Creating art studios for kids is is one of my most favorite things to do. I just love the idea that there is this whole space dedicated to kid’s creativity. I was hired to do this art studio/converted garage several years ago, and never shared any of these pics. I’m happy to see that I think the space still holds up. Most of what you see is either from Ikea or a thrift store. As a teacher for almost 20 years, (ahhh!) I’ve had a lot of time to experiment with different strategies when it comes to art supplies and best practices. Here are 5 tips to creating a great art space for kids.
1. Make it beautiful – Kids want to be lured in by a space that looks clean (ish) accessible, and inviting. An art space should feel welcoming and kid friendly. It’s a place that encourages creativity and wonder. I think it’s important to set up an environment that’s overall presence is happy and engaging.
2. Keep it simple. Kids don’t need much to engage in meaningful art experiences. As long as you have the basics; some paper, clay, scissors, glue, markers, crayons and paints, (or any combination thereof) you’re all set. Other items can be great. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some art supplies. Here is a list of some of my favorites. But I think it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone can have a huge space like this, and that’s totally fine. I certainly don’t. Most of the time a simple art cart does the trick.
3. Keep art supplies accessible for kids – This one is mega important. I know not everything, like your glitter collection, is safe to keep at arms length, but there are plenty of supplies that are perfect to keep at a kid friendly height. Allowing kids to make choices about their needs and wants while creating builds self esteem, independence and also means you don’t need to go and get things for your child every other second. I keep things like paintbrushes, rollers, paper, markers, glitter pens, watercolor sets, tape and glue on the bottom shelves so my girls can access them easily. I keep things like glitter, important paints, collections of gems and beads, etc. on higher shelves for times that I am around to supervise. Nothing like coming home to a massive glitter, glue and bead extravaganza all over your floor. No thank you.
4. Display your child’s artwork – If you want your child to feel passionate and interested in art, make it important by hanging it up for display. Children’s art is the most effective way I can think of to happy up a space and make it feel welcoming. The hanging wires below are from Ikea. We have them at our house too and love them. You can purchase them on Amazon now too! How cool is that? Just click here.
5. Every once in a while change things up – Just like any space, it’s nice to change things up once in a while. In an art space you can put away some art supplies in a closet and bring out some new ones that your child hasn’t seen before. Interesting materials are a great addition to any art space. One of my favorite art activities for kids is a piece of wood, a bottle of glue and a tub of old toy trinkets and tchotkes. (Start a collection from old or broken games. You’ll have a ton in no time.) My girls can sit forever just squeezing glue over random figures and game pieces.
Ok. Those are my top 5 tips for a successful art space for kids. I hope you’ve found them helpful. Overall, any art you can bring into your child’s life is awesome! So don’t be intimidated. Just go for it and have fun! If you want to see our art studio/playhouse click here. Thanks for reading along!