Friday, 1 July 2016

An Art Area in the Home

Inspired by The Imagination Tree, inspired by The Artful Parent and many Pinterest pages I started creating an art area for L about two years ago in our dining/office area just opposite the kitchen. It started with a chalk board table, then I added a set of draws and slowly it's grown and changed as L grew and changed. 

These draws are organised by content so that I can find resources easier. The top now has colouring pencils, felt tips, glue and some small books for note taking. All resources which I am happy now for L to have free access to. You can adjust what is freely accessible based on your childs' age and experience and home!

In the media draw I've used these foil containers to sort media by type. We've chalk, crayons, paint sticks and pencils. We can also pick out one tray at a time for L to use as she wishes. 

I got this little table and chairs for free from a local selling sight. They came a bit battered and needing some wood glue. But are perfect for this art area. We now use the chalk board table as a coffee table in the living room.

Displaying children's art is really important, it shows the children how much you value it and children get a great sense of pride in seeing their work displayed. We use a picture ledge from Ikea with wooden clip boards to display Ls art work. This makes it very quick and easy to change the art display to reflect new art learning or seasonal pictures. I also hung a string with pegs from this ledge putting some pictures more at Ls height and covering the radiator. 

An easel offers a new perspective on creating art. It also exercises shoulder muscles which are vital gross motor skills children need to develop before their fine motor skills. This one is from Hobbycraft and is height adjustable. We are at about half way up now. It has chalk on one side and a magnetic whiteboard on the other. Hanging from the easel is Ls apron. Underneath is a large box for storing paper.

This art area is a space filled with natural light from our back doors and windows. It opens out onto the garden. And is opposite the dining table and kitchen. It's a perfect spot for us as I can set L up at activities while I am cooking breakfast or dinner, often times when L needs distraction or to focus on something other than what I am doing. 

L really likes this art area, she can now access all the resources herself, with me keeping the big tubs of paint out of reach for now in the cupboard behind the easel. She can come and go as she likes and follow her own wants and desires. 

Creativity in art is a bit of a family trait, Ls great grandparents on my side of the family were both art teachers who both taught me a lot. I remember well being able to do lots of creative projects with them. I studied art up to A Level and love to potter and experiment now, with no real skill but I do find it very relaxing. 

Hopefully L will enjoy the opportunities this art area provides her for many years to come, while we get to enjoy the outcomes. 

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