Our Philosophy

The Artful Child is a stimulating, comfortable and nurturing environment where toddlers and children can feel secure to explore a variety of artistic mediums, materials, costumes, instruments, books and toys. We provide the feeling of safety and acceptance to each individual child as they learn through play.

Our approach is inspired by the idea that although each child is unique, their basic needs for early learning are not. A nurturing environment, a broad array of sensory experience and the chance to make his or her own decisions are essential!

All of our programs at The Artful Child focus on art, creative exploration and music. The children develop through making their own choices, observing the outcome and using their bodies. Some examples are: painting with various types of paint such as tempera at the easels or watercolours, stamping coloured prints and patterns onto paper with interesting objects, painting their wood sculptures from the previous day, roller painting, stencils, building, gluing, digging, rolling our homemade dough, planting seeds…or at circle; dancing, singing, dressing-up for role play and listening to stories. Our daily routine of circle time sets the stage for a feeling of predictability and belonging, as well as a chance to listen to each other and have a healthy snack.

We embrace natural materials, mindful communication and a whimsical non-commercial attitude.

Our staff are forever loving, joyful and patient.


Brief History

The Artful Child originated in 1962 as The High Park Nursery School. It was created by Irene Atkinson, a Trustee for the Board of Education. The school was passed on to Patricia Canham and blossomed under her supervision until her retirement in 2001. The Artful Child was founded by her daughter Maria Wowk in 2007 in The Junction, Toronto and now prospers as a family-run business. It is now situated in Roncesvalles United Church in the heart of Roncesvalles, Toronto.


Many thanks to Sawmill Sid for their generous and ongoing support of our program. By donating wood for sculpture building to The Artful Child, Sawmill Sid continues to inspire our students to find whimsical use in natural materials.