Kids are natural artists, whether coloring pictures for display or drawing patterns in the sand. As they grow, however, their natural artistic instincts give way to the demands of studying and the lure of video games and smartphones. Yet study after study shows that art education boosts school achievement levels, self-confidence, critical thinking, social skills, and even SAT scores. It helps children and teens work through difficult emotions, leading to an overall happier, calmer disposition. In addition, early exposure to artistic expression can lead to a lifelong love for art in its many different forms. Here is what you should know about enrolling your child or teen in art classes.
The Current State of Art in Schools
You might remember your own school days, when art classes were readily available from elementary school through high school. Today, things are much different. Budget cuts and high stakes testing have largely pushed “soft classes,” including physical education and every style of arts, out of the picture. As of 2016, some communities are pushing back, lobbying to return the arts to their schools, but it is a long, slow, and often impossible battle.
What to Expect from a Painting Class
Ironically, the more that art is pushed out of the schools, the more people of all ages are starting to recognize its many benefits. Community painting classes offer a chance for artistic expression far beyond what many adults experienced in school. In a supportive, noncompetitive environment, you and your child will receive all of the materials you need, along with gentle guidance from an expert as you copy a famous painting. Your masterpiece is yours to take home, and friendships form easily as everyone in the class works cooperatively toward the same goal.
Is My Child Old Enough for a Painting Class?
By the time kids are pre-teens, or around 8 to 10 years old, they are generally mature enough to attend a painting class on their own, or to join you at one of our regularly scheduled paint and sip events. In a mixed-age setting, they will learn to work cooperatively with adults, to hold up their end of a polite conversation, and to self-confidently accomplish a challenging task.
For those who are a bit younger, we offer family painting days, which are carefully crafted for younger children to enjoy. Held on weekday mornings, our family painting days allow you and your child to work independently or together. Our fees are charged per canvas rather than per person, so you will not pay twice to work on a single painting with your little one.
Family painting days are designed with children ages 4 to 8 in mind, but this is simply a guideline rather than a rule. If your child is a bit younger but fairly mature for her age, feel free to bring her to class. Likewise, if your 8 to 10-year-old still needs a bit of help with self-direction, she is welcome to attend a family painting day.
What About Birthday Parties and Special Events?
At The Paint Place, we are happy to host private parties (minimum guest counts apply), from kids-only birthday parties to multigenerational family reunions, at our studio or your venue. We can help you with decorating ideas and even recommend catering options, and you are free to choose any painting in our catalog for your group to copy. Our private events are highly popular, so we recommend booking well in advance.