In a suburban land of having to register early for most any class you wish to take your children to, it is nice to have a few options for classes where you can just pop in. This has been a struggle for me, because what if my 3-year-old hates it and I have to drag him back for the next 5-10 weeks?
I have good news! There is a fabulous art and sensory class available in the heart of Lake County that is both drop in AND affordable. Artsy Tots is an art program at Artist @Heart in Libertyville on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-10:15 a.m. where your little ones ages 18 months through four years are welcome to join in on the fun. It is a drop in class, so there is absolutely no need to sign up or register. Just come when you like.
While everyone is arriving and getting settled, the class starts out with some sensory play. Children might play with objects in a tray of rice or stick their fingers in magic sand. The sensory activities have varied each time we go. Then the class proceeds into the art project. We worked on sponge painting during our most recent outing, but have also experienced cutting, gluing, painting with brushes, rolling marbles in paint, and other activities. Often the activity is incorporated in a theme, such as Valentines day or St. Patrick’s Day or a season.
And finally, as the there is clean-up time, and as we wait for our projects to dry, the program ends with songs and/or story time.
The class is very organized. There are plenty of painting shirts and smocks and each child gets their own paints and supplies to work with. Every participant is attended to and acknowledged by the helpful and friendly staff.
Some things to keep in mind if you choose to go are:
- Don’t bring their favorite clothes. While painting shirts are provided, we know that messy toddler hands can get into and onto everything.
- Know your childs attention level. My 18-month-old loved it. However, my older child struggled with the class when he was that age.
- Come early. The class is becoming quite popular and seats fill up fast. They will make room for you no matter what, but I hate that awkward feeling of standing around looking for an open seat.
- Bring cash if you can. They accept all forms of payment, but it is just easier to exit when you can hand them the cash.
We have gone to Artsy Tots several times and have started to invite friends to come with us for an easy play date where we can then meet for coffee and doughnuts across the street at Lovin’ Oven Cakery. Artist @Heart also offers art classes for children, youth and adults.
Artsy Tots is held every Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Artist at Heart, for kids age 1- 4. The cost is $5 per child. There is no charge for parents/adults.There is also a punch card deal, 12 classes for $50 (which gets you two classes for free), and you can use that one card for multiple children.