Children are naturally creative. They love painting, drawing and colouring. Toddlers explore with playdough, finger paints and any other messy materials they can get their little hands on. As children grow, they develop these creative skills by sketching their friends for fun, designing posters for a school production or building model airports using recycled cereal boxes. If your budding artist is ready to hone their creative skills, check out one of these extracurricular art classes on offer in Doha.
Three times per year, VCUQatar’s community education programme offers a variety of classes including photography, film-making, drawing, painting, fashion, jewellery, interior design, computer-aided design and more. Most classes are taught in English, and a selection is offered in Arabic. In addition to the community education programme, VCUQatar offers a summer programme with classes for children as young as four years old and portfolio development courses in the autumn designed specifically for high school students looking to develop portfolios for art and design college applications.
Ages: 4 to 18 years
Fees: Varies per course
Location: Education City, Qatar Foundation
Contact: +974 4402-0555, qatar.vcu.edu/community
Arts & Crafts Qatar
The founders of this centre are passionate about creativity, and they invite people to “dream your painting and paint your dream.” Arts & Crafts Qatar offers a range of classes for all ages including beginner and advanced acrylic painting, oil paint, sketching, pottery, drawing and pastel, mosaic art—and even a Picasso workshop. They also offer girls-only classes such as creative crafts, clay art and silk painting. Workshop fees include all materials, and students will be issued a certificate of completion when they have finished a minimum of eight sessions per workshop. Class are held after school and on weekends.
If you’re looking for something a bit different from a structured class or a workshop for your child, visit their ceramic studio. Your child can select from 1,700 mould designs to paint a ceramic piece of his or her choice. The ceramic studio is open to all ages six days a week, and reservations are not required.
Ages: 2 to 18 years
Fees: QR 350–650 for four sessions
Location: Al Duhail South near Landmark Mall
Contact: +974 4486-5201, +974 5580-1627, artsandcrafts-doha.com
During Gymboree’s hour-long art classes, children are encouraged to experiment and develop their fine motor skills through painting and doing other craft activities. The themes for the classes change every week and include sensory activities and storytelling. Classes for preschoolers run in the morning and afternoon making it easy to work around a busy family schedule. There is even a family art class on weekends for children between two and five years old. When the kids need a break for some active play, Gymboree also has a soft play area (PlayGym) that is free for Gymboree members and QR 100 per day for non-members.
Ages: 18 months to 5 years
Fees: QR 130 per class, QR 500 for a four-class package for members, QR 250 individual or QR 500 family membership fee
Location: The Gate Mall, West Bay
Contact: +974 4020-6413, facebook.com/gymboreedoha
The International Academy for Intercultural Development (IAID) offers art classes as well as courses in dance, music and performing arts. The aim of the studio and visual arts programme is to instil students with discipline, art and culture appreciation, creativity and passion for the arts. Students attend two one-hour classes a week and have the opportunity to explore both wet (watercolour, tempera, acrylic and oils) and dry (pencil, charcoal, sketch pens, coloured pencils, oil and soft pastels) media. The course includes drawing, colouring, painting, printmaking and art history and theory. IAID is a great option for busy families with children of different ages as the classes are for mixed ages and run every day of the week except Friday.
Ages: 4 to 18 years
Fees: QR 600–700 for two sessions a week per month, plus QR 200 to register
Location: Al Hilal
Contact: +974 4432-0974, +974 4441-1234, iaidonline.com
On Saturdays, Maktaba’s story times (for children up to ten years old) include an arts and crafts activity, and throughout the year, Maktaba runs a number of other creative workshops, camps and classes. Previous offerings have included silk painting, murals, paper folding, recycling crafts and more. Their offerings frequently change so keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest information.
Ages: 18 months to 12 years
Fees: Workshops are typically QR 580 for four sessions (QR 520 for members); QR 160 (QR 145 for members) for a trial class
Location: Al Mabahej near West Bay
Contact: +974 4427–8810, facebook.com/MaktabaQatar
At Arty Party, the focus is on creating art, not crafts. Each week, children are given different materials and are encouraged to be creative and make their own masterpiece. Art materials are provided, but parents are encouraged to bring along an apron for their children. Arty Party also runs a formal art course for children ages six to ten years called “The Young Artist”. Led by Saemi Kim, an artist from South Korea, students are assigned a different project each week to create art inspired by different artists and styles. The course is designed to provide a strong basis in visual arts and encourage creative and personal growth through self-expression.
Ages: 18 months to 10 years
Fees: QR 75 per class, although parents are encouraged to pay per term Location: The Pearl-Qatar
Contact: email@example.com, facebook.com/artypartydoha
Funk N Play
As soon as you arrive at one of Funk N Play’s Mini Artists classes, you will realise that these are much more than arts and craft classes. Children are free to explore and play as they choose, and this freedom allows them to create some amazing pieces of art. In one class, children made paper foxes by following a design template and glueing together coloured pieces of cardstock. After a break on the mini climbing frame in the corner of the art studio, they moved on to painting pieces of brightly coloured tissue paper with water and sticking them to a blank canvas. Veena Rabadia, the founder of Funk N Play, explained that this was the first step in a type of process art where children create add different layers of including glitter, paints and paper each week until culminating in a final, multilayered, multimedia artwork.
Ages: 18 months and older
Fees: Varies per course
Location: Al Khessa Gate close to Lusail and IKEA
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, funknplay.com
If you are looking for a class that a focuses on crafts, drawmesomething is a great choice. The winter festive art workshop focused on creating individual tree decorations and seasonal cards. Children decorated pre-made cards, painted salt dough ornaments and designed their own festive animals and people. Children aged five years and older were encouraged to create their own festive cards and decorations from scratch using an array of materials and mixed media such as recycled and natural materials. Patrice O’Leary, the artist running the workshops, is planning to cover a new theme every month including “Petit Mondrian” and “Fun with Flags”.
Ages: 30 months to 12 years
Fees: QR 55 per class
Location: The Pearl-Qatar