Winter weather and the pandemic have made it difficult for people with kiddos to get out and about. In our household, it’s been hard to get the kiddos off of their screens. Doing arts and crafts has always been our best way of getting them to take a break from electronics. Yesterday, I ran to the Dollar Tree to grab file folders for taxes. While I was there, I found adorable little ceramic treasure chest piggy banks that came with paint and a paint brush. I threw them in the cart and headed home. The kids were beyond excited, turned off the TV immediately, and worked on them for nearly an hour! It got me thinking that I need to get the house full of art supplies. Early in the pandemic, we were all stocked up. We used it all and it is time to reload. Aside from filling the house, I am also going to seek out local art activities around town. Below is a list of local art places that sell supplies and offer activities.
The Craft Factory-
Usually, this company offers an in-store “open studio” crafting experience. Due to the pandemic, the Craft Factory is offering “crafts to-go”. The choices for a craft to-go are robots, butterflies, crowns, owls, rockets, flowers, birds, hearts, and fairy houses. They offer pick-up by appointment or delivery. Currently, they are offering “Buy 4, get one free” for their craft kits. In normal times, they also host craft-filled birthday parties! Their Facebook page directs customers to call (503) 577-4310 to place an order.
Spark Arts Center-
Located in Portland, the Spark Arts Center is a fun place for kids to explore art supplies. Currently, there are no available classes, but it looks like they’re wrapping up a class that started in December and ends in February. I would recommend continuing to check the website for a future class that may pop up. They only do very small groups of between 4 and 7 participants. In normal times, they offer craft parties, camps and classes with bigger group sizes.
Portland Child Art Studio-
I have never heard of this place until today! They are a non-profit organization who aims to foster kids’ interest in art. Currently, they are offering pre-teens and teens a free or donation based online painting class on Saturday mornings at 11:00. People who are interested are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their studio is currently closed for classes, but this business usually offers classes, parties, and open studio time.
Sunnylove offers private lessons and workshops for ages 6 and up. They are located on near Northeast Wygant street in Portland. The website doesn’t have much information, but there is an email address for anyone who is interested in private lessons: email@example.com.
Live Laugh Love Art-
While I didn’t see any activities that are geared specifically toward kids, I did notice that they sell a family pass, so that makes me think children are welcome. This place looks amazing. They offer 5 different walk-in activities: glass fusing, canvas painting, pottery painting, candle making, and wood sign painting. Aside from walk-in activities, they have guided workshops and glass blowing opportunities. There is also an option to “book a table” during open studio hours on their website. Monday-Wednesday: reservations are required, Thursday through Sunday: the hours are 11:00-5:00.
Vine Gogh Artist Bar and Studio-
Located in Milwaukie, they have some very cool options that they have created due to the pandemic. They have “Gogh box kits” that are assembled with products that fit dozens of projects. With this choice, the kiddo can watch a tutorial on YouTube and use their Gogh box kit contents to make a fun project. You can also schedule an online event at a certain time and day and the Vine Gogh studio will ship you the needed contents ahead of time. For example, one of their upcoming projects is “Cosmic Haystack Rock” on Jan 30th via Zoom. Fun!
Although many art studios are closed, it is so great to see that they have customized their offerings. What great ideas they have come up with! I can’t wait to book a table at Live Laugh Love art with my family soon. Not only is art fun, but research suggests that doing art is beneficial to children’s socio-emotional health. These places are all small businesses and could certainly use the support. Best of luck to you all in finding some fun art activities for your kids (and maybe yourself!)