Are you the parent of an artistic child? I know I am. If you’re anything like me, it’s difficult to find safe and fun activities that will encourage your child’s creativity to flourish. Here are five fun activities for your artsy kids located right here in Simi Valley.
My daughter loves to draw, so I was pretty excited when I discovered Ninja Toons located up at the Simi Valley Town Center. It is owned and operated by Michael Voogd who has a degree in Art, and a black belt in Ninjutsu. There slogan is, where martial arts meet the creative arts.
All classes are group classes and start for kids as young as six years old. For these younger kids, classes offer step by step instruction in drawing some of your children’s favorite characters. The instructor shows how art can be broken down into simple shapes to start, and those shapes can be built upon to create more complex shapes and characters.
More advanced classes, catered to older artists, are also taught. They include creating comic strips and animations for the artists’ original characters.
They also bring in a model once a week dressed in cosplay, for advanced artists and even adults. For those of you who don’t know, cosplay is where people create, and wear a costume of a popular character from a comic book, video game, or television show. It’s like a traditional art class where students sketch a live model, but with a comic book twist.
In addition to in person classes, Michael has a channel right here on YouTube where he offers free online tutorials. He goes through a similar process in his videos that he does in the classes for creating his character sketches. If you want to go ahead and check out his channel.
2. As You Wish Pottery
Also located up at the Simi Valley Town Center is As You Wish Pottery Painting Place. This is a fun little shop to get your paint on without making a mess at your own house. Although this is a great place to bring kids, it is also a fun place for adults to come and relax.
So, you have two options when you go in, pottery, or canvas. There is a set studio fee. Right now, it’s about eight dollars, but I’m sure that will change in the future. Regardless of whether you choose pottery or canvas, that fee covers the time you are in the studio, the paints, and the supplies that you use. For pottery, that also includes the cost of glazing and firing your piece. Do be aware that the cost of your canvas, and the cost of the individual pottery pieces are charged separately.
It’s best to reserve a time because of limited seating, but walk-ins are always welcome. Just go in, let the staff know what you will be painting. Then take all the time you need to create your next masterpiece. If you want your pottery to be fired in the kiln, you can pick up your completed piece in three days.
As You Wish also offers birthday party packages, and in store classes. There are multiple locations throughout California, so you’ll need to check their website for class schedules near you.
3. Dance Studios (Town Center)
You’re not going to believe it, but our next activity is located at, wait for it… the Simi Valley Town Center. I know right? If your child is the artistic type, but also loves to move around, maybe a dance class is a good option. At the time of making this video, there were not one, but two dance studios up at the Town Center.
Inspire Dance Studio and Gotta Dance Academy both offer a variety of dance classes from more traditional to modern. And children as young as 18 months have classes available to them.
So you may be wondering which dance studio is better. That would be up to you to decide. Both studios offer a free trial lesson. So why not go and try them both out and pick the one that works best for your child? I’ll post the link to both studios below so you can decide for yourself.
Check out Inspire Dance Studio and Gotta Dance Academy’s websites.
4. Stage 1 Music
Music is a great creative outlet for younger children and many children with an interest in the visual arts are also interested in music. Stage 1 Music is not located at the Simi Valley Town Center, rather, it is located off of Sycamore and Cochran. It offers private one on one music classes for students of all ages. Whether your child is interested in learning piano, guitar, drums, classical instruments, or even voice lessons, they have an instructor for that.
They are also very COVID conscious, so you have the option of in person classes, or live virtual classes.
5. Simi Parks and Recreation
One of the largest facilitators of artsy activities within the city of Simi Valley, is the city itself. Through the Rancho Simi Parks Department, you have a huge selection of activities available at very affordable prices. They have dance, art, and music for all ages, starting as young as eighteen months. The best part, is the classes run year round. So, if you miss the signups, the next opportunity will be right around the corner.
Here’s a little tip. If you can’t find the classes that you are looking for in Simi Valley, or they are already filled up. Check out the Conejo Valley Parks Department which serves the Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park area. There is an even larger selection of activities, and if you are in West Simi Valley, they may actually be closer. Just be aware that residents within the city of Thousand Oaks will have priority registration.