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  • Writer's pictureOur Playful Learning Journey

How to Create a Kids Art and Craft Area in a Small Space

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

A closer look at our little space in our home for crafting, creating, imagining, painting, drawing, sensory play and more.

Peg board with coloured containers of pencils and crayons, table underneath for creating and making things
Our fun little art and craft nook in our home

Just because you live in a small home or you don't have a lot of space, doesn't mean that you cannot have a dedicated space for art and craft in your home. Keep reading to find out how we created this little space for our girls in a little corner of our living space.


 

In our home we don't have a playroom, which means we have to creatively use the spaces around our home in our living areas to create spaces for the girls to play.


One of our favourite spaces in our home is our little art and craft nook in the corner of our dining room. It holds supplies that the girls can use to create and is right next to the windows looking out the backyard, which means it is a lovely sunny spot to create and make.


Our little art and craft area has evolved over time and will continue to over time as the girls grow and their needs change.


We started with the Ikea Flisat table and a chair from Kmart, when Miss 4 was 1 1/2. She used the table with some of her toys. Over time we added a small pin board behind the table for displaying some of her artwork.


Our art area now has a pegboard from Kmart attached to the wall behind it. It is fantastic for storing all our most used art materials vertically up the wall. This allows us to make the most of space for storage, while having the smallest parts up high and out of reach.


The pencils, crayons and some textas are stored in coloured tubs (called mini tub rugs). We have a little hanging bucket for glue and scissors and other materials. These were bought from a local discount store.


Coloured tubs and buckets filled with pencils and art supplies
Art materials are stored in little coloured containers for easy access

These materials in the buckets swap over time, and have included things like glitter glue, washi tape and stickers in the past.


The top shelves have loose parts in jars - our rock crayons, Grimms large jewels and some playdough stampers. The jars are plastic candy jars from the party section at Kmart.


Shelf with playdough stamps, and plastic jars containing crayons and jewels.
Small jars store & display some art materials

The crayon rocks (not an affliate link) are special shaped crayons that encourage children to use the correct tri-pod pencil grip when they use them. The are shaped so that it is impossible to hold them any way other than with the correct grip. I have noticed on the days that Miss 4 uses these crayons, she picks up other pencils, textas etc. later in the day with the correct grip too.


I have read that if you use really short crayons/break your crayons so they are short, that this has the same effect.


There is also a clipboard for displaying a current piece of artwork. We also have a family art gallery in our hallway that contains some of the girls pieces of artwork. Miss 4 is always very proud to show everyone her artwork and creations in this gallery.


Sometimes I will set up art invitations, such as the one shown below. This was a simple invitation to create using water colour paints and a little easel.


Art and craft area at home including pencils, paint and craft materials
Invitation to create using water colour paints.

The table underneath is used for many activities - craft, painting, drawing, playing with small worlds, for working with the light table, and for sensory play in the tubs underneath.


I love that it has two different tubs, which can be used for multiple children at the same time. We used our tubs for sensory play as pictured below. Both girls started out with some rice and pink objects, then I poured it all into one side of the table for Miss 4 to continue playing and added some Grapat rings, coins and some flamingoes for Miss 1 to play with.


Table with tubs filled with sensory play including rice and loose parts
The tubs underneath are perfect for sensory play!

The things we love about this little art space are:


- It is all contained in the one area

- Miss 4 can access the materials for herself

- Things we don't want accessed independently are on the highest shelf or not in this area at all.

- We can rotate the materials in the area to create interest and make things fresh again

-The tubs underneath can be used for sensory play/storing other items. The table closes up when it is not being used

- The flat table is a great surface to work on

- It is the perfect size for our table easel

-Two children are able to use the area together at the same time


Miss 1 has recently started using this area too. She loves to draw using crayons and pencils, play with playdough and do sensory play.


Playdough, stampers and feathers
Playdough is a fun way to use this area

We often set up this area, with each girl getting a side of the table. As shown above, each child gets one colour of playdough and some items to play with. This way there are no fights and everyone enjoys playing.


On the top of the table we have three bamboo storage containers from Kmart that store a range of materials that we swap out regularly. At the moment we have out some alphabet letters, dot markers and tracing letters. Sometimes we have a mini playdough kit, stickers and some paper or other items like this.


A bamboo file holder, also from a Kmart, holds two sketch A4 books and a clipboard with paper sits next to it. This allows quick access to paper for drawing. The kids each have their own sketch book that they can use. This is a great way to keep a record in the one spot of some of their art and early drawings.



 

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How to Create Your Own Art Space At Home


Here are some of my tips for creating your own space:

  • Pick an area in your home or playroom that is suitable. It doesn't need to be a large space.

  • An art caddy is a great option, where you use a rolling cart to store your art materials. This means that they can be put away and is a more portable option.

  • Choose a flat surface where your child/children will be able to create (e.g. small table, dining table, table with tubs if you want to do sensory play too, or other useful surface)

  • Choose the types of art supplies that you would like your child to have access to e.g. crayons, pencils, paper

  • Keep it simple to begin with. You can add more to the space as your child becomes confident and independent in using what is available.

  • Remember it does not need to look Pinterest or Instagram perfect. It is going to get messy as it is a space for creating (Our table looks well used most of the time!)

  • Teach your child how to use the area and to pack away materials when they have finished. You will need to help them pack away if they are a younger child.

  • Only put items in the area that you are comfortable with your child having access to e.g. our paints are stored elsewhere, as are the textas.

  • Use washable products (We like Crayola because they wash off and messes are bound to happen).

  • Your local discount store/Kmart are great places to pick up art/craft supplies cheaply. Think washi-tape, stickers, pop sticks, stamps etc.

  • If you are creating a space for a younger child, keep it simple. We used to only have the table and some pencils and crayons.

  • If you are creating a multi-age space, a peg board is a great way to store materials for the older child out of reach from their younger sibling.

  • Have fun and enjoy the process.


UPDATE: If you have a toddler who likes to climb, they may be able to reach the top shelves by standing on the table, as I have just learned. This is why the jars are a great idea so little ones can't get hold of small loose parts, or alternatively store these elsewhere. The pegboard could be attached to the wall a little higher up to ensure the top shelves cannot be reached.


*Important note! Our space is not always neat and tidy. The table is more often that not filled with toys, art projects, or little drawings that the girls have been working on. It is a space to be used and not to just look pretty.


The coloured tubs/buckets have been mixed all up and a few occasions when Miss 4 was younger. She enjoyed helping me sort them by colour to put them back (some great maths learning too!). For younger children storing by type e.g. pencils, crayons, may work better. We store some of Miss 1's drawing materials like this. Her crayons are stored in the one little tub, which makes it easy to give to her to draw.


 


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Thank you for reading this blog post!


That is the end of the look at our little art space. I hope that you have found some inspiration or tips that can help you with your own art/craft space at home.



Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!


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