5 Activities To Spark Your Child's Creativity
Children are naturally curious and open to new experiences. Many programs exist to introduce them to a wide variety of visual and performing arts so they can discover what interests them. This list, unfolding in no particular order, highlights some of the classes, schools, and curricula available to budding young artists.
The #1 entry is Baby Ballet, a dance school for boys and girls from 6 months to 6 years old. It has over 100 franchised and licensed locations in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. The company was founded by a mom-and-daughter team, Claire O'Connor and Barbara Peters. For children who like to make noise, the "Tappers" class teaches little ones basic tap dance steps accompanied by music.
Every teacher must undergo the company's training process, created and overseen by co-founder Barbara Peters. Locations are available to rent for private birthday parties, with several themes to choose from, including disco, ballerina, superhero, and flutterstar fairy. There are also two mascots, brown bears named Twinkle and Teddy.
At #2, we have the Carbondale Clay Center, located in Colorado. It is dedicated to the art of ceramics, offering 2-hour long classes that parents can take alongside their children, working side-by-side, creating with clay, and decorating with underglazes. There are also take-home kits for little ones to learn away from the studio, which include materials, tools, and guides.
During the summer, the Clay Center offers a more involved camp for kids who want to devote significant time to ceramics. Throughout the year, the organization hosts two artists-in-residence who can develop work and give public talks. The Center has been featured in numerous publications, such as the Aspen Daily News and the Sopris Sun.
The next entry, #3, is Art History Kids. Founded by Lotus Stewart, a homeschool mom in Los Angeles, the company makes learning guides for children. The curriculum is broken down into several micro-lessons to support those learning outside of a traditional K-12 structure or act as bonus, afterschool fun that parents can do with their little learners.
The Georgia O'Keeffe guide teaches kids about the famous painter, why she's known as the "Mother of American Modernism," and how a different point of view can change the meaning of one's art. With the Rene Magritte kit, children can learn about surrealism and symbolism; it includes two art prints mom or dad can use to decorate a creative area at home.
The #4 entry is My Little Conservatory, which offers private music lessons for children. The school is located in San Jose, California. Kindermusik is available for babies and kids as old as 7, and lets learners sing, play with instruments, and move to songs following a research-based curriculum.
My Little Conservatory also offers private piano lessons. Sessions are musically multi-faceted to engage children's imaginations and are kept at an optimal length to hold kids' attention. In addition, instruction is available for young guitarists, singers, and flutists. The school hosts several events throughout the year for participants to come together, play music, and make crafts.
At #5, we present Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown, Connecticut. This nonprofit is the oldest and largest acting program for young people in the state. It offers training and performance opportunities in theater, circus, and performing arts to ages 4 to 20. The organization's Circophony class is a blend of acrobatic training, object manipulation, and physical theatrics.
Oddbridge is an after-school program for students of Middletown Public Schools. At the end of the school day, participants take a bus to the playhouse. There they are greeted at the door, receive a snack, and get the opportunity to receive homework help. Students are provided with arts-based programming for the remainder of the afternoon.