Creative beginnings for tiny tots

Posts tagged ‘Old Town Alexandra’

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Wonderful watery watercolor collages

mr seahorse

Our friends over at Pink and Orange in DC did a nice post about our class this week. Thanks for sharing!

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Winter Sessions Shaping Up

A gentle reminder to locals…registration for winter classes in all 3 locations is now underway (and we are proud and excited that a photo of one of our very own artists is featured on the cover of this winter’s program guide for the City of Alexandria).

cover photo

Classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers:

And something brand NEW, that I have been brewing for years, and finally have taken the plunge and decided to offer…

An evening workshop, just for Moms.  An art-y Mom’s Night Out, if you will.  A gathering for some creative dabbling, with inviting materials for any eager participant (NO ART EXPERIENCE NECESSARY).  A chance to play, create, explore, socialize, and focus on YOU, in a supportive environment, with NO distractions from little ones!  This workshop is being offered this winter at the following locations:

We hope you will join us and bring a few friends along!

We survived Sandy and so did “Leaf Man”!

The wind and rain swept through, but we were pretty lucky here in Northern Virginia, near Washington, DC.  No significant damage, and we were able to resume our regularly scheduled activities today.  Best of all, there were still plenty of colorful autumn leaves to be found, so my little friends were able to do some collecting on their way to class in anticipation of our Leaf Man inspired projects.

And inspired, they were.

I just love when our real life experiences, our stories, and our art all intersect.  This happens naturally, when we focus on the natural world around us!

See for yourself…

Getting to know the materials is a good portion of the fun, and an important part of the “work” to be done:

And there is great satisfaction to be had from squeezing and pouring one’s own glue (while building those hand muscles to be used for fine motor skills down the road):

With nature providing the materials, an artful adventure is inevitable ~

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In Memoriam

In loving memory of my first teacher,  my mother.  She was a role model of patience, gentleness, and nurturing with little ones, and instilled in me a love of children’s books from the very beginning.

Judi Altman
July 14, 1933 – August 30, 2012

My apologies for my absence from this site for much of the summer.  My attention was focused elsewhere, with my family, during this difficult time.  So much so, in fact, that for the first time, registration for fall classes got underway without my even realizing it!  However, I am now gearing up for an exhilarating fall season and looking forward to hopefully seeing lots of old friends as well getting to meet many new ones!  If you are considering joining us, there is still time.  Most classes start next week, and there are still a few slots open in each of our locations.  Hop over to the appropriate website to get full schedule and registration details:

City of Alexandria – Durant Center

Falls Church Community Center

Herndon Community Center

Awakenings

The most powerful tactic…to awaken the curiosity of a child…is simply to head for the hands.
– Frank Wilson (1998)

Little Kids and Big Ideas in 3-D

In his whimsical tale of an ambitiously imaginative boy who invents a car with all the trimmings (including built in swimming pool, snack bar, and the capacity for sailing the seas and soaring through the skies, to name a few), Chris Van Dusen speaks to the wild imaginations of boys and girls everywhere, who dare to dream big.

Inspired by this engaging book, our toddlers and preschoolers expanded their visual vocabularies by tinkering with 3-D materials to come up with inventions of their own.

The range of experiences, lessons, skills, and designs were broad and delightful to watch unfold.

Each child received a brown bag filled with a variety of wood pieces and a rectangular cardboard panel as a work surface.  They were given ample time to simply interact with their pieces, without the notion of creating a permanent arrangement.

We witnessed:

SORTING…

STACKING…

BALANCING…

AND FINALLY….GLUING!!!

The end result was this veritable visual wonderland.  From chaos to order to symmetry and back, these creations conjure images of vehicles, contraptions, buildings, cityscapes and random fun. Our sculptors ranged in age from 20 months to 5 years old.

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And this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the fact that the book also features a very spunky pup, who is the spittin’ image of my wonderdog, Chessie, in every aspect of appearance and winning personality!

Eric Carle would be proud

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