Making Room for Creativity: Project Time and Space

There comes a time when your children are old enough that you can let them loose among the art supplies. You no longer need to worry so much about them spilling paints or that they will be using the markers on the walls. They can have access to scissors, glitter, glue, and clay without restrictions.

Once you cross that boundary, I highly recommend that you make a space for your children to use at project time. Since we live in a small house with kids who have lots of creative hobbies, it can sometimes be a challenge to find a way to keep supplies accessible, have them be organized in a way we didn’t mind looking at, and to provide a flat space to work on. We still struggle with storing work-in-progress projects but it can be done.

Creativity leads to a mess which of course can be cleaned up but it can be an eye sore as the project unfolds. I have had to hurdle the idea that messy is bad…..changing my thinking to messy is just a stage. I trained my kids to clean up as much as possible and tidy the work space as you go along.

Keeping a trash bin at hand solved quite a bit of the mess. Giving them a space to store works in progress really helped.

The original work space when it was totally for the boys and their projects. See this entry.

Our creative space has been shared on my blog before…it is a salvaged interior door we cut down to fit our space, legs added from IKEA, simple shelves overhead, rolling cart below, two different lights (we cut a hole in the back of the door so we could slip the cords through), and of course bins to organize supplies.

Nothing fancy.

Here is what it looks like now that we have rearranged the room and added lots more art supplies. The added folding table and chair make it possible for two of us to work side by side if we want. I move one of the lights from the desk to the table and we have excellent work light.

They many times prefer to stand at the kitchen counter to paint or they sometimes use our bar so they can leave a project out and come back to it as they have time and desire.

I love seeing my boys create things for fun during their free time. Marker projects seem to be a favorite and last week Mr. A took a photo of our dog Kona and made a colored pencil sketch from that image. I now have it hanging on our gallery wall.

Allow the time, space, and materials and your older students just may take advantage of a creative inspiration when it hits.


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