Our art and craft space has adapted and changed over time as my girls have grown. It has always been freely accessible which started as a small space with some basics such as crayons and paper when Big Sis was around 12 months old but as they continued to grow so did their ability to create.
We now have quite a range in our art space but I wouldn’t change it for the world as this space allows them to extend their interests and to freely express themselves, exploring with these resources.
My girls create a lot of art in this space. No two pieces of their art works are ever exactly the same but they do create many of rainbows!
When we moved our entire play space into our lounge room a few years ago we placed our art supplies into a cupboard to better contain the amount of resources behind a closed door but organisation of this space has been key part in its success.
Yes my children do spread the supplies across the whole living room and dining table when creating but when it's time to pack away every item has a place making it easy for them to pack away and keep the space tidy.
Same resources, different ways
Over the years we have moved houses and changed which room our play space is in. Throughout these changes the same resources have always remained with a few new additions as they grew older as well.
Here we kept their supplies out on an open shelf.
Now I know some of you might be dealing with younger siblings who are mouthing or can't be trusted and I too have had to go through this phase. During this stage I kept some of our supplies in clear containers (such as pens and scissors) with a lid on, but not everything as I still wanted my youngest to have access to art supplies.
Having some supplies in containers meant my eldest could still choose something and bring it over to me to open but it didn’t end up everywhere and it protected my littlest from getting hurt. As time went by we transitioned back to everything being accessible and they both thoroughly enjoy this space.
How to Introduce
When introducing children to a space keep it nice and simple!
Set some boundaries with your children and make them clear. Also talk them through the consequences of what will happen if they draw on something that isn't paper, eg. pencils will go away.
We started with just crayons and paper when Big Sis was 12 months old by placing these items on a low table which worked well for our family. Depending on your child I would recommend setting up a space accessible for them from around 18 months to 2 years old if you feel comfortable with it.
It depends on the layout of your house and where these resources will be kept. When we started we had a dedicated play room that we didn't mind when it was covered in resources and if something was drawn on it was usually just their play table!
As children get older you can extend on their resources (scroll down for full list). Over the years we have added to the space as they have found interests in other things such as recycled tubes and washi tape!
When starting out I would suggest trying some invitations to play and keeping resources in view rather behind closed doors. As our children have grown we have transitioned to the cupboard and the resources inside don't change so they always know what they will find inside.
Here I set up some watercolour paints at a tray table.
Where are they from?
I get asked this question at least once a week so I’ve made sure to pop it in here too! My cupboard is from Poppy’s Little Treasures and the wooden dividers are from Kmart. All of these are labelled using a Cricut machine.
Inside each of these dividers the items that are used together most often are kept close by so they remember to reach for them when creating on a certain project such as playdough.
We have a whole range of Art and Craft supplies in our store, some are linked below.
List of Resources
- Wooden Playdough Board or Mat
- Tubs of playdough - These are great because they don’t need to be stored in the fridge, they are in children’s eye sight when selecting an activity.
- Wooden roller, both plain and textured
- Playdough stamps
- Safety scissors
- Hammer and nails
- Lyra Giant Pencils and sharpener
- Stockmar Stick and Block Crayons
- Spot and dot markers
- Oil Pastels
- Acrylic Paint Pens
- Glue stick and jar with brush
- Hole punches
- Scrap paper
- Coloured Paper
- Magazines and catalogues
Collage & Crafting
- Match sticks
- Pom poms
- Goggle eyes
- Washi tape
- Wool or string
- Recycled items such as toilet rolls, milk bottle lids etc.
We try to finish their artworks but sometimes this isn't possible so we do have a divider where they can put artworks that are not yet completed to come back to or that they are saving to give to someone special.
When their project is finished we hang it up to display and we swap these out and either give them to someone special, use it as wrapping paper for a gift, take a picture and add it into a photo album or recycle them.
I hope this blog has given you some inspiration as to how you could set up a space in your home and raise creative children!
See some more inspiration of different art spaces below.
Photo from @1_2_3_play_with_me
Photo from @playinginstyle
Photo from @_lets.play.today
Photo by @daily.mumma.grind