Our Art Cabinet

The Art Cabinet in our kitchen is the hub of almost everything that goes on in our home.  The children reach into the art cabinet just as many times a day as they reach into the fridge or the food pantry.

When choosing materials, I always go for simple, useful and inviting.  Everything is open-ended with multiple uses. 

Here are a list of basics:

·      Scissors

·      Ruler

·      Hole puncher

·      Stapler

·      Sharpened pencils and erasers

·      Various markers (these and these too!)

·      Clear Scotch Tape and Painters Tape

·      Glue 

·      Various Papers (cardstock, lined, graph, colored)

·      Twine or String

·      Blank Stickers  these and these!


Here is a list of Variables that I change with the children’s interests and needs:

·      Playdough

·      Toothpicks

·      Colored match sticks

·      Googly eyes

·      Beads

·      Mallets

·      Washi Tape  and Washi Stickers

·      Pipe cleaners

·      Paper clips

·      Felt

The most important thing, I think, is to value your  art space.  If you value it, the children will value it as well.  People often ask me how to help children care for their materials or how to keep things from becoming a disorganized heap.  If you care about the materials and are respectful of the space, your children will be as well.  Talk with them about how much easier it is to work in an organized space than a cluttered mess.  Express to them how much you respect their independence and creativity.  Allow them to use the materials how they see fit.  It might look like your two-year-old is wasting tape as she unravels an entire roll and sticks it in a jumbled heap.  But, it's not wasteful.  She is strengthening her fine motor skills and exercising her developing sense of self as she decides how much tape she needs and where she will put it.  Don’t expect a pretty product every time.  Trust your child to be the capable learner he or she is. 

Of course, the art cabinet requires regular maintenance.  I peek in the cabinet and do a one minute re-organization each day or so.  This keeps things ready to go whenever the mood strikes.  Yes, everyone will need to work together to clean up after a big creating session.  But an adult or capable over child will need to maintain the space. 

Do you have questions? Suggestions for me? Do you have an art cabinet? I’d love to hear from you. 

Thanks for reading,