After recently visiting the Center City art studio geared towards elmentary age children, Palette Kids, I had the opportunity to take my youngest son to an art studio designed with the younger crowd in mind (12 months to 6 years). Located in the heart of Havertown, Creative Clubhouse was founded by Amy McClements, former elementary school educator and mom of two, in October 2011.
Influenced by the Reggio Emilia school of philosophy which emphasizes learning respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment, Amy created an open clubhouse with a number of art-focused areas and lots of room for small children to explore on their own. When we visited for Open Studio, four art centers along with a Lego table were set up for the children.
When we arrived, Amy set my son up at a table in the back of the room where he could be alone for a few minutes and work on a simple art project - gluing colored macaroni pieces onto a small wooden frame. Next he tried the play dough table for a few minutes. Then he realized he could PAINT. My little Picasso turned out four masterpieces which the staff hung on the walls in the back of the clubhouse to dry.
Our last stop before the Open Studio ended was the pile of blocks in a window space at the front of the room. Protected by plexiglass, several young ones built towers and buildings and knocked them down and built them all over again.
In a time when art classes are one of the first line items stricken from school budgets, I love seeing art-loving adults stepping and creating spaces where children can exercise their creativity with no worries about the curriculum.
16 E. Eagle Rd., Havertown, PA (just outside Philadelphia)
For a $200 annual membership fee, your entire family will enjoy free open studio time, 30% discount on all classes, huge birthday party discounts, exclusive member events and more.
Disclosure: I was invited for a free morning at Creative Clubhouse, just outside Philadelphia. I was not compensated in any other way.
Barb is a mom of 5 kids who spends her day keeping track of socks, stuffed animals, library books, and a three year old when she isn't writing about all the frugality, gardening, cooking, and reading she manages to fit in between the chaotic moments. See how she holds down the fort and saves a few dollars at A Life in Balance.