I love art, and I'd always looked forward to sharing that love with my children. But my 2 1/2-year-old, Levi, would rather climb and jump — or anything other than sit still with a crayon in his hand. So I was curious to see how he would do visiting Wildflowers Studio, an art-focused play space that opened last year.
Two minutes after entering the spacious studio on a frosty Monday morning, I knew our visit would be a success. Levi's eyes widened as he peered around the bright, inviting room. He often hangs back in a new environment, but I'd barely finished signing us in before he was pulling me to a pegboard wall full of gadgets.
Phones, remote controls, locks and other doodads that are off-limits at home were right at his level, begging to be fiddled with. This was my first clue that Wildflowers is about much more than art, in the strictest sense of the word.
In fact, it's a self-described multisensory creative play space. Alongside more traditional artistic pursuits like clay and painting, there are other interesting things: building materials; colored tape and yarn; an old typewriter; a bunk bed upcycled into a fort with a Lego loft; and much more.
Levi spent the majority of his time in a play kitchen in the middle of the room, where shelves of utensils and trays of multicolored macaroni kept him busy for the better part of an hour. He was so engaged that I knew he'd play past the point of hunger, so I had to insist he take a mid-morning snack break.
The studio offers a separate, quieter room for snacking, with couches, a table and a sink. Some mothers used the space for nursing while their kids played on the floor with provided books and toys. Wildflowers is full of these thoughtful touches. From coffee and tea in the snack room to a diaper-stocked changing table in the bathroom, there's a feeling of being well cared for — something all parents can appreciate.
Open-studio time is offered in two-hour blocks, Monday-Friday; times vary. Wildflowers also offers six-week class sessions and camps for kids ages 18 months to 10 years.
GMYS offers a 7-day, intensive residential musical experience for intermediate and advanced student musicians. This year GMYS C.A.M.P. will meet August 7-13, 2016 at Johnson State College. Participants work with professional music coaches in chamber groups, private lessons, eurhythmics classes and orchestra rehearsals. There is also plenty of time to…(more)