Art All The Time—Create Opportunities for Your Child to Create

I love to make art, but I don’t always like to set it up and clean up afterwards. But that doesn’t mean my kiddo can’t create on her own! Here are some of the many ways I make art and creativity accessible for her on a daily basis.

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We love to make art projects of all kinds around here. But I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t want to deal with the clean up (and the set up) part. So I’ve made it a point to make art accessible—to create opportunities for my child to easily create all day long.

Get a Clipboard

Some of the most benign looking supplies are some of our most used. For example: clipboards. You don’t need a fancy clipboard, but having one (or several) on hand means your kiddo can draw pretty much anywhere. We also have an extra large clipboard that she can use to paint on. I just clip a piece of 8×10 paper onto it, and there is plenty of space just in case some extra paint drips.

Dry Erase Board Fun

Another art supply we love is our dry erase board and these particular markers from Amazon. (I believe you can get them from Target as well.) I like how they have two colors per marker, are not the traditional bleh white board marker colors, and that they really are low odor. We have gone through soooo many brands of white board markers—from the dollar store kind to the more expensive ones—and these are my favorites. I’m really sensitive to odors and don’t like the idea of her inhaling a bunch of fumes in order to draw, but these are pretty much odorless. They also have a little eraser on the end, though I recommend also storing a little cloth nearby so your child can erase the whole board if needed.

I originally bought an IKEA white board with the blackboard on the back (which is STILL in use after 6+ years) but then bought a larger board for our wall for homeschool. It has become her go-to for doodles and drawings throughout the day—no paper required!

Coloring

I’ll admit it, we are not into coloring around here. I never liked to color though I’ve tried. I really have. That said, I know that coloring is great for focus and building up those fine motor skills, so I try to incorporate it here and there. I also bought some extra fun crayons like the neon ones and skin tone ones because, my kiddo likes to draw her own pictures with black ink and color them in.

The Joys of Felt

Many years ago, I pulled out some felt and cut out a little girl shape and some felt clothes. Then I made some flower, sun, and cloud shapes. I stitched a face on the girl, but you could seriously do the same thing with a pen. This little craft (if that’s what it is?) is still used by my kiddo except now she pulls out the scissors and snips away at felt to make apples and flower stems and extra “accessories.” This is such a simple activity and the best part is you can roll all of those felt pieces into a white cotton towel (which also works as a background) to store.

Create opportunities for your child to create without a lot of cleanup and mess. This is what I’ve done for years! :)

Draw Away!

I also keep a tray of markers, pens, pencils, and colored pencils out all the time. They are “organized” in empty peanut butter jars (you don’t have to get all matchy-matchy especially since the containers will get scratched and marked through the years.) I’ll admit that this idea of leaving out markers and pens has had its low moments since someone had easy access and could decorate her art table at whim, but now that she’s older, she knows to draw only on paper. Glad we worked that one out.

Paper, paper, paper

And finally, white printer paper is a must. I don’t usually buy sketchbooks for my kiddo (unless it’s for something specific like a nature journal or watercolor paper.) The good old-fashioned cheap stuff you can buy pretty much everywhere is what I keep on hand and in a drawer she can easily access at any time. She clips it to a clipboard (I used to do that for her when she was little) and she’s off to the races. I also save those bits of cardboard you get in the mail or in packaging because those are a lot of fun to use pastels on or to paint.

These art supplies require little set up and once you teach your kiddo how they can access them, they will start to do it on their own. If you have a reluctant artist, you might need to do some art with them at first (you draw on a paper while they do the same, and don’t worry about your art being gorgeous or not…they just need to see that this is fun!)

I’m always amazed at the creations she comes up with while using these simple supplies. And the best part is, I didn’t have to come up with an elaborate project and get all the bits and pieces set out for her. Being able to create on your own is such a great skill for kids to learn, and who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to create a little more for yourself when you see how much you can do in a few minutes’ time.

Hope you have a lovely {and creative} day!

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