From my Experience
If you have been reading my blog, you already know that I am a mom of 3 daughters; one toddler, kindergartener and a newborn. Ever since my eldest daughter was born, I have made sure to always have some art materials at hand. From putting paint on their little feet before they start to walk to setting up art materials on low shelves when they started to crawl. When materials are accessible for kids then they will automatically use them. Creativity is something so natural and when the art space is simple with minimal amounts of materials it allows for less distraction and more creation.
Why Set up an Art Space for the Kiddos at Home?
An art space at home can encourage independent play, creativity, free up time for the caretaker, and allow kids to engage in self-expression and storytelling. Psychologically, it is important for kids to find ways to express their emotions, feelings and work through the events that have happened throughout there days and life. According to an article from Michigan State University: when we look at Child Development when kids are involved in art activities they are working on there Fine Motor Skills, Cognitive Development, Math Skills, and Language Skills. So, if those aren’t enough reasons to encourage art in kids then I am not sure what it.
A few things to Know when Setting up a Minimal yet Inviting Art Space
- The art space and supplies should be age appropriate. If you have many age ranges, then you can put the materials like scissors higher up on taller shelves.
- Tables, chairs, and shelves should be accessible for the kids based on the size of the child. In the picture below, I took one of my tall tables and chairs and cut it down to be kid-friendly height.
- Keep a limited amount of materials displayed on shelves and rotate them with new materials ever so often. This encourages more creativity since the materials seem new. I tend to rotate art materials like every 2 weeks but that depends on you.
Where to Set up an Art Space
Set up your art space where there is lots of natural lighting and is a place of calm and peace. If your home does not have natural lighting then you add some art lamps to that area. Your art space does not have to be too big. Just make it comfortable and simple. It can even be a corner in a room or as big a whole room.
What I use to Stock and Organize Art Shelves with
One of the best ways to Organize Art Spaces for kids is to use containers and trays. I like to use wicker baskets, jars, trays, wooden baskets, and any other sort of natural materials. Natural materials are calming and less distracting compared to brightly colored plastic containers. Plus, natural materials don’t harm the planet so it’s a win-win.
Some Not so Common Art Materials You can use to Fill your Basket’s with
- Toy Cars: They can be fun to play with while dipped in paint. Kids can drive them around making fun lines and textures on paper
- Window crayons and Window markers: There perfect for painting on windows and also dry erase boards. And there easy to clean up after.
- Sponges: Cut out different shapes out of sponges and dip in stamp art ink, and or paint and dab on posterboard
- Blocks: Can be used to place in paint and stamp on paper. Or they can be used as stencils where kids can trace them and make shapes on paper.
- Cloth Squares: Take some old kids clothes that you don’t need and cut them up in squares. Kids can cut, sew, glue, or paint on these squares. Maybe even sew a quilt if they’re old enough to use needle and thread.
- Toilet Paper Rolls: Can be used to make circles by outlining it or dipping in the paint. They can also be rolled around in paint or decorated and made into paper roll dolls. Musical instruments or a bird feeder can also be a created out these.
- Felt Squares: Can be sewn together, cut and made into shapes, glued to each other to make doll clothes, collages, felt houses or scenery, and puppets.
- Bubble Wrap: Who doesn’t love to play with bubble wrap? Can be used to make textured art out of paint and dabbed on paper
- Leaves, Acorns, and Pine Cones: Kids can glue things on them, they can be used in shadow art like a stencil, or strung together to make necklaces and or dream catchers.
- Cardboard Boxes: Cut up old amazon boxes or diaper boxes to whatever size your kids like and use instead of paper.
- Magazine Cuttings: Kids can cut out there favorite pictures out of magazines and make collages out of them. If the child is too young to cut, then have the child rip the page out. This will help with fine motor skills and eventually, there will be a collection of pictures that can be used for future projects
- Salt or Colored Sand: Using glue, make designs on paper and splatter salt or colored sand on the design while it is still wet.
- Funnels: Different colored paint or colored glue can be put in a funnel and tapped on paper to make designs. Kids can play with the movement of the funnel while the liquid is pouring out; like swirling, tapping, standing it still in one place and watching the liquid fill the paper.
- Different Colored Tape: Washi Tape is fun for decorating just about anything; walls, paper, shoes, stuffed animals, siblings 🙂
- Colored Pasta and String: Making Necklaces by lacing pasta on a string.
- Old Cd’s: Kids can layer paint on cd and then scratch it with different materials either dry or wet to create a design. They can also just glue googly eyes, felt, feathers, anything on it.
- Fly Swatter: Place different colored paints on plates and let kids swat the paint and swat different colored paper. This can be super fun and also get pretty messy.
- Droppers: Add some watercolors in jars (like baby jars) and dip droppers and drip or dot on top of watercolor paper
- Random Items: Buttons, Bells, Old Keys, Ribbons, Strings, Pipe Cleaners, Cotton Balls, Popsicle Sticks, Stick from Trees, feathers
What to do with all of this Amazing Art
Kids enjoy being creative and doing art projects, so eventually, you will start to accumulate a lot of there art work. One of my favorite things to do is to display it. When you display their artwork, it makes them feel special. A few ways you can display it is by clipping them to a long string across one of the walls. You can also get art frames that have a door that opens and closes so you can replace drawings easily ever so often. Lastly, one of my personal favorite things to do is to make books out of it and display them on top of the coffee table. I like to use Chatbooks because their inexpensive and it looks professional. What I do, is take pictures of my favorite art work and then upload them to Chatbooks. Once you organize the order of the art photos then your done. They will send you the finished copy to your home through snail mail. If that seems like to much work, you can also buy an art portfolio and just slip the drawing in it.
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