There has been a huge shift in the amount and variety of art we have been creating since setting up our art nook. The biggest change is the location where the children are doing art. I'm thinking an art area needs to be super accessible (and it wasn't before). There are many times Otis doesn't want to help in the kitchen but can work in this area and still talk to me while I am preparing meals or snacks (Caspar can work elsewhere as he doesn't need as much supervision). Otis is also being super clingy right now so it's nice to have him close.
Our art shelves are all open and it's so easy for my four year old to get every single thing he needs. It's only going to delay the child or wear off some of their enthusiasm if they need to wait for an adult to help. I have allowed this area to get a little messy while still teaching the children how to maintain and respect the materials and making it work.
I love water colours but we have been starting, because we now have the space, to use other paints and materials. The above paint station is fabulous because the paints are rich in colour (it's tempera) yet so contained. Otis just carries it from the shelves and it's all there. Honestly we should have been using tempera paint years ago! I can also see the tempera discs are really going to last.
Sponging has also been a huge it. Often Otis uses it to bend colours which looks amazing.
Otis has been on a breakfast strike (for almost two weeks now, I could really do with a degree in child psychology) so I've been cooking breakfast and trying to be more creative and therefore spending more time in the kitchen in the morning. Otis gets dressed and comes out to create first thing after waking. It's so peaceful and lovely. Hopefully a really centring way for him to start the day. The light is so pretty too and really different to any other time of the day.
Our table top easel has made a huge difference too. I'll often leave it stocked with paper or the occasional canvas. Otis finds it irresistible. We didn't bring our large children's easel with us when we moved from Canberra (it had been outside and our dog had chewed the legs). I'd been looking for a great table top easel and this one works perfectly! I love that it looks really artsy when visitors come. It's easy to fold and put away and it doesn't take up much space. Otis or Caspar can use it sitting or standing (or carry it on the deck or outside) and they can change the paper themselves. It will hold all size canvases. It's fabulous and I wouldn't part with it.
Looking through these pictures I can see how important painting can also be for promoting and exercising good pencil grip. Only a week ago all of Otis' people had arms and legs coming from the head. I love to see how his people have progressed - now having a tummy, hands, feet and more facial features. Luckily this picture is for me because it's going on the wall!
Although it is c/o I've had my eye on the Table Top Easel (regular price $47.99). Paint station and Table Top Easel are c/o Child Education. Child Education are offering 15% storewide until July 31 2015. Use promotional code INTRO15 at checkout. Child Education is a new and exciting Australian online store that is parent focused and has so many of the educational supplies we love.