Frequently Asked Questions
Sounds great! How much does it cost?
Workshops are run and invoiced per school term at $35 per class, which includes afternoon tea, all materials used in class (no need for your child - or you! - to remember to bring anything) and GST. Fees are payable by the end of the first week of term. You are welcome to pay by instalments - please advise us first.
My child goes to a different school. Can we still attend artKids?
Yes. Classes are run out on school grounds or out of local Scout or church halls and are available to any children. Children from other schools can attend school and hall-based classes during the week or on Saturday morning from North Canberra Baptist Hall in Turner. The parent/carer will need to get the child to the after-school artKids location by 3.25 pm and provide their own afternoon tea.
My child missed a class because they were sick. Can I get a refund?
Like any other activity, artKids is payable by term. If your child is sick, we offer a make-up class at another location or, if more than one class runs at a location, your child can attend the other class that week - please contact the teacher to advise this is happening so enough materials are on hand for the class. With our Saturday morning classes, your child can make up their class on a Saturday after contacting admin.
Why is my child scribbling in art class? What am I paying you for?!
Athletes always do warm up stretches, musicians always do warm up scales and artKids do warm up scribbles. Scribbling is a quick and easy way to switch on the children's right, creative brains after a day in the classroom. But it's not just scribbling. We start with warm up drawing games to loosen up our shoulders, wrists and fingers and prepare for art. We use observational drawing games to train our Artist's Eye to really 'see' what is in front of us, not what we 'think' we see. Our Scribble Creatures game is a favourite. Children are given permission to scribble all over their page - and they love it! Then they turn their page around and try and find creatures hidden in the scribble. Within minutes they can see all sorts of things - some realistic and some imaginative. Ask them to scribble on a page for you and watch their face light up! We strongly recommend scribbling every day.
I don't recognise anything my child draws. I don't want to hurt his/her feelings.
How can I talk to him/her about her art?
Excellent question! Firstly, what your child draws is only half what is going on. Try asking "What's happening on your page?" rather than asking "What's that?" Sometimes you'll get a shrug and that's OK, don't push it. Most often you'll get a long, convoluted story which is added to in the telling.
Say "Tell me about your art."
Comment on what you see. "I see you're using lots of red and green lines. And you've drawn some yellow circles here. I like how the yellow and red are mixing together. Did you mean to do that?"
Acknowledge their effort. "I can see how carefully you've been working on your drawing. You're really enjoying it."
Ask "What's that?!" or say "I like your tree" ('cos it probably isn't a tree!)
Say an automatic "That's pretty." Kids know the difference. Instead be specific and comment on what you see or acknowledge their effort.
Check out The Artful Parent for more great ways to share art with your children.
I don't want more pieces of paper cluttering the fridge and walls. Do I have to hang up their art?
A kindergarten child handed me her practice drawings with a sad face. "Mummy said not to bring these home." She had spent some time on the practice drawings that session, doing some rubbing out, adding a line here, curving another one there, asking for help when she needed it. By the time she was finished, she'd learnt how to draw a haunted house.
Was it a masterpiece? No. Was it the best thing she'd ever done? Again, no. Had she learnt from it? You bet she did. But if she threw it in the bin, where was her sense of achievement? What could she copy from to draw another haunted house, this one better than the last? Now, what if it was hanging on the fridge? She'd see it in the morning when she got her milk. She'd think about how she had trouble at first but she persevered and overcame her hesitancy and in the end, she drew a house. Each time she looks at it, she can see how she could do better next time. Encourage her to try again. "Show me how you drew that house. It looks really scary." Soon enough she'll be tearing that practice one down and putting up a masterpiece. And that's why you hang up their art.
What type of drawings should my child be doing at this age?
First stage: around two to three, children do simple scribbling and mark making on the page. Not surprisingly, it's all about the process.
Second stage: around preschool is the appearance of round shapes.
Third stage: around preschool and Kindergarten, children draw symbolically. All of a sudden they start to recognise a rounded scribble or a painted shape as something else. There will be a story going on on their page.
Fourth stage: around Kindergarten (4 - 5 years old), faces and people appear - without bodies, just heads with arms and legs.
Fifth stage: around 5 - 7 years old, children start to draw on a baseline and include more representational drawing of houses, families, cars, bikes, trees, etc. They are drawn as they know them, so there's no perspective or scale.
Sixth stage: around 8 - 10 years old, perspective and scale kick in. Things get a bit harder and typically, these are the ages when children lose interest in their drawing skills if they haven't received encouragement or appreciation of their efforts. This is an age when they become aware of fitting in with their peers and following the pack. Their ability to self appraise is strong and the belief that they are not good enough can have them packing their pencils away for good. Definitely must attend an artKids workshop!
How can I encourage my child's creativity and art?
See How can I talk to my child about her art above.