Discover the Best Kids' Art Classes in NYC
Kids have been engaging in art creation for centuries. In the 18th century, the effect that art engagement has on child development began to be studied by artists, philosophers, and pedagogues. They realized that art could aid in the physical and mental development of children and found it beneficial to study these effects further. In the late 1800s, these studies surrounding art and child development encouraged access to art education for children.
Up until these connections were made, kids’ art was appreciated for its aesthetic quality. Artists enjoyed studying art that was not tainted by adult influence and thus an adult’s perception of the world. Kids’ art exemplifies their inability to visually express subjects through art the same way that adults do. Because of this, kids’ art started to be compared to modernism, a cultural movement that, when applied to art, rejects realism. With this aesthetic appreciation of kids’ art came the display of kids’ art as part of art collections.
It’s been noted by scholars that stages of child development can be associated with stages of kids’ art. Around a child’s first birthday, they’ll typically learn how to scribble. This will require a small degree of motor skills, which children around that age are beginning to develop. By age nine or ten, as a child’s observational skills improve and they develop a better understanding of how the world works, their art will become progressively more realistic in style.
The physical and mental benefits that art provides to children have been studied by teachers and psychologists alike. Repeated use of the muscles in their hands and wrists contributes to their physical development, whereas the creative aspect required when making art helps children express themselves creatively and learn to connect with their emotions. Art has been recognized as not just a fun activity for kids, but an integral part of their development.
Why Your Child Should Learn Art in NYC
Studies have found numerous benefits to introducing your child to art at an early age. Art requires children to work with one or both of their hands, which can help improve their coordination and fine motor skills. When they hold onto art tools like scissors, crayons, and markers, they are working on their dexterity and control of their fingers. When your child gains experience working on art projects and becomes more accustomed to working with art tools, their physical development improves.
Art can also aid in developing your child’s cognitive skills. You can use art to teach them about shapes, colors, and sizes. They’ll also learn to plan as they decide what they want to create, and they’ll learn problem-solving techniques as they fix their mistakes. Using permanent or semi-permanent materials like paint, markers, and glue can help them problem-solve as well. Art is also a lesson in cause and effect, as your child learns what happens when they mix materials like paint, or different colors when drawing.
Parents are encouraged to use art as a form of open-ended play with their children. Open-ended play is when children use their imaginations to play without any specific goals in mind or rules dictating their play. This play style has been shown to help children understand their emotions as they learn how to appropriately react to different situations. It also promotes social development when done with other children. Art is also a great way to help your child express themselves and explore the boundaries of their creativity.
In-Person Kids' Art Classes & Schools in NYC
In-person kids’ art classes are offered throughout New York City for children of all ages. The expert instructors leading these classes are available to offer demonstrations to your child, provide them with constructive feedback and advice, and can answer your child’s questions.
If you’re in Brooklyn, Creatively Wild Art Studio Dumbo offers kids’ art classes to children of all ages. Toddler: Art Adventure is a class aimed at kids aged one to three. In this class, your toddler will begin exploring their creativity and ways to express themselves through art. Their instructor will guide them through color mixing, brushwork, and fun paint applications. This is a drop-off class, but one adult per toddler is allowed to attend if absolutely necessary.
If your child is older, between the ages of four to eight, Creatively Wild Art Studio also offers a great beginner class, First Brushstrokes for Kids. Here your child will learn the fundamentals of painting with a brush. They’ll be taught the basics, like how to properly hold a brush and how to apply paint. Demonstrations will focus on color mixing, paint applications, techniques, and painting styles. At the end of the full course, your child will bring home their own finished canvas.
Creatively Wild Art Studio Dumbo also offers drawing and illustration classes for older children. Children, aged nine through twelve, that would like an introduction to drawing techniques can sign-up for their Teens: Beginner Drawing + Illustration class. In this class, they’ll learn a variety of techniques and skills, like achieving appropriate proportions and linear perspective. Learning how to draw takes a lot of practice, so it’s recommended that your child takes the full course to get the best experience out of the class.
