Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Before and ... (Ok, Just Before)

Zack's Art Bin is not working for us anymore. It's one of these Ikea bins which has a spot in his room but seldom makes it back there, instead spending most of its time sitting on the kitchen table. Part of the problem is that Zack doesn't really like to dig for his stuff - he'll work with whatever I set out or what's on top, but forgets about the rest. Also, having it always at his elbow on the unused third of the table during meals is bugging James. On the other hand, we really enjoy having his art materials accessible in the family space during the day.

Prompted by organized art photos from this book (which I have mentioned before and will review properly one of these days, really), I tackled his bin today, finding a lot of past paintings and drawings piled up within the supplies.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, UNpacking the bin and stacking things in piles of like items was as far as I got. I did get rid of a bunch of trash. I also took past masterpieces and culled through them (just a little), dating the undated ones by month or season, as best I could remember. While I was at it, Zack narrated older drawings for me, telling me some things about them I'm not sure I knew at the time.

This was about as far as I got when it was time to clean up for dinner. I just barely ordered some things in the bin before James came along and stacked my stacks together and set everything on the floor. Sigh. I guess I have a little re-do to accomplish to get to make any progress beyond what you see here. Do you love how you keep your kids' art supplies? Hopefully, I'll be able to come up with at least a slightly better system, but I'm still trying to figure out what that will be.


  1. I don't LOVE how I have the art supplies organized, but parts of it work. For the art itself, I have an art line (just a piece of wire) hung up with clothespins. The latest and greatest pieces are hung there. Then, I have a "portfolio", which is 2 pieces of poster board taped together. We put the older art work there. Periodically, Lily cleans out her portfolio. She decides which pieces are worthy of keeping and which aren't. My mom said that it's a higher level of thinking for a child to be able to compare two items and decide one is better. That part seems to work well for us. I keep our art supplies in the kitchen, in a basket. It's a complete mess. I have one basket for books and papers and one for crayons, playdoh, etc. I'd love to hear any good ideas on how to better organize it!

  2. I love Jennifer's portfolio idea! In addition your children are learning how to get rid of stuff- not everything's worth keeping!

    I have to admit, NJ's not quite there yet. He just borrows my colored pencils and very lightly swishes them over some paper...

    But for Z, what about a fishing tackle box for the supplies (not the finished products)? They usually have little things you can use to change the sizes of the area and, in theory, it could be hauled back up to his room when not in use! It seems like I've seen them at Walmart for $5-10... Didn't dad have something like that for the art supplies when we were taking those water color classes?