31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 6: Create an Art Space

One of the exciting things about having young children around is to witness their enormous potential for creativity. Kids love building, drawing and painting, making up and acting out stories, inventing songs and games. Given the right conditions, they can do this kind of thing all day long with very little need for guidance from us grownups.

So what are those “right conditions,” you might wonder? The first is obvious: time. Kids need unbroken hours of play when we’re not whisking them off to the next activity, when no other interruptions call. The second is also straightforward: freedom. They need us not to hover, not to say “no” or “try this” or even “good job” every two minutes. And if that seems hard to swallow, then the third condition should make it easier to give our kids the creative freedom they need: space.

To get started with your own space where your younger kids can do-it-themselves with art projects, find a space on a table or desk (or even an empty drawer), and have these things spread out so they’re at hand for inspiration to strike:

– blank white paper, lined paper, construction paper
– kid-safe scissors and glue sticks
– colored pencils and regular pencils
– old magazines (to cut up)
– tracing paper

For older kids, we’ve had great success with a stack of spirals that are leftover from the school year and some freshly sharpened pencils. How about your kids? What kinds of art supplies do you keep on hand for them?


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