A Chance for Your Kids to Explore the Arts

Hard at work on their own version of Wassily Kandinsky’s ‘Circles.’

As I sit down to plan out my summer days for my kids, I realize they’ve outgrown some of my favorite things! My youngest is 7 and asked if go to “Mrs. Parks’ camp.” She was referring to “Explore the Arts” camp with Mrs. Parks and Mrs. Dickerson at West Side Nursery. It was always her favorite week of summer and the only camp she ever asked to go to. And although she’s outgrown it, I wanted to share it with my friends that still have little ones.

The kids sing, dance, act, role play, draw, paint, sculpt which might sound like other Arts camps. But trust me: there’s something special about those 2 teachers and that place. They have a way of explaining sophisticated art and music concepts in a way that the kids understand and don’t even realize that they’re learning something big. When they taught my daughter about Michelangelo, they laid on the floor under desks and created art on the under side of the desk–just like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. She came to understand Cubism after studying Picasso and she explained it perfectly to me! And of course, besides singing and creating art, there’s lots of time to play outside, be free and have fun.

At the end of the week, they had a show and an opening. It really felt like a gallery opening! The proudly and joyfully performed the music that they’d learned and then parents mingled admiring their art. Ah, wish we could go back.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."