Love to do arts and crafts with the kids but aren’t as equally enamored with all the synthetic materials? (How does one achieve a day-glo pink hue, exactly?) Then you need to check out Fruiggie. This art and party space for kids of all ages features home grown, 100% organic, vegan, eco-friendly, all-natural, non-toxic, and sustainable paints and lots of ways to use them. Read on to find out how you and the kids can get crafty — naturally.

photo: Gretchen Kunz

Coming to Fruiggie
Tamika Albertini is the creative businesswoman behind this center for ecologically-sound and allergen-safe arts and crafts classes.  Noticing the smell of paints and glue in a traditional art room and how some kids were sensitive or allergic to some products, Albertini thought art supplies should be safe and usable for all her young students.  So, using fruits, vegetables, natural clay and aloe vera, she  invented her own 100% organic, vegan, eco-friendly, all natural, non-toxic, and sustainable paints.  With that, Fruiggie was born.

photo: Gretchen Kunz

She’s Bean Around
If you’ve heard of Fruiggie before, that’s because Albertini has been leading classes and after-school workshops in the city using her non-toxic materials and creative philosophy for some time.  Kids liked painting and playing with stuff they could eat, and parents liked knowing that their kids could do crafts without being subjected to strong odors and questionable chemicals (not to mention that the paints are easily washed off surfaces with soap and water, so they can even be used as face paints.)

Albertini’s workshops became so successful that she’s opened up this new space for young Picassos from 12 months to 12 years old to get their crafting on.

photo: Gretchen Kunz

A Garden of Artistic Delights
Located in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill on Fulton Street, conveniently between a pediatrician’s office and a day care center, Fruiggie also shares a floor with a music school where local youngsters practice strings and piano.

The space is welcoming, clean and well-organized, with a warm orange wall, a green-curtained reading corner and previous classes’ art works displayed on the walls.

Albertini likes supporting small businesses, so you’ll also find shelves displaying colorful local artisan’s goods like adorable children’s clothes made of African printed cloth, books for storytime and learning, stuffed toys, small instruments like mini djembe drums the kids can play, and, of course, Fruiggie paints.

photo: Awesome Africa

You Can’t Beet Learning with Vegetables
Classes emphasize health and wellness, care for the environment and the creative use of natural materials as it was historically done in cultures like ancient Egypt.

Current classes include the seven-week “Kids Chakra Art Class” and separate “Toddler Chakra Art Class,” which were created to allow children to participate in creative art activities while understanding the purpose, meaning and color of each chakra. (Chakras are centers of energy of the body that relate to health and life balance. They come from Indian tradition and are used in meditation, yoga and martial arts, but your kids may have seen them on the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.) The students learn how to balance their energy with healthy foods, make art, and even get souvenir goodies and vegan snacks.  Toddlers get sing-along time, while older preteens get to meditate and write in journals.

Another class is called “Fruiggietime,” where they read stories and do art projects inspired by the tales. Most classes last around an hour and are made up of 10-12 children, so reserving a spot in advance is recommended.

photo: Awesome Africa

Bring the Apple of Your Eye (or Make Your Own Jam)
Want a little Fruiggie fun for a children’s party or event? Packages available include fun eco art activities, decorations and even vegan pizza and cupcakes or birthday cake.

Fruiggie offers a wide range of party themes from “DIY vegan ice cream” to “Zumba dance,” “spa” days to “beach” days and “emojis” to “eco musical instruments.”  All are available in the Fruiggie studio space, or they can come to you.

Fruiggie Ancient Organic Crafts
1080 Fulton St. Suite 4
Clinton Hill/Bedford-Stuyvesant
347-480-3223
Online: fruiggie.com

Where do you go for non-toxic crafting fun? Tell us in the comments!

— Gretchen Kunz