The Paintbrush combines art and music for Chicago families

Melanie Apel found something missing at mom-and-tot classes offered when her son was a toddler: an art class experience that exposed kids to artists and techniques in a structured environment. Her sister, Mindy, a former kindergarten teacher, found that playing music during art time inspired children. So the siblings combined those concepts and created The Paintbrush, an art studio with classes for kids 18 months to teens.

If you go

The Paintbrush

  • 2856 N. Halsted, Chicago
  • Need a little mommy-time? Drop-off classes and camps are
    available for kids 4 and up.

“I thought it would be a really smart idea to teach kids about real art while they listened to real-world music,”says Apel. “Art, music and creativity are so important to young children’s development. We just love it when kids recognize art styles and artists when they are out with their parents.”

My twin girls and I stumbled upon The Paintbrush when they were 2. I was looking for a fun activity we could do together that would introduce them to a classroom setting where they had to follow instructions (not their forte at that age). The Paintbrush offered that and more.

With different sound tracks serenading us in the background each week, we started out the class with story time or a game that related to that day’s project. The featured artist or type of art was introduced and then off we’d go to create a masterpiece.

One of our favorite projects was dipping tiny toy cars into paint, then racing them over thick cardboard to create swirls of color. So much more interesting than a plain-old paint brush or fingerpainting! What is so amazing about The Paintbrush is each project brings something unexpected.

I loved the pride the girls had in taking home projects to show Daddy and the self-confidence it inspired. Learning to sit quietly and listen to instructions and participate in a group setting definitely helped prepare them for school.

Oh, and this not-so-artistic mom learned a thing or two, as well.

- Advertisement -


Movie in the Park Events for Families in Chicagoland

Grab some snacks and enjoy these fun family flicks at a park in the city and suburbs.

New Live Gaming Experience Opens in Oak Brook

Players can test their physical and mental agility with games that combine fitness with high-tech entertainment.

A Traveling Inflatable Festival is Coming to Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora

Kids can bounce, slide and play on 8 exhilarating inflatables at the Bounce the Mall festival.

- Advertisement -