The Paint Place, located in the Upper West Side, hosts a Kids Camp for children aged six and older. During this three-hour class, your child will work on various paint projects, with a focus on acrylic paint. This medium is great for beginners, as it’s inexpensive and easy to use.
If you’re interested in painting alongside your child, The Paint Place offers Grown Up and Me Painting, a child-parent painting class. Children aged four and older can work on a project together with a parent under the supervision of an instructor.
Virtual Kids' Art Classes & Schools
In-person kids’ art classes provide hands-on art experience to your child and allow them to receive real-time feedback and advice from an expert instructor. In a classroom setting, your child will be able to witness demonstrations and meet and make friends with other kids their age.
In-person classes, however, aren’t always accessible. They might not be offered in your area, or they might not fit into your schedule. Luckily, virtual kids’ art classes are offered for children of all ages. Your child can attend these classes from the comfort of your own home. There are a variety of virtual kids’ art classes to choose from, all of which are taught by a live instructor.
Virtual classes will require you to source the necessary materials ahead of the class date. Materials will be course-specific but can range from canvas, to paint, to markers. A supply list will be provided by your child’s instructor ahead of the class date. Most of these materials can be found at your local art shop or craft store or delivered to you by an online retailer.
There are a few online kids’ art classes available for your child to take on CourseHorse.
Children aged five through eight can sign-up for The Art Studio NY’s online Summer Art and Creativity Camp. This camp is taught by a live instructor who will encourage your child to express themselves through their art projects. These projects will focus on a variety of art styles and use mediums that may be new to your child. The goal of the camp is for them to engage with art in a fun way while socializing with their peers. You can sign your child up for half-day morning or afternoon classes (two hours), or full-day classes (four hours).
A variety of classes are offered for older children that may appeal to their specific interests. Kids aged 10 through 16 interested in manga and learning how to draw in that style, can enroll in the Art School of SF Bay’s Manga Art Camp. This five-day camp will let your child work on freeform drawing projects. They can create a comic or illustration of their favorite comic or manga characters or draw their own original characters. Their camp instructor will be available to provide advice and guidance on drawing anatomy and proportions correctly, as well as tips on how to pose characters and make color choices.
10 to 16-year-olds can also take a virtual class on digital painting. Whether your child is familiar with digital art or new to it, as long as they have an interest in working with technology to create art, they are welcome to enroll in the Art of SF Bay’s Digital Painting Art Camp. In this camp, they’ll work with digital tools and editing apps to create digital drawings. Their instructor will also teach them the fundamentals of digital drawing. Make sure to check out the class supply list as several devices and software are required.
If your child’s interests lie in traditional art, consider signing them up for Creatively Wild Art Studio Dumbo’s traditional drawing and illustration class. This class is open to kids ages nine through twelve who are new to drawing and illustrating. In this beginner class, their instructor will teach them classical drawing techniques. At the end of the class, they’ll be equipped with the fundamental skills of drawing and illustrating.
Private Group Kids' Art Classes in NYC
Is your child interested in taking an art class with a group of friends? Are you trying to plan a fun activity for your child’s birthday party or looking for something for your child to do over the summer? If so, CourseHorse offers private kids’ art classes that they can deliver to you remotely for any occasion.
You can contact CourseHorse through the contact form located on their website to learn about the kids’ art classes they can offer you. They’ll help you determine the type of art class that would best fit your child and their friends’ needs, whether it’s a drawing class, a painting class, or even a journaling class.
CourseHorse can accommodate a range of group sizes. If you’re not sure what your final group size will be, you can book a class with the minimum group size and update your final headcount up to one week before the class is scheduled. All necessary materials will be sent out to the class participants ahead of the session, so you don’t need to stress about buying supplies.
There are no booking fees when signing up for a class with CourseHorse. CourseHorse will also allow you to cancel your child’s class for free up to two weeks before the session. They can accommodate a variety of online video platforms for course delivery, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or WebEx.'