Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Organizing Your Craft Supplies

I am always working to foster creativity in my children. I consider myself to be an artist and a "crafty" person, and I am passing that down to my kids. In order for them to truly explore their creativity, I have found some ways to make their supplies more accessible to them.

Some of my favorite organizing for creativity tips:

- If you have a space where they can be free to be messy, set them loose! We have an area in our basement that has laminate flooring and we moved our old kitchen table there as well. This has now become their "art table" and they are free to ink, paint and glitter it up! If you don't have a space in your home, set them loose outside!

- Make supplies easily accessible to little hands. Children will truly use what they see. You can repurpose many things from your home and great yard sale finds for your organization. We keep our markers and scissors in a long wooden box. Our colored pencils live in an old Ball jar. The stamps and ink pads are in a three-tiered basket. Paper is in a letter tray on a neighboring surface and other supplies are stored in boxes by theme (i.e. beading, tape/glue, a basket filled with bits and pieces like milk caps, feathers and popsicle sticks, etc.).

- Make clean-up easy. We keep a supply of baby wipes and a large trash can in our creative space. When the creations are complete, we sweep off anything we aren't going to recycle into the trash. We wipe down the table and put supplies back so we're ready for our next creative adventure.

- My biggest suggestion is to set up the space and then step back and let them create what they can imagine. I am a HUGE proponent of letting them guide their own creative expression and in giving specific feedback on their work (for example - "I love how you used those splashes of red in your painting." instead of "What pretty colors!")

I hope you that you and your kids have the time to be creative and get messy!

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