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will take you anywhere.

- Albert Einstein

Our Mission

We believe every kid needs a safe space where they can tinker with materials, play-test budding ideas and dream big!  We also believe in education equity and arts access for all, regardless of means. At Kid Lab, it’s our mission to facilitate experiences that give children and their caregivers opportunities to play, learn and create together. We do this through arts education, community partnerships and open labs designed for creative play We have adopted a Pay-What-You-Can model for our full menu of services.

What we do and why we do it

Research shows that giving children open-ended materials (like sticks, clay, paint, cloth, wood) builds confidence, competency, independence and authentic expression.  It can also help children avoid boredom as they begin seeing the creative potential in everything. In short, it fosters imagination! At Kid Lab, we offer this kind of learning space for kids of all ages.  We know firsthand how work, play and learning are virtually synonymous when it comes to brain development in children. While we offer demonstrations and ideas about how to use the materials, we get excited when kids go above and beyond and let their imaginations dictate the process and product.

The Lab

During the week, Kid Lab is located in Shannon’s home studio in east Raleigh, NC. The Lab is designed to be equal parts playspace, art studio and outdoor classroom. Inside, you’ll find thoughtfully curated toys, activity trays, discovery boxes, open ended materials, and loads of books for creative and curious learners. Out back, the lake view is buzzing with wildlife, and in the spring, the chickens can be heard clucking around in the garden. We hope the whole family will be inspired to play, learn and create in the Lab together!

If you’re interested in booking us to bring the playful learning to your next event, check out our Community page for more information.


Kid Lab is directed by Shannon Newby & Kristelle Horton


About Shannon

With a background in education and art, Shannon has taught art in fun venues like Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, the Portland Children’s Museum in Oregon and Marbles Kids Museum here in Raleigh. Throughout the year, she works with local schools to design large scale projects through the United Arts Council’s Artist in Schools program. Putting together Kid Lab has been an exciting, personal pursuit since having her own children over 5 years ago. More about Shannon’s artwork can be found at


About Kristelle

Prior to joining Kid Lab, Kristelle worked as a graphic artist for over 12 years for various local companies. Even before having children, her passion has always been creating things with her hands and playful learning. Now, with two small children, she's expanded her knowledge of play-based education by researching and combining a variety of playful and peaceful philosophies. Joining Shannon in this creative endeavor has been the cumulation of many lifelong dreams come true.