Kid Crafts -- Taming the Craft Clutter
Kid Crafts – How to Tame Craft Clutter
Crayons and paper and scissors . . . Oh my!
If kid craft clutter is making your house look like Nightmare in Munchkin Land . . .
If you find your house slippers are covered in ruby red glitter. . .
If you hope there’s no place like YOUR home, then. . .
Perhaps what you need is an organizing Wizard?
Okay . . . enough of the Wizard of Oz parody! :)
Seriously though, every kid should be encouraged to be creative and enjoy arts and crafts. Childhood imagination is such a wonderful thing. A creative mind is a terrible thing to waste!
Despite the obvious benefits of keeping your kids entertained, childhood development experts agree that there is an actual benefit to children participating in arts and crafts.
The benefits include: muscular development, general health and overall intelligence.
Extensive research has shown that children, who receive art lessons while they are still very young, grow up to be far more creative and imaginative as adults. Creativity and imagination are essential components for measuring IQ. Additionally, in the real world of business, there are advantages to having a creative mind. Creativity allows for innovation – something that is highly valued in the business world today. For businesses to compete (especially in tough economic times), businesses must be able to adapt and initiate change (which is impossible without a creative mindset).
I guess this means you need to know how to draw a box before you can think outside it?
Does this make you feel any better about your kid crafts clutter? It should!
It’s not true that a messy area is the sign of a creative mind. In fact, research proves that living in chaos and clutter can actually hinder creativity, not help it. A messy craft area can also cost you more money than a well organized space. How? Ever bought something at the arts and craft store only to find out (later when you cleared away the clutter) that you already had one?
Creativity can be messy, however. Glue, paint, glitter, bits of string, scraps of paper can make a mess. But a certain amount of mess is okay as long as it gets tidied up regularly.
I have always enjoyed a variety of crafts throughout my lifetime. I was blessed to enjoy crafting with my daughter while she was growing up. Now, I am equally blessed with two beautiful grand children who also enjoy arts and crafts. I am happy to share my art room with them and have a special place for them to explore their imaginations.
So how do you find a balance that you and the kids can live with?
Here are my tips for a well organized kid crafts area:
- Have a special place for crafts (if space permits)
- Have a place to store the different kinds of art and craft supplies
- Make the supplies available and easy to get to
- Make it easy for the kids (and you) to see what they have
- Make it age-appropriate and safe
- Make it easy to clean up
- Make sure the kids have clear rules about clean up when they are done
Listed below are some special suggestions for storing art and craft supplies in fun, kid-friendly ways.
Kid Crafts -- A Special Place For Crafting
As with most things in life, the less space you have in your home, the more imagination it will take on your part to create a space for creativity.
I don’t recommend letting kids craft in their bedroom because of the obvious mess as well as the potential lack of safety supervision. If you don’t have sufficient space in your home to set aside a special craft corner, then make your craft supplies mobile so you can carry them around. The kitchen table is a great space to craft.
If the craft area is carpeted, it’s best to put a sheet, paint drop cloth or other covering over the carpet. It’s also a good idea to put a vinyl cloth covering over the table to protect it from spills and spatters. It’s also best if the kids use aprons or towels pinned over their clothing. This becomes especially important for paint, glue, glitter and other more messy crafts. It will help you save time doing laundry and save money replacing damaged clothes.
Kid Crafts -- Storing Different Types of Art Supplies
You can spend a lot of money on specialty products to store art and craft supplies. If you have the money to purchase these, great! However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can use less expensive items or repurpose things in your home. I always said I thanked God for not having a lot of money because it forced me to think creatively and use what I have!
The best rules for storing kid crafts are:
- Make it fun
- Make it colorful
- Make it accessible (easy to get out and put back)
Kid Crafts -- My Favorite Ideas
Here are some of my favorite kid crafts storage ideas that work well:
- Obviously, the kids in this picture have a lot of room and mom and dad have spent some money on this craft area. I show you this example for inspirational purposes. A less costly alternative would be to find some wooden crates and paint them in bright colors. Add a couple of inexpensive plastic child chairs and . . . voila! . . . a less expensive alternative.
- Ask your favorite paint supply or hardware store about chalk board paint. If you paint certain portions of the craft area with this special paint, your kids can use colorful chalk to draw pictures right on their craft table! You can even add a special substance to colored paint that allows it to become chalk board paint (again, check with your favorite paint store).
- The lovely and colorful metal buckets here are very cute, but not within some people’s budgets. A less expensive alternative would be to use empty, clean vegetable or coffee cans and spray paint them in your favorite colors. You can personalize them by painting their names on certain cans and labeling them for pens, crayons, etc.
- One of my favorite organizing tools is over the door shoe hangers. They can be used for so many different applications – shoes, toys, craft supplies, etc. Be sure to hang it low enough the kids can reach the top pockets. If it’s too long, you can double it and tack the ends together and hang it from a swing arm rod (so you can reach both sides). This is a great way to store rolls of stickers, paints and paint brushes, yarn and other items.
- While I use rolling storage carts for many things, they are not particularly useful for kids. First, they are usually too tall for smaller children. Second, they are usually hard to roll on carpet. However, if you have hardwood floors and can find one that stands no more than 20-25 inches in height, you might consider buying one. Try to find one that has a handle for pushing/pulling. Also, it’s best to find one that has both deep drawers as well as shallow drawers. Really good ones have inserts in the drawers that allow you to adjust the space for what you are storing.
- Many department and discount stores carry plastic storage boxes (or tackle boxes) that have multiple compartments of varying sizes. Most stores have a craft section that carries these boxes. I prefer ones that are clear. Clear plastic storage boxes work best so kids can easily see what’s inside.
- If you have an old night stand or chest, you can easily turn it into a hand craft storage area. Take out the drawers and remove any doors. Put plywood in place of the drawers (to make it into shelves). You can use hook and loop tape to cover the shelves with a pretty fabric. Paint the chest in bright colors. Decorate it with coordinating patterns (flowers, geometric shapes), etc. to make it fun, cute and exciting.
- If you are handy with a sewing machine, many fabric stores carry patterns for items like this picture. This one is slipped over a large coffee can. The exterior storage pockets are handy for scissors and other items that you need easy access to.
- Old canning jars make handy storage for yarn, string, stickers, buttons and other loose craft supplies.
- Look around your house for small containers (plastic containers, baby food jars, coffee cans, etc.) for craft storage. You can even use the cardboard paper towel roll for storing ribbon and lace. Get creative!
- If money permits, you can check into specialty craft storage devices like this one. Many are dedicated to specific crafts (stamping, scrap booking, etc.).
Kid Crafts -- Final Thoughts
Using a little creativity and imagination, you and your kids can enjoy fun, peaceful times together building memories while creating and still maintain a decent amount of order and cleanliness.
Use these kid craft ideas in your home. Now get out there and create something great!
Do You Have a Great Kid Crafts Storage Tip or Product Recommendation?
Do you have a great kids craft storage tip or product recommendation? Share it!
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