One of the best parts of being a kid is how awesome everything is. You’ve never tried most of the things you are doing and when you do…walk for the first time, eat your first piece of cake, ride a bike, jump in a pool, draw your first masterpiece, WOW! How much fun is all that!?
And when you draw a “masterpiece” your mom hangs it up! So everyone can see how awesome it is!
Of course ALL of your kids art is worthy of being called a masterpiece by….your kids. They want every single thing they have ever drawn to be up on the refrigerator and displayed for all time.
One time my daughter was putting a can in the recycling bin and I heard her gasp and she goes, “someone accidentally put my beautiful drawings in the recycling!” Out they came, and back up on the wall they went.
I’ve never been the best artist. I think there is one particular piece my parents hung on to, though I do not think they kept it because it was a work of art. It was a wonderful rendition of a dog taking a poop. I was obsessed with that for a while, I think there may have been a whole series.
Anyways, even though I am no artist, I definitely want to tap into my kids creative side, beyond coloring in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle coloring book pages (when I balked at hanging up those particular “pieces of art” Mahlie stated that they were scary pictures to scare away the mosquitoes, and now we have them hanging up all over our outside patio).
These day, fortunately, there is a wide and wonderful variety of art supplies for kids to explore and experience and track all over your new carpets. From craft kits that include pom-poms your youngest will eat and glitter you will find in every crevice of your house to craft tables that give the presidential desk a run for it’s money.
Fortunately you don’t need to break the bank to give your kids space for art. I mean, really, all you need is some water and paint and you’re good to go. Just be warned, you need to celebrate the mess.
I always wanted to give my girls their own space for art, and now that we’ve moved I am trying to make that happen. I’ve consulted tons of kids art sites and books, but my absolute favorite is The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul.
I have her book and follow her website and love all her ideas. This weekend I prepared to get my girls’ art space together.
The first thing I needed to do was set up a space. While all you need is a kid size table, and you can find them anywhere really, I looked for one that also gave me space to store supplies.
It also fits in nicely with the other furnishings in the family room, without any of those bright plastic primary colored pieces. The bin underneath for supplies is a nice addition.
While I have a slew of art supplies already on hand, Discount School Supply has loads of art supplies at a great price. I’ve stocked up on tempura paints because I really enjoy cleaning and doing extra loads of laundry.
While I have a slew of supplies, I have been pretty low on the organization of said supplies and Mahlie tends to just spill everything out onto the table, which most likely end up on the floor and in Sarah’s mouth.
In order to curtail the amount of art carnage before she even start’s, I ordered these:
Art trays are great for containing supplies and can be portable, so when your kid wants to bring their masterpiece over to show you, the dripping paint and glitter will wreck minimal damage to your floors. It can also help in defining their “art space”. I have often found that when you just spread things out on the table young kids have a hard time organizing themselves.
Well, now that I have these awesome trays and some supplies, I need the ideas. That is when I hit up Pinterest! And found these awesome “art prompts”. Amy, you are just going to be so proud of me!
Over at How We Montessori they give tips and ideas on how to provide “art prompts”. One of the problems I have had is that even though she has TONS of options for art activities, she needs a little “push” to be able to engage in an art activity on her own. Otherwise I hear, “but I don’t know how!” or “I don’t know what to do!” of “you draw it for me!”
That defeats the whole point of drawing out a kids creativity. These prompts are simple and awesome.
Now that we’ve got them all set up with space, supplies, ideas…what will we do with all that art work?? There is only so much fridge space to be had!
I have started taking pictures of Mahlie’s art work and saving them in an album on Shutterfly, and most other online photo sites have similar options, to be made into photo books. I also found MixBook which shows a variety of kids art books.
This way we’ll be able to appreciate them all the way up until her wedding day, when I can only hope that there is a picture of a dog taking a poop to show everyone!