Flipside Art Studio’s Preschool Class: A Review

For the past few months, my boys and I have been a part of Miss Stephanie’s Preschool Art Class, at Flipside Art Studio.  Located in downtown Ann Arbor, next door to Afternoon Delight, the art class is geared toward preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 years.

Henry, Teddy, and I often go to the 10 AM story time, at the Downtown Library, and then walk over to Flipside Art Studio, for our art class, at 11 AM.  With only 5 preschoolers, currently in the class, there is a lot of attention given to each child.  Miss Stephanie is very patient and provides clear instructions.  Oftentimes, she encourages the students to complete the crafts, independently from their parent’s help.  Although 5 to 6 students is a nice class size, Miss Stephanie can take up to 10 preschoolers, in a class.  A couple of the other mothers bring along their younger toddlers, who stay busy with books, the large chalkboard, the studio’s toys, and even simple painting projects.

Each preschool art session is 4 weeks long.  The class meets from 11 AM to Noon, on Tuesday mornings.  In the fall, the theme was Things That Go.  Along with smaller art projects, the preschoolers worked on a long-term project, over the course of the 4 weeks.  The project involved constructing a vehicle (i.e. plane, car, train), from a large cardboard box.  Initially the preschoolers sketched drawings of his or her vehicle, before painting, adding wheels, steering wheels, decals, etc.  Miss Stephanie reviewed traffic lights (red means stop and green means go), provided each child with a driver’s license, and the kids LOVED creating snack cars with grapes (wheels), toothpicks, and apple slices.

     

The past two sessions have focused on using various art mediums to create projects related to the season and/or holiday.  One of my favorites was a fall tree, with the use of buttons for the leaves.  Miss Stephanie also led the kids in creating 3D pumpkins (strings dipped in glue and placed over a balloon, which we popped the following week!), a landscape drawing with ripped paper, water colors, and a painted mini-easel. Just before the holiday break, the kids painted canvases and added a glittery angel, over the painted canvas.  The angel canvases are proudly displayed, on our kitchen wall.  I love that many of the boys’ art projects are currently decorating our home.

         

Miss Stephanie incorporates many art materials, into each class.  The children love cutting, picking out special materials (i.e. beads, foam pieces, specific paint colors), and taking ownership of the unique art projects.  For example, during one class, the students spent an hour constructing unique sculptures, starting with a foam, circular base.  Stringing beads, felt flowers, and cut foam pieces as well as gluing gems to the rim of the foam base, each ‘free form’ sculpture reflected each child’s personality.  Teddy loves patterns and decided to construct a sculpture with patterns of beads and felt flowers.

Miss Stephanie’s goals, for the students, in a preschool art class: 

In my preschool art class, my goal is to help students achieve new things and practice skills they may not be able to at home like handling scissors, taking on the whole glue bottle, and having free choice on decorative decisions. I try to introduce or reinforce vocabulary and writing skills in the class, as well. Art can be very comprehensive when you look beyond the art supplies and ignite a child’s imagination, there really is nothing they can’t create without a little patience.  Art is in the community, our clothes and food!  I believe in making art pieces that can serve a purpose. I also personally aim to help my little ones make their art their own by providing lots of options, multiple examples or sometimes none at all. They are sometimes still in the copycat phase and want to do exactly what I created or what their neighbor is doing.  I like to encourage them to make it their own by providing maybe one of every color and varying shapes of objects we are working with.

Upcoming Session Dates and Themes:

Tuesdays: 11 AM – 12 PM
Building From Imagination: Feb 6th – 27th
Motor Skills March: March 6th – 27th
Crafting Weather: April 3rd – 24th

The hour-long class flows nicely, and my boys are eager to return, to Flipside, each week.  According to Miss Stephanie, “parents are welcome to say but definitely don’t have to.  The kids enjoy surprising their parents with their finished art pieces and tend to behave a little better, learning to work independently from mom or dad.”

Flipside Art Studio offers many art classes for older children as well.  They have day camps, during holiday breaks too!  Check out all the programs Flipside Art Studio has to offer, including the Preschool Art Class, HERE

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