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Summer Tips For Parents: Use Art To Keep Kids Smart

June 21, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

ArtCenter/South Florida’s Education Director Helps Families Select an Art Camp & Create an Artful Vibe this Summer
With school out soon for the summer break, parents can benefit from these artful learning tips from ArtCenter/South Florida’s Education Director Tammy Key, including valuable advice on the best ways to choose an art camp for children (whether at home or abroad traveling with the family).

According to the National School Boards Association, children who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. Studies show that art helps kids earn higher report card grades because skills developed through art lead to better learning in other areas.

Art classes also help children develop their social skills and teamwork, fine motor skills, and their self-expression.

“Children who participate in art classes grow their self-confidence, learn valuable life skills and improve their communication, problem-solving skills and critical thinking,” said Key. “As ArtCenter begins our 27th year of Art Camp, we want to help parents use art to keep kids smart with these tips for summer. Through the years we have become the art camp destination for parents – both locals and visitors to Miami Beach.”

Tips on how to choose an art camp:

  • Before signing up, ask about lesson plans. Are the art projects age-appropriate for your child?
  • Ask about class-size and student-teacher ratios.
  • Find out more about the instructor(s) and their art backgrounds.
  • Ask how long the visual art program has existed.
  • Speak to other parents that recommend this art camp.
  • Find out what types of artistic mediums your child will work with (clay, paint, etc.).
  • Review all art camp policies and make sure your child understands what the camp rules are.
  • Include your child when choosing an art camp. Review together the camp’s brochures, websites and videos.
  •  If your child is unsure about participating, ask if you can visit one of the art classes together before signing up.

Tips on using art at home or on vacation this summer:

  • Designate a special “creative zone.”
  • Keep your zone always stocked with lots of art supplies.
  • Make your “creative zone” mess-friendly and able to stand up well to spills and art-related fun.
  • Focus on the fun process, not on the outcome.
  • Create a special area to showcase your child’s artwork every day.
  • Watch and encourage your children as they work on their art.
  • Ask them questions to engage them while they create.

“ArtCenter’s Art Camp program boasts a rich, proven history in the community, recognized since 1986,” said Tammy Key, who has led ArtCenter’s Education programs since 2001. “Our lesson plans are uniquely inspired by the talents of our teaching artists, and vary so children can attend multiple sessions and always create something new. We keep our class sizes small so that each child receives as much attention and guidance as possible.”

Art Camp is summer fun with visual arts in Miami Beach for ages 6-12, located at 924 Lincoln Road weekdays 9:00 a.m. – 3 :00 p.m. (the final two-week sessions are coming up: July 8-19 and July 22-Aug. 2).  Campers work in small, age-appropriate groups led by artists who guide them in drawing, painting, printing and other art techniques. Art Camp staff members are experienced teachers and artists from the community.

Campers get to study art with some of Miami’s best artists.

Art Camp is located in South Beach’s Lincoln Road, near the area’s best hotels, attractions, shops and restaurants.

Art teachers are chosen and screened based on their prior teaching experience, their strengths in working with children, their artistic talent and their devotion to art education.

For almost thirty years, families that live in South Florida and who are visiting the destination have flocked to ArtCenter’s Art Camp.

Watch videos about ArtCenter’s Art Camp

Art Camp Extravaganza Celebrations:

On the last Friday of each session from 2:00-3:00 p.m., ArtCenter features Art Camp Extravaganzas where campers and parents celebrate together, the children have their artwork proudly displayed, and refreshments are served.


Registration and tuition information is available online at

Sessions fill up quickly and registrations are taken on a first-come basis.

Parents are encouraged to register well in advance.

More information is also available by calling 305/674-8278.

Tammy Key, ArtCenter/South Florida’s Education Director

Tammy Key earned a BS in Visual Art from Florida State University. She has served the Education Department of ArtCenter/South Florida since 2001. Key oversees all programs for children’s and adult education, plus community art programming and outreach.

This includes StoryArts! (an art & literacy program for 4-8 year olds serving families through the Dade County Public Library since 2006), andArt Corps (for young adults at Miami Job Corps).

In addition to her work teaching children and teens, Mrs. Key also developed innovative art therapy programming for patients at Mt. Sinai Cancer Center and Memorial Cancer Institutes. She is developing Creative Care, a new program that will provide art classes to patients and patient family members at Miami Children’s Hospital’s Michael Fux Family Center.

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