Do your kids love to create? My boys will literally craft and create things all day long if given the opportunity.
I’ve been reading Julie Bogart’s new book, Brave Learner, and it’s inspired me to up my game in my own home when it comes to carving out spaces for my kids to express their creativity.
I love Julie’s heart for creating an “enchanted childhood,” as she calls it, with space and opportunity for our children to chase their creative spark.
We’ve always kept markers and coloring books out, but why limit their imagination? My boys are alllllllways asking to “do a craft,” so why not just let them come up with their own craft when the mood strikes?
And for some reason, my boys are in total craft mode as soon as they wake up in the morning.
Which is why I love the idea of an “always open for business art table,” as Julie calls it.
How to Create an Art Center in Your Home
Requirements to preserve your sanity:
- Stable table and chairs (ones you don’t care about)
- Floor protector if your area is carpeted
- Smocks for hanging on the wall next to the table
- Butcher paper attached to the walls adjacent to the art table (if you’re opposed to paint on your walls)
- A storage cart for art supplies – a must! We have this one and I LOVE it – and it’s on wheels!
- Buckets and containers for holding supplies (get ones that are open or easily opened by a little person)
- Hanging rod (like this one) for storing rolls of craft paper
- An area for displaying artwork using string and clips
You can find a lot of these items at the dollar store, if you don’t already have them!
- Drawing paper
- Watercolor paper
- Construction paper
- Craft paper
- Watercolor paints and brushes
- Washable craft paint
- Colored pencils
- Washable markers
- Wooden stamps and inkpad
- Glitter glue
- Popsicle sticks
- Googly eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Beads (you may want to skip this one if you have toddlers… I can just hear them being dumped out on the floor…)
- Stencils for tracing
Another key to sparking creativity is keeping the art center or table and supplies out in the open, in a frequently used area. As Julie says in her book — art tables in spare bedrooms or basements are lonely tables.
Sure, you may have to clean the area (or better yet, train your kids to clean up!) once a day, but at least it’ll get used – and that’s the point, right?
Of course, you can always start small. Try leaving watercolors, markers and papers out and see how your kids wander over to paint multiple times a day. It’s magic!
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