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Every week I try to share some kind of easy craft or art project to help you keep the kids occupied. Well, this week I am lucky enough to see my own kids art in action! Their preschool adopted a cat to decorate and display in the Catin’ Around Catskills art show. These are precast cats that local artists paint and show off. My kids are so proud to have theirs on display!

First, we picked up a cat map which provides key information on the name and location of each cat. The kids loved searching for their matching cat.


Some of the cats are elaborate, some are simple. But, I think our Egyptian cat is a perfect reflection of all the little hands that went into creating it!

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I saw the cat through various stages of production and when I saw the end result I was so excited my kids could take part in this experience! It made me wonder how can I keep their love of art alive once they leave their preschool? Well, we are so lucky the Hudson Valley is rich with art. You don’t have to go very far to find some free art on display, or ready for creation.

Storm King Art Center– this has been on my bucket list for a few years! This 500 acre of beautiful landscape is home to more than 100 outdoor sculptures (some are interactive). The last Thursday of the month is free admission. Check the site for exact dates.

Dia Beacon Art Foundation– offers contemporary, family friendly art with a focus on education for kids K-12. Community free days are offered every quarter. See site for next date!

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz– offers a variety of art mediums. From metal, to paper, to paintings and photography. There is plenty to compare. Admission is a suggested donation of $5.00. Check out the July and August schedule for some fun interactive portrait sketches!

Olana State Historic Site-  is the former home of Frederick Edwin Church, a landscape artist and central figure in the Hudson River School of Painting. Kids can see a very realistic paintings of landscapes (mountains, rivers, waterfalls, sunsets, etc.) throughout the Hudson Valley. Adults pay admission, but kids are free up to age 12.

Thomas Cole House– a stones throw away from the Olana State Historic Site. Thomas Cole taught Frederick E. Church to paint. This is a great inside look at an artists studio, and kids can see some really great art. My kids have actually toured this house with their preschool. But, something tells me we will be back there again!

Creating Art:

There are dozens and dozens of art camps and studios catering to kids all over the Hudson Valley. But, sometimes you need not look further than the Farmer’s market for some free pop up art workshops for kids. You can typically find a schedule on the website or Facebook page for your local market. Don’t forget to check out the events pages for libraries in your area. You can find art clubs for any age, or a one time crafting project all for free. Also, check with your local Arts Council for a listing of exhibits and whether or not they have a summer arts program for kids.

We really enjoy making art on our own, but sometimes it’s really great to explore different styles of art and examine the different ways artists create.

Where is your favorite place to go for free art?


The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

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