I don’t know that I’d have ever really considered giving my kids their own work space or craft room until it just sort of happened. My kids were really good at using my craft room and either leaving messes, using my supplies, or even losing my supplies. It was obvious to me that my children were wanting to explore their creativity and the arts, and, being a creative junky myself, who was I to not find a way to give them a room of their own? As I sought out ways to make a craft room for my kids, here are 10 tips I found along the way.
1. Playful & Inviting
It’s really important to give your children a space that is truly for them. You can still expect them to clean up and keep things tidy, but the more you can stock the room with children-friendly furniture and decor, the better. Include furniture that can get messy and that can handle the wear and tear of playtime and craft time. You want the room to feel both playful and inviting so your aspiring Little Van Goghs will want to and will enjoy spending time in their creative domain. Land of Nod is a great store to find quality kids furniture and decor without the excessive price tags.
2. Creative Decor
Creativity encourages creativity. Fill your children’s craft room with decor that will inspire imagination. I love the bright colors and decor shown here on Ooly.
3. Exciting Supplies
I don’t know many kids who can resist new or exciting supplies. Go beyond just crayons and markers and stock your craft room with ribbon, pipe cleaners, feathers, stickers, and media such as oil pastels or clay for older kids. Artful Parent suggests some great supplies on her website and tells you where to find them.
Furnish the craft room with organizational units, shelves, baskets, and more. I’m sure you’ll need to remind your kids to actually clean up, but they’ll be more likely to do their part if they’re given the right resources. Check out DIY Joy for 50 craft room organizational tips.
5. Display Areas
If there’s one thing I know from my years in the classroom, it’s that children LOVE to share their arts and crafts. They are so proud of what they have created and absolutely relish in some recognition from important adults in their life. Create a large gallery area in your kids’ craft room to help them share all that imagination and hard work. Get suggestions for making your gallery wall from The Caterpillar Years.
6. Art-Friendly Floors
If possible, install easy-to-clean flooring such as hardwood, tile, or linoleum. Your floor will thank you! Idea from Houzz.com.
To me, books belong in every room! Craft rooms should be no exception. Provide books full of art and craft ideas as well as reading books with imagination-inducing illustrations. Eric Carle is always a good choice for inspiring creativity. Check out this link for suggested books that model creativity and problem solving.
8. Centralize Furniture
Not that it’s wrong to do otherwise, but a craft room functions better when furniture is centralized. It just does. Kids have easier access to the supplies located around the outside of the room and with furniture in the middle, they can move around their workspace however they need. Read more here.
9. Art Surfaces
Be sure to provide different surfaces and areas where your children can work. I’ve been so impressed and amazed how each of my kids demonstrate different art abilities when they’re standing at an easel versus working at a table. Source.
10. Let There Be Light
The work space where I used to work was in the basement in a room with only one small window. The lighting was terrible and I constantly found myself moving upstairs to work where I could see my project better. When we were making our kids’ craft room, I made sure there was adequate lighting so my children would want to stay in and utilize their special room. If natural sunlight through big windows isn’t an option, consider a skylight. Read more from How Stuff Works.