Are Pottery Awesomeness pottery kits age appropriate for my kid?
“What is the age range for your pottery kits?"
That is a great question and one that I hear often. It is also one that is hard for me to answer as a mom and an art teacher. I think the answer is less about the kids and more about the parents' expectations of what their child will get out of it.
A simple answer like "Ages 4-12" would be easy to say (and we do say it because that's what people want to know), but for me it's not so simple. I think they are appropriate for all ages because I see the joy that children of all ages get from painting. I ran a "paint your own pottery" studio before COVID hit and one of the events I ran was called "Toddler Tuesday". A couple times per month, only children under the age of 4 were allowed to come paint. It was beautiful and the kids were always so proud of their work.
Moreover, I have a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy. Both of them very much enjoy painting pottery, probably above all other forms of painting. It's like a 3D coloring book!
My daughter has a much longer attention span and can achieve "better" results but only when judged using very narrow criteria, like staying within the lines. I cherish all of the pottery she has painted, including the things she painted as a 2 year old. They are some of my favs, as there were no restraints telling her where the colors ought to go.
My son also adores painting and often plays pretend with the pottery he has painted more than with his other toys. I love watching his ability and methods change as he grows. I think the value of letting "little" kids do "big kid" projects is underestimated. The sense of pride they feel after the creative process is priceless and how will they ever learn the ways of the paint brush if we don't let them explore it?
For older kids, there is no age limit... I have adults & seniors who enjoy painting these kits! In fact, I encourage families to paint our pottery kits together, as it is such a peaceful way to spend time together. The conversation flows and the silence is not uncomfortable. By spending "family time" together doing an art project that has no "right way" of doing it and no complicated instructions, everyone can relax and enjoy and talk. I use this time to really connect with my kids and listen to them. I ask them questions about school and their dreams and what their favorite things are this week...
My kids know that when the pottery and paint are set out, there will be no tv, no phones, nothing but pure, undivided togetherness and a chance for them to be the ones in charge. They get to choose what we talk about and how to paint their pottery. There are no rules!
This is ultimately the thing that our kids crave the most... time with us without distraction. I call it emotional nutrition and I am passionate about encouraging parents to take time away from their busy lives to give their kids the undivided attention they crave. It is the reason I created Pottery Awesomeness... as a former stay at home mom and as a now working mom, I know they struggles of the never ending "to do" list that never gets done!
My kids are young and want to play pretend an awful lot, which means I am a mommy unicorn and a "kissy monster" for many minutes per week. I'll be honest, playing pretend is hard for me. I do give it my all and my kids seem to believe I am enjoying it, but secretly it is very draining for me. Painting, however, is effortless and fun for everyone. It is my absolute favorite thing to do with my kiddos.
Why pottery instead of paper? We do both of course, but I find that with paper, my kids want me to draw the base picture for them... they don't yet have the skills to draw what they want, so the pottery is very liberating for them. They just have to apply the colors and practice their decision making. Ultimately, it is a an activity that builds confidence and strengthens the bonds I have with my kids. That is want I want for all families. That is why I started this business, to reach as many people as I can with the message of how art can create beautiful family bonds.
So, long story short. All ages can enjoy these kits and doing them WITH your kids is encouraged! The younger the child, the less time it will take them to complete it and the more of a mess they will make, but I encourage you to give it a shot.
PS-- As a fellow mom, let me be clear, you are not required to paint with your kids, there are hours worth of painting pottery inside each kit, but even if you dedicate 2 hours each month (if you are a subscriber) and let them do the rest on their own, you will be happy you did.
Founder of Pottery Awesomeness, mom & artist
Stephanie has an Master of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art & Design