Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DIY Creative Kid Space - The Art Cart

With three boys under the age of three I often feel as though I am running my own preschool. We have free play, facilitated play, story time, music class and my personal favorite, Costco/Target runs. I try to get them outside as much as possible to run, explore and of course, get creative! 

I was thrilled when they were able to start participating in some art projects. I decided it was time to get organized and create an Art Cart that I could roll around to use whenever and wherever we felt inspired.

Before the boys turned two last summer, we really started spending a lot of time outside developing our artistic talent. The hard part was that I was getting more and more pregnant and trying to corral two sassy toddlers sometimes was rather tricky. Thankfully, we had an excellent, grassy gated knoll that was perfect to keep them contained yet free all at the same time. 

While the boys would run around I was able to assemble my new Art Cart. Thankfully, as a cart collecting TW, I of course had this old metal guy lying around the backyard. I had used it in the past for my gardening tools, but since our move it had gone unclaimed and proved to be absolutely perfect.

For a small investment at Target and Michaels, I was able to purchase some storage bins (the ones used for shoes), pencil cases, dot paint pens, washable/non toxic paint, paint brushes, sponges, markers, paper and clothespins. Of course, once my wonderful Mother-in-Law heard of my Art Cart she also added some must-have craft supplies to add to our collection, gotta love that!

With all the supplies gathered, I gave each art activity their own bin so the boys could pick what they wanted to do. Would it be markers to draw freely? A little bit of polka dot painting? Or perhaps some finger smears along little paint brush strokes...the possibilities seemed endless!

Making sure they were in old grubby clothes, I let the fun begin. Get dirty, get covered in paint, get creative!  And that is just what they did...

Some days they would just go crazy and other days I would have a seasonal project in mind ("summer winds", "autumn leaves", "spiders"...) but each time we all had a lot of fun! I loved watching their little faces as they figured out how to use all the different supplies. Seeing how they would giggle or scream at the paint depending on their mood, it was quite interesting to watch!

I loved having them outside, getting messy, exploring different textures while also learning colors, shapes and how to communicate their wants. I mean for an education loving mommy, this had everything going for it!

When their projects were done, I used some ribbon and clothespins to create a masterpiece drying station. I hung their work while I cleaned them and everything else up and it was often so hot it was dry in an instant. Once we were ready to go inside I took their pictures off the pins and brought them into our "gallery".

Now that the boys are older, we can venture out of our outdoor corral and take our cart anywhere! I roll it to the backyard, driveway, back patio and even to the front porch for some rainy day indoor fun. I added a plastic table cloth to our cart so we are ready for messy, artistic fun anywhere we go.

Creating a go-to art activity center for my little guys has proven to be an excellent investment.  They boys are entertained, active, learning and exploring their creative side. In addition, not only do I have the latest and greatest project to showcase in our home gallery, but I love being able to send seasonal art packages to family so they too can share in all the festive fun we have going on at our house.

Grab your coupons mommies and start collecting art supplies!

What are your favorite art projects to do with your little ones?

Strive to thrive, 

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