Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Art Desk

For her birthday last year Quinn's Mimi and Papa got her an art desk.  We decided on a children's table from Ikea--it has legs that can raise as she grows and when Beck gets bigger we can turn the table so it will fit two.  All of the other items are pretty much rounded up from around the house or people's trash.

The blue metal box with drawers was in Grandbob's garagesale pile a few years ago.  We ran the drawers through the dishwasher and I spraypainted the outside and now it houses little items for Q to work with--beads, google eyes, pompoms, etc.  It's great for organization as well as promoting the skill of sorting.  She knows how to put items back in the correct compartment based on the type of item. 

On top are some salt shakers someone gave us and I filled them with glitter.  Love the small holes that slows down the glitter exit.  Often the glitter containers have holes that are WAY to big for preschoolers. 

The color wheel is a piece of wood I cut into a circle and we mixed/painted the colors earlier in the year when we were studying color theory.  We keep it there for reference. 

On the way are a couple pieces (my faves) of artwork she's made.  I plan to add more in time. 

There is a wooden box (great find at the sal army) that holds scissors, paintbrushes, glue, etc.  Next to that is a metal can that holds dirty brushes.  When it gets full we soak them in the sink and wash them up.  Nex to that is her marker block.  And look at her breaking a rule and painting on the bare table.....tsk, tsk, tsk. 

Under the table is a rug I got for $5 at a garage sale.  I love it because I don't care about spills that way.  If she does spill on the rug she still cleans up her mess  (with my help) as part of the art process is knowing how to clean up materials!

This shelf came out of someone's trash pile.  It's from Ikea and perfect for holding her materials.  Mimi bought her a wooden lazy susan that spins and several glass jars.  The jars hold gluesticks, markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc.  In the middle is a metal bucket of glitterglues--her favorite medium.  Also her own tape dispenser.  Next to that is a paper tray that holds paper for her to use.  I just put out a few choices at a time, otherwise they get strewn all over the places when she is making her color choice.  I also often put scraps in there for her to work with. 

On the shelves are different baskets/trays that offer choices of work.  I trade these out just like I do all her other work in the house.  Out right now are:
-some foam letters that can be glued (backwards) onto a popsicle stick and pressed into ink to make word stamps
-some rolling pin-type painters and paint
-chalk (she loves wet-on-wet wth chalk--dipping it in water)
-beads and pipecleaners to make bracelets
-stencils, pens and paper for tracing
-the collage basket--this is the most popular spot.  Basically I put any little scraps of string, yarn, ribbon, fabric, scrapbook paper, etc., in here and she uses them to glue into collages.  She LOVES anytime I give her new pieces!
-dot stampers

And these are two shoe racks also from a garage sale.  They serve as the drying rack for all her work.  On top of this shelf is a roll of paper towels (can't see in this pic) and a roll of big paper.  Also on the shelf is a box of wipes for cleaning the table when she's finished. 

The rules of the art table are:
-wear an art smock when working
-paint and glue on an art tray
-clean up after yourself
-all art needs to be done on the table

I spent many years teaching her the processes of different materials--how to use crayons, markers, paint, etc.  I always taught her step-by-step how to use each tool and never let her use items incorrectly or unsupervised, as I didn't want her to learn to misuse the tools.  This doesn't mean that when she was little I didn't let her explore with the tools, it just meant I worked hard to teach her correct uses.  For example-
*crayons and markers only write on paper
*markers are for writing gently (not smashing)
*when you take the lid off a marker you put it onto the end of the marker
*when you put the lid back you listen for the click
*when you close a glue bottle you wipe the end off so it doesn't make a "glue booger"

Finally all of those lessons have paid off and she has become very independent in creating her own art as well as cleaning up/caring for her materials!

I love that she enjoys long stretches of creating--and that she is doing true art, for the most part.  We have a few "crafty" projects thrown in here and there, but on the whole what she does is explore artistic concepts as she works at her art area. 
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