4 Benefits to making craft supplies accessible to your kids

When my eldest was my only child, we lived in a tiny shoe box of a house. The entire living area of our little home was less than 15 square metres. It was small and cramped, but we had some amazing times there.

It was in this little box-home that I learnt that having a dedicated space for my girl and I to do our crafts was crucial.

Over the years our craft space has changed quite a bit. In our tiny little house we had a plastic container with all our craft materials. We stored it under the coffee table. This coffee table was transformed into out creative space when we wanted to make some craft items. In our next home we managed to have a dining room table where we could lay it all out.

Since then we have always had a cupboard close to the dining room table where we could store craft supplies. The dining room table feels like the perfect spot. Ours is currently in the middle of our living space. When someone gets craftsy, everyone else naturally want to join in the fun.

Over the years we have tried many different ways to store our materials but what works best is our art cart. It is an Ikea trolley on wheels and has just enough space for our basic supplies.

I put supplies like liquid glue and paint away in a cupboard so that tiny hands can’t get it.

It is so important for kids development to be allowed to work with craft materials. Having these materials accessible opens a whole world of creativity to them.

Here are 4 Benefits to making craft supplies accessible to your kids:

1. Making supplies accessible to kids mean they will use it more

We used to have a craft box. It was pretty much falling apart. And even though I have girls who love arts and crafts, they often needed prompting to get started with craft projects.
This is the main reason why I switched over to using an art cart. The art cart stands right behind the dining room table so that all the materials are easy to access.

Having basic craft supplies available gives kids the freedom to craft independently

Since we’ve been taking everything out of the box and put it in the open, the kids often come and help themselves to the supplies to make new projects and get creative at the table. We often all sit together and work on our various projects.

This is such a wonderful moment to connect with our kids, while everyone is letting the creative juices flow.

2. Having craft supplies accessible, teach kids responsibility and independence.

We we all need more of that! The rule in our house is, if you pack it out, you pack it back. This also applies to our art cart.

The art cart has made it possible for my kids to take out only what they need. This helps them plan their activity because they know that they are responsible for clearing up when they are done. Even my 3 year old will take out a bowl of pencils, colour with them, and then pack them up and put them back again.

Accessible crafting supplies teaches kids responsibility

The key here is total accessibility and that everything in the art cart must be SAFE for all ages and easy to get out and put back in. We use big yogurt containers to keep most things together and it works like a charm. Remember to use your own kids ages here as a guide. If you have a crawling little one, and open craft cart like ours might not be the best solution for your family. An open bookshelf or easy to open drawer just out of reach of your little one could work well for your older kids.

3. Your kids will need your intervention less.
Because face it, moms do not like to be asked to take things out and put those same things back again 2 minutes later! I would much rather spend time connecting with my kids than running after them the whole time.

4. Having crafting materials on hand teach kids problem solving.
There are 2 items in our art cart that haven’t always been there but has been a great addition. They are: sticky tape and rope or ribbon.

Rope and ribbon are great additions to a craft container because they open up exciting new worlds in kids’ imaginations. I often have an animal tamer with horses or tigers or even snails that need to be leashed with ropes.
Sometimes my kids like to make booby traps for us parents…!
Other times they become kidnapped children trying to escape their horrible fate. They often make jumping ropes, or lassos, or use rope to drag their teddy bears around. The examples are endless!

It’s so amazing to know that their minds can run wild and they are now learning that they are capable of problem solving because they have the tools to do so.

And there you have it.

Our art cart
Our art cart now

At the beginning having craft materials available to everyone at all times, meant huge messes, chaos in the dining room and lots of reminders to clean up. But since the whole process has become a habit, craft sessions have become spontaneous and fun events where everyone takes responsibility for their own mess.

I hope you manage to find a corner in your house that will allow your kids the freedom to be curious and creative!

Enjoy crafting with your kids TODAY!

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