Art & Science Labs

For children ages 3 – 6

Overview

To further enhance your child’s learning, we offer unique enrichment classes, which offer an explosion of activities to excite the mind and engage the interest of the preschool to elementary-aged child. Whichever class you choose, your children are certain to burst forth with enthusiasm for the creative discoveries they make. These are parent-child programs, where moms and dads (and grandparents and nannies!) volunteer in the class on some days, and attend parent education once a month.

Creative Arts Lab

child painting

This is an art and creativity enrichment program. Children are between the ages of 2.75 and 7 years old in September. Classes meet in our studio on the Bellevue College campus.

What will your child experience at Creative Arts Lab?

Each week we offer a new curriculum theme for the children’s program with a large variety of hands-on, experiential art and creative activities. We believe art for young children is about thinking creatively, taking risks, making big decisions, changing your mind, experimenting with materials, expressing yourself, dreaming big, having fun and getting messy! We honor children’s creativity and work to develop their agency. (Check out videos of our storybook theme and our apple theme. Or look here for directions on how you can do all the apple themed art activities at home.)

In-person classes: Children can explore painting, sculpting, drawing materials, collage, and a variety of printing techniques. We also offer block play, puzzles, math manipulatives, and imaginary play opportunities. In circle time, we read stories and sing songs, then go outside for playground time.

For online classes (only if health guidelines prohibit us from being in person): Weekly online  sessions include songs, stories, and demos of art activities. Also, the children’s teachers will plan a variety of art activities parents can do at home. They will share ideas and instructions via email or using the Seesaw app. Materials will be provided for pickup.

Check out this video of Creative Arts Lab.

What Parents Say About Creative Arts Lab

It has been a pleasure to be in your class. We enjoyed the creative projects, true play-based learning, and being part of the supportive warm community. The education, camaraderie and community were integral to our life this year.

Family Inventors’ Lab

father and daughter pouring liquid into test tube

This is our Saturday morning STEM class. The hands-on science and engineering curriculum is aimed at kids from age 3 – 6. In-person classes meet on the BC campus and at Robinswood Park.

What will your child experience at Family Inventors’ Lab?

We are a STE(A)M Enrichment class – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Our activities include: hands-on science exploration, creative experimentation, construction projects with building materials of all sorts, art activities, messy sensory play, circle time with songs and books, and outdoor time. We have three quarter-long units:

  • Fall: What’s an Engineer: simple machines, electricity, and building towers, houses and cars. (We build cool stuff! Then knock it down! Then build it better!)
  • Winter: What’s a Scientist: geology, paleontology, astronomy, physics, chemistry. (We simulate earthquakes, dig for dinosaurs, gaze at stars, test gravity, and make things go boom!)
  • Spring: What’s an Inventor:  We explore life sciences, as we study the human body, animal adaptations, sea life, insects, and more. Then we talk about how humans have invented tools based on what they observe in nature.

In-person classes: Classes include several stations for trying out the day’s activities, circle time and outdoor time.

For online classes (only if health guidelines prohibit in-person): Weekly sessions include songs, stories, key concepts and demos of hands-on activities families can easily do at home. Instructions are shared via blog posts. Materials are provided for pickup.

Check out this video from Inventors’ Lab:

What Parents Say About Family Inventors’ Lab

Inventors’ Lab has been an important part of our family for the entirety of our kids’ childhoods. As a father, the classes I attended transformed Saturday mornings from cereal and television to science experiments and tinkering. I love the concepts chosen, the creativity of the activities, and the time structure (including outdoors time). The ability to connect with other parents while going through the challenge of having young children has been incredibly important.  – a father who participated for four years in a row

Discovery Science Lab

links to info about Discovery Science Lab

This is a science enrichment program, held on Wednesdays after school. Each week we have a new theme. We study Chemistry, Geology, Marine Biology, Astronomy, and our Northwest Habitat. Class is for ages 5 to 9, held at Robinswood Park and on the BC campus.

We have a group time where we introduce the key science concepts of the day, then children can rotate between 8 – 10 stations, which allow for play-based hands-on learning. Stations include experiments, art projects, building activities, observation stations, and sensory play experiences. At the end of class, we have a group time to summarize and reinforce all that we’ve explored, and the children record their learning in their science journals. Most weeks, we meet at the barn at Robinswood Park, in Bellevue near the BC campus. Once a month we meet on campus. We also do 3 – 4 field trips a year in the Seattle / King County area, related to the current themes.

