Arwen is a lucky four year old with some amazing kid-friendly art spaces in her home. Her mom, Kayte, e-mailed me these photos in response to my request. I asked if I could post them here to share with all of you and, lucky us, she granted me permission.
Now, I have to admit that I have complete art space envy right now. Of Arwen's art spaces as well as of some of the others linked to in the comments from the other day. There are so many beautiful ones! And I almost didn't post this because I don't want to foster the idea that you have to have such an amazing well-stocked art space in order to encourage regular art making in your home. You all know that, right? A simple table (even the dining table), some paper, and a few supplies are all you really need.
But... Arwen's art spaces are too great not to share. I think Kayte has set up some pretty ingenious solutions to storing art supplies while keeping everything accessible. I especially like the wall hung paper holder she sewed, the tape dispenser solution she came up with, and the over-the-door shoe holder she uses to house various art supplies.
Kayte is an avid crafter with a degree in education is a former product designer for a paper craft company. She re-arranged her craft room and her home a couple of years ago to accommodate Arwen's growing art needs, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education as well as her own Montessori background.
From here on I'm pasting Kayte's words and descriptions.
Your comments about encouraging creativity and ownership really resonate with me. I could not agree more and we have given our daughter Arwen, who is now four and a half, free access to supplies since before her second birthday. In our house we have a dedicated art room, but also have a few other niches throughout the house which also foster the 'create on demand' urge all at her own pace.
Here is my daughter's side of
our main art room...
Access to supplies: At the table there is a collection of buckets, from the dollar section at target and the like, to hold supplies. I love this system for several reasons. It is easy to keep organized (even the youngest visitor puts the supplies back naturally without suggestion), easy to transport to any room in the house or even outside, and they easy to switch out (we have a fabric bin of out of rotation cans) when we want to use something else. The window sill next to the table allows for storage off the creating surface. You'll notice I am big fan of using window sills in our house. We have buckets that contain: glue, scissors, rulers, crayola thin markers, crayola fat markers, Bruynzel even fatter markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, gel sticks, do a dot markers, wikki sticks, a variety of different brand, shape material crayons, chalk, glitter glue, and a few I am sure I am forgetting.
Paper is available to her from her chair. I searched all over for a paper holder that would hold a variety of sizes. Short of spending $500 at a school supply store I could not find a system that would work and not take up too much space, so I opted to sew a hanging system holds several types and sizes of paper that hangs on the wall.
The bulk of her other supplies are on the wall in a combination of elfa and Ikea system.
Other things in the room: The closet houses a good bit of my craft supplies and fabric, but the doors do offer access for Arwen to ribbons, trims, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks and some other tools and glues.
You may notice the absence of a standing easel. Instead of we have two folding table top easels. Originally I got them because of the lack of space of a standard one but now love the flexibility. They move to any room or outside easily. We store them in a tall skinny cabinet in the kitchen so they are easily accessible, though in the winter we keep them set up in our kitchen window sill (which either houses seedlings and our butterfly lab during the other three seasons). We have two for painting sessions with mom, friends or on occasion, two paintings at once.
When the weather is warmer they go outside a lot.
We have a similar window sill in our living room. It houses a small paper roll and crayons and markers so drawing can be done in this room at will as well. We also keep a set of either crayon rocks or unwrapped crayons since it is adjacent to our homemade discovery box (filled with things from outside) that inspires lots of rubbings.
I think every room at
except the bathroom has at the very least a bucket of crayons and a
notebook, just in case the drawing mood strikes. But our current
favorite "room " to draw isn't our art room, the kitchen, the living
room, or any other room with supplies at the ready, it is our vine
covered fort in the backyard.
Okay, it's me again. Aren't the art spaces in Kayte and Arwen's home amazing?! I want to have a playdate in their house! I'm also inspired to overhaul our own art spaces...