. "Outdoor time is just as important as being 'creative' indoors. It’s fuel for any kid. Also, guaranteed laughs and smiles.”

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