My neighbor has been holding amazing craft classes for kids this year.
M made apple pie cookies and a cornucopia in the first one. Consistent with her behavior since birth, she cried when she heard she was going. Luckily our neighbor was there.
We arrived to find Devorie’s mini apple pie station.
A healthy snack table with some of the baking supplies.
A chill out area where the kids could draw and relax on a bean bag chair.
M still looks mildly pained at leaving our house.
The baking table.
Part of what makes this class so different from others is, can you see what she has for each child? Yep, besides a slotted wooden spoon they get their own apple peeler. Unheard of in this age of us helicopter parents!
First you must put on an apron:
When I arrived to pickup M she was finishing assembling her cornucopia.
She had already peeled and cut her apples (yep, with her own knife!), assembled & baked the mini apple pies.
At home we baked the cornucopia. It was beautiful!
Unfortunately for it, it was tasty and the girls couldn’t stop tearing off hunks to eat. It never got full of plenty but now we know how to make one next year!
We ate the apple pies SO quickly. Luckily Devorie stopped by with the extra filling the kids had made. So we made our own dough and took a stab at them that weekend.
We took them across the street to dinner at the neighbors’. Delicious!
The second class we attended was an ornament making class.
There was a hot chocolate station awaiting the kids!
Does anyone have a brush around here?
Hot glue gun table
Hard at work as the sun set
Here are the ornaments they made:
K-Cup Snowman Hat Ornament
They also made Yarn Hats. M hasn’t finished hers but I’ll post a pic when she does!
When I got there to pick up the kids they were all having a big time! Some had gone off on their own project tangents but everyone was engaged in something. Devorie’s class is unique in that it’s very experiential. Instead of focusing on the end product she lets the kids focus on the experience of using all these materials. She is even teaching them how to use glue guns carefully and safely. It’s amazing! They feel so excited because they are able to do almost every part of the project themselves.
There is one more class left in December if you’re interested. It’s at Devorie’s house in Santa Monica.
Tues. 12/15 3-5PM
Darn the class is FULL. Hopefully she will start up again in 2016!
Feel free to email me for Devorie’s contact info!
A year or two ago I schlepped Maddie over to Westside Pavilion to the art class at Gymboree. The teacher was really good. M wasn’t so good. So we took a break. I didn’t hear great things about the art at Joslyn Park so I waited. We tried Gymboree again. New teacher and what seemed like budget cuts. “Everybody share this gram of glue!” “2 sequins per child.” It was ridiculous. If I have to be INSIDE THE MALL every single Friday afternoon, my child’s project better be spangly & shiny like the 4th of July night sky. So we stopped that after a month. M kept bringing up how much she loved art, and to quell my panic at the thought of going to the mall EVERY SINGLE WEEK, I signed her up for the class run through Santa Monica RecEnroll at Joslyn Park. Even if it’s no good, at least the kids can play outside afterwards.
Expecting the worst we trucked on over there.
We got lucky! SmART Space took over the art program. The teacher, Juliet Curry, is excellent! Organized, friendly and talented, she ALSO is the proud mother to a 2 year old girl (which doesn’t mean she’s a better teacher but it means she probably understands how I feel when my 2 year old exhibits “certain” behaviors in her class.)
I was really impressed by the structure of the class, the materials & Juliet’s skill at working with children between 2 and 4 years old. Since my kids are 2 and 4, I enrolled them both.
Her class schedule is just structured enough for these age groups:
1. Independent book time (art books in a basket on the floor)
2. Circle time to say hello, stretch, introduce everyone & discuss the project
4. When/if-you’re-done 2nd project
5. Circle time to hand back projects, get a sticker & say goodbye
Examples of class topics & projects:
1. Introduction to Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract art.
The finished paintings:
Maddie’s name was NAAAK or something like that.
3. “Action Painting”::Intro to Abstract Expressionism & Jackson Pollock
4. Halloween Collage
5. Autumn Leaf Rubbing
6. Indian Corn Printmaking & Collage
7. Free Expression (painting by running a Matchbox car through paint!)
After class we eat lunch in the playground.
It was very hot this day.
Normally the playground is pretty full but it was naptime AND I snapped it the second it was empty in case people didn’t want their kids on the internet.
Maddie is so happy with this class. Which is saying a lot since she is a real Mama’s girl who can be pretty moody. Bea? Bea loves using paint, whether she’s supposed to or not.
Next session starts in January. Look for the name “SmART Space” in the name when you are browsing the classes.
Classes are available both in Santa Monica through RecEnroll AND in Culver City. Here is a link to the SmART Space LA site to check out the prices/schedules:
Click here for SmART Space LA class info!
City of Santa Monica Community Programs
1527 4th Street, Room 101, Santa Monica, Ca 90401
Registration Phone: 310-458-2239