Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids' art drawer

There's no way around it, our hall drawers are nearly 100 years old and pretty much a disaster to look at once you get past the "quaint" factor. (I rely heavily on "quaint" to charm visitors past the quirky parts of our house)
But, they do serve a fantastic purpose - and that is to make art accessible to every member of the family at all times.
This is really the kids' drawer, as I have an entire studio full of my own supplies. (some of which they partake in as well, more on that in a minute)
I've been asked by a few of you how we store our art supplies here, and to be honest, it's nothing glamourous, just ziploc baggies and shoe boxes inside a built-in drawer. We don't have many closets or extra rooms here, so we make do.
Here are the supplies the kids have access to in this drawer:
(most of these can be bought at the dollar store)
Paper - both white and construction
Glue sticks
Kiddie scissors
Pony beads
A spool of stronger plastic cord for lanyards
Lacing cards - we make our own
Foam beads
Pipe cleaners in different colors
Journals/sketchbooks - I make them out of capri-sun boxes and book rings
Coloring books
Washable markers
Pens and pencils
Popsicle sticks
Stencils - especially the animal shapes
Safety stapler
Kids sewing kit - dull needles, embroidery thread, plastic cards and felt
Rubber stamps and washable ink pads
Origami paper

In my office, I keep the supplies that require adult help...but the kids know they can ask during any free time and they can:
* Paint - apple barrel acrylics and foam brushes
* Sew - by hand or machine. I have a huge HUGE bin of scraps. (Need some? Email me and I'll send some)
* Pixos - a strange, but engaging craft toy
* Mod Podge - decoupage is so easy for kids!

We use junk mail catalogs not just for collage, but as our placemats for painting, you can just turn the page and have a clean sheet. When the kids were smaller, I used to give them catalogs and markers to draw in them with.

I also save the babies' formula cans or coffee cans, and good food canisters to paint or cover in paper. Last year we made candy dishes and pencil holders for the grandparents from them. We've also Mod Podged the bottom half of gallon bottles to make planters out of them.

Making art with kids can seem intimidating until you realize that they are happy just gluing buttons to paper in neat shapes. Be brave! Buy a kids craft book and get going! You don't have to do messy art... (I personally hate playdoh for the cleanup! We never do it), we probably should)

(I'll post about some of my favorite kids craft books later this week)


Anonymous said...

love it - thank you for the list of supplies! My next question - does the mess drive you crazy? I have left the scissors out and while my older ones clean up my 3 yr old destroys the whole room in bits of paper. I always have to do lots of cleaning. I would love less mess. But maybe not possible with a wild 3 yr old boy?

Hope all is well - Anna Katherine

libbydibby said...

Yes! The mess is maddening!
I try to encourage myself that This is where a small house comes in handy... Less rooms to clean? Yeah, but a dedicated art area wouldn't be so bad either.
I spend 80% of my day cleaning. I think it is the nature of the season of having little ones. It's just brutal.

My solution? Make a pact with your near neighbors and/or close friends that you will be honest about your messes and not clean up every time they come over. Because the truth is, WE ALL LIVE LIKE THIS. anyone with a 2-5yo and an impeccibly clean house is an alien, don't trust them.

Anonymous said...

okay that makes me feel better. I just get so tired cleaning up!



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