Our Philosophy

Founded in Guelph in 2011, Children’s Art Factory (CAF) is a pioneer in current children’s programming.

We value and encourage collaboration with children over instruction.

Young children are natural artists and innovators. Children’s Art Factory strives to provide opportunities for young children to explore the world around them by harnessing their innate curiosity with hands-on activities to challenge and inspire them.

We believe that children engage in critical thinking and learn how to become problem solvers when they are allowed to work within very clear parameters – but with complete freedom – with basic art materials.

Our studio fosters and harnesses this creativity by providing a variety of open-ended art and creativity stations that stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity, and empower them to be in control of their own learning.

Studies have shown that unstructured, open-ended play fosters cooperation, independence, social engagement and creates a sense of belonging. We share many of the same philosophies of innovative play-based and outdoor pre-schools, yet we are not a daycare. We believe that children are more relaxed, confident and therefore feel comfortable to take more risks when there is a trusted caregiver close-by. We have found parents are also more relaxed in allowing the children to get messy in an environment that makes it safe to do so.

The art experiences provided by CAF create long-lasting impact on children’s development and self-esteem. Our studio benefits the community by advocating for our youngest residents by providing and creating spaces where children’s creativity and innovative thinking is nourished and encouraged.

Children’s Art Factory is truly as unique as the pieces of art created here.

We hope you and your children will come and create in our space soon.

we believe…

In the process, not the product.

Creativity cannot be taught, it can only blossom. And it blossoms through play.

In the beautiful mess created by children with the time and agency to bask in the productive joy of their own making.

All children are artists.

All children are gifted.

Discovering who you are is usually messy and loud. (Quiet and methodical are just fine too!)

Every child needs space and materials and the quieting of adult voices to make their own sense of the world.

True innovative art never comes from pre-cut circles and step-by-step directions.

Children do not need to be bothered with learning all the names of every paint colour. They just need to paint.

Children can create so much more than a painted handprint.

The best way to keep a child safe is to keep a close eye AND give them the world with all its tiny bits and sharp edges.

Children deserve space to explore expected and unexpected art and materials before choosing one to master.

If you create an environment that fosters creativity, children will do the rest.

Germs can be beneficial.

Children are great teachers.

Children have an aesthetic.

Children need at least one place where it’s the adults whose bodies aren’t quite the right size.

Children would rather tell people about their painting than have it proclaimed nice or good.

Children who are deeply engaged in play should not be bothered.

Nature silkscreening and sewing with Miko!

week 1:  Printmaking on fabric

Miko will demonstrate silkscreening techniques using leaves to create unique printed designs on fabric. Experimenting with brayers, stamp prinitng and coloured inks to create their own designed fabrics!

week 2: Sewing

Using their own printed fabric from week 1, children will transform their work into a creation of their own choosing, using real sewing machines! The direction of the sewn project will be child-led, whether they want to transform their printed fabric into pillows, wall hangings on stuffies, Miko will gently guide young artists, to produce a work of fiber art entirely from their own vision.

About the Artist


How "Lil Tree & Me" came to be....Lil Tree is my first daughter Sequoia who came along at just the point when I needed her most. It was 2013 when she was born and she soon became my muse for designing handmade clothing and dolls. My love for creating for my children has evolved into a business that has taken me to shows and festivals across Ontario and made my life so much more meaningful in the process.

Miko Henry (She/Her) makes handcrafted clothing in Guelph. https://www.instagram.com/lil_tree_and_me/

Introduction to Watercolour with Candice!

week 1:

Creating and using a watercolour colour wheel

week 2:

Wet on wet technique

week 3:

Draw with me- outline and colour in a cupcake!

About the Artist

Candice Leyland (She/Her) is watercolour Artist and Teacher from Kitchener.  I'm passionate about making art inspired by nature and exploring colour. Contact Candice: https://linkpop.com/candiceleylandart


Introduction to Calligraphy with Candice!

Learn the "not so ancient” art of cursive writing and Calligraphy in a fun 4 week class. Students will learn basic handwriting and explore simple calligraphy through a variety of fun exercises and projects. At the end of class students will be able to write a letter in cursive and have a small collection of artworks featuring their own handwriting.

About the Artist

Candice Leyland (She/Her) is a watercolour Artist and Teacher from Kitchener. I'm passionate about making art inspired by nature and exploring colour.  https://linkpop.com/candiceleylandart