Creative beginnings for tiny tots

Posts tagged ‘Washington DC’

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Introducing MOMS NIGHT OUT with Art In Hand

Introducing MOMS NIGHT OUT with Art In Hand

This is something I have thought about doing for
years, and I am excited to finally be taking the plunge. I will be offering these workshops in both Falls Church and Alexandria this winter, with more to come in Spring and Summer. I plan to also add dates in the coming months at the Herndon Community Center, so stay tuned!

It’s easy to register through the following links:

http://www.alexandriava.gov/recreation

http://fallschurchva.gov/content/government/departments/recparks/default.aspx?cnlid=3810

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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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A Leaf Can Be…

First we explored real leaves, which are all around us this time of year, and talked about some of the things a leaf can be…

Red, yellow, orange, brown, green, speckled, multi-colored, pointy, round, heart-shaped, crunchy, floppy…the list goes on.  What a great opportunity for reinforcing concepts of color and shape and for vocabulary-building in general.

Then we read this lovely new book I discovered by Laura Purdie Salas, which desribes with gentle rhymes and watercolor illustrations by Violeta Dabija, some of the more obscure things that leaves can be…

“A tree topper, a rain stopper…A shade spiller, a mouth filler…a skin welter, a bat shelter…”

Then, with markers and oil pastels in hand, the kiddos had a go at designing their own leaves.  They marked their  various leaf-shaped papers (pre-cut by me out of coffee filters) with spots, scribbles and lines of all kinds and colors, and then witnessed the magic when liquid watercolors were painted on top of their marks.  The marker designs, being water-based, spread and bled and changed, while the oil pastel designs remained intact as they resisted the water-based paint.  In some classes, we even sprinkled salt on our painted leaves, a fun sensory experience which added another stunning element to the visual outcome of the paintings (note the speckling that occurs on these paintings).  I especially love the independent mindedness of two year olds given the opportunity to control their own outcomes with materials, as illustrated by the artists who chose to add additional drawings and real leaves to their final collage, and the young man who proved that a  leaf can even be…BLUE!

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Nuts to you!

If you’ve spent any time with us at all, you know by now that we love an opportunity to integrate real happenings and materials from nature, with the stories and art-making that we experience in class.  There is no shortage of opportunities to do just that, this time of year.

Thanks to Lois Ehlert, one of my all-time favorite children’s book authors and illustrators, we went “nuts” this week:

NUTS

TO

YOU!

Check out Nuts To You by Lois Ehlert, when you have a chance.  Her collages will wow you almost as much as ours just did!

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)