If your kids’ love of crayons has moved past the sketchpad and onto the walls, maybe it’s time to foster their budding creativity at one of LA’s many awesome art classes. This town has lots to offer your pint-sized Picassos, from drop-in messy art to more structured weekly classes. We love glitter & glue, but sometimes it’s nice to think outside the Crayola box and find further inspiration at a local art studio (where clean-up is not part of the equation!).


An LA landmark, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers some great classes for kids and adults. If you’re looking for a cool way to get Grandparents to bond with your kiddos, try the Intergenerational classes, which inspire students from age 5 to 105 to make art and learn about the museum side-by-side. There’s also Art for the Little Ones, a 5-class series designed for kids aged 3 ½ to 5. Each week a new medium is introduced, and the kids are invited to explore a different area of the museum. If your school-age kid needs entertainment over Winter break, look into their Art Camp for kids aged 6 to 13 and treat your mini Michelangelo to a fantastic week with clay, paint, found objects and more. If you’d rather do flexible drop-in, check out the Boone Children’s Art Gallery, where kids can learn about Korean & Chinese brush painting, and create their own masterpiece for free. (They also offer free story time every week, to really round out the cultural experience.)


This charming little studio Mid-City offers both drop-in and scheduled classes, so you’re sure to find something that works for you. The drop-in Messy Art time offers a chance for your rowdy Rembrandts to paint like a pro. They get to splatter to their heart’s content, while you can smile even if they spill all over the floor (relax, that’s what it’s there for!) They also offer scheduled art classes if you’re looking for something on a regular basis.


The Zimmer Museum
This fabulous museum for little tykes also offers stellar art classes. Ideal for young kids (from crawlers to 4½, depending on the class), you will be inspired by the patient and engaging teachers. Check out the various classes, from CrEATe (an art class specializing in edible creations!) to Messy Masterpieces (the ultimate in hands-on artistic exploration).


Wondertree Kids
This El Segundo studio offers play-based classes that are designed to inspire and enrich kids’ brains, bodies and hearts. The messy art classes here are all about exploration and discovery, where curiosity is treasured and kids are encouraged to feel, touch and learn through sensory activities. Let your kid communicate through art and have some good, messy fun.

Kids Artistic Sense
Dedicated to enriching young lives through artistic expression, this West LA space offers kids a chance to develop their creative thinking and express their curiosity. The class environment is used as a “third teacher” as the little ones discover, investigate and develop independence. Check out their weekend classes for 5-10 year olds, like the Real Clay Play workshop where kids get to poke, pinch, squish and stretch clay into anything their imagination desires. This place is all about hands-on, tactile learning through art. Your kids will love the full sensory experience.

Froggy Mobile Arts & Crafts
If your busy schedule doesn’t quite jive with rigid class-times, try Froggy’s Mobile Arts & Crafts. You choose when & where, and they will arrive, ready to make magic happen. A trustworthy and experienced instructor will show up, set up, teach a fantastic art class to one kid or a group of kids, then clean up and leave. Woo hoo – talk about service! They also offer mobile play-dates for small groups, where a talented teacher will guide kids through a project like using recycled materials to build robots and dollhouses, or painting fairy wands and treasure chests. This is the ideal, most flexible option for busy moms on the go.


The Children’s Art Studio
This school in West LA is devoted to fostering kid’s imaginations and encouraging self-confidence in their creative skills. Offering classes for ages 2-12, your kiddo’s creativity is welcomed in a relaxed, fun way. From oil pastels, clay, and puppets to masks and print-making, your talented tot can enjoy it all!


Paint Lab
In a brand-new beautiful space, this Santa Monica studio is fantastic for older kids, offering after-school and weekend art camps for kids aged 6-12. All materials are included, so you just reserve your kid’s spot and let them get their art on! If you’re feeling breezy, they offer uninstructed painting in the studio every day, so you and your mini artiste can color up a canvas off the cuff.


Art Works
This cool Larchmont studio offers a space to explore, think and connect through art. With classes ranging from Art Start (for 4-6 year olds) to Comic & Anime (ages 6 +), you’re sure to find a fun outlet for your kiddo’s self-expression. School’s out and you don’t know what to do? Art Works is ready to banish boredom with day camps during school breaks, holidays and even random school furlough days.  Oh, and if you’d like to test the waters to see which class is the right fit for your little one, sign up for one free trial class.


Purple Twig
A 2013 Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award Winner, this Eagle Rock spot is special for a reason. They focus on a whole approach to art, helping kids spark their imaginations by discovering the wide possibility of art materials (a wine cork can transform into a puppet? Heck yeah!). Kids will also dive deeper into cool art-inspired subjects, from animals to architecture, depending on the age group. Yep, this is way more than your standard paint & paper sorta place. From family classes and open studio time to holiday camps, you’ll be spoiled for choice with unique options like pirate ship building, Egyptian art and comic book making. They also have one-day workshops, where kids can make unusual artwork, like recycled creature masks or ceramic menorahs. Talk about fostering your kid’s creativity.


We hope you have a blast getting messy with your creative cuties.  Let us know if we’ve missed any cool art studios in the comment section below.

-Elena Wurlitzer

Photo Credits: Jim Pennucci via Creative Commons, Umair Mohsin via Creative Commons, Till Westermayer via Creative Commons, IK’s World via Creative Commons, Cindi f. via Yelp