I never thought about how freeing it would be for my kids to have some guidelines on how to draw stuff. This Christmas my sister (Hi Jenny!) got my sons Ed Emberley’s Make a World which teaches them how to draw loads of stuff. They love this book!
I thought at first that having a drawing book would stifle their creativity, but it was the opposite. Now they could finally draw all the things in their minds! They started making up stories and illustrating them, and they have not stopped.
Today Harry was working on his new book, C is for Clover, which is an ABC book about St. Patrick’s Day. When he got to P he needed some help drawing St. Patrick and that is how I stumbled upon this website: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/learn-to-draw-saint-patrick. Both boys had so much fun drawing St. Patrick that I kept digging and found a few more March themed drawing pages. Check them out here:
These are just links to the drawing instructions but this whole website is really fantastic. Check it out and let me know what you think!
We do a lot of crafting, drawing, sign-making and general art in this house. Not to mention all the things that come home in the backpacks. Displaying and storing these artworks means a lot to me and to the children, but you can’t save everything. Here are my tips for deciding what to toss ASAP.
- It’s not done and they don’t care to finish it.
- It’s not their best work.
- You can’t tell what it is, and they can’t either.
- It’s too big and bulky. (If it really means a lot to you, take a picture and save that instead)
Now that you’ve culled out the best items, it’s time to display them. Choosing a few designated spots to display items will keep your house from becoming over-run with kiddie art.
We use the door to our basement and the shelf in the eating area. As you tape things up, label them with the child’s name and date. If you have the time, ask them about the drawing and write their comments right on the front of the picture. Kids love to be listened to and you might be surprised at what those pictures are meant to be!
We change the display monthly. My children get very attached to their work and having a set time to take things down (first of the month) helps them feel more comfortable about making space for new things. Most of what goes up on the door goes into the Saving Bin but if I go to take it down and I find that I’m not feeling an emotional tug, out it goes.
Save with care! If you want to save something, do it right. Tossing things into a drawer or random bin will all but guarantee that they are damaged and/or never seen again. Each year I start a new Saving Bin for their work. Once it’s full, I can’t add any more things without removing something. I use under bed storage bins that keep things safe in the basement or attic and don’t take up too much space.
I also allow each child a drawer in the craft cart to store things they are attached to or working on, but that just aren’t display type pictures. Every few weeks I go through it and toss out random scraps that I know they won’t miss.
My last storage tip for budding artists is an actual art portfolio. We got one for Liam this year because he is very serious about wanting to be a “real artist.” He is so careful with it and really only chooses his very favorite pieces to go into the book. When the book is filled I will get him another and just put this one into the Saving bin knowing that these valuable works are safe!
One of the best ways to entertain your kids is to give them the freedom and tools to entertain themselves. I am always amazed when I find Harry and Liam deeply involved in a game that they made up themselves using the items and tools that they find in their craft cart. Does it make a mess? Yup! But, it is worth it to allow them the freedom to create.
Here is a craft that Harry came up with for Liam. They did it back in November of 2014 when was too pregnant and sick to create a project for them. It is still hanging on the end of Liam’s bed!
You don’t need a lot of space to set up a crafting area for your kids. We keep most of our crafting supplies in a cart in our sun-room where they can be readily available to them. They have a little table out there as well, but that is a bonus. In fact, most of the time they just bring the cart drawers into the kitchen and work on the table there. Sometimes they work on complicated crafts and other times they do quick things like making signs up for their games, or random cards for their friends.
Here is a list of what we’ve got in our cart. It’s a 12 drawer cart that I got off Amazon and below is a link to a wishlist of items if you need some help getting your cart started.
- Skinny markers
- Fat markers
- Sponge painters
- Tape, stencils, hole punches, rulers and other tools
- Harry’s projects
- Liam’s projects
- Craft sticks, foam stickers, paper plates, pipe cleaners, google eyes, gems and other embellishments
- Coloring and activity books
Along with these items, I collect items from our recycling bin to stick in the embellishments drawer for their masterpieces.
Ready to get your cart started? Check out my Craft Cart Wishlist!
What do your kids love to create with?
Subscribe to my blog and never miss a post! Coming up soon: How to store and organzie your childrens’ works so that they don’t take over your home.