In-Person Classes and Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Doodles Academy offers in-person opportunities locally in Ann Arbor. We work with schools, organizations, and community centers to develop and hone our curriculum, which is then distributed virtually for a wider impact. If you are local to Ann Arbor, you can see what we are working on below, and sign up here to be notified of future projects.

You can also visit here to see what volunteer opportunities we have available, and here to donate to support our work.  

Doodles Academy + The Ann Arbor Public Schools

We’re working with AAPS Rec & Ed to bring the Doodles curriculum to after-school programs around the city. These classes are for students in elementary school. You can scroll down this page to find: 

  • A description for the upcoming classes 
  • A form for AAPS parents to be notified when classes open 

All of the programming below is offered through Rec & Ed. You will be able to sign up through their website on the dates indicated.

Sign up for our email list at the bottom of the page to be notified when classes open for enrollment 


Help Us Build Homes for Our Magical Friends!

Explore Diverse Cultural Definitions of “Home”

March 27th-31st (SPRING BREAK)
9-12 pm or 1-4pm, K-2 or 3-5th

The fairies and gnomes from Phantasia are in trouble! Rising sea levels forced them to move out of the houses they built on the seashore, so we invited them to live in our community. But since they’re used to a different kind of house, we need to learn about them before building their new houses. In this exciting art camp, we’ll think together about what makes a house a home and how we can minimize waste by building houses with repurposed materials. Then, we’ll use recycled materials to create the perfect home for our fairy or gnome friend! What will your fairy or gnome house look like? All supplies are included (including a sketchbook).

Sign-up starts on Feb 22nd at 10am


Making a “Who I Am” Picture

Creating a Symbolic Self-Portrait

6 sessions, starting the week of April 13th

Imagine creating a picture of yourself that shows the world who you are—inside and out! In this special class, the Doodles Academy team will teach you about proportion and help you find objects that describe your thoughts, feelings, and interests. You’ll also explore many different artists who also described themselves using objects, like Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who made portraits entirely out of fruit! By the time we’re done, you’ll have a beautiful portrait that will reveal what you look like and what you ARE like. All supplies are included (including a sketchbook).

Signup starts on March 1st at 10am.
Available at Bach, Dicken, A2 STEAM, Logan, Allen, Lawton, Bryant, Angell, Abbot, & Wines for 1st-5th grade students. 

Make Your Own Magical Creature

Explore Color, Texture, and Mexican Folk Art
June 19th-23rd, 9-12pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10
June 26th-30th, 1-4pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10

Alebrijes are brightly-colored sculptures of imaginary creatures from Mexican folk art. During this art camp you’ll learn about the history and creation of Alebrijes. Then, you’ll get to imagine and create your own fantastical creature! You’ll use collage to create composite creatures, draw your creature in a larger size, and add textures and colors using oil pastels and watercolor! You’ll also get to experiment with three different ways of using color in your artwork. Ready to bring your own magical creature to life? All supplies are included.

Will Your Creature Thrive in the Rainforest?

Invent an Animal With Defense Mechanisms

June 19th-23rd, 1-4pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10
June 26th-30th, 9-12pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10

Could you invent a creature that would survive in the rainforest? At this fun art camp, the Doodles Academy team will show you many different ways animals protect themselves. Then, you’ll invent your own creature that would thrive in the rainforest using clever defense mechanisms. And finally, you’ll bring your rainforest creature to life by creating a marionette puppet using cardboard tubes and tissue paper! How will your creature protect itself? All materials are included.

Make a Tiny Sculpture (Then Supersize It!)

Learn Observation and Scale in Artmaking

July 10th-14th, 9-12pm, ages 5-7
July 10th-14th, 1-4pm, ages 8-10

This is your chance to learn how to work with scale in your artmaking! To start, the Doodles Academy team will help you use cupcakes to learn the importance of close observation when drawing. Then, you’ll build a tiny sculpture using recycled materials. Your sculpture will be no larger than your hand! Finally, you’ll use your observation skills to make a larger drawing of your sculpture on paper and finish it with paint. All materials are included.


Could Your Challenges Be Advantages in Disguise?

Practice Overcoming Challenges Through Artmaking

July 17th-21st, 9-12pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10
July 24th-28th, 1-4pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10

Sometimes challenges can become powerful advantages—in art and life! In this art camp, the Doodles Academy team will show you four amazing artists who faced mental or physical challenges and transformed them into advantages. As we get to know these four artists, you’ll be creating a sculpture using found or recycled materials, exploring color-mixing, and painting your sculpture. Along the way, we’ll create challenges for you so we can practice overcoming them together through perseverance and creative problem-solving. All materials are included.


Build Your Own Fairytale World

Learn How to Create Space in Artwork

July 17th-21st, 1-4pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10
July 24th-28th, 9-12pm, ages 5-7 or 8-10

If you were to design your own fairytale world, what would it look like? This is your chance to try it! First, the Doodles Academy team will help you brainstorm settings, characters, and magical elements that could come from a fairy tale. We’ll play a game to practice identifying these magical details. Then, you’ll learn how artists use backgrounds, middle-grounds, and foregrounds to create space in their artworks. And finally, you’ll design, paint, and cut out three layers to start building your own enchanted land! You’ll finish your collage by adding magical elements to bring your enchanted land to life. All materials are included.

What Makes Your Neighborhood One-of-a-Kind?

Showcase Your Neighborhood Using Collage

July 31st-August 4th
9-12pm or 1-4pm
ages 5-7 or 8-10

What’s your neighborhood like—and how would you showcase it as a collage? At this exciting art camp, the Doodles Academy team will start by helping you make your own sketchbook. Then, we’ll explore different ways to combine colors, including working with tones and shades. Next, you’ll choose your color scheme and make a collage featuring your own neighborhood! For inspiration, we’ll also learn about Jacob Lawrence and how he depicted African-Americans in Harlem using simple everyday scenes. All materials are included.



Stay in touch by signing up using the form below. At the beginning of each term, we’ll contact parents with the names of the schools we will be serving, and we will introduce the topic and project(s) that we’ll be exploring for the next eight weeks. Scholarships will be available through Rec & Ed. 

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Our second annual Give With HeART Student Art Contest will close on midnight Eastern on Sunday, 12/04! 

There are a couple ways that you can participate: 

  • Submit artworks by students using Doodles Lessons (aged 5-11) that you have made with your class (link here​) 
  • Encourage students to attend a live art-making event with their caregivers (registration here​) 

Either way, if they win YOU win! Amongst their prizes, they'll receive a $150 gift card to Blick – for their class.