I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published August 12th 2013
Encourage the art, outsource the mess
If you're anything like me then you prefer to outsource as much mess as you can, particularly when it comes to little kids art and craft activities. I have spend enough time as a domestic diva vacuuming tiny morsels of glitter out of every crevice in the couch and breaking nails as I peel sheets of PVA glue off my dining table. Yet at the same time I'm still eager for my kids to get crafty, stretch their imaginations and enjoy a creative outlet. In fact I believe it's vital.
Imagine my joy when I got wind of the Krazy Crafts for Crafty Kids preschool art classes. I had the answer to my mess dilemma and my furniture was destined to be clean from this day forth... sticky, torn, worn, and faded, but glitter and paint free. High five to small things that make us happy!
Look what little hands can do!
[ADVERT]This fast paced and energetic program is run by a passionate, innovative and talented artist Nicole, who just so happens to love teaching and sharing her skills and knowledge with kids. This makes for a real winning combination at the Cheltenham Community Centre and for families with preschoolers too. Did I happen to mention that the the community centre is conveniently located only a short stroll away from Westfield Southland?
These art classes are aimed to give 2-5 year olds the opportunity to get messy, gluey, doughy and crafty in a safe and structured environment with their parent, grandparent or carer by their side, and no vacuum cleaner in sight. Activities vary each week and a theme or topic is intertwined throughout a term. There might be salt dough Christmas decorations in December, fancy paper hats over the Spring Racing season, or painting with twigs and autumn leaves in April. Along with themed activities, kids can expect to paint, play with coloured rice, water, shaving cream, play dough, construction, stamping, or even a bit of baking in any 90 minute session.
Your home may be clean, no guarantee about your kids however!
All activities are age appropriate and everything in the hall is set up ready to go when you first walk in. Your little ones can get straight to work at one of the craft stations and you don't have to think up an activity, find equipment, or try to pry open dried up paint and glue bottles; you can remain calm and enjoy working with your child or watching them as they explore and enjoy the activities provided.
And enjoy it they will. All their senses will be spoilt as they hear, touch, see, and smell throughout the morning. What a great way for kids to start working on their fine motor skills like pasting, cutting, and stirring and to begin experimenting with a range of safe tools and different mediums. It certainly gives them a heap of skills to take onto kindergarten to start refining in the years to come.
Fathers Day present all ready to go
Of course only being youngsters with limited attention spans, classes are broken up into sections to keep them interested and engaged. There's firstly the art and craft, then a small snack time where the kids sit together at a table, and then it's music and story time, with singing, dancing and lots of moving about to some of their favourite tunes, like Hi-5 and the Jellybugs. A couple of stories at the end of the class helps settle little ones down, many of whom probably will need a nap when they get home. Watch in admiration as the kids crowd around Nicole and get up and personal with the books and delight in her engaging storytelling.
Puzzles that don't need to be plugged in
This isn't only a fantastic place for kids to play in green shaving cream, but also to practice their social skills like sharing and cooperating. It's also a lovely chance for the adults to mingle, share a chat, a coffee and a laugh, because let's be honest, kids are funny. I can truthfully say that some of my favourite friends I met when I first started my eldest at Crafty Kids classes many years back. It's a real highlight in the week for all involved.
Classes are $15 a week and are run during school terms on Tuesday to Thursdays from 10 - 11:30am. Please contact the community centre to book a spot but be assured that they fill quickly. For that price and that experience, it's of no surprise.
While you're there, why not check out the amazing number of other classes available at the Cheltenham Community Centre for adults and kids, from internet and computer courses to Zumba, soccer, painting, pilates or even child care? There is loads of information available on the website to inspire you. There's a real inviting feel and prices are very competitive, particularly compared with privately run establishments. If you haven't already made the most of your local community centre, its a real treasure you'll be glad to have uncovered.
Ladybugs to colour your winter
So whether you're a crafty mum, have a kid who likes to live their art without restriction, or you just can't fathom rubbing texta off another wall, rejoice - these classes are for you.