Today I carved out a bit of space for a mini art studio and Ruby has been in creation mode all day long. Her art space has evolved over the years. I created her first intentional art space for her 2nd birthday.
My birthday gift to Ruby was loads of art supplies: markers, crayons, dot markers, paper, paint, and so on. I converted her crib into an art table by removing one side and reinforcing it with a few screws. It was great.
The only down side was that this was in the living room and when we had people over, little hands got into craft supplies. There are lots of choking hazards and supplies that needed supervision so we moved the supplies out of the living room. The table moved outside and turned into a loose parts table for tinkering. I realized with the supplies relocated, Ruby was not doing her own thing as much because she did not have easy access to everything. I wanted to change that. So today, I did.
Here is her space. She has a table to work on, a place to sit and lots of supplies.
There is an art easel for painting. I tend to rotate the colors out every so often. I put a flannel backed tablecloth under the easel to catch any drips since it is on carpet. This easel has been on tile for the past few months and we haven’t had any messes, so I feel pretty comfortable with this set up.
She has an art cart full of supplies. I actually have two of these. I put the things I don’t mind her having access to and kept the other items (like glitter) tucked away.
This cart currently has things like:
- Glue/Glue Sticks
- Tape of several varieties
- Pipe Cleaners
- Foam Paper
- Construction Paper
- Google Eyes
She also has baskets with crayons, markers, colored pencils, dot markers and scissors. I am a huge fan of Discount School Supply for decently priced craft supplies.
She has a shelf for additional supplies and projects. To start out, I have projects in the top cubbies each on their own tray. She is welcome to pull out a tray and work whenever she likes. The idea is that she can pull something out to work on it and then can put all of the supplies away as well. The great thing is that the project can be a fun activity or simply a jumping off point. For example, she expanded on a gluing activity and starting “writing” her own books as well making her own decorations for the house. The items on the tray we just a jumping off point. She gathered more materials to create her idea. Currently, each cubby is full of things she has seen before. As I rotate them out, I will start adding new ideas. I wanted to start with things she is familiar with and knows how to clean up. Each activity is set up on a tray from the dollar store. There are lots of options.
- The first cubby has watercolors, with a cup for water, brushes and watercolor paper cut into smaller pieces.
- The second cubby has tissue paper art with a container of tissue paper squares, a glue stick and paper.
- The third cubby has colorful letter squares, a glue stick and paper.
- The fourth cubby has a tray with three compartments. Two compartments have different kinds of beads and one section has pipe cleaners to make bracelets.
The bottom row currently has sensory activities.
- The first cubby has rainbow alphabet pasta with alphabet magnets. It has a lid on it because the dog finds rainbow alphabet pasta a delicious treat.
- The second cubby has kinetic sand.
- The third cubby has a tray for moon sand. I have to dump it back in the tray.
- The fourth cubby will likely hold play dough or random items from around the house like paper towel tubes or old containers that might be made into something else. It currently has a little bin of crayons.
My favorite thing about this set up is that Ruby can work on whatever interests her. She has projects on trays if she needs a jumping off point but she has access to a wide range of supplies so she can work on any ideas she has. I love giving her open-ended art opportunities. She is really into cutting paper and painting. Today she made birthday gifts for one of her baby dolls which included a bracelet and a house made from foam paper. She also drew the earth on a piece of poster board. Those are just a few of the projects she worked on today.
I am sure we will get a lot of fun from our current set up as well. I am sure it will evolve over time. It is always fun to see how spaces are used and how things can be changed.