Making a Creative Play Area for Kids
Kids need the ability to play creatively so as parents, we want to be sure we're providing them with space to explore and use imaginative play. When my older two kids were young, I lived close to my college roommates, Kelly and Maja. We had weekly play dates that helped keep me sane, and keep the kids busy instead of bored.
One of the absolute best pieces of advice they gave me was to rotate and separate the toys. Both Kelly and Maja were educators and they had a jump start on understanding how kids play. In our home, we have little corners where toys are stashed (you'll love this Creativity Box Printable for this storage!), and I've been very purposeful about making a creative play area for kids.
One corner is devoted to reading, one corner is devoted to LEGOs (so that we know where to watch our step!), and we have a bench with a stash of paper, crayons, pencils, glue, and more that they know they can dig into. Anything in that drawer is fair game. None of it is "special paper" that I will be upset if it gets used. That just makes it easier on all of us!
Make Creative Play for Kids Simple and Doable
If they are going to be messy with glue or tape or play doh (Find a great play dough recipe here), they put aluminum foil down and tape it to the table. This makes for some very easy clean up! The kids know that as long as it isn't dinner time, the table is all theirs for being creative!
Want more ideas for developing creativity in your family? Check out the Mom It Forward eBook, Becoming a Super Hero Family: Creativity!
In my dreams, I can wave my magic wand and have a room just for them to create in. There is an art station, complete with 128 perfectly sharpened crayons. There aren't any stunning pictures of perfect rooms in this post because, In reality, I don't have an extra room for them. And you know what? The table works just fine for us! You get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right?!
One other trick they taught my roommates taught me was to open up an art book. I show them that there are so many different types of artists and that there is no "right" style. This has helped my older children a lot - especially the ones who tend to always try to do things "right".
Do you have a creative play area for your children? I'd love to hear your tips!