What to do with your little Picasso

Picasso's mother said that his first word was "Piz," the Spanish word for pencil. He showed his passion and skill for drawing at an early age, and by 13, Picasso was allowed to take an entrance exam for advanced art classes at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts: he had already surpassed his artist father's skill level.

Getting kids involved in the arts is a great way to enhance and nurture their imaginations and talents. It also has a powerful impact on their appreciation for arts and their own creativity, as they continue to grow. Being involved with the arts as a child also encourages future participation, increased self-confidence and goal setting as well as discipline, innovation and drive for success in other aspects of life.

So where do you go if you've got a little Picasso or Emily Carr on your hands? Here is a list of just a few places your kid can enjoy, as he or she learns about art:

1. Roundhouse Community Arts and Rec Centre: Doodleblobz program

It's time for your little one to get creative by exploring different painting methods like finger painting, spray painting, string painting and more. Classes can get messy, so be sure to prepare your child for lots and lots of fun. Older kids learn about composition, perspective and various art forms while being introduced to the history of art and artists through books and stories. Added bonus – at the end of each class, your little one gets to take a special final project home.

Aimed at children ages 1-12
Check it out here

2. 4Cats Arts Studio

4Cats Arts Studios are popping up all over the lower mainland, so it's time to get involved. They go one step further by sharing the stories behind the life and work of various artists that get introduced to the kids they work with. "Cultivating the child's natural ability to see and think like an artist," as it says on their site, they focus on one artist per month, allowing kids to really gain an understanding of the artist, technique and style. Their artist themed birthday parties are also really cool.

Aimed at children and teens ages 2-15
Check it out here

3. West Point Grey Community Centre

Get ready to get dirty. If you've never registered your child in a pottery class, it's about time you do. What kid doesn't love getting up to their elbows in gooey, slimy clay? This is fun for everyone because the young ones get right in the mush, as they create sculptures while older kids test their hands at the wheel.

Aimed at children and teens ages 4-17
Check it out here

4. Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella's mission: To inspire kids for life through the arts. Just in case you haven't heard, Arts Umbrella is a non-profit arts education centre for children and youth. Known for its high-quality visual and performing arts education, Arts Umbrella appeals to children of all artistic interests and skill levels (from pre-school to advanced pre-professional training, regardless of one's socio-economic circumstances). Through bursaries, scholarships and outreach programs, Arts Umbrella strives to ensure that arts education is accessible to as many children as possible.

Aimed at children and youth ages 2-19
Check it out here

5. Vancouver Art Gallery: Family Programming

Every weekend the Gallery offers unique activities geared towards 5 to 12- year-old visitors and their families. Learn about art through the child-oriented tours or try one of the hands-on workshops. Oh, and don't forget to bring the whole family to the VAG for Family FUSE. Weekly family programs are free with gallery admission.

Aimed at children ages 5-12 & families
Check it out here

More in The Art Market

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