Vancouver Offers Kids the Opportunity to Try DIY by Getting Dirty in the Garden and in the Art Studio

From painting at 4 Cats Arts Studio, to planting their own grub with the Environmental Youth Alliance, Vancouver offers many opportunities for kids to try DIY, in the garden and in the art studio.

For kids itching to explore, create, and learn, there are plenty of DIY opportunities in gardens and art studios around Vancouver


Dirt under your nails DIY

Foxglove Farm
A five-day Farm, Arts, and Culinary Camp at Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island offers environmental literacy experiences for kids ages 7-11 through the exploration of a variety of habitats; by growing, harvesting, preparing and eating organic fruits and vegetables; feeding and caring for farm animals; and through nature based art and child-centered fun activities.


Each day children will take part in farm chores such as collecting eggs, harvesting strawberries, digging potatoes, making compost, baking, cooking and eating from the farm. They will then use art and journaling to express and enhance their experience.


Monday, July 18th – Friday July 22nd, 2011


Info and registration: | 250-931-5336


Foxglove Farm. (Image: Shari McDonald)


Environmental Youth Alliance
As the growing season gets going kids can participate in tasks including planting year-round and seasonal crops, greenhouse and nursery maintenance, seed harvesting and processing, propagating new plants, watering existing crops, mulching and soil preparation, maintaining pathways and weeding beds and pruning.


The EYA doesn’t require any previous gardening experience to take part. All they ask is that you show up with the willingness to learn, work hard and have fun!

All of the garden sessions currently operate on a drop-in basis. A volunteer update email is sent out once a week detailing where the garden sessions will be held and what activities are on the agenda. Garden volunteer sessions are currently held on Tuesdays from 4-6 pm and on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. in one of our three garden locations in East Vancouver.


If you’d like to receive volunteer updates, contact Claire at

Paint under your nails DIY

Collage Collage
East Vancouver creative space and art store, Collage Collage, offers ongoing drop-in mixed media classes based on a storybook. “The classes usually focus on an artist, designer or illustrator. We paint, draw and do assemblage, cutting and pasting. It’s a hoot, “ says owner and head instructor, Erin Bonifero. Classes are divided into ages 2-4 and 4 years and up. They are small, and take place right in the store.


Info and registration: | 604-569-1929


The Purple Thistle
A youth-run community center for arts and activism, the Purple Thistle acts as an open resource centre with a ton of tools, supplies, technology, people, machines, materials, books, zines, bike fixing tools, a dark room and more. They offer a plethora of ongoing classes for all ages, including but not limited to, silk screening, photography, figurative art, life drawing and guerilla gardening. The Purple Thistle team is excited to meet new people interested in art, activism, and the DIY lifestyle. Call or email to arrange a tour, or just drop in during their open hours.


Info: | 604-255-2838


4 Cats Arts Studio
A professional arts studio for artists ages 2-15, 4 Cats Arts Studio has locations all over the lower mainland. Classes are guided by highly-trained curators who teach kids to create imaginative pieces inspired by the work of famous artists. Children use professional high-quality art materials including acrylic paint on canvas, silkscreens and pottery wheels. Works by Pollock, O’Keefe, and Van Gogh are just a few of the greats used as examples to teach kids various techniques towards becoming more skilled artists.