Sunday: Entertainment Idea—Art Group Tips
Having a monthly art group has been the highlight of my daughter’s month. She loves to help me pick the activity, gather the materials, remind her friends and have her front yard be “the place” for art group.
I have had a few requests to put all my tips and links to past art projects in one place, so here we go!
Tips For Organizing an Art Group
1. Frequency–Be honest with yourself and think about how often you, your children, your house, your children’s friends and their parents will be able to participate in an art group. I would love to have two a month but with all the reminding, arranging schedules and worrying about the weather it turns out once a month works best for us.
2. Location—Jean over at The Artful Parent held art group in a certain room in her home; I am not that brave! I’ve done art group only once in my home and it stressed me out because it stressed out my husband! I have found that outside really is the best place–there’s nothing to ruin outside! It does mean you will have to skip art group during the frigidly cold months but you can focus on more in-depth art projects with your kids during the wintery “down” time.
3. Group Members–For my next round of art group lessons I would love to teach a variety of ages, but for the last two sessions I have only taught children in the same age group (toddlers). I suggest finding children you would want over for a play date. No child is perfect but when you have a large group you want children who will listen and follow directions, at least as best they can! Find parents who are excited to have their kids go to an activity or maybe even find the parents who DON’T have their children in a few activities already. Nothing is more frustrating than setting up art group and having the same people flake on your every time.
4. Setup–Do everything ahead of time to help the actual art group activity be as carefree as possible. The kids won’t have as much fun if you are running around trying to mix things together, find supplies, and set things up at the last minute. I notice when I have all the materials sitting out, pieces of paper already labeled, etc. things go much more smoothly and EVERYONE has more fun.
I have also discovered the kids have more fun standing and moving around while creating their “works of art.” That is why I love these longer, narrower, lower tables where the children can stand and work. I found these ones at Walmart for under $30 a piece and I bought them knowing they would not stay perfect. (Don’t even try!)
5. Activities–I have many resources for art group ideas: The Artful Parent Blog, Family Fun Magazine and all of the fabulous books written by Mary Ann Kohl. I usually do two different activities that take the kids about 10 minutes to do and then art group lasts only 30 minutes. This is the PERFECT amount of time for a toddler art group.
Here are the links to art projects we have done in the past:
7. Patience & Positivity–If you don’t think you can do an art group without becoming too worried or stressed, it probably won’t be too much fun for you or the children. Art groups are a time for children to be able to create “masterpieces” without too many rules or restrictions and with lots of positive encouragement. If you don’t think organizing an art group is for you, then don’t try it!
On Thursday I will post what we did at our latest art group, which did not go very smoothly because whoever was in charge (wink, wink) was having a crazy day! (Yes, even I have crazy days!) But it was still fun, so be sure to check back!