Sep 30 09
by cara
at 6:18 PM
  • Pin It

Our Art Playgroup Begins

This morning I hosted our first art playgroup.  What could be more fun (and potentially messy) than a group of 2 year olds painting?!

Hosting an art group is something I’ve been thinking about since May, when I first ran across The Artful Parent.  Jean’s art group for her daughter is amazing!  The purpose of the art group is to give our young children a change to learn about the process of art.  This is open ended art, and not about the final product.  It doesn’t matter which kid (or mommy!) can create the most beautiful painting.  This group is to let the kids explore different kinds of art (painting, collage, watercolors, sculpture), and different methods of art (fingerpainting, painting with fruit, splatter painting, etc).

It certainly took me some time to work up the courage to start this art group.  Not only because of the obvious, young children doing a messy activity in my home, but also because I am a reluctant entertainer.  I’m always thinking that my home isn’t quite perfect enough: not the right furniture, not the right paint colors, not decorated enough, not clean enough, etc (the list goes on and on), and it keeps me from opening my home to others more regularly.  This need for everything to be perfect is definitely something I’m working on, and a post (or 2 or 3) for another time!

I kept returning again and again to the idea of an art group….why NOT me?  Why couldn’t I do this?  Where would the kids paint?  We don’t have enough room….What about the mess?  What about the stress of making sure my house was presentable every Wednesday?  What about the fact that we’re in the middle of a playroom AND guest bathroom makeover?  I let my inner Negative Nelly express all the reasons why I shouldn’t and/or couldn’t host an art group in my home, but I just couldn’t let go of this idea!  In then end, I decided this was something I definitely needed to follow through on.

When I finally sent out the first email to see who might be interested in an art playgroup, I was pleasantly surprised by the all positive feedback.  That only fueled the fire more, and got me planning.  Scheduling is always a little tricky for playgroups, especially with most of our friends in some sort of preschool (T/Th or M/W/F) now.  I went with what worked best for us and for the majority of the interested mommies….Wednesday morning.

For our first meeting, we had 4 budding artists.  (6 originally, but 2 had to cancel last minute).  This was absolutely a perfect number to start with as I work out the logistics of where to put all the kids as they paint.  Art studio, I have none!  We used the kitchen table with a booster seat and some improvised book booster seats.  When the group grows a little larger, I plan to use the smaller kids table and the kitchen bar area or bring down another low table from upstairs.  Some of the messier activities will be done outside as the weather gets cooler.

Our activity this week was printmaking with fruits and vegetables.  We used acorn squash, corn, broccoli, green peppers, apples, and pears.  I only set out 2 colors of paint so the kids wouldn’t overwhelmed by choices.

Art Group Supplies 9 30

I think the favorite options were the corn, green peppers and pears.  The acorn squash was a little too heavy for small hands, and I couldn’t get any of my apples to have that cool star in the middle.  All the kids definitely needed a little help from their mommies, which was fine, but I’m hoping next week’s activity is a little more independent.  I’m not sure how long the kids painted, maybe 10 or 15 minutes?  They all painted 2 11×14 pages, and I was pleasantly surprised they lasted as long as they did!  My Littlest Apple is usually done after 5 minutes, but not this time.  I was so busy supervising the painting that I forgot to take some photos of the kids in action.  I did capture a few shots of The Littlest Apple’s final prints.

Printing with bell peppers, pears, and corn on the cob

Printing with bell peppers, pears, and corn on the cob

Acorn squash and apples

Acorn squash and apples

I love the way the corn printing looks!

I love the way the corn printing looks!

After painting, we had snack time of fruit, cheese crackers, and pumpkin muffins.

Art Group Snacks 9 30

Then the boys (yup, this time it was all boys) had a blast playing with all of The Littlest Apple’s trucks, tools, blocks, and train table.  Everyone seemed to have a really good time!  The Littlest Apple couldn’t wait to show his prints to Daddy after work, and talked about all his friends that came to paint and play with him.  I heard similar reports back from the other mommies, too!

Now that the first art group meeting is over, I know what to expect next time (though do you ever really know what to expect from a group of 2 year olds?!)  I’m feeling much more confident about our next meeting and looking forward to it already!  The plan is to make this a weekly meeting, so stay tuned for more Art Group updates!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  1. jill permalink

    I am a reader of “The Artful Parent” blog and found my way over here from a comment you left on one of her posts. I too have been inspired to start an art club and also have the negative voice in my head with all the “what about…space, mess, socializing… Congratulations on conquering that voice and going for it! Looks like your first meeting was a great success. I chuckled when you said “messier projects can be done outside when the weather is cooler”. I thought, “she must live in Texas”. So do I – in Austin.

    I’ll be checking back for more inspiration! You have given me the impetus to start my own club! Thank you!

  2. I am in the planning stage of my own artgroup. I also read The Artful Parent. I found your blog through 1+1+1=1. I am really enjoying looking around and think I’ll add you to my Google Reader:)

  3. I host an art play group, as well. I have tried to start a blog carnival with the posts about it, but it has not done very well. It is called Itty-Bitty Artists. I try to post every other Tuesday. Check it out and link up!

  4. So funny, your reason are my reason too. How can I get the house clean every week (you know, like I should leave it dirty instead – ha ha), where will I put every one, the mess. I worry about that. I have a patience issue and sometimes when my daughter is being an artist, the mess makes me a bit crazy. Don’t you love the irony? A Mom who has a messy house but hates the mess paint makes? Anyway, between The Picky Apple, The Artful Parent and Littlest Birds Studio, I should get my act together and start the play group. Thanks for the inspiration!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Tot School This Week | The Picky Apple
  2. Popsicle Painting | The Picky Apple
  3. Art Playgroup: Paint Mixing and Potato Stamping | The Picky Apple
  4. Painting with Golf Balls | The Picky Apple
  5. Developing an Attitude of Gratitude | The Picky Apple
  6. Rainbow Sun-catchers | The Picky Apple
  7. My Dream Business | The Picky Apple
  8. Apple Printing | The Picky Apple

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Blog Widget by LinkWithin