I have been collecting odds and ends for. . .well forever really. I wonder where Little M gets her love for little bits and pieces! A couple of months ago I reorganized my kids art cabinet and it has been better than I could have ever imagined. Since it has been more than 21 days, I guess I can assume it’s all habit and now it will stay clean and easy to use for . . .well forever really!
Do you want to know which art items I can’t live without? Here they are.
I actually have two art cabinets. The one pictured above is too high for the kids to reach and the one pictured to the right that’s at their level. I love this because it gives me the decision of which things will be always available and which things I only want out when I can supervise.
2. table cloth ~ I have only had this table cloth for about 6 months, and I don’t know what I ever did without it. Mine is a cheap $5 tablecloth from Walmart. It has a wipe-able surface, and folds up nicely. I cut it down into three sections. The big section, fits over the entire table and works great as an art blanket on the grass. The two small sections cover enough space for one kid to work comfortably in their own space.
3. art caddy ~ I have had this art caddy for about 3 years. I like it. . .because I fixed what didn’t work. The bottoms fell out all the time, what a mess, so I hot glued them into place. The cups are too short for tall supplies like colored pencils so I added tall plastic restaurant cups. (That was my sister’s brilliant idea! She even gave me the cups.) What I love about this caddy is that I can pull out just the crayons or I can bring the whole thing out.
4. plastic containers ~ I used to have 2 big containers and everything was shoved in, overflowing, and forgotten. Now I have 5 small bins, 4 with lids, that are labeled and easy to pull down. It makes it so much easier to see what items will be perfect for a last minute project.
5. paper holder ~ My Dad made mine when our preschool was up and running. Lakeshore carries this one. Of course you can probably find something similar in any office supply shop. Having the paper divided looks nice, and it is very quick and easy to see what colors are available.
6. bean box and play dough box~ I filled you in on my love of dried beans and trust me there will be many more bean activities to come. Our play dough box has a few actual play dough toys, but mostly holds the items M and M run off to collect while they play. So cars and tea set pieces. I make kool-aid play dough and keep it in a zip lock bag. These boxes don’t take up too much room and are always ready to come out and entertain.
7. sticker box, cutting box and tracing bag ~ I keep these in the kids section of the art cabinet. A lot of stickers come in books so I usually cut the pages into smaller pieces so they are easier to use. The cutting box is full of scraps, wrapping paper, magazine pages, etc. Anything I can find that I think the kids would enjoying cutting or gluing. In our tracing bag I have objects like frozen juice lids, and shapes made with a manila folder.
8. scrap bag ~ I have about 4 storage bags full of scraps. Fabric scraps, wrapping paper scraps, magazine scrapes, old Christmas cards. I have them sorted by holiday. It makes it really easy to switch out the kids cutting box.
9. catch all box ~ I think the reason my art cabinet is staying organized is this box. When I am cleaning paint off a 3 year old, a table and trying to transition to a new activity all at the same time; I just don’t have an extra 2 minutes to neatly put everything away! Now I just toss everything into that box and when it’s full I put everything back where it goes! SIMPLE.
Of course I could go on and on, but I’d like to hear what you would put for #10. What do you love about your art cabinet?