Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Five great ways to create an art space for kids:

A colorful Art Corner

Whatever type of creative pursuits your kids are into these days, one important thing they need is
a space to do it in (after their homework is finished, I presume). The kitchen table is usually where all this goes on, but dinnertime has a way of interfering with their creations and mom might not want to clean up all that glue either. So when they feel the urge to create, having a small corner or space filled with lots of fun art supplies can be an awesome place where creativity can take hold and who knows what wonderful works of art can come out of it!

The one pictured was created by Kendra Hulbert for her daughter, Shea. She wanted to make it bright and colorful. Shea likes it because  there is room to show off some of her amazing artwork.

I have put together some ideas for how to set aside a space for them to have fun (or pursue their art careers). I have put together some ideas for how to set aside a space for them to have fun (or pursue their art careers).

Shea's selfie circa 2009

An art studio: If you are lucky enough to have an entire room that you can dedicate to budding artists, that’s awesome! It can also be used as way to display the art in addition to creating it. 

A space for Art: This is a biggy. Knowing where you can go when you feel creative is vital. It helps if it is somewhere that mom doesn’t mind if there is a little mess between projects, as oftentimes things have to be left to dry, etc., before moving on to the next step. It might not be a good idea to have this space located where there is carpeting, perhaps a corner of the kitchen, an enclosed porch, garage, or basement. Keep newspapers or a drop cloth handy to put down too. This should keep paint spills, etc. from becoming a problem. 

A small table or desk:  On it keep a store of paper or other drawing materials. Sometimes even scrap paper works if budget is a problem. A small shelving unit or a drawer of course should be close at hand. These can be purchased relatively cheaply at most department stores. Small plastic storage bins also can be used. 

The easel: This isn’t a priority but does make drawing and painting a lot easier for them. A small desk easel can be purchased for less than $20 at most stores, and are handy because you can fold them up when not in use. The art supplies are going to depend a lot on price and availability as well as age, personal preference and what you are comfortable with them having. 

Art on the go: If there really isn’t any room for a dedicated space, keeping art supplies in a dedicated space in the closet for ease of use might work or even  a small plastic container or  basket handy filled with paper, pencils, crayons, stickers, markers, and  the like for car trips or impromptu art projects.
Some examples of art supplies are: Crayons, washable markers, especially for the younger ones. (My grandson, age three, loved markers, especially the blue one. Having to clean a lot of blue marker off a beige couch, I was sure glad I bought the washable ones!). Stickers are another staple for art supplies. They make a great variety of them. For littler artists, washable glue (they love glitter glue), construction paper and pipe cleaners. Of course you have to take into account the below three crowd and not have anything they can choke one. Usually the packages have recommendations too to help with that decision. 

How much supervision your child will need will depend a lot on age but as they get older and more experienced with working with art supplies, more than likely they will be able to expand the art materials that you trust them to use safely. Always check the warning labels and directions for use on art materials.

For more information and tips for creating art space for kids, go to AHC Arts and Crafts. Helping Kids with Arts.

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