Kids love art.  It is an outlet that helps them manage emotions and it also increases intelligence.

There are many ways that art can turn into a cross-curricular activity, representing anything from a nature study on birds to a depiction of a book that’s being read.

Art spaces are important in classrooms, and homes alike.

Even if space is limited, there are some simple essentials that are inviting and fun for children to use.

1.  Painting Easel.

This Melissa and Doug Deluxe Standing Easel is a fabulous way to get an art space started.  It holds a roll of paper, that can be rolled up to and clipped onto the easel board for easy art.  It has plenty of storage in the bottom bins for the kids to use their paint, as well as more space for a rinsing water cup and a place to set paint brushes.

2.  Paint Sticks

These Mod Paint Sticks  have got to be the best thing since sliced bread.  When I happened upon these at our local children’s museum, I hopped on the chance to buy them.  Our kids love how easy they are to use.

The vibrant colors of the tempura paint sticks make the art come to life and sometimes I JUST don’t feel like cleaning up a paint mess.

These are perfect for both toddlers and older kids and the art work dries quickly!


3.  Dot Paint Markers 

Another mess-free art medium are the Do A Dot Paint Markers.  These are non-toxic, no spill markers that go on like paint.  They are quick to dry and easy to use, even for the smallest of hands.  The bottles of paint last forever and the art they produce is absolutely lovely!  



4.  Clay 

I first got excited about clay when I read about it in the book The Language of Art, which explores inquiry-based art through the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education.

I may have gone a little bit overboard when I ordered 50 pounds of porcelain clay, but it has been used for months and months and the kids really enjoy it.  I’m pretty sure my daughter made about 24 clay cups in one sitting.

The clay has ended up on feet and heads, and I really don’t limit what happens with it (within reason… we are still living in a rental house.)

I cut up portions of the clay ( I suggest using a big cutting board and a serated bread knife for this feat) and put it in baggies and then a small plastic container to keep it from drying out.  I wanted it to be more accessible than just leaving it in the huge blocks that it was shipped in.

It’s better than Playdoh, because it can dry.  It is pretty brittle, so my next step is going to be finding something can can dry harder without (hopefully) having to get a kiln.

Cut up large block of clay into more manageable sizes and put in baggies for easy access.


Stored the separate bags in a container to ensure the clay would not dry out.



Little hands make the most beautiful art.



A treasured collection of pottery.


5.  Storage Box

Now, what to do with all of the wonderful art you’re collecting?  Moms, this one is for you!  I use this storage box by Trend Enterprises.  I love the idea of my kids making art, and I HATE the idea of not being able to keep all of  it.

As I mentioned before, we are living in a tiny space at the moment, so organization is essential to our survival!

My plan is to get one of these boxes for each child, possibly for each year.  You can also get these dividers to add to the box for even MORE organization!

There is such an array of things to use for art.  These are a few of our favorites, and I plan to add more to another post in the future.

Time to get to creating!


What is your child’s favorite art medium?  Do you have a favorite as well?  Comment below!


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