Since the Reggio Emilia model of early childhood education piqued my interest, I have dreamed of having an incredible home art studio for my children. Space and organization (or lack thereof) work against making this dream a reality anytime soon. But, if I hope to provide my children any semblance of such a space before they transition from preschool to their prepubescent years in the blink of an eye, I’ve got to stop fantasizing and start making time to take baby steps!
One baby step I have taken in the past month is to re-purpose a clear vinyl over-the-door shoe bag as an accessible art supply center for the kids. Now, I know, this is not anything earth shattering or original but it is a tiny step in a direction I seek to go and, more importantly, it has helped the Luke and Nina keep their crayons more organized for over a month! To me, that equals success since all my prior attempts at crayon corralling and organization have proved fruitless.
So, what’s the system? Simple!
We hung the bag over the door to our Office/Play and Learning Space and put plastic cups in the pockets. We were going to fill each of the pockets, but decided to do so only one medium at a time. (So the kids can build habits of taking care of supplies slow and steady.)
The quintessential cliche of kid's art supplies came first then: crayons. (Not because we like being cliche, but, rather, because I am so tired of finding crayons everywhere, despite different storage and access solutions I have tried in the past for them.)
So, the kids then sorted their crayons out into “color families” by hot and cool colors and ones they thought blended together well.
They put these in the pockets.
Now, whenever they need crayons, they simply go take the cups out and bring them to wherever they want to use them, returning them when they are finished.
Fewer crayons are lost in odd corners of our home; less are being prematurely and unintentionally crushed to bits (say, by being stepped on as opposed to being purposely broken for DIY recycled crayons.) Everyone knows where the crayons go (except Jack, who is convinced they go in mouths!)
Life is good. One baby step at a time, slow and steady, we are succeeding in Organizing Homeschool and supplies.