Bloom Art Studio: messy & inspiring fun for kids

Bloom Art Studio at River Market is a safe place for kids to get messy - without driving parents crazy. At home, I like to craft with the kids, but I'm always a little leery of anything truly messy. It's fun, but I always worry about the cleanup. In a space like Bloom, the kids are free to play with colour and form in a space that's designed to handle mess.

Wesley & Kale with their "shadows"
Wesley & Kale with their "shadows"

Note: Bloom Art Studio has offered a special contest for Tenth to the Fraser readers! Comment on this post to before April 21, 2011 and enter to win four free classes at the studio (valued at over $60). Plus, ‘like’ Bloom’s Facebook page for another chance to win!

Bloom Art Studio at River Market is a safe place for kids to get messy – without driving parents crazy.

Owner Kimberly Chiem recently invited me and Jen Arbo to bring our kids down  to experience one of her parent-and-toddler art classes. It was a simple activity I remembered doing when I was in elementary school: first the kids lay down on strips of kraft paper so the parents could trace them, then the parents cut out the silhouettes and taped them to the walls and windows for the kids to paint.

Our kids painted their “shadows” on the windows of the studio. Wesley glopped paint on the floor and all over the chairs. Kale channeled Jackson Pollock and started flinging paint against the window.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Kim. “I’ll clean it all up later.”

Wesley prepares an apple for stamping
Wesley prepares an apple for stamping

Magic words. At home, I like to craft with the kids, but I’m always a little leery of anything truly messy. It’s fun, but I always worry about the cleanup. In a space like Bloom, the kids are free to play with colour and form in a space that’s designed to handle mess. The washable paint cleans off their little wooden chairs and concrete floor. The wall is intended to be coloured on. And even the windows are fair game.

Wesley had so much fun that I brought him back another day, this time with his baby sister (aged16 months) in tow. That day’s plan involved fruit & vegetable stamping. Kimberly provided a plate with halved strawberries, bok choy, lemons, potatoes, apples and other produce and a selection of colourful paints. Once again the craft was simple (and messy): dip the fruit or veg in the paint and stamp it on paper.

Even my littlest enjoyed this craft, and when my son finished his prints and asked if he could have a brush to paint free-form, Kim was happy to go with the flow. A few little artists joined my son in asking for a brush, while others happily kept dipping & stamping their veggies.

Little Nora enjoyed painting too
Little Nora enjoyed painting too

Bloom Art Studio offers a variety of classes and events for kids, including “mini-camps” over Spring Break March 21-25. You can sign up for a series of lessons or opt for the drop-in rate ($8.57 + tax during the winter session). There are even some activities for grown-ups: a monthly Occasional Knitter’s Group (launching March 25 at 7pm) and a Japanese Hand-Built Pottery Class.

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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10 comments

  1. Sounds fun and could they accomodate a family daycare excursion? The classes sound doable. I will be down sometime soon

    1. You'd have to ask Kimberly to know for sure. I think it would depend on the size of the daycare and the ages of the kids. I could picture it working for a smaller daycare, especially if it was mostly older kids who don't need as much hands-on guidance. I had the same thought though – it would be a great little day trip for a group of kids!
      My recent post Bloom Art Studio- messy &amp inspiring fun for kids

    2. I would love to explore an open studio day for a daycare excursion. If you are interested, please give me a call or send me an email and we can discuss.

      1. That would be fantastic, I will get in touch soon. I would love to do that especially over summer break
        as well. Are you doing camps during the summer.

  2. I am so excited to try this out with my 4 year old daughter and her friends.What a great way to spend a day! Thanks for providing yet another fantastic LOCAL business to our community. New West is the place to be:)

    1. We love to host birthdays at Bloom. We've already hosted a couple and have a few more booked for next month. There is some information on my website or you can contact me directly if you have any questions.

  3. Yay! More fun stuff to do in New West! Thanks Kimberly- I'll bring my son Jonah down soon. Honestly, it's people like you that keep making this city a better and better place. Good luck with the business and we'll do our best to support you 🙂

  4. Just so everyone knows, Kimberley from Bloom drew names and Tara won the free classes! Congratulations Tara, and thanks everyone for joining in the fun!

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