My kids love to do crafts. Unfortunately, it can tend to get a little messy and disorganized. I’ve found some ways to allow my kids the freedom to be creative and have fun, while keeping me sane.
Keeping craft supplies accessible to kids lets them create frequently. While it doesn’t eliminate the whining about being bored, it does make kids more likely to go make something. Things like markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and paper are good to keep in reach (depending on the ages of your kiddos).
Be selective about what art supplies you keep accessible. I don’t need to tell you that leaving glitter and paint in reach of a 3 year old can be a recipe for disaster! Keep certain craft supplies out of reach and have them come to you if there’s something else they want to use. I have a special drawer in my closet of all the “extras” – paints, googly eyes, and a bunch of other fun stuff. By limiting the kids to a few fun supplies, there’s less for them to make a mess with.
Keep out some craft supplies that are open ended and some that are more structured. I love when my boys use the blank paper, glue, and markers to create things. But there are lots of great craft and drawing books they love to use, too. We enjoy Ed Emberely’s drawing books, the Kumon books, plus all sorts of free printable crafts you can find online.
4. Have a System
This is my biggest sanity saver! Have a place for kids to easily store their crafts or drawings when they’re done. You can use a bulletin board to display some of the creations they are most proud of and have a specified place to keep the more bulky crafts. Then, go through every once in a while and decide what to keep and what to toss. I have a notebook for each of them for the things we want to keep.
Another part of the “system” is cleanup. When the boys are done, they are supposed to put everything back in the blue and red craft caddies and put them back on the shelf. This doesn’t happen perfectly, but having a good system in place means that when I say, “Time to clean up!” they know what they are supposed to do.
There is no perfect way for keeping kids crafts and supplies organized. There are days things happen – paper gets glued to the table, all the crayons get dumped, and a big mess gets left out. I had to laugh because as I was writing this, there were crafts and supplies all over and under our kitchen table. But I know that because I utilize these tips with my boys, we can get it cleaned up quickly before bed and things will be ready for them to create fun things tomorrow. I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me!
I love our setup now, but now that we have a new little one, I know I’m going to have to switch things up when he starts getting mobile and can reach the supplies. I haven’t figured out yet how I want to adjust things.
Do you have any tips for keeping a craft area organized? Any ideas for me as I’m going to have to re-organize when our new baby gets mobile?