5 Tips to Get Your Kid’s Art Space Started

Happy New Year! Every new year I get the urge to do a little re-decorating and get organized in our home. Do you feel the same way?  If you do and you’re thinking of re-working your kid’s art space or setting one up for the first time, I’ve put together my top 5 tips to help you get started.

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Art And Play

Do you ever wonder how to incorporate an art space into your child’s play space? Whether or not you have a dedicated space for either, art and play go hand in hand.

These pics are from a space I recently finished in a client’s sunroom. It used to be a dramatic play space for her two kids, but she knew they would use it more often if it was an art studio. My client wasn’t sure what to do when her 3 year old daughter wouldn’t let her move the play kitchen and “market” out of the room.

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Re-visiting old work and Monoprinting

Although our focus this week was on monoprinting, we began class working on unfinished projects from previous weeks. The children were first invited to use markers to add to their watercolor paintings from last week.

Another project to be continued was their salt dough sculptures that were finally dry and ready to be painted.

After re-visiting the old work, the kids were ready to get going on some monoprinting! We worked on two different types of monoprints, depending on the class. One type was done by paining directly on a plastic mat, placing a sheet of paper onto the painting, gently rubbing the back of the paper, and then peeling it up. Most of the kids have tried this technique on the acrylic easel, but it was a new experience to do it right on the table.

My niece, Naomi, demonstrated the printmaking for the kids. She may become my new assistant!
The second monoprint technique is a fun and very easy project to try at home. First I folded a large piece of paper (for each child) in half. They painted on one side of the paper, then unfolded it and refolded it the other way, so that their painting created a mirror image on the other half.
Eventually the glue, glitter, and all kinds of things came out- and the children led the way from there!

The children are getting more interested in using the scissors lately- what a hard skill to learn!

Salt Dough and Colored Glue

This week we started off making salt dough. Salt dough is similar to playdough, but it is meant to be baked and decorated like clay. If you’re interested in trying this at home, click here for a simple recipe (or here, for a gluten-free recipe) To make the dough each child was given a bowl and spoon for mixing and a cup to scoop out the dry ingredients. After mixing the flour and salt, I offered them a squeeze bottle of water (with only a little water) to add to the bowl. We added more flour and water when needed, then mixed and mixed until the dough was just right!

Once the dough was the right consistency, the kids dumped it out onto their mats to begin their work. They used cookie cutters, pizza cutters, plastic knives, and clay tools to mold their dough. I also brought out some spray bottles and more flour to keep the dough moist and pliable.

Sometimes the dough was too sticky so we had to add more flour!

After a while of working with the dough, the children began to check out the shelves for new materials and tools.

For the children who were ready to move on, I put their dough creations on the shelf to dry and brought out some paper, colored glue, and plastic lids.
The children then squeezed the glue into the plastic lid, which is used as a mold. Once the glue dries, you can pop it out of the lid to create a transparent window hanging (this fun idea came from a great blog called Darling Clementine- check it out here).
But of course the best part of this activity is the squeezing!

Where there is glue, there is almost always glitter and collage materials!

This week instead of the usual paint, I put markers at the easels. Some kids really enjoyed the change!