...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


planning a preschooler art party

For Ava's fourth birthday, we decided to do an Art Party theme. It was an easy choice - considering my former home office was turned into the children's art studio - and our home decor is filled with masterpieces the kids created since they could hold a brush. Ava has always embraced art, and a few years ago, she even painted canvases and gave them away as party favors. So we took this idea and ran with it...

The invitations went out, and I had fun making this just using the home computer and card stock. A new paintbrush taped to the side quickly turned this dull card into something fun for the kids receiving them in the mail...


Once the theme was finalized, we set to work on finding age-appropriate art activities the children could have fun with. Online shopping at Oriental Trading proved fun - including purchasing loots of jewels, clear paint cans for favors, foam paint brushes to embellish the favors, child-size aprons for each guest to use and take home, and crafty activities to keep the tiny artists busy - including canvas painting, making pinwheels, masks, and tote bags...

Each child had a seat at the art table - noted by these wonderful chalkboard labels I found at Pottery Barn Kids.

ava's art party

Square canvases were then propped on miniature easels, along with acrylic paint trays for for each to use...

art table3

art table2

I brought in a fold up table and covered it with a washable tablecloth to set the stage for the art supplies... using a lot of what we already had at home. I even used one of Ava's pottery sculptures to house scissors, and tin baskets to contain each art activity...

art table

art table 2

I used quart and gallon sized paint cans to hold the art supplies and even an arrangement of flowers as the centerpiece for the table. There are a lot of wonderful ideas available - but I knew for a 2-hour party, we had to select just a few, while providing a variety for the 2 boys and 2 girls attending the party...

Planning an Art Party - Our Tips
1. Craft stores sometimes run specials on canvases - pick some up throughout the year for just under $4 a piece - to use with the kids anytime of the year - or for an art party! (Tip: Michaels and Joann's run 40% coupons weekly)

2. Use easels to mount the canvas, and make the artist feel as if they were painting in a gallery of the vatican. I scored these great finds in the frame section of Wal-Mart for under $7 a piece.

3. We normally reuse egg cartons to pour paint for the kids - but then I discovered white washable plastic trays - also at Wal-Mart - for just under $1 each. We also purchased 8 jars of acrylic paints ($2 each) to fill their palettes with.

4. Aprons - although we asked our guest to "come dressed messy" - it's still a sweet touch to provide aprons for the kids they can reuse over and over again. These can also be personalized with names, or draped over their chairs. You can pick up a pack of 6 for $17 from Oriental Trading.

5. Use what you have - more than likely you have glue, crayons, markers, and stickers to help spark creativity at the art table. Bring these out and display them with quart and gallon sized paint cans ($4 each from Home Depot).


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