Our Philosophy

The Artful Child is a stimulating, comfortable and nurturing environment where 3 to 5 year olds 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 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.


May 2, 2018

As the mom of 3 kids who lived in both Vancouver and Toronto we have seen most of the typical preschool/JK programs - Artful Child has been the most outstanding one for our family. There is no other place like this that I have seen and was a magical place for my children. It has been a strong foundation for my kids who have the most vivid memories of Artful child as a place of pure contentment, peace and stimulation. 

At the time, our ambitious education-based nanny had been a caregiver on Toronto's west side for over a decade - she had seen all the programs you could imagine. She was a firm believer that ONLY Artful Child could provide the necessary educational and creative base for learning from all the places that she had seen, and that NO other place was good enough for children in her care. While initially skeptical that there could be such a place, when I brought the children there, I could see what she meant. Every component of the program is just better than others but more than that, there is just something about it, the kindness of staff, and how activities are run that make it a wonderful unique environment to learn and be in.

My kids and our nanny's kids have gone on to excel in all subjects in school, and are moreover creative peaceful people. Looking back, I am truly grateful that I was able to give my kids this special experience when they were little.

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.