Yesterday, Little Man had his very first art class at Gymboree. I was a little skeptical about the class at first. I mean seriously, what are they going to do to keep 4-10 children between the ages of 16-22 months occupied for 45 minutes that involves art.
Turns out, like all activities for this age group, they were broken into 4 or 5 activities that lasted only 10 minutes long. Our first activity was to play with Play-doh. At first Little Man didn't want anything to do with it. I mean, it's not like pudding where it can splatter and smoosh easily. You really have to work with Play-doh. Once we threw in a few toys, like cookie cutters and rollers, and a little gadget that turned it into spaghetti-like strings, he was all into it. Of course, he did the inevitable trying to eat it, but for the most part he was pretty good.
Then came the actual art project - a flower growth chart. We were given too long pieces of paper stapled together in the middle and two green pieces of cardstock cut out like leaves. First we glued the green leaves over the staples .... he got his first taste of Elmer's glue. Then we were given green paint to color the stem of the soon to be flower. At first he just wanted to play with the paint, then he started using the paint brush instead, but fingers were still more fun. If I had actually thought about it, I would have gotten his hand print on the stem or leaves.
Once we got our fingers, arms, and face cleaned up from paint and glue, it was story and snack time. Each child was given a small dixie cup of goldfish crackers and a small cup of water. As we sat around in a circle, Little Man was just mesmerized by the instructor in the front of the room reading a short story titled, "It's Spring". Unlike some of the children though, Little Man sat on my lap totally content.
Next activity was a sand and water table that was instead filled with colored aquarium gravel, dinosaur toys, and shovels and small cups. All the kids were fascinated with the toys, especially when the instructor added some oey-goey tactile toys left over from Halloween. I was amazed by the adults though... some of them were literally right on top of their child while they were playing. Mainly because there wasn't enough room, I stayed back some and watched from a distance. Little Man would stop occasionally, look up to make sure I was still there, and sometimes come over to get a reassuring pat on the head.
The last portion of the class was finishing our flower growth chart. We were given a paper plate to put at the top and 4 large pre-cut petals in different colors to glue to the plate. Of course by this time, all the kids were more interested in going out to the open floor area where they could run and jump and play. Again the first thing Little Man went for was the basketball hoop (I see one for Christmas in our future).
I'm sure this is only the first of many, many, many more art projects to come through our front door, but here is Little Man's first official art project: