Escort your Artist Class

What to Expect

CLASS STRUCTURE / PACE: This class is a very open-ended, process-oriented class. We set up approximately four different project stations (“invitations to create”) at tables with small stools (where you can sit next to them), at a large round table that is toddler standing height, and at our large wall space. There is usually one sensory project, or a project with a sensory component (many of our other stations have a sensory element as well). We always have two teachers and will give you a quick overview of the projects/materials when you arrive and then you’ll be free to move around at your own pace. We’ll be buzzing around to make sure everyone is having fun, refreshing materials, interacting/playing with the little ones, and helping you wherever possible. No need to arrive early – they usually want to dive right in as soon as you walk in the door!

We plan projects with the goal of providing stimulating, interesting materials that invite children to create. We may have a suggestion of what a project could end up looking like (for example, an owl collage) but there is no “right or wrong” way to use the materials and we certainly don’t expect everyone to make something that looks like an owl! In this example, older kids (2.5 -3ish) will be excited to “make an owl” – even though it may not end up looking anything like an owl, but younger children won’t be able to visualize or connect with the idea of making an “owl”, they will just enjoy exploring the materials, learning the colors and shapes, and arranging all the pieces to make something “owl-ish”. It’s always better if you just let them create at their own pace and in their own way rather than doing something for them or repositioning things. Also, if they are enjoying one component of a project, with no interest in anything else that is set out, that’s ok! Let them stay and enjoy that as long as they want!

OUR GOALS: We are always striving to come up with new and fun ideas to slather paint, drizzle glue, arrange shapes, and mix colors in ways that helps develop fine/gross motor skills, improve hand+eye coordination, develop language, make decisions, make connections (when I do this, that happens….), socialize (playing with others, learning to take turns and share), and gain an awareness of colors, shapes, lines, forms & textures.

YOUR ROLE: The most important thing to remember with this age, is that all children have different temperaments and attention spans. It’s very normal for them to not want to sit still or need to run around for a minute! Unless they are rolling around on the floor having a meltdown, you’d be surprised what they are taking in and processing. You can help them by encouraging them, cheering them on, playing with them, showing them how to use the materials (but not doing it “for” them), using words to build their vocabulary, and re-engaging them if they lose interest or have a short attention span. We’ll be there to help with all that! For kids 2.5 – 3ish, you can challenge them a bit further with prompts like “Oh! look at all those circles you just painted – how many are there?”, “What happens if you mix yellow & blue?” and “Can you find something round <bumpy, shiny, etc.)?” You get the picture.


Everything we use in our toddler class is non-toxic, and it is very common for sensory oriented children to learn by touching and tasting. The paint looks delicious but sometimes they just need to try it to find out that its not! A sip of paint or gnawing on an oil pastel shouldn’t harm them, but definitely keep an eye on them to watch what they put in their mouth, particularly with regard to choking hazards.

When sitting at the tables on the small stools, grab another stool and saddle up next to them to make sure they are secure (don’t run over to your bag to get your phone and leave them alone on the stool). Children who prop up on their knees or stand on the stools topple off very easily.


The biggest challenge with toddlers is keeping their attention and keeping them engaged. They would never have the attention span to do one activity for 45 minutes, but on the other side of the coin, sometimes knowing that there are several activities to pick from can cause them to have an even shorter attention span. We find that even moms can feel that way.


We encourage you to avoid saying things like, “Ok! Are you all done with this project?” and rush them to move on to another station before they are ready. Conversely, if they only spend two seconds on an activity and announce they’re done you can challenge them to finish by prompting them with things like, “You’re not done! You haven’t used the green paint” – “I don’t see any circles – why don’t you pick three circles to glue on” – etc. And if all else fails, sometimes you just need to chase them around for a minute -that’s ok!


Art can be very messy for this age. Everything we use is “washable” but in our experience that doesn’t always mean it won’t stain (too many factors – the fabric, how/when you wash it, etc.). We have aprons and t-shirts available but many children find those to be restricting and will flat out refuse to wear one. Old play clothes are recommended. For both of you!


Also – in terms of messy hands, unless they have explored touching art materials before, expect your child to be bothered by having paint or glue on their hands. That is normal because all they know is a “bad” mess (dirt, food, etc.) and are used to getting that wiped right off. Encourage them that it’s ok that their hands are messy in art class! Sometimes just distracting them with other suggestions when they request for you to wipe their hands is all a child needs to forget about it for a minute and move on to something else. We always have a tray of wash cloths in the studio and it’s ok to take them to sink to wash up but if you do that often every time they get messy, some kids see that as a fun activity in and of itself and only want to hang out at the sink splashing and playing in the bubbles!


You’re always welcome to leave art with us to dry and take it home the following week (just make sure you have their name on it) – but we encourage you to at least take one or two things home that they made that day. Their memories are very short at this age, and the next week they may not remember or connect to what they made the prior week. But if you take it home that day, they will get to experience proudly showing it off!