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Artea is an art school and an open studio in Port Melbourne all about celebrating creativity and art for all ages.

Their primary focus is on children’s programs, parties and events though they also have a range of programs for adults.

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The lovely owner Helen (and art teacher) invited us to visit Artea and try their drop in casual creative time sessions. We took along our newest friends from Mamma Knows West!

Artea is located in a quiet residential cul de sac and the building is quite distinctive for its rounded brick exterior. Inside the space is decorated with lots of colour, paintings and pom poms and the building is shared with Back2Basics who run numeracy and literary classes.

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The weekly program have a range of classes for all ages and you can even hold arty parties there or bring your mother’s group and participate in a crafting session with some coffee and cake.

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During Casual Creative Time kids are encouraged to complete an art project with a teacher’s assistance while the parents can participate or sit back and enjoy a cup of tea. Most of the time there are only 2 or 3 kids in this session so it’s perfect for preschoolers who still need a bit of one-on-one attention. You can book or just turn up and sessions are 30 minutes ($15 or $10 with a sibling) or 60 minutes ($25 or $15 with a sibling).

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Lady AB and T had a great time making a windmill, splotching water paints, pasting shapes, cutting cardboard and sticking pieces together. On the way Helen prompted them with questions about colour, shapes and spatial concepts such as symmetry and evenness.

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Lady AB was thrilled with her windmill and is already begging to return to Artea! We will definitely be back to participate in more classes, maybe around Christmas time to create arty presents for family.

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Note that Artea also hold art classes from as young as 12 months but unless your babies are particularly attentive I’m not sure they’ll sit still for long enough to get much out of a session.

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Nevertheless, kids who aren’t participating in the art classes can rummage through the play corner and Baby 2.0 had a great time reading books in the teepee, pushing toys around the floor…and trying to climb up to the tea set!

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Artea Art Studio and Cafe, 9A Raglan St, Port Melbourne 0415039791

Monday – Sunday 9am – 8:30pm depending on timetable

Casual Creative Time 30 minutes ($15 or $10 with a sibling) or 60 minutes ($25 or $15 with a sibling) or Messy Mondays are half-price Casual Creative Time from 12-3:30pm every Monday during school term

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