By Erica Barker
Alexandria, VA – Kidcreate Studio is an art studio designed specifically for little ones and a great addition to Alexandria’s offerings for kids. Owner Diane Greenbaum was inspired by fun activities she enjoyed with her son and she worked for a year to get the studio up and running for Alexandria families. She focused on providing a creative outlet for kids to engage and create with a community focus.
Kidcreate Studio’s grand opening took place on March 14, just two weeks before Governor Northam issued the statewide stay-at-home order.
March 30: Stay at Home
Within days, Diane knew that the in-studio classes, camps, and birthday parties her studio had planned through summer were not going to be moving forward. Diane, who holds an MBA and comes from a background of entrepreneurs, quickly pivoted to offer virtual art lessons and at-home art kits that parents could pick up or have shipped to them.
Her kits and the virtual lessons provided by Kidcreate’s staff of talented art teachers have been a lifesaver for many parents needing structured and creative activities for children to do at home.
I recently visited Kidcreate Studio (724 Jefferson Street in Old Town) to pick up two art kits I’d ordered. Diane was able to recommend two specific kits that would be great for my 3-year-old, with plenty more to choose from. We got the Clay Mosaic and the Slime Time kit. Contactless pickup was a breeze and I got to see the brand new studio space.
When I was there, Kidcreate Studio was about to reopen for in-studio art sessions, with art tables spaced apart, individual art supplies, a strict disinfecting protocol, and plenty of handwashing. High ceilings and lots of windows make this studio inviting and open, with plenty of room for socially distanced fun.
In-studio offerings include a popular summer camp option, with morning and afternoon sessions. Private family sessions are also offered, with art instructors providing all supplies and guidance to your family. If you prefer to interact over Zoom, Kidcreate offers virtual art lessons and can tailor lessons and activities to specific groups.
An honor…and slime?
The first kit my son and I tried was the Clay Mosaic. We laid out our supplies, then watched Kidcreate’s instructional video for the project. The instructor held my son’s attention well and we could pause the video whenever we wanted to take our time with the steps.
My son chose a circle as the shape for his mosaic and enjoyed cutting the shape out of modeling clay. The best part was choosing beads for the mosaic and squishing them into the clay. He even let me pick out some beads to place on his circle, so I felt honored. Creating the clay mosaic was relaxing, which is a lot to say for any project with a three-year-old, and I especially enjoyed having a ready-made activity for us to do together.
Our next project was making colorful, sparkly slime. Another great activity, this kit also comes complete with instructions. We mixed the premeasured cornstarch with the glue to make slime, and everything went smoothly until we added the paint.
When my son put his hands in to mix in the paint, it was all a bit too slimy for him and before I could stop him, he threw his hands in the air and shook it off onto the walls, the floor, the table!
But Kidcreate had thought of everything: The paint is completely washable! I highly recommend picking up a kit or two for your little ones.
Focus on Alexandria
As part of its focus on our community, Kidcreate Studio has an option to donate an art kit to a local family. For $7.50, you can buy a kit to donate and Kidcreate will match your donation, so by donating one art kit, two families get art supplies.
The kits contain basic art supplies for children to use at home, including scissors, glue, construction paper, modeling clay, and mini paints. So far, Diane has donated more than 100 kits to local families, which are distributed through an arrangement with the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Kidcreate Studio is located at 724 Jefferson Street, Alexandria VA 22314. Call 703-660-4814 or visit them online at kidcreate.com/alexandria. Kidcreate Studio also has great information and ideas for kids on their Facebook page and Instagram. Be sure to check them out and tell them Zebra sent you!
Erica Barker is the founder of littleoldtown.com, where she shares fun activities in the Alexandria area for parents and kids and she enjoys exploring the local area while keeping her kids entertained.