Friday, July 17, 2015

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Little Learning Spaces: An Art Station!

Our art station is one of the most popular little learning spaces in our house!  Today I'm sharing a little about our art station, setting up an art station, and more!

I have had a lot of you ask me how we set up our home for homeschool and home daycare.  I decided I would share what we do in this series, with the hope that it can inspire others or help you think of your own unique solutions for your needs.  We don't have a ton of space, but we divide up the areas that we have into lots of usable areas with different functions.  Our open floor plan has made some interesting challenges when it comes to designing situations for different activities.  In this series, I will share ideas for a book nook, an art station, storage ideas, a play room, project work, music, and outdoor adventures.  Each week I will share how we are set up and more ideas from others.  I hope you enjoy it and feel motivated to make your own spaces work for you!

An art station is a place where children can create and imagine on their own.  There are a lot of benefits to having an art station, including:

* Children have a designated space of their own to create and imagine!
* Art work strengthens fine motor skills!
* An art station encourages independence!
* Children can access their own supplies while you do other things!
* Art builds confidence!
* Art helps children observe and think critically!
* Art helps children express feelings!

Setting up an art station can happen in many, many ways.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as your personality and space allow.

Here are a few... 

Tips for Creating an Art Station:

1- Make it comfortable.  We only had a preschool-sized table for our art station for more than five years when I realized that it was a getting a little hard for my tall 8- and 5-year olds to sit at it easily.  They kept taking their projects to the floor!  Our two tables now accommodate both our preschool-sized and our elementary-sized kiddos!

2- Stock it well.  At least put the basics in!  Kids love having access to paper, scissors, glue, colored pencils, crayons, and tape.  It is amazing what they can create with those simple supplies.  Our Art Station also has a set of rubber stamps, yarn, stickers, craft sticks, and a small assortment of other items.  I recently asked my daughter to put a paper towel tube in the recycle bin, and instead she asked me if she could put it in the Art Table.  I have also included markers and paints at our art station, but they are currently in a "Mom Only" drawer because I have a toddler who insists on coloring on walls.  

3- Make it easy to organize.  If you want your kiddos to clean up when they're done, make it easy.  Everything needs to have a place that is easy to find.  If things are too crowded, they will get left out.  We found our table at a thrift store and were delighted!  There are seven drawers that house similar items together.  It is easy to clean up, and easy to find supplies.  When the kids are not working, it looks very nice in the far side of our living room.  In the past, we have also used a nicely divided shower caddy to store different supplies!

4- Include lighting!  We are lucky enough to have a fantastic set of windows in the same corner where our art station is.  There was, however, a time when our art station was in a different corner of the room and we had to use lamps to make sure everyone could see what they were doing.  Nobody wants to color in the dark!  We still keep a set of lamps close by for evening art.

This art station is perfect for us, and our kiddos use it several times a day.  When we do group projects, we all meet at the kitchen table.  When they get the urge to create, they head to their own spot, and they love it!

We also have a wall in our playroom that showcases their artwork.  They love seeing it on display!

And since there are so many different ways to set up an art station, I thought I'd share a few other ideas that I love!  Check out these other ways to work with a small space:

Boys Art & Homework Table from The Crafted Sparrow:

Setting Up a Creative Space for Your Child from I Can Teach My Child:

Mama & Munchkin Creative Space from Mama.Papa.Bubba.:

Homeschool Room from Naturally Caffeinated Family:
(I realize this is not an art space, but I love the design so much, and you could easily put art supplies on the shelves!):

Do you have an art station?  I'd love to see it!  Feel free to share in the comments or on our PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!

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I may share at any of these parties!

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