Organized Art Storage for Kids

Staying organized in today's busy world is getting harder and harder to do.

Especially when it comes to children.

Staying organized with ART SUPPLIES is a whole different ballgame, and because of its inherently "messy" nature, many teachers and families shy away from art with their kids.

In the Reggio-inspired world, art is a language with which kids first learn to communicate. In fact, the atelier is a very important, dedicated space for art creation and experimentation in Reggio-inspired schools. 

Art holds tremendous power for kids - to express feelings, fears, dreams and ideas. Giving children tools, and presenting them in a thoughtful, organized and beautiful way, invites kids in to explore, and use this language in creative ways.

I believe that art supplies (and other toys/materials) should be VISIBLE, and within kids' reach.

This way, they can make independent choices and not feel thwarted by always having to ask permission. (always asking for help and permission can DEFINITELY hamper the creative process!)

Children should also be offered high quality art supplies. They tend to last longer, achieve better results, and send a message to children that they are artists! 

In a Reggio-Inspired vein, the way we display and present our art supplies is of equal importance.  Art supplies can be housed in transparent jars, so that children can "read" the media. They also bring vibrant colour to the space.  Glass also has beautiful reflective qualities, a characteristic so important in any Reggio environment.

 

Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to art with children.

Where are YOU on the "art comfort continuum?"

art comfort continuum

I've rounded up some ideas for art storage for those faint-of-heart, as well as for those of you ready to take it to a new level.  I've also shared a go-to list for items to include in your inventory. Some of these ideas come from my very favourite bloggers in the Reggio-inspired world, and I hope you'll find them useful!

 1. Portable Caddies

Boon Stash Art Caddy

I love this caddy because it is simple and keeps everything organized and neat, and clean. It is also dishwasher-friendly. Once it gets a little dingy-looking, just throw it in the dishwasher and it will come out looking brand new!

 

art caddies

Land of Nod Budding Artist Caddy

These are great because kids can independently carry the entire caddy to a nearby table.  The fun colours and design make it a sure-fire hit. Similar caddies are available at Dollar Stores.

 2. Wall Canisters

Grundtal storage

 

IKEA GRUNDTAL series

I like to use this set in designs for learning, because it is an option for those with limited shelf space.  The canisters are removable, and you can customize it for the number of materials you have.

3. Chalk Wall 

Chalk Wall with integrated art storage

Image Source:  BuzzFeed

I love this design, and I have used variations of it. It is a one-stop-shop on a wall-surface, minimizing the need for added shelving.  I love chalk walls, and this is the perfect integration of both chalk-wall and art storage. This would also make a perfect space to display children's artwork.

4. Art Cart

 

IKEA RASKOG Art Cart

Image Source: Tinkerlab  Check out Rachelle's process for setting up an Art Cart! These are amazingly convenient for smaller spaces, or classrooms that need a roll-away option and can house a good number of art goodies. The casters make moving it a breeze.  I've used these in child care settings, and they are always very popular.

 5. Modular Wall Storage

Urbio Magnetic Modular System

Image Source: The Art Pantry.  Check out how Megan uses this system so cleverly in her art studio!

I ADORE Megan's use of the Urbio Modular system. It is so clean, simple and modern, and I love that you can change up the scheme depending on your kids' needs, heights, and interests.  It's so visually appealing (probably because of the white with pops of art-media colour!), and the options are truly endless.

 

 

IKEA KALLAX unit, with Dollar Store glass jars {my favourite!} This is a classic - especially if you're in a classroom. They're relatively inexpensive, and very versatile. 

7. Shelving units with an assortment of jars and baskets

Simple, classic, clean. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

IKEA EKBY OSTEN shelf with Dollar Store glass jars, and baskets from Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Your collection of art media will range depending on your comfort level, space limitations and age of the children.

Below is a list of some items to get you started. {You can pick + choose!}

Do your kids have an Art Centre or Atelier? What are YOUR strategies for keeping sane when messy art supplies are around? I would love to hear your ideas!

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