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Art Studio

Different Activities Everyday

Art Studio for Young Children and Toddlers at Habitot Children's Museum

The Art Studio is centrally located at Habitot and young children flow in and out of the studio throughout their visit. Habitot's unique art program engages young children in creative exploration using a wide range of art materials, with an emphasis on "process" and not "products." There are no cotton tails on bunnies here! Young artists stories

Open Ended Art Experiences

Open-ended art experiences build math, science and literacy concepts, as well as physical skills such as manual dexterity, in young children. Preschool art experiences are linked to kindergarten readiness skills are recommended by State curriculum guidelines.

Dedicated art educators in the Studio support parents in guiding their children's development through art. And parents love that their children benefit from creative and imaginative art-making but the mess and cleanup happen at Habitot. As the parent of a 2-year old famously said, “Art begins at Habitot!”

We Clean Up So You Don't Have To

Although the art materials vary every day, there are three basic stations to choose from. The original "paintable wall" made a big splash when Habitot opened in 1998, and has been copied by preschools and children's museums throughout the country. The wall gives young children a broad canvas on which to paint, enlarging their imaginations as well as the large muscles needed to paint on it. Some days, the paint caddy will have pastel colors; other days, the blues, grays and black of stormy winter days.

Clay Play

The clay table emphasizes manipulation of soft clays, play doughs and interesting substances like 'gak'. A variety of hand tools and other objects allow children to make impressions, form and sculpt clay, and observe how materials change shape yet stay the same in weight and consistency.

Mixed Media Table Changes Everyday

Habitot's Mixed Media Table for Young Children and Toddlers

Throughout the year, the mixed media table offers dozens of different activities — something different every day: collage with natural materials or fabric scaps, paper mache objects, crayon resist art, decorating found objects, recycled art sculptures, and of course, using markers, crayons, paintbrushes and glitter, glue and paint. Some activities like dripping watercolors and coffee filter paper have a science component.

Art Studio Mixed Media

Seasonal Weeks of Fun

The Week of Valentines in February and Confetti Art Week after New Year's are two of many year round theme weeks that celebrate seasonal holidays in the Art Studio. Similarly, multicultural events such as Día de los Muertos and Lunar New Year enliven the Art Studio with activities such as paper picado-making and calligraphy with ink and bamboo brushes. Sometimes, the whole Art Studio becomes a community project when everyone builds a cardboard city or decorates a giant gingerbread house.

Good to Know

  • All art supplies used in the Art Studio are non-toxic.
  • We purchase art materials labeled "washable" whenever possible however some fabrics may stain.
  • Open-ended art can be messy. Aprons are available. We recommend that children not wear special or expensive clothing.
  • Many of the art materials used can be purchased in the Gift Store
  • Recipes for some of Habitot's art materials are available at the Front Desk for a $2 donation.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Habitot's Hands-On Art Program is funded, in part, by a grant from the Alameda County Arts Commission / ARTSFUND Grants, Berkeley Civic Arts Program and Civic Arts Commission.

Alameda County Arts Commission Logo   Berkeley Civic Arts Program Logo

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