Check out this video:

What Parents Say About Discovery Science Lab

My young kids developed a love of learning and a curious mind thanks to the wonderful Family Inventors and Discovery Lab classes. The classes provided a sense of community and hands on exploration.

Online Art and Science Lab

This online-only class, held on Zoom, is a sampler of all of our very best online activities from Inventors’, Discovery, and Creative Arts Lab, taught by our teachers from each of those programs. It is for ages 3 – 6. It will not be offered in 2022-23.

In our one hour weekly session, we will introduce key science concepts, and teach foundational art techniques and engineering skills. We’ll read books and sing songs which reinforce the learning, plus throw in some silly activities just for fun. There will also be a show and tell small group session for the children to have the opportunity to interact with their teachers and classmates about things they are excited about. We will use blog posts to provide instructions for completing at-home projects, provide quarterly supply bags, and use Seesaw for children to share their work with each other. The class is at 3:30 on Saturday afternoons – we do record all sessions, so if you have to miss one, you’ll be able to catch up at any time. Some families have even chose to participate asynchronously, watching the videos on their schedule.

What Parents Say About Our Online Classes

This class has been critical for both parenting sanity and skills and essential brain stimulation and development for my child in ways that as parents we honestly would not have known how to do. This is a unique and one of a kind program which can set the early trajectory of a child to be a future leader and creative problem solver.

What is the parent involvement in these classes?

Enrichment classes are all parent-child cooperative classes, where parents and children play, learn, and grow together.

Parent Education Sessions: You will participate in required monthly Parent Education sessions, lasting 60 – 75 minutes. We cover topics like brain development, ways to support your child’s learning at home and at school, building children’s emotional intelligence and social skills, discipline, and managing challenging parenting situations. Parents can share experiences, offer support, build friendships, and get the parent educator’s input on current questions and concerns. These may be held in-person during class, or may be in the evenings online – confirm with instructor.

Working in the Classroom: You will also be asked to work in the classroom approximately once a month. Classroom tasks include: supervising children for safety, providing and serving snacks, classroom clean-up, and playing along with the children. On non-work, non-parent-ed days, parents in Creative Arts Lab and Discovery Science Lab typically drop off, though they are welcome to stay. For Inventors’ Lab, the majority of parents choose to stay and play along with their child as their Saturday family time, but if you need to drop off on some weeks, you can do so.

How to Register / Choosing a Class

To register the parent: check the table below to find the course and section number of the class you want to enroll in, then go to our registration page.

To register the child: After you register online, your instructor will contact you with details about required paperwork and how to pay lab fees. (Or you can contact your instructor directly with questions.)

Tuition: Each quarter, parents pay $55.23 in college tuition – paid through the college system, plus lab fees which are paid directly to the instructor. Lab fees per quarter are $205 plus $20 materials fee for Creative Arts Lab and Family Inventors’, $225 plus a $20 materials fee for Discovery Science Lab. We do offer discounts when multiple siblings from one family, or multiple parents from one family, attend the same class. Scholarships are available; a confidential application is made through the class instructor.

If the class is waitlisted, contact the instructor to learn more.

Questions: If you have any questions about a class, feel free to email the instructor. Click on the “contact” link in the table below.

Schedule for Fall 2022-Spring 2023

Viewing from a mobile device? Scroll right to see full content of the tables below.

Class NameCourse / Section #AgeScheduleContactFall Quarter Availability
Creative Arts LabPARED 16
Creative Activities Lab
C-LEC (Winter 7979)
2.75 to 6
(age 3 by 12/31/22)
T 12:30-2:30 p.m.Kristin NasmanOpen
Family Inventors’ LabPARED 16
Creative Activities Lab
H-LEC (Fall 23442)(Winter 7983)
3 – 6 years
(age 3 by 8/31/22)
Saturdays
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Janelle DurhamWaitlist

Enrichment classes start in late September and run through May each school year.  Students may join mid-year, if there is space available.

Last Updated September 7, 2022