What causes great distress and squabbles in our house?
Why, you ask?
Different ages, different abilities, a little one who has yet to grasp that creating art is pure self-expression and when she scribbles on it, that really deflates the artist in the others.
[This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.]
Make Art, Not War
While we work on respecting one another’s pieces of art, I’ve devised a way to keep everyone happy and productive, while ensuring that there is an open invitation to create art whenever the mood strikes by keeping our art supplies organized.
Art boxes for each child with supplies that match the interest and ability of each artist in the house.
This is a quick solution that will take you half an hour or half a day, depending on how much of the art supply closet you choose to tackle.
Before having this brilliant idea strike, our art supplies lived in a three drawer dresser from IKEA. And lived happily most of the time. But the drawers would get crowded and need straightening often and projects were getting lost.
There were boxes for each category of supply: crayons, markers, scissors and cut outs, stencils and papers, glue and yarn. As one might expect, the supplies were jumbled and in disarray nearly all the time. While each had a “home” the little bits of things and “in proces” projects never seemed to find their way to it. Lost little supplies 🙁 Sad stuff.
Bright Spark: Art Supply Organization
I, like you, understand the importance of embracing the mess. I am a mom and a mom who homeschools, so the mess comes with the territory. While I still have a tough time hugging it out with every mess that comes along, I’ve gotten better. What I don’t like are the fights that happen over supplies. Three year olds have a different idea of special work than 8 year olds. And 5 year olds have a different set of abilities than adults and need some different tools.
Besides, we were also always scrambling for scissors and pencils even though those supplies should be available. When you are searching for your tools, its hard to make the art. You need certain things on hand to allow for artsy flow.
Our supplies needed an overhaul and a new look. Enter the bright spark of an idea: everyone gets their own batch of supplies, secured in easy to organize storage boxes. Like art heaven in a container!
I secured three matching, flat-ish storage boxes with lids. Having a lid ensures you can’t stuff in too many supplies and you can close it tight to keep the contents safe. Then I was off to Amazon & Target with a list of things we needed for each artist.
In the kids’ boxes you will find:
Now when the kids want to create, they can grab their box, find a quiet place and get down to art business. When I plan on an art project to share, I can put in the extra supplies so we are ready to roll. It is easy to take on the road if we are traveling or gone from the house for the day.
Not only has it cut down on squabbles, it has eased the frustration we feel searching for the materials for projects. It has helped to teach responsibility as the kids know that I am happy to resupply something if they use it up but not if it is lost.
So get organized and find more time to enjoy creating beautiful works of art together instead of breaking up the fights or searching for the supplies you need! Art supply organization cuts down on fights and frustration. And if you are looking for a fun and easy project that makes a great gift for dad, here you go!