Friday, September 19, 2008

* Kid's Crafty Spot: Storing Children's Art Supplies

Every house needs one. A place where your pint-size Picassos can go to create their masterpieces. In our house it is usually the kitchen table or countertop. But we also like to work in mommy's art studio. My girls have their own cabinet stocked with all kinds of goodies. I picked it up at a neighborhood garage sale a few years ago and meant to paint it but never got around to it so it became the kiddo art closet. You don't have to go buy a piece of furniture. Look around and see if you have a book case, kitchen cabinet, rolling supply cart, filing cabinet, etc. that would work as a central location for all of the arts and crafts gear. They also have a little kid sized table and stools where they can get messy and mom won't freak out about them ruining the table finish!

I sorted supplies by general category and have them in easy to open containers so when my girls go off to create I'm not being asked to open something for them every 5 seconds. We have a ridiculous assortment of supplies but I used to be an art teacher so I can't help it. You'll find: paper (including white drawing, watercolor, colored construction paper, scrap paper, cardstock, and scraps of cardboard) clay, play-doh + tools, paints, markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, oil pastels, chalk pastels, craft foam sundries, pipe cleaners, yarn, googly eyes of assorted sizes, pom-pons, feathers, stamps, sequins, popsicle sticks, glue dots (fabulous!), Elmer's glue, glue sticks, glitter glue (very popular), stickers, etc.

When my girls (and their friends) go work in their space they come up with such creative ideas and have so much fun. They spend so much time in school doing structured activities and cookie-cutter art projects, I think it is important that every child has a space where they can invent and experiment with new materials and explore art in a safe and non-judgmental environment. If you read my previous post, I think it is just as important for us mommies to have a space like that as well!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Pablo Picasso


Anne-Claire said...

Hey ML,
I've been thinking about all the awesome ideas that you have to keep your girls learning and busy in productive ways. I was reminded that I had a very old (as in published 5 years before I was born) book called "Work Jobs" by Mary Baratta-Lorton. I have used her "Math Their Way" book for my math curriculum at several different schools. Anyway, the book has a bunch of ideas for "activity-centered learning for early childhood education," which I think you and your kids could get into. The stuff requires a lot of craftiness (which is not my forte) and supplies (which I too often lack), but I bet you might have more luck than I. There is actually also a "Workjobs... for Parents" by the same author (used copies can be found at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Workjobs-Parents-Activity-Centered-Learning/dp/0201043033/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224019699&sr=1-8). I should warn you that some of the pictures are a little scary (picture a child who is supposed to be blindfolded but instead has a strange cloth bag with eyes, a nose, and a mouth sewn on over her head--ahem), some are plain amusing because they are SO dated, and the language, too, is often very un-PC (again, we're talking early 70s here, so there is a "mailman" job as opposed to the en vogue "letter carrier" phrase), but if you can look past that stuff at the value of the ideas, it could be something to consider. Baratta-Lorton is very well respected in the world of education! Just a tip from the early childhood world. :)

molly said...

I love this shot. We have an old 19th c pie cupboard from my grandmother that is chock-a-block with all the kiddos craft supplies. So nice to have one dedicated spot.

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