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A Shared Toddler and Older Child Art Area

Oh we love our art area! It's really just the eat in part of our kitchen but it is the hub of so much activity in our home. Over the year, it's been many things, but we've settled on an art area most often. While Teddy was a little baby, we had moved the art area to our main playroom, but as he has grown and needed more space in playroom, we moved it back to the kitchen.We've made a few changes since I've last shared the space so I wanted to give a quick tour again. 

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My main goal with the space is to provide opportunities for Teddy to work in the space but also have art supplies available for the older kids to use. Basically, it's balancing the need for safety of the toddler and the need for exploration for everyone else. To do this, we use the height of the wall shelves to store more open ended materials. Everything that Teddy can't have is stored high. 

Everything meant for Teddy is stored on an accessible tray ready to go. Unlike a toddler, the big kids (including Gus at 4) can collect paper and the supplies they need to create what they want. So their things do not need to be organized on a tray on a shelf which saves some space. 

From Left to Right: Scissors/Tape/Ruler | 2 Hole Punch | Eraser Markers | Dot Painters

Then, we have our clean up and practical life area incorporated into the space. This is the perfect place for Gus and Ted to wash hands, do cloth cleaning work, sensory play, or clean art supplies or dishes. Nora and Henry will still use to clean art supplies or get water for painting but are both big enough to use regular sinks for dishes or washing hands. 

On the lower shelf we keep supplies needed for other cleaning tasks. This is where we would go to get supplies for a potty learning accident, for example. These materials are used by all the kids. Teddy is just starting to learn to use them, but is getting there. The yellow tray under the shelf holds all the completed art work that my kids aren't ready to part with yet. 

Finally, there is the easel. This will likely move back outside once the spring is really here, but for now, we really enjoy having the option in the art area itself. I've been making sure there is fresh paper pulled down and ready for Teddy to explore since he has paint out on his shelves. (I'll share his trays soon.)

And that's it! Honestly not a lot has changed in the three years since we originally made this space. We have minimized a bit to cut down on the mess and give growing kids space to create. But, otherwise, this has worked really well for us! 

Do your kids enjoy making art as much as mine do? 

A look at our art area in our Montessori home and some tips on how to balance the space for toddlers and older children including preschoolers.



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