smoosh: studio


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This is it: the how, why + pure joy that began Love Lab Studio – all for our littlest friends!

It’s the simple,  joyful, time of making space for you and your babe to have the gift to be in a little art studio, and explore simple, mostly all-natural materials.

Join us in the studio for some all-natural, simple, creative exploration with smooshing, marking and more! “Smoosh” is a series of individual classes. You are so welcome to attend any class, but it’s especially nice to return for the children as we build community bridges and attachments plus build upon each week’s materials. We will explore simple creative materials together, and parents will be exposed to some simple ways to encourage and support our children’s creativity.

Who: This class is for babies – toddlers with a grown-up! Roughly age 8 m – 36 m, give or take.
Teachers are Christina B and additional Love Lab teacher team when needed. Some of our older children serve at times as assistants:). Our toddler and baby teachers are seasoned, caring caregivers and teachers, with varied and thoughtful backgrounds/studies in Waldorf, Neufeld Institute and Reggio Emilia.
Cost: $15 per workshop includes materials! Please let us know if you need a sliding scale to attend, so we can support you. And if you can chip in extra to help another child attend and to support our programs, please do and we thank you in advance.
Cost: $129 for a 10 Pass Punch Card. Normal price per class is $15.
Note: Preregistration is highly suggested, we will keep SMOOSH to 10 children. Preregistering helps us with capacity and helps us plan in advance. Thank you!

Where: At the studio – Love Lab Studio, 26 Brackett Street, Portland, Maine
When: 9:00 – 9:50 am, Saturdays and occasional 11:00-11:50am Saturdays.
This is a series that we run most Saturday mornings! Pre-sign to reserve your spot!

For this smoosh, we recommend that parents please bring a second set of clothing, just in case. 

Please bring a cozy pair of slippers if you have them (socks are OK too!) to wear in our studio. We keep it cozy warm but always recommend a little sweater in the winter. It’s always a good idea to bring a 2nd set of clothing (especially for babies + toddlers!). The price listed is for a parent and child! Please check-in if you need to request sibling discount, need scholarship help, or would like to help a family who can’t afford this class. Please reach out with any questions to
Price includes all materials!

Things we think about…
“Children should be able to do their own experimenting and their own research. Teachers, of course, can guide them by providing appropriate materials, but the essential thing is that in order for a child to understand something, he must construct it himself, he must re-invent it.”  – Jean Paiget

In the studio, we treat babies and toddlers, all the children –  as creative scientists. What tremendous focus they have!  They can be so intent on using all their senses to explore and relate to every new material and object that they are close to. Cloth, stone, leaf, soap bar, sock, paper, clay…how many different ways to play, pair, connect, interact, and relate and CREATE! We strive for an experimental experience for young children. 

In order for this freedom for the babies in the lab, consider these ideas! 
* Allow your child to make small messes and do things “wrong.” It’s okay if you child does things differently than the other children, invents a different way to use the art material, (like uses crayons as a musical instrument!).
* If you are concerned that your child is doing something unsafe, say “oops, that’s not safe, so I’m going to hold that now”. We are happy to reassure you too. 
* Allow your child the freedom to “find” the materials in their own way.  Catch yourself before you show or instruct, smile and take a breath instead. Your baby may spend long, long, long minutes with something “off-topic” and that’s ok!

* Sometimes sharing an experience, like the texture in your fingers of sudsy warm wool felt, or slippery cool clay, or being deeply focused on the application of crayon, chalk, paint on paper…is, even more, connecting and loving and heartfelt than talking about it! We encourage watching!