ART CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Children's Art Activities to do From Home
The open-ended activities below can be adapted for a wide range of ages, and require things found around the home as well as some common, inexpensive art supplies. Many more activities can be found on the web.
Art Supplies Needed for One or More Activities
Tape (cellophane or masking), thin cardboard or cardstock (such as index cards or old holiday cards), crayons, water-based paint (watercolor, tempera, or acrylic), white paper (inexpensive watercolor paper is best but not necessary), water-based markers (not permanent)
Other Handy Supplies
Plastic for covering the work table, coffee filters, spray bottle, wax paper, cups, liquid food coloring, newspaper
Materials Needed: Tape (masking or cellophane), recycled materials, twist ties, colored papers, leftover household things like screws, buttons, etc, that are safe for children.
Instructions: Tape together plastic containers, soda bottles, toilet paper tubes, coffee cup lids, bottle caps, etc. to create imaginative sculptures, vehicles, cities of the future, or whatever you imagine. Use twist ties for wire. Add leftover household things and cut-out shapes from leftover plastic, cardboard, or construction paper.
Easy Clean-Up Finger Painting
Materials Needed: Dish detergent, liquid food coloring, paper, cups, plastic covering for the table.
Instructions: In separate cups, mix food coloring into dish detergent to make the “paint,” then let them get messy on whatever spare paper you have around the house (brown paper grocery bags, newspaper, notepads, etc.).
Materials Needed: Thin cardboard or cardstock (such as index cards or old holiday cards), tape, scissors.
Instructions: Cut the cardboard or cardstock into a variety of shapes, then put them together by cutting slits in the shapes and slipping the slit of one shape into the slit of another. You may want to start with a base made by taping the ends of a long strip of cardboard together to make an oval or rectangle (how wide and how long depends on the size of the sculpture you want to make).
Crayon Resist Drawings
Materials Needed: Crayons, water-based paint (watercolor, tempera, acrylic), paper (watercolor paper works best), plastic covering for the table, newspaper.
Instructions: Cover the table with plastic and then newspaper. Draw a picture or design with crayons, then paint over it. Experiment with using only one paint color over your drawing, or only one crayon color and multiple paint colors.
Coffee Filter Designs
Materials Needed: Coffee filters, water-based markers (not permanent), white paper (watercolor paper works best), wax paper, spray bottle with water, plastic covering for the table, newspaper.
Instructions: Cover the table with plastic and then newspaper. Tear off a sheet of wax paper slightly bigger than the white paper. Flatten the coffee filter and place it on top of a white piece of paper. Draw with markers on the coffee filter. Experiment with drawing colors close together and leaving uncolored places on your coffee filter.
Spray the filter once lightly with water and watch what happens. (If you don’t have a spray bottle, try sprinkling water from your fingertips.) Spray it again (and again) until the colors run together in a way you like. Leave the filter on top of the paper. Lift them by holding the sides of the wax paper and lay them flat on newspaper to dry. Once dry, remove the filter and compare it to the design on the white paper.
Tips for Caregivers When Making Art at Home with Children
(From Guidelines for Open-ended Art, ©2005 Cathy Abraham)
-Never alter or “fix” a child’s work
-Emphasize the process, not the end product
-Don’t ask “What is it?”; Say “Tell me about it.”
-Do not do models or samples for the children
-Let children come up with their own ideas and use materials creatively
-Encourage children to express feelings and personal experiences through art
-Children should be doing their own cutting – it’s OK if a circle doesn’t remotely resemble a circle yet. This is how they develop these fine muscles – makes it ‘their’ work and experience.
-Let the children be as independent as possible, and encourage self-help skills and responsibility in cleaning up
How to Respond to Your Children’s Artworks
Say something very specific about the artwork, instead of something general like “That’s beautiful!”
Examples of specific responses:
“I see circles in your picture”
“Do you have a story you want to tell me about your picture?”
“I can see you worked hard on that.”
“Tell me about how you made the blue lines so smooth.”
“I feel happy when I look at your picture. The colors are very bright.”
Youth classes are taught by professional art educators who enjoy teaching children. All supplies are provided for youth classes. Adults must bring their own supplies. A list of suggested supplies will be sent automatically if you register through www.familyid.com; otherwise please call the front desk to request one. All youth classes, except the Making Comics Workshop, meet for 5 days, Monday-Friday. Please drop off and pick up children promptly at the Museum’s main entrance on Elm Street. Parents/guardians do not have to stay in the Museum during class. A limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact Laura Howick, Director of Education, at 978-345-4207 ext. 305 for details. We believe creating art is especially good for children; they learn motor skills, decision-making, visual literacy, and positive self-expression. Your child does not have to have “talent” to take our art classes, just an interest in art.
If you sign up for both morning classes for ages 5-8, the fee is $105 for Family-level Museum members; $125 for non-members. Each class for ages 9-12 is $105 for Family-level Museum members; $125 for non-members. There is an additional fee of $15 for supervision during lunch if the student is taking a morning and afternoon class. (Students must provide their own lunch and snacks.)
Often the Museum staff or local newspaper would like to photograph students in the classroom for publishing on social media or in the newspaper. If you do not want your child photographed for this purpose, please indicate that on your registration form, otherwise we will assume we have your permission.
Class Cancellations Due to Under-Enrollment or Instructor Illness
If a class has to be cancelled due to these circumstances, students will be notified by phone and refunds will be issued.