At Sawyer we have the privilege of working with hundreds of inspiring educators around the country. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person activities, the curricula always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with Color Architect Kids, which offers art classes and parties for children in Brooklyn.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.
Hello! I’m Chantal and I founded Color Architect Kids, a mobile arts and crafts studio for children 1.5-10 years old. I started working on a business plan in 2019 simply because I didn’t see this concept before. Besides super established brick and mortar studios, there wasn’t anyone merging arts and sensory play (at least in the neighborhoods I work in). I knew I would be creating my own lane in this space with my elaborate setups, sensory bins, and more. In July 2021, I launched my first weekly outdoor “pop-up” in Prospect Park with the most adorable craft table, easels, and materials. Parents were so impressed by the setup I was hired for my first birthday party in less than a month. In May 2022, I expanded by hosting our first weekday class in Brooklyn Heights. Things have taken off since then.
Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?
I’m always inspired by the different levels of creativity I see in our students. I get inspired by their excitement, freedom, imagination, and how they long for independence with their projects. I always see caregivers instructing kids on what to do with their art work and the kids in turn commanding to take the lead. It’s cathartic to experience their level of attention, creativity and joy.
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?
Experiencing a series of firsts in their developmental years. For example, their first art class, first group activity, first time experiencing with paint, first time sharing tools, or using play dough etc. Parents get to see their children in a totally different setting and I’m proud that we have been that space for them. Launching our program during the pandemic where most of our children were either being introduced or reintroduced to reciprocity had to be handled with caution. It’s always gratifying to hear how influential we were for the adults and kids during this time.
What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?
In October I shared the most adorable moment with one of my students who's been attending class since 18 months (he is now 3). Saturday sessions were on pause since we’ve been overbooked for parties. I hadn’t seen him since our last session in September but he was so excited to be back in art class. He ran up to me and landed with the biggest hug. It was such a real, raw and beautiful moment and reminded me of my purpose in this space. I’m so happy his mom captured it!
On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?
Our kids are the cutest and funniest! There is never a dull moment in class however we have a running joke during sensory play. Someone ALWAYS ends up in the bin. I’d like to think of this as a full sensory experience. Either that or the moment our toddler class turned into a full on dance party. I love their little personalities, truly the best!
Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment so important for children?
Children need creative spaces for extracurricular activities outside of the formal class structure. Our afternoon classes are especially designed for kids who are enrolled in morning programs. The open format environment allows them to connect with new friends, have fun and use their imagination without creative limitations.
How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?
There are so many dimensions to learning and discovering passions through everyday life. Outside of an organized group activity, playgrounds, music, books, YouTube (depending on rules around screen time) etc. foster cognitive, social and emotional skills in children. Nothing is more incredible than a child’s imagination running wild through pretend play and song. By supporting, playing along and encouraging them they will hone in and develop these interests. Communicate with them, get to their level and encourage them to explore.