My ARTventurers franchise became ‘mine’ just as the UK lockdown hit! It goes without saying that I was extremely nervous about starting a business at this time.
I am still teaching art to teenage boys in a young offenders institute for the time being and then deliver art classes to your adorable babies and toddlers on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is quite the change, but it has certainly made it clear about the benefits of art for all! There are many activities in the Baby class that I would use with teenagers and I also enjoy doing as an adult – there really is no age limit to art! It is all about exploring, experimenting, discovery and self-expression, and absolutely anyone can do that in their own way!
It has been an absolute pleasure to have met you all this term. I have been overwhelmed with the response to classes and everyone’s positive attitudes towards getting back to some level of normality! I feel so honoured that many new parents have chosen ARTventurers as the first class to attend with their baby! I was also delighted to welcome two of my ex-students from when I taught art in a Wakefield secondary school, who have brought their gorgeous little ones along to classes! Apart from this making me feel a little old, I felt super proud that art is being passed on through the generations!
Soooo, I now have my first ARTventurers term now under my belt and I have loved every single minute!!
The Covid measures we put in place have not dampened anyone’s fun in the slightest! The use of painting tools packs or individual baskets of materials ensure the ARTventurers aren’t sharing equipment. We use spots around the circle for the start and end of classes and crosses are marked out on the floor to ensure that the everyone is suitably spaced when taking part in the free-flow part of the class.
Grown ups wearing face coverings, certainly hasn’t stopped the little ones from smiling!!
Our Baby ARTventurers programme was centred around a showstopper masterpiece, working on this every week alongside other exciting activities, exploring colour, printing, shape, texture and sparkle!! Some of the babies had never attended a baby class of any kind before, but this certainly did not show! The babies got stuck right in with the paint and tools; splattering paint with fly swatters, scraping with velcro hair rollers, dabbing paint with washing up brushes, squishing paint in plastic wallets and of course painting with hands, feet, knees, tummies, the lot!!
Our Family ARTventurers explored 5 weekly themes – Space, Autumn, Build It, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and All About Me! They created an abundance of artwork to take home with them using many different media and techniques such as paint, collage, printing, clay and salt dough. It is amazing to see the looks on the little ones’ faces when they create something they are proud of! I really do think that every one of them has developed their confidence and self esteem throughout the term. Of course it is amazing that they have something to take home and treasure, but one of the elements of the ARTventurers classes that I am most passionate about is what we call ‘process art’. Process art is just that, it is all about the process, not the end product! It is about getting lost in the moment, exploring and discovering new things. It is about them learning from their grown-ups and creating special memories!
I wanted to be able to offer something for the tiny babies, so I ran a one off Rainbow themed ARTventuremums session for babies aged 6 weeks to 6 months. We had lots of music and bubbles, explored sensory treasure baskets and created the cutest framed rainbow footprints as a lovely keepsake to treasure for years to come. I am hoping to run these sessions monthly as a gentle introduction to the #artventurersfun!
What’s coming up?
I’m very excited about our fully booked Halloween sessions next week, with lots of spooktacular activities and music! We are taking part in The Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin Trail hosted by ARTventurers, as an alternative to trick or treating this year, as are many families in Wakefield and across the UK. There are LOADS of free printable activities and posters to download here.
Our 5 week winter term starts in November and ALL of our ARTventurers will create their own Christmas themed showstopper which I am sooooo excited about! It’s going to be gorgeous. We have the chance of creating professionally printed Christmas cards to send to loved ones too! And this is all alongside our weekly themes which are Fireworks, Circles (Children in Need), Nursery Rhymes, The Hungry Caterpillar and Winter Wonderland.
There are then two very special weeks of classes all about CHRISTMAS. Spaces are still available for these and you can book a space here.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me during the first term, whether you have come along to classes in Castleford or Altofts, written a review, liked or shared my Facebook posts or spoken about ARTventurers to friends and family…it means the world!!! I look forward to seeing you soon and also meeting some new faces in the winter term, as well as planning for even more classes in January 2021!