Monkeypod art studio

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein

Art and play have a great positive impact on the intellectual, language, emotional, social, and motor development of children. Through imagination play, they learn about the world and their relationships to the people in that world around them.

The Monkeypod Art Studio is a new drop-in arts/crafts and imagination play facility for children ages 1 through 8 (but all ages are welcome), and their parents/caregivers. The studio is located in a warehouse at 830, Kolu Street in Wailuku, and was created to strengthen the bond of ohana through art and play.

The studio experience includes structured art and craft activities and classes, keiki yoga, drum circles, sing-a-longs, and story time, (which are offered multiple days of the week) while providing keiki the opportunity to meet and socialize with each other, as well as provide a venue for parents to connect with other parents.

Within the two-story Art and Play studio is an open arts and crafts area, as well as imagination areas set up like a house and a store. There is an exploratorium area set up with a light table with x-rays and brightly colored 3-D translucent magnets, and a miniatures area with a dollhouse, a horse corral, and a castle. There are also little nooks for reading, puzzles and community play activities.

There is a soft toddler zone where young children can play with age appropriate toys and climb on a padded structure, while upstairs there is a train table, puppet theater, pirate ship, dress-up costumes, puzzles, books, and floor space where activities like keiki yoga, parachute time, storytelling and drum circle are offered.

An all day play pass (kama’aina) to the studio is $12 for the first adult and $12 for each child (additional adults and children under 1 are free). This pass allows for same day re-entry and all activities that are scheduled. Families are invited to bring their lunch to eat in the snack room or go pick-up lunch and return to the studio.

A two-hour play pass is also offered. Here admission is $12 for each child, while parents/caregivers and children under 1 are free. This option is great for children still in need of naps, or if you can’t stay and play all day.

The studio has recently launched two new drop-off programs. The Art and Grow Program for children ages 3 to 5, is offered twice a week (either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Parents may choose to stay at the studio, or they may drop their child off. The other program, Monkey Business Drop Off Service, is an hourly service to assist parents/caregivers with running errands and taking care of personal business. This service is $15 an hour for the first child, $7 for each additional child, and can be utilized up to 6 hours a week, per child.

For more information on activity schedules, “Fall Into Fun” Fall Break Camp and/or more information about the studio please go to, or call Auntie Coco or Auntie Kathleen at 808-866-0041. We hope to see you there!

Image Credit: Monkeypod Art Studio Maui

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The Monkeypod Art Studio in Wailuku was born from a love of art and children and the desire to enrich the experience of families on Maui. Owners Coleen “Coco” and Kathleen Keelan, have created a space for families to celebrate every day, the joy and magic of being parents and/or caregivers, and of course, of being a child. Although Coco’s career path has been to work mainly in civil service positions with state and federal government, she has always loved the honesty, silliness, inquisitiveness, and imagination of children. She is currently working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Coco’s grandchildren love to visit as she will literally roll on the floor with them, make silly faces, sit and draw or paint for hours with them, read stories, play imagination games with them, cook with them and sing and dance with them until they all drop. Kathleen holds a Masters Degree in Social work but is also a mother to adult children with their own young ones. She has also spent many years as a caregiver to young children, and is a craftsperson, an artist and a seamstress. She is a general handy person who can put in new windows, replace toilets, sinks, can fix cars, washers and dryers, etc. She has most recently worked as a civil servant as well. Kathleen sees Monkeypod Art Studio as a vehicle for families to bond, create memories and for parents/caregivers to see their little ones as beautiful works of art. While visiting family on Maui, Coco and Kathleen found that there were few places for young children to either play freely, or investigate and create art, or learn through their imaginations. Although there are a few attractions on Maui, a gap was found. After Kathleen decided to retire from State service, she and Coco decided to move to Maui from Sacramento, California and create Monkeypod Art Studio. During the first 6 months of life on Maui, there were many hurdles to jump (finding a residence, learning how to live with multiple electrical outages, loss of phone and internet service, possible threats of hurricanes, tropical storms, cane spiders, centipedes, etc). Through the challenges in the beginning, a beautiful love for and relationship with Maui began to grow; Coco and Kathleen reaffirmed the vision of creating a wonderful creative play space for the families on Maui. After almost one year of living on Maui, on May 15, 2015, Kathleen and Coco opened the Monkeypod Art Studio doors and the magic began!



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