Should I be nervous about providing a reggio inspired art area for the kids with free access to art supplies after the cardboard playhouse paint fiasco? You would think that I would have locked every single art supply down under lock and key and definitely NOT thinking about providing free access!
Is it possible to have art materials available freely to children?
I learnt some valuable lessons from that playhouse experience and I believe that by starting small, setting boundaries, providing age-appropriate supplies and storing them in an organised way for ease of access and packing away, art supplies can be made freely available to young children.
Provide access to art supplies that children have been using and are familiar with. I love starting young toddlers with bee’s wax crayons and paper. As they grow introduce glue and collage materials, paint, markers, pencils and scissors. Over time introduce these new art supplies, give the children time to explore the new material, learn about its usages, its strengths and its limitations. When children are familiar with the material it can become a self selected art supply.
Set boundaries in your Reggio inspired art area
- The art supplies are only used in the designated area.
- Help clean-up.
Art Supplies and Organisation
A reggio inspired art area must include self selection of art materials as it encourages independence and exploration. Not too many choices but still open-ended to explore the materials and learn how to use them.
This is our easel area with a fully stocked art trolley available at ALL times.
Behind this area is our creative table covered with a plastic table-cloth but I also like to use a large roll of paper to cover the table, which often leads to further unexpected art works! Nearby is a set of shelves that house our paper supply.
The top shelf of the art trolley currently stocks:
- Washable markers
- Lead and coloured pencils (triangular to encourage correct pencil grip)
- Bees wax crayons
- Dot painters
The middle shelf currently stocks:
- Collage tray
- White glue
- Coloured masking tape
The bottom shelf currently stocks:
- Water colour palette
- Paint pots and paint pads
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