Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Can I Color, Mommy?"

I hear those words often at my house, and I don't know about you, but kids' art supplies can get SO messy. Crayons never quite make it back into their box, marker lids are easily lost, and kids are often raiding my stash of pens and pencils so that just when I need one, I can't find it.

We solved some of these problems a couple years ago by introducing each child to their own "art bin." We keep them in the office closet for them to pull out and bring to the kitchen table when they want to color. Inside is a notebook, some paper, coloring books, and a pencil box to hold their own art supplies. Every six months or so, when the bin gets overflowing and the crayons and colored pencils are mixed in with the layers of papers, we go through and purge a lot of the extra papers, and organize again the crayons, markers, and other supplies.

On my "to do" list all summer has been to re-organize the kids' art bins. Yesterday, I was happy I'd put it off, because I found these great baskets at our local Buy Low for 88 cents (there were lots left if you live in my area, so head on over!)! I picked up seven of them and today some of the kids helped me set them up. And yes, I did make one for Harmony even though she's still too young to care. I figure that way, at least I will be able to find some supplies when I'm in quick need.

One of the problems with our old system is that the crayons and markers and such never ended up back in the pencil box. This will work better because there's no opening and closing or digging through to find things. Just a sweet little handle and everything's at their fingertips.

Everyone got crayons, kid scissors, colored pencils, a small pencil sharpener and watercolor paint in their bin. The older three kids also got glue and markers (I've found Sarah and Allison just will not put those lids back on, no matter how many reminders I give them).

Their old bins are still there, but they only have paper, stickers, and coloring books in them now.

How do you organize your coloring supplies?


3in3mom said...

I have a little bin with 3 drawers and then 3 baskets for larger supplies. . . and it seems to work well. Glue and adhesives are in a seperate bin that I get so they have to ask to get things that will be 'messy'.

good ideas!

Our little family said...

I have a plastic drawer set. It has 3 bigger drawers, and 4 smaller drawers. Each category gets its own drawer. Coloring books in one drawer, construction paper in another(I buy the giant Costco pack of construction paper), and so on. Scissors and glue get a smaller drawer, stickers in a smaller drawer. Pencils and crayons get one pencil box, markers in another, and they go into a drawer as well. But I only have two kids that color, and they're both girls, so they just share everything. It's in their room so they can get it when they want it. The messy stuff, and stuff they don't use as much, like paints, glitter, pompoms and pipe cleaners is in a bin that I have to get out so it's more controlled.

jaradoron said...

I just have a great big mess!! Thanks for showing me that there can be some order!!

Wendy said...

What great baskets!!! I might have to run over and grab some for my five kids. We usually just keep crayons in a ziplock, but then they end up all over the house eventually. I could clear off a shelf in my closet area and put those baskets there.

Thanks for sharing the idea.

swedemom said...

Well, the cruel heartless part of me would like to banish art supplies to outer darknes, at least until I own my own house and don't have to pay a deposit. Partially because it requires my full attention to monitor and supervise my artists. Despite my best efforts, walls have still been decorated.

In Sweden,things were more or less organized in small bins. Currently I have a large drawer overflowing with projects. That is totally not working.

I have a great plan in mind for when we move. It does involve dividing supplies by child. It should be a little more oragnized.

But seriously, art supplies are the bane of my cleaning existence.

The Walker Family said...

That is the best idea I have ever heard!!! I will totally steal this idea when Sammy is bigger and when we have more kids!

Lisa6Kids said...

We have the little totes just like that! It does work well.

Deserie said...

That's a great idea. I'm always picking up crayons. And as you know, I have their little coloring table in my living room which they also do puzzles on too while they watch TV. I really like your system.


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