Saturday, September 4, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday: Toddler Art Organization

Nan, over at Momstheword, is hosting Make Your Home Sing Monday!  Here she encourages her readers (myself included) to share how we have made our home a more enjoyable place to be each week.  

Have you ever had that feeling?  That feeling of "I know I should be doing _________ because (God commands it,  it makes things easier, my children love it.....).
Well, I have had that feeling for a while now about my 2 year old and his "art time".  

I loved doing art activities with my first grade classes the five years I spent in the classroom.  I had all the supplies I needed at my fingertips.  I was very organized, and I knew what was age appropriate.

I am going to admit it folks.  I am totally learning as I go when it comes to art and a toddler.  I know the basics, crayons, markers, finger paints, watercolors, playdough.  I just don't have my act together.

Part of it is about the clean up, part of it is the supervision, there's a lack of materials, and knowledge of what he should be able to handle and what he shouldn't.  I am going to ask for your help in a minute, so get ready.

This weekend I came across this at a yard sale!!!  It was $3 and I screamed to me..."Take me home.  I can help you with all the homeless art stuff that falls out of the hall closet each time you open it."

A couple hours later,  all of our coloring books, crayons, markers, stickers, finger paints, colored pencils, drawing paper, and misc. other art stuff had a NEW HOME!!!!  You can't see it all but its in there, and it fits so neatly on a shelf in our hall closet (right near where we get our art on).

My attitude about art time had already improved because I had everything in ONE PLACE!!!
We even painted with watercolors and then finger paints...BACK TO toddler was in heaven.

That's where the whole "home singing" thing happened.  Something that cost me very little, and took very little time to do, had already made my life so much easier, and made my toddler so very happy.  I promised him to do art time much more often.  I am not promising every day...but I am going to try.  And I am going to pray about this (whether you think it's silly or not)  because it's a discipline issue, art time, menu planning, quiet time, cleaning, wasting time...the list goes on!

Send me some tips, folks!  That art organizer has a gazillion pockets and lots of room to grow.  
What other materials do I need in there?
What are some age appropriate art activities that won't break the budget or make me pull my hair out?
What advice to you have for clean up?  My boy loves to help, and he is great about following my guidelines, like staying at his table to do playdough...(most days).

I hope seeing our art supplies organized encourages you, and I can't wait to be encouraged with your advice!


momstheword said...

What a great idea! Don't you love it when you get organized like that?

When my kids were two we didn't do as much art stuff as they did when they were older.

I bought freezer paper and they drew or painted on that. We used mostly water colors at that age, as it's easy to clean and not as "dangerous."

I also asked him what he painted and labeled them, because now neither of my sons can tell me what those early paintings were, but we can tell that one was an alligator, etc., because I labeled it.

They played with playdough, colored, painted, etc., Take a white crayon and draw a smiley face or something on a white page. Then, as he colors the page, the picture will come out.

Just google for art ideas and I'll bet you found a lot.

When my boys were a little older I drew around their bodies on butcher paper (or maybe it was freezer wrap, lol!) and let them draw and color in their own self-portrait, but your son is a bit young for that.

Don't forget music! They love to "dance" at this age!

Now that I'm writing a book here, I will mention that I packed a small "suitcase" for when we ate out in restaurants. I packed small toys, books, mini puzzles, etc., to keep them amused.

I also bought those "magic" color books, where all you need is a paint brush and water. They "paint" over the picture that's already there and the colors come out. That was a great thing to keep 'em busy, not messy, and we got through the dinner at the restaurant!

momstheword said...

BTW, we didn't do much fingerpainting when my kids were toddlers. Just soooo messy.

I used to put them in a highchair with chocolate or vanilla pudding and let them "paint" with that.

When we did do fingerpaints, they wore old clothes (and so did I). Most of our art projects (including playdough) were done at the table. Nowhere near a carpet, because paint or playdough is so hard to get out of a carpet.

One of my kids did not like to get fingerpaint on his fingers, so he hardly did anything with it.

momstheword said...

Yes I am commenting AGAIN! You can't get rid of me that easily, haha!

I forgot to tell you thanks for participating in Making Your Home Sing Monday!

LB said...

love the organizer. I am so impressed with your yard sale finds. I have no art tips to pass on. Everything you named is what we are doing, but I am eager to try some things from the commenter above.

LB said...

love the organizer. I am so impressed with your yard sale finds. I have no art tips to pass on. Everything you named is what we are doing, but I am eager to try some things from the commenter above.

Lesa's Life said...

What a great find...and at a great price! I would say you have everything you need already. Very impressive!