The Idea Room – Organizing An Art Area For Kids Even When You Don’t Have The Space

Last week I shared my post about an Idea Room that was at a school I visited for a training class.  Today I’m sharing how to create an Idea Room in your own house, even when you don’t have the space for a dedicated Idea Room or Art Area in your home, and how it is inspired by Reggio Emilia.

For the past several years I’ve been inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to education.  There are so many things I love about Reggio Emilia.  I love the use of light, the use of reflection, the 100 languages of the child (similar to Multiple Intelligences), giving kids the time to explore and investigate ideas based on their own interests, and creating an environment that serves as the third teacher (referring to the idea that there are two teachers in every classroom).  I’ve been on a mission to create spaces and provide experiences for my students that reflect this approach.  When I visited The Idea Room in another school, which was a room set up for exploring in a variety of different ways, I was immediately struck by how “Reggio-like” this space was.  I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a Reggio Inspired space in every school for kids to extend their learning, but it also reminded me how important it is to have a space to create in our own homes.

In a dream world I would have a huge craft room and each area of my room would be set up for a different craft.  It would be a place to work, create, and explore with my kids.  I would have big sink and big tables.  And there would be glitter. Lots of glitter.  But, here in my real world, my sewing room is shared with the den and my craft table doubles as the kitchen table.

I store most of our art supplies in portable bins.  My daughter tends to draw all over the house.  Sometimes she needs her supplies in the family room, other times she takes off into her own room, and most often she needs them for homework assignments at the kitchen table.
I’m a big fan of buying high quality art supplies.  Dollar Store art supplies give you Dollar Store quality.
A few years ago, my son needed some art supplies to create a brochure to go along with a book he had read.  Even though he was past the “coloring stage” and never sat down to draw or color, he did have a need for art supplies on a regular basis for homework projects.
I love to sit down and do some art with the kids too.  This was one of those paint by numbers drawings that was done with watercolor pencils.  (If you haven’t tried them, they are SO much fun and would be a great gift idea for kids.)
When my kids were younger, this pegboard writing wall was hung in the kitchen.  We had envelopes, papers, stationary, stickers, drawing paper, and sight word cards right at our fingertips.  Now that the kids are older, this is upstairs by my daughter’s room.
We have a spot in our kitchen that has a quirky little cupboard on the back side of  the  main cupboards.  We use this space to house most of our art supplies. Glass canning jars are great for storing pens, pencils, and paint brushes.
The kitchen table is our Idea Room.  It is the space that we spend time creating all sorts of things. From drawing and coloring to wire crafting and metal stamping.  This is our Idea Room.  It’s our space to make our ideas come to life.
Do you have a space in your house that can serve as your idea room? Everyone needs a place to create, even people who don’t think they are artistic (like me)!
Happy creating!
Dolen Diaries Nap-Time Creations

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