Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art Closet for a Toddler

I was bit by the organizing bug again yesterday!  I collected a bunch of art supplies that my little Owen (17 months old) can use from all over the house and put them in one easily accessible place. 
I've found that since they have such short attention spans at this age I need to be able to grab some supplies quickly to have a successful time making art projects.
Most of my inspiration for what to include in the art closet came from the two books pictured below: Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander (This book is fabulous for those of you with children under 5 because it has a creative activity you can do with your little one each week from birth through age 5.  It gives step-by-step instructions then explains what developmental lesson they will learn by doing this activity.)  The other book is Making the Most of the Preschool Years by Valerie Bendt. 
Are any of you preschool teachers or friends with preschool teachers?  I'll bet you have a ton of creative ideas for what to include in an art closet (share the love!)  This is what I pulled together:
  • Dried beans and rice
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Paper plates
  • Crayons 
  • Construction Paper
  • Play Dough
  • Finger Paints, Watercolors and painting supplies (Q-Tips, old toothbrush, smock)
  • Yarn
  • Stickers (I've been collecting the free address labels that come in the mail!)
  • Googly Eyes  (What project is complete without googly eyes!?)
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Clothes Pins
  • Pipe Cleaners
"Aww, thanks Mom!"


Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I have something very similar for my kids, all different ages. I keep a bin in my kitchen, to keep them busy while I cook. I love it!

DairyQueen said...

Looks great!

I'm in organizing mode too!

I'm hoping to have a kid craft cabinet. I'll have to remember some of these ideas!

Shell in your Pocket said...

Wow..that is organized...are you sure you use the stuff??? hee hee
sandy toe

marzipan79 said...

Thanks for the great idea. I am totally going to do this, and I can't wait to check out the books as well. Do you have any favorite craft ideas? My daughter is 2 and I think I am repeating crafts too much. Thanks again.

Kirsten said...

I also have pom-poms, foam shapes, safety scissors (C doesn't know how to use them yet, but she's very interested!), washable crayons and markers, and a box of scraps for collages.

I have our arts & craft supplies in a corner of a closet, so space is at a premium. I put a pushpin on the side of the wall, hung a file folder clip (the ones that look like little purses) on the push pin, and clipped a few big brown envelopes to them. Each one has themed supplies in them. There's one for Christmas, one for Halloween, one for Sports, etc. The folders contain stickers, printed activities, fabric scraps, etc. Anything that relates to the theme and is relatively flat!

Unknown said...

Great ideas, and SO organized! I was SO NOT that organized when my kids were little. So cute!

Unknown said...

Just popped in to invite you to join in on my birthday giveaway! Spread the news! by the way love the idea of the peep smore!

Sarah said...

Great suggestions! I keep my three drawer plastic bin in the closet next to the kitchen so that those little hands will stay busy while I'm busy with dinner. We've just started doing "projects" which mainly consist of tracing our hands right now, but I want to cut out some shapes and hole punch around the edges so he can learn how to lace some yarn through the holes. I think he'll enjoy it since he already loves electrical cords so much (sigh!)

Christian said...

LOVE slow and steady, and have used it with all 4 of my kids, I will have to check out the other book too!

Sarah @ Fiddledeedee said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and LOVE it!! Can't wait to read more ;)

DairyQueen said...

I just noticed you live in Raliegh...I have an aunt who lives in Fuquay Varina. small world!

Courtney said...

Hi, first time commenter- found your blog through a couple mutual friends and I love it!
I taught school and was a developmental therapist for up to three year olds before I started staying home with my baby.
Some other things I would add are:
coffee filters, ziploc baggies, and film canisters
You can use coffee filters to make flowers, butterflies and all kinds of other things. Ziploc baggies are super fun to squeeze finger paint into for a no mess painting time (and it can be reused again and again). I can't even begin to name the fun stuff with film canisters... but a lady named Donna Whyte has a whole book on it.

Crafty Mom said...

I love the idea of having 1 big bin of supplies. I have ours scattered throughout the house. This is a great idea. I totally agree that supplies need to be handy, by the time I get everything together, my little one has lost interest in doing the project. :( I'll have to put an art bin together for her!

Q&K said...

This page has great ideas...scroll down some for the list of items
-kristin kocher

Andrea said...

First time commenter, but you have so many great ideas. I love connecting with other mommies of young kids! My baby is now 13 months and I haven't been doing many art projects with her besides coloring. I think it's time to invest in some simple art supplies. Thanks for the tips.

And Kristin- that link is great! I used to teach at a montessori school. I don't agree with everything taught there but those trays teach great skills and the kids loved them!