Children’s Art Class in Arlington, VA

ArtStarts is pleased to offer a children’s art class at Senor Pan in Arlington, VA. This great new bakery and cafe offers a variety of South American pastries, breads, and cakes as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees…not to mention a great space to hold an art class!

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring their toddlers or preschoolers in for a dynamic art class that will foster positive social skills, provide opportunity for new discoveries, and nurture creativity. While the little ones are getting creative, the adults can even enjoy a coffee and pastry.

The class schedule is as follows:

Thursday June 7th – 10:30
Monday June 11th – 4:00
Thursday June 14th – 10:30
Monday June 18th – 4:00

The class fee of $15 is payable to Nicole via PayPal prior to the day of class. Space is limited, so email to register for class. Please include your child’s name and age in your email.  I hope to see you there!

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More Children’s Art Classes at Telegraph Station

There are more children’s art classes coming up in May and June at Telegraph Station in Alexandria, VA. It is starting to get quite warm outside, so come spend a little bit of time inside nurturing your child’s creativity! We will use a variety of art supplies, including paint and clay with themes that complement the season and incorporate the sun, warm weather, and flowers.

Classes will be held on May 9th, 16th, and 30th and June 6th and 13th and will run from 10:30-11:15. Classes are designed for children ages 2-5. The fee is $15 per class, payable via PayPal. You can receive a 15% discount if you register for the entire series. I hope to see you there!

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Easel Painting with Children

In the most recent children’s art class, we painted on easels made from pizza boxes. Most children I know love painting and want to do it over and over again, but sometimes it is good to try the same activity but in a slightly different way. There is no need to buy an easel that could be pricey or may take up a lot of room in your house, so we used pizza boxes! Get the largest box you can, open it up and secure it to the table. If you don’t want to get paint on the table, cover it with a vinyl table cloth or paper (also secure this to the table), then tape the pizza box down so it does not shift around. In the most recent ArtStarts class, children were initially offered only blue, yellow, and red tempera paint, 12 x 18 inch white paper and a variety of brushes. Once they got started, their creativity was flowing! They discovered all the new colors they could make: green, purple, various shades of red, brown, orange, shades of blue. I think this part of the painting process is so valuable. If children are given all the colors (primary and secondary colors) they may not have opportunities to discover all the new colors they can make. They need to see the colors mix on the page to learn how to make all the other beautiful colors in the world. Even when they make brown or other shades of red, this is a discovery that can be pointed out to them. You don’t have to say “Oh that is so pretty,” instead say “Wow, what color did you make?”, “You did it – you made green!”, or “I wonder how you made that color.”

Another valuable aspect to these art classes is that it allows children to experience the painting process over and over, not just one time. They are not limited to making only one painting but are instead encouraged to do at least 3 or 4 depending on their level of involvement. Some may be very focused on 1 painting, adding more and more paint and more and more color. Others may need to do 2 or 3 paintings before they really begin to open up to the creative process. In this class, we started with paint brushes which at times can limit creativity, especially in older children who may feel that there is only one right way to paint or that their painting has to look a certain way.

After painting with traditional paint brushes for a while, I offered some texture painters and paint rollers to students who were ready to move on. All of the sudden the painting process took on a new meaning and the process became more important than the product, which is what I really think drives creativity in children. Easel painting is a fantastic art activity for children that can certainly inspire creativity and capture children’s attention. We will definitely do this again in an ArtStarts class!

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Spring Art Classes

ArtStarts has just 3 more April classes at Telegraph Station! With all this beautiful Spring weather we’ve been having, I am eager to do some Spring themed art! Join us at 10:30 on Wednesdays (April 11th, 18th, and 25th) at Telegraph Station in Alexandria. Parents and caregiver can enjoy a coffee or a breakfast sandwich while children ages 2-5 take part in an engaging art project. You can be certain that bugs, flowers, and sunshine will be incorporated in some way! Please contact Nicole at for more information.

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Clay Class for Kids

The next ArtStarts class at Telegraph Station will focus on clay! Most of our recent classes have been focused on painting, drawing, or collage so it will be exciting to try something new.

Our clay class will take place on February 22nd at 10:30. As always, we will have song and story time before the art activity. Class is $15 and is payable to Nicole via PayPal. Email me at to sign up!

Telegraph Station is located at 5735 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA. Feel free to come early or stay late and enjoy any of their delicious menu items. They make a great breakfast sandwich!

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Tissue Paper Collage

Our most recent class had a bit of a Valentine’s Day theme. We read My Heart is like a Zoo, by Michael Hall (click on the title of the book to see a computer version). This was a fun book because every animal was made entirely of hearts. For example, the lion’s nose is a heart and each segment of the caterpillar is a heart shape. Students enjoyed finding all the hidden hearts. We even sungThere’s a Little Wheel A-Turnin’ in My Heart,by The Laurie Berkner Band.

The art project was tissue paper collage. See an example below then read more about the process.

Although I already had a collection of tissue paper pieces, I first provided each child with several sheets of tissue paper so they would have the opportunity to tear the paper themselves. Tearing paper helps to develop fine motor skills and is also something they often enjoy. Many children will first try to crumple the paper or pull it apart. This tissue paper did sometime tear when they tried to pull it apart but other times it would twist into a rope. We practiced various ways of tearing the paper so each student could learn something new. After tearing paper we used watered down glue to create our colorful collages. Students brushed their paper with glue, placed pieces of tissue paper on their paper then brushed more glue on top of the tissue paper. After everyone had experimented for some time, I offered pre-cut hearts to further embellish the collages and to support our heart theme.

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Snowy Painting

ArtStarts held the first children’s art class of 2012 at Telegraph Station in Alexandria, VA on February 1st. As promised this was a snow-themed class even though the weather was unseasonably warm! We read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a visually rich story complete with snowflakes, snow angels, and a little boy who loves the snow! After reading the story and singing a fun snow song, we got to work on the art.

In this art class, our young students used white paint and sponge rollers to paint the “snow” all over the gray paper. Some students were very invested in this process and spent much of the time rolling the white paint over and over the page. Others experimented with drawing with a stick in the paint, using snowflake stampers, and gluing snowflakes onto the page. It was quite exciting to see how each of our little artists used different materials in different ways as they engaged in the creative process.

One of the most valuable aspects to any art program is that the child is able to direct the creative process. While they may have a wide array of materials, not every  child will use them. Some will be very happy to simply use the paint roller, while others will experiment with all of the materials that are offered. Any art activity that I present in a class, I have also done with my daughter. I have found that as a parent it is important,  though sometimes difficult, to let the child direct the creative process. While I may want my daughter to try the paint stampers or the various colors of paint that are offered, I must remember that she may learn much more if she is able to move at her own pace. If I let her use the paint roller for the entire session she will fully appreciate the physical properties offered by the roller. She will notice more closely the texture that the roller makes and the result of layering paint over and over and over again. She would completely miss these new discoveries if I tried to get her to move on to the all the other materials rather than sticking with what she was truly interested in.

During any art class, I offer a variety of materials but try to do so in a casual way, so as not to distract a child from an activity that they may be very focused on. I believe that this is the best way to let the child’s own creativity shine through. Thank you to all the parents who inspire creativity in their children and also for letting me be a part of this process!

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