DC Kids Doing It Themselves: DIY Classes and Camps

Kristi Campbell - Washington Dc
July 29, 2014

If you're frustrated by do-it-yourself projects at home that rarely come out the way you'd hoped they would, we're here to help. The Washington DC area offers a wide range of DIY camps and classes for children of all ages. Here are some Savvy picks for your kids to get together with their peers and do it themselves.

Cooking Classes

For children who enjoy helping in the kitchen, consider enrolling 4-18 year olds in a parent and me cooking class, or a week long cooking camp! Classy Kids Cook, a DC-based culinary school, offers a variety of programs sure to delight future chefs and mess-makers this summer, or, after school this fall. Tiny Chefs also offers cooking classes and camps and has locations in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Kids love to help mix and stir, and these are excellent places that help them do so.

Paint and Create Keepsakes

There are some wonderful paint-your-own-pottery facilities in DC, Northern VA, and Maryland that offer classes for the littles as well as camps to allow them to unleash their creativity and create keepsakes for parents, teachers, and grandparents. Paint This (Alexandria, Virginia), All Fired Up (Cleveland Park, DC and Bethesda, Maryland), and Kiln & Co (Vienna, Virginia) provide daily classes for young children as well as hosting open painting for those who want to create their own pottery. Classes vary depending on children's ages, but accommodate all. This is a favorite of ours, as painting that takes place outside of the home is always awesome.

Be an Artist

The Children's Art Studio, located in Washington, DC offers a variety of fun classes and camps for children. Week-long summer camps, designed for children five years and older, teach the fundamentals of painting, drawing, sculpting, and printing with fun, multi-day projects. There are also several classes designed for specific age groups. Two- and three-year-olds can sign up to learn about pasting, drawing, cutting and building using paper, water color, clay, and found objects. Nursery-school aged children explore creativity through sculpture, painting, drawing and more. Classes also include techniques for collage and composition for pre-k and kindergarteners, and more advanced techniques for older children and teens.

Plant, Grow. Learn and Harvest. 

The United Way has an excellent initiative going on where children are encouraged to grow gardens, share with peers about plant growth (and failure) and experience overall planting knowledge. They learn when particular plants grow, need attention, and harvest. For those looking for more organized gardening activities, there are several options. The Washington Youth Garden, located at the US National Arboretum, provides year-round programs for children and their families. Their Family Garden Days are an interactive way for families to garden together and learn about growing fruits and vegetables, and even preparing healthy meals. Want more gardening options? Join a gardening club!

Build Something Amazing

Bricks 4 Kidz, with locations in DC, Virginia and Maryland offers some wonderful camps for kids to explore robotics and architecture using LEGO bricks. Camps are staffed by trained teachers and designed specifically for 5 to 12 year olds. Bricks 4 Kidz provides model plans and also allows builders to create their own designs during free-play. If your kids enjoy beams, gears, axles, remote controls, and more, they're sure to have a blast. 

Kristi Campbell's passion is writing and drawing stupid-looking pictures for her blog, Finding Ninee. It began with a memoir about her special-needs son Tucker, abandoned when she read that a publisher would rather shave a cat than read another memoir. Kristi writes for a variety of parenting websites, has been published in four popular anthologies, received 2014 BlogHer's Voice of the Year People's Choice Award, and was a proud cast member of the DC Listen to Your Mother show.

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