How would your little one like some slippery, squishy fun? How would you? Seattle Parks and Recreation offers parent-tot pottery classes where little ones and their grown ups can really get their hands dirty. Plus their shirts and pants and possibly their faces. But hey, what’s a little extra on top of Mount Laundry? Dress appropriately, you’ve been warned.
Several of Seattle’s community centers are equipped with pottery rooms and luckily, these facilities are not restricted to older youth and adults. Centers do offer a variety of classes for elementary-aged kids, home-schoolers, teens and adults, but parent and tot courses offer a special opportunity to explore the tactile medium of clay with big and little hands together.
In most parent and child courses, hand-building with clay is the primary technique, though in some cases students may have an opportunity to try throwing on the wheel as well.
At the Ballard Community Center, for example, the class “Pottery – Parent/Child” is designed for children ages 2 to 4, along with their caregivers. The course description states that, “Imagination and fine motor skills will be used as we explore texture, shape and color.”
A unique course called “Language Through Pottery (Adult/Child)” at the Green Lake Community Center incorporates Chinese language with clay exploration. This class promises that, “You and your toddler will learn Chinese, while making caricatures, shapes and designs with Chinese tones.” It’s for ages 3 to 6 and their grown-ups.
Where and when
Earliest parent-child courses begin the weeks of January 7 and 14; additional courses begin later in January, in February and early in March. Most meet weekly for three to six weeks. Youth pottery classes (typically, for kids ages 3-6) are offered at the Alki Bathhouse, plus the Ballard, Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Montlake and Queen Anne Community Centers.
$35–$75 for most courses (cost goes up based on number of sessions). Note: some courses require registration for the child participant only; some require registration for both the child and adult participants.
Browse courses (start with the category “Arts: Visual/Crafts”, then look under “Pottery – Youth”) and register online through SPARC, Seattle Parks and Rec’s online course catalog and registration system. If you do not have a SPARC account, click here to create one.
Find more classes on our camps and classes calendar
About the author: Nancy Chaney is a freelance writer, ParentMap's Camps & Classes editor, and the Seattle mom of a three-year-old boy.