Artful Science: Local Artist Becky Hochhalter at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum

As you may know, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum is more than just a fun place for kids to play; it’s actually a science and technology center. If you look around the museum, you’ll notice that all the exhibits have some sort of science and/or technology theme. The weather center upstairs, the tractor on the second floor, and even the dinosaur dig on the first level all focus on some sort of science skill, lesson, or fact.

However, the museum also understands the value of art. That’s why they’ve invited local artist Becky Hochhalter to join the museum in offering art classes for kids that also incorporate science.

A few weeks ago, my girls and I were guests of Miss Becky in her class for the littlest artists–Wee Art!

Art Classes at the Terre Haute Children's Museum

 

Wee Art was designed for kids ages 2 to 5, which was perfect for me since my girls are 2 and 4. (However, if your kids fall into a different age range, don’t click away just yet! There’s more info for you later in this post.)

Before we attended Wee Art, I had a few questions. On the off-chance that you think like me, let me share a few of the things I asked and answered.

Art Classes for Kids in Terre Haute

Question 1: Should I bring a smock or dress my girls in play clothes? My kids like to destroy their clothes.

Answer: No need to worry! They had that one covered. Smocks were provided.

Question 2: Was the event suitable for the suggested age range? (That is to say, would it hold the attention of both my girls? That’s a pretty tall order!)

Answer: Yes! My tot got a little distracted during story time (as tots usually do) and a little hungry  (also a common occurrence for toddlers), but she loved the hands-on activities! Also, the organizers had considered the fact that hungry kids don’t make great artists/scientists, so a snack of animal crackers was provided.

Question 3: How much parental involvement would be required? Could I help both of my girls or would I feel overwhelmed? Could I help both girls AND take pictures for this post?

Answer: Thankfully, my four-year-old could manage pretty well on her own. My two-year-old was a bit out-of-control overly eager. But Lynn (the museum director) and Becky stepped in to help as needed.

(For events for older kids, parents do not need to attend.)

Art classes for kids in Terre Haute

As for the pictures, I feel lucky that I didn’t dunk my camera in a tray of vinegar and that my two-year-old resisted the urge to use her broccoli to paint my lens purple. However, my camera wasn’t destroyed, and we ended up with a few decent pictures. So everything turned out okay in the end!

Final question: What do kids do at Wee Art?

Answer:  We read a story, made a rainbow volcano, and painted with vegetables.Art Classes for Kids in Terre Haute

The volcano was definitely my girls’ favorite activity!

I’d be lying if I said my toddler didn’t try to eat her vegetable/fruit “paintbrushes.” Poor younger child. I feed her, I promise. At least it was before the veggies had paint on them, right?

Art Classes for Kids! Artist Becky Hochhalter at the Terre Haute Children's Museum

Although my girls’ finished product looked nothing like Becky’s example, I thought it was special enough to hang on my wall. The canvas they provided was quality. This was not the type of project that one would throw in the trash before the paint was even dry!

The next art/science collaboration that’s on the schedule is super cool–Kids’ Night Out! For this Creative Factory event, kids will hear a story, make an awesome art project based on the museum’s December theme (“Around the World”), and have an hour to play in the museum.

Creativity Factory Kids’ Night Out for Ages 6-12 years

Terre Haute Children’s Museum

Friday, December 12, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)

Parents, you don’t have to hang around for this one! Which means you can use the three free hours to have a date night, do some Christmas shopping, or go home and take a nap.

What’s more, the cost for three hours is just $25. That’s like paying a sitter $8 per hour, except your kids will be playing at the museum and doing art rather than watching movies on the couch and eating frozen pizza.

You can register for Creativity Factory Kids’ Night Out here.

If this event goes well, I think there will be similar events planned for the future.

Last but not least, Becky is working on a “make and take” art activity for Miracle on 7th Street in December. So if you can’t make it to one of the official classes, be sure to stop by and see her in December!

Full disclosure: my admission price was waived to help compensate me for my time in writing this post. The opinions expressed are entirely my own

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