There is a famous 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 continue to introduce them to different ways to express it. By enrolling your child in art classes, the instructors are able to help develop those creative skills alongside you.
The search can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together a full guide to help you research different options and help ask the right questions to find a class that is a good fit for your family.
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 are the different types of art you can create with your hands.
Some of the most basic art classes are drawing and painting. It’s an activity most children do when they are very young and just need to learn some basic skills to start to improve their talents.
Drawing classes will teach students how to draw animals, shapes, textures and use techniques like shading and coloring. Painting is usually split up between watercolor and oil paints and will teach many of the same skills.
Another popular art class for children is pottery. Working with clay is a different skill set where you use your hands along with some tools to shape your work of art. 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. There are some great benefits for kids that are enrolling in art programs, so let’s break down a few of the main ones.
- 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, especially for the younger children. There are many different tools to hold on to and every small movement can change the look of something. Art classes teach the kids how to use these tools and control their hands which helps their tiny hand muscles learn.
- Creating any type of art helps teach children focus. It can be frustrating and take time to create anything 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 understand and respect the process.
- 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 a 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 each decision.
What Age Should My Child Start Art Classes?
This question is the easiest to answer. There is no age too young or too old to start art classes. Most preschools and daycares offer crafts and art projects, because as soon as children can move their hands, they can create. Looking for extra enrichment activities for your preschool aged children? Try an art class where they can meet some new friends and learn some new skills.
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 able to find an art class that looks exciting.
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. It’s good to let your budding artist try out a few different options in the beginning as well to see what they like best. It’s all about exploring all the art forms.
Art Classes in Seattle (Paid Post)
Location: Capitol Hill and Georgetown Locations in Seattle
Gage Academy of Art offers a huge range of different visual arts programs for youth and adults. There are online programs, lecture series, workshops and different in-person classes. For children, you can select from a variety of offerings for different age groups and mediums. One example is the Animal Bed & Breakfast: A Graphite Drawing Course, which is for children ages 7-12 and meets every Saturday morning in October.