Our art and craft space has adapted and changed over time as my girls have grown. It has always been freely accessible to them. It started as a small space with some basics such as crayons and paper when Big Sis was just 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!
Since 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.
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 setting them up as invitations to play and to have resources in view rather behind closed doors. As our children have grown (2 and 4 years) we have transitioned to the cupboard and the resources inside don't change so they always know what they will find inside.
Where's it 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 by myself and @missmadamelabelle.
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 and they are linked below.
I'm often asked about our DIY table top easels!
It's simply a clipboard and chalk board from Kmart that have been hot glued together. They are portable and light for the girls to move around the room. We also have folding Ikea tables which live under our couch that they pull out if they want to sit on the floor rather than up at the dining table.
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
- Coloured Pens
- Stockmar Stick and Block Crayons
- Clear acrylic whiteboard
- Spot and dot markers
- 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.
I always encourage the girls to finish their artworks but sometimes we are in a hurry and need to leave the house 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 on their clip to display it 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 our family photo album or recycle them.
I hope this blog has given you some inspiration as to how you could set up a similar space in your home and raise creative kids just like mine!
As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.