Would your child like to submerge his hands in wet clay, squeezing and pounding it to his heart's content? Of course he would.
When I went to visit the Kids N Clay studio in Berkeley, adjacent to the Fourth Street shopping district, I had to drag my kids out of there by the arms when it was time to leave. The magic of the pottery wheel had transfixed them and they begged me to stay longer, just to watch another child spin a bowl. I was thrilled to learn that at this child-centric pottery studio, kids as young as three years old can try their hand at the electric wheel and turn a lump of clay into a cup, vase, or ladybug.
Here's how it works:
The studio offers both hand-building and wheel-based pottery making. Children are considered “artists-in-residence,” the owner Kevin Nierman explained to me. During their time in the studio, they can work on whatever they like. Staff is on hand to support your child's experience, encouraging them to use their imaginations. If they get stuck, an adult will provide some prompts to stimulate their creative juices.
Classes are set up in sessions, but drop-ins are welcome. Each class lasts an hour and 15 minutes, and classes for 5 and up are every weekday at 3.30, plus a few other time slots, including Saturdays. Classes just for 3-4 year olds last one hour and take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 1.30.
The cost is $30 for big kid drop-in/$98 per month; preschoolers are a few dollars less. Glazing and firing are included, so the cost is covering both class time and a tanglible product that you'll pick up on another day.
Kids N Clay is also a venue for birthday parties. Call 510-845-0982 to ask about openings in classes. Learn more at KidsNClay.com