I love doing crafts with my children, but I don’t love ending up with glue and glitter everywhere (regardless of how simple the craft is) and stepping on beads and stickers for days after vacuuming a million times. So I started searching for places around town where my kids can get crafty. This way, I get to spend more time making the crafts with them since I’m not prepping everything. We leave the mess there and we bring home something really cool. Crafts are something I do with my kids all year round, but the month of February is especially fun at these art hotspots.
Yellow Bird Studio On Feb. 10, drop off your 5 to 11-year-olds from 2-4 p.m. for Valentine’s Day Crafternoon. They can create Pom-Pom Love Bugs, Tape Resist LOVE paintings and Heart shaped yarn mobiles. Younger ones can enjoy Valentine’s Day the entire month, as Yellow Bird will host love and friendship-inspired activities with the morning Hand in Hand classes that are held every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Crafts include making Valentine playdough, sensory Love Potions and collaborative murals to inspire cooperation and work on problem-solving and social skills. This class is for children ages 18 months to 4 years, and a caregiver is required to attend.
Lakeshore Learning Store Lakeshore Learning in Tampa offers free crafts for children every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and this month, will have opportunities to make Valentine mailboxes, dream catchers and a Cool Cat Paper Puppet. On Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the store is offering a free Bee Mine Valentine Event with Valentine-themed craft stations. On Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the studio will feature Pete the Cat Storytime every hour with multiple crafts focused on Pete the Cat including a Cool Cat Paper Puppet.
Color Me Mine At this fun pottery place in Hyde Park Village, you get to pick out your pottery and paint it. All through February, the pottery studio will offer various Valentine’s Day-themed events. Regulars can look forward to other events such as “Paint me a story,” a fun Mommy & Me workshop for kids ages 2-5, and a Sensory Friendly Painting Party.
Michaels Michaels Craft Stores aren’t just a great place to buy supplies for craft projects; they also have a Kids Club every Saturday for children ages 3-8 from 10 a.m. to noon and a MAKEbreak event from 1 – 3p.m. On Feb. 3, kids can make Valentine’s Day Lady Bugs and on Feb. 10, design and create Valentine’s Day Cards. All month, Michael’s will have Valentine’s Day-themed crafts at stores across Tampa Bay.
Learning Express Toys This toy store has free weekly craft events for the kids, and their outlets across Tampa Bay are offering themed events for Valentine’s Day. Check out the calendar for the store closest to you. Sign up early—some events feature character appearances and sell out early.
By Anna Tataris De Jesus
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This article was originally published in the February 2018 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.