There is a quote from Pablo Picasso, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
The best way to encourage creativity as children grow up is to introduce them to ways to express themselves through a variety of art forms. However the search for art classes for kids can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a full guide to help you research different options and ask the right questions to find a class that is a good fit for your child.
Types of Art Classes Available
Art is defined as “the expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form.” It can apply to music, dance and performance, but what we are diving into here are classes in the different types of visual arts – ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, and crafts.
Some of the most popular art classes are drawing and painting. Drawing classes will teach students how to draw animals, shapes, and textures and use techniques like shading and coloring. Painting is usually split up between watercolor and oil paints.
Another popular art class for children is pottery. Working with clay is a different skill set where you use your hands along with tools. Depending on their age and experience with pottery, students will learn the basics of wheel throwing, trimming, glazing, and firing to create their own pottery pieces.
Benefits of Art Programs
Cultivating creativity is so important for your child’s development because it helps encourage expression in different forms as they grow up. Benefits of art classes for kids include:
Art teaches children to be more aware of themselves and others. They are introduced to many different styles and techniques and they learn that diversity within art is celebrated.
- Fine and gross motor skills and hand/eye coordination are improved by taking art classes. There are many different tools and every small movement can change the look of something.
- Creating any type of art helps teach children focus. It can be frustrating and take time to create something and children have to participate in each part of the process to get to the final product. They may make mistakes along the way or need to start over, but it helps them grow their concentration and patience.
- Art gives children a healthy and positive way to express their emotions. Artists at any level are able to take the feelings they are experiencing and put them on paper or in another art creation as an outlet. Watching them process their feelings visually can really help you learn a lot about their personalities and can help start conversations.
- Kids are able to learn to make decisions because art is a series of small decisions. Each new color or line added is a choice and they are instantly able to see how that impacts the overall piece. It’s a simple way to understand the consequences of decisions and benefits of a process and they are able to enjoy control over a final outcome.
What Age Should My Child Start Art Classes?
Most preschools and daycares offer crafts and art projects as soon as children can hold a drawing tool because from a very early age kids love to express themselves by drawing. Art schools begin offering classes for children ages 4 years and up when they have the fine-motor coordination to begin learning basic art skills and the maturity to participate in a group class.
If you’ve got an older child looking for a new hobby, art programs are a great option. There are so many different kinds, so it’s easy to find something that interests them to try out. From drawing comics to photography classes to watercolor painting, you’ll be likely able to find an art class that interests your child.
What To Look for in a Class
You’ve made it this far, so you’re ready to start shopping around for a class for your child. We have put together a few things to consider and questions to ask before you make your final decision.
Find out the age range for the class or program. Even though skill doesn’t necessarily matter in a lot of the art programs, it’s good to have your child surrounded by others that are in the same age range. Many studios offer a range of a few years, so just make sure you are comfortable with the options.
Are there other types of art classes offered? Some studios specialize in just one area, like pottery. If your child is just getting started and might want to try multiple art forms, it’s a good idea to go with a studio that has a few different course options.
Ask some questions about the teaching staff. Find out the student/teacher ratio to make sure your child will receive some individual attention if necessary. Are the teachers trained educators or just volunteers? It’s important to have a teacher who helps inspire and encourage creativity from the children and that can be hard if they’ve never taught art before.
Are there accommodations for any disabilities? Some studios offer different accommodations for students with developmental or physical disabilities. If your child needs any special considerations, make sure to ask about that up front.
And lastly, find out about the cost and duration of the programs. Try a class that lasts a few weeks to test it out before signing up for something more long-term. Or check out a drop-in art class. It’s good to let your budding artist try out a few different art forms before enrolling in a longer program.
If you find that art classes for your child are too expensive for your budget, be sure to check out your local parks and recreation community center class offerings – fees are generally much lower for their programs.
Places Offering Art Classes for Kids
Location: Capitol Hill and Georgetown Locations in Seattle
An innovative and accessible contemporary art school, Gage Academy of Art is unapologetically independent and fiercely committed to excellence in the fields of painting, drawing, sculpting, and printmaking. Read more about our programs here.
Kids into drama and love theater? Learn more about it here.
Visit our Enrich directory for classes to explore.