THE ARTING GROUPS
I run regular art groups for 18 months-4 year old children and their parents in Bridport. These are currently running every other week on a Friday morning at the Youth Centre on Gundry Lane. I also run one off sessions in the holidays, and as part of larger events. I go into local pre-schools and primary schools and I also run occaisonal sessions for grown ups. I run an after school club - The After School Adventure Art Club on Thursdays from 4pm til 5pm. Please look on the Events page for details. I also have a facebook page that I update regularly www.facebook.com/oopswowmessyart
The toddler sessions are an opportunity for you to accompany your child(ren) in exploring a really wide range of materials and processes in a big space without having to worry about making a mess. I provide activities that you couldn't possibly do at home alongside others that you may not have done before but certainly could do at home. I will most likely introduce you to art making that you hadn't previously considered. It is my hope that you will gain ideas and confidence to do more art with your children at home too.
During the sessions you are encouraged to fully engage with your child and the activity. Perhaps to help lead the then into the activity if needed, but mainly to watch, pay close attention, to notice and share the moments of discovery and wonder as they explore the materials.
I want to encourage parents of children who seem uninterested in art or mark making to come along to these groups. My son was one of these children, he still isn't interested in colouring-in or painting a 'picture', but he is very keen to roll around in paint wherever possible, use cars or sticks to make marks, draw along to music or a story, as well as make any kind of structure and then tell wonderful stories about it. This means that he has still had the opportunity to develop all of the gross and fine motor skills, the muscle strength, and the hand eye coordination that make up the pre-writing skills, as well as learning about colour, gravity, scale, rhythm, pressure, positive/ negative. He has started to develop a sense of mastery, making choices with visual language, exploring his imagination and interests.
Of course other children will happily engage in art/ craft for long periods at home, these sessions will introduce them to new materials and processes. All of the children will benefit from being in a group; the kids watch and learn from each other and motivate each other to get stuck in and stick with it, they can often engage with an activity for 30 minutes or more, which is such a long time for a 3 year old. All children are different though and I encourage you to get in touch, come along and get messy.
In the majority of toddler groups the parents usually take a pretty passive role, keeping an eye on their children's behaviour but mainly letting their kids have a bit of independent playing time and taking the opportunity to chat and catch up with friends. This is important I know, but the kind of experience I provide in the group is different and I need the parents to be on board with being fully and actively involved with the activities in order for the groups to work.
The toddler and holiday sessions cost between £7 - £8 per child (£6.50 concessions), the after school club is £36 for half a term (6 sessions). Payment needs to be made in advance to secure your place and because I often do quite a bit pf preapration for each session. Do get in touch if you have any questions, you can send a message here or send me an email .