February 26, 2014

Parent and Child: Finding a Place to Make Art at Home

Parent and Child: 
Finding a Place to Make Art at Home

Calvin and I have been making art at home for two of his three years of life.  It has been a fun, educational way for us to bond.  

Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share some things I've learned about making art at home.  This week is about finding a place? 

Creating an area just for art makes it seem special and important.  It doesn't have to be a big place.  Art can be done any where: in a corner, a closet, the attic, the basement, an enclosed porch, etc.  

It's nice to have a child-sized table and chairs, a shelf or drawer to hold art materials, and a wall to display finished artwork.

But what if your space is limited: like a one bedroom apartment with not an inch to spare? That is exactly where my husband and I lived during the first year Calvin and I did art together. Space was so tight I could only display finished artwork on the refrigerator, and I stored art supplies in decorator boxes in the corner of our living room. 

In order to make art special, I bought a little wooden child's table with sturdy chairs, which I placed in the middle of our small kitchen during art time. Whenever I moved that wooden table into the kitchen, Calvin knew it was time for art.  

I used the kitchen countertops to dry wet artwork.  Once art was over, I cleaned and stored everything so our makeshift art room could once again become a functioning kitchen.

Space was tight, but we made it work.

If you don't have a little table and chair, try putting a special tablecloth or placemat on the kitchen table.  Look for someway to visibly say: it's time for art and it's going to happen right now in this place.      

With that said, art can happen at anytime and any place within the home. Creating a special place does not preclude the possibility of spontaneous art: doodling at the kitchen table after dinner, coloring while lying on the floor beside your child, etc.

We've done art on the front porch,                

on the deck at the rear of the house,

 in the grass,

and even in a highchair.

If you want to make art with your child, get creative about the place.  I guarantee it will be worth the time and effort.

Stay tuned.  Next week we'll talk about establishing art routines.  

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