Our Art Centre - Freedom and creativity

Craft is a fun way to let children explore lots of different materials and resources while building on their fine motor skills and many other crucial developmental abilities. It is a great tool for inside play on rainy days or for the times your child is feeling crafty and creative, it can also be a fun outlet for imagination.

Is your craft usually structured?
It can get very messy.
Young children love LOTS of glue and need to learn to hold scissors correctly and I am sure you have had your share of Art creations that are wall art or carpet sculptures?  I remember finding Dimples one morning camped up under our king size Doona, quiet as can be.... I now have a lovely white flannelet fitted sheet with beautiful black swirls all over it!

For this reason I, as I am sure many parents do, easily fall into the habit of using quick easy craft ideas out of books and off the web that require few materials with the least amount of glue and let dimples make his own version of these cool craft projects.  Cool yes, original No!

To celebrate Dimples creativity I decided to redesign a corner of our home as a Art Centre for him where he has the freedom to create what ever he wants to safely. Everything is at his level and organised. All his materials and tools are bright, appealing to the eye, easy to see and easy to reach.  He calls this his "business" & his "Office work".

The materials in it are all his to use for the taking as he wishes, however there are rules he needs to obey such as using the bin, tidying up, using materials wisely not wastefully and sitting at his desk.
So far so good!

Dimples Art Centre includes-
  • His own glue (sticks and clag only mind you),
  • a scissor caddie,
  • The scissor box You can check out the scissor box idea here 
  • sticky tape,
  • some craft jars (sequins, googly craft eyes and beads),
  • a crayon caddy,
  • a pencil pot,
  • a pot full of bingo stampers & stamps,
  • a pot full of kids stamps and hole Punch's,
  • colour coordinated markers in jars (These are office pen jars painted and hung on the side of the shelf)
  • a file of coloured paper and card stock,
  • a box full of colouring in books,
  • a box full of craft paper and envelopes (cellophane, crepe, wrapping paper)
  • Craft draws with felt stickers, pipe cleaners, pompoms, ribbons, chipboard letters and numbers.
  • His own Desk, Bin and Display string with clips.
  • stickers
To date there has been some unique and clever creations that I would never have thought Dimples could or would create. He has let his imagination go and its been amazing to watch how this freedom has allowed him to express his ideas in a way he wants. If you are creating a space like this you must remember that these materials will most likely get used in every way other then intended, sticky tape around crayons for instance but the point of the art centre is freedom and creativity so pick your materials wisely and keep the special resources out of reach.

Dimples is nearly 4 and has been very responsible in his space, if he were a little younger or this space was tucked away in an area out of sight I wouldn't be comfortable with this much freedom. There are times when he will just sit and cut different shapes right into the bin from his scrap paper, he is still learning, focusing and practising important skills so I am happy for him to do this.

That is the beauty of the art centre. It is meant to provide freedom so if he feels like sharpening all his pencils for no apparent reason then he can, if he feels like folding a pompom over and over again inside a treasure map then he can, if he feels like cutting a bit of paper into a million pieces then he can and every once in a while he makes an awesome creative piece of art that I get to hold on to.

Happy Adventures


  1. What a wonderful space to create in. We have some craft supplies where the kids can access them when they want to, but don't really have room for a dedicated desk like yours. We use the table for our crafting, so sometimes it isn't available. If this is the case we try to take our creating outside. Love what you have done though!

  2. It is really a great thing for us to show our little ones we trust them. Giving them some responsibility and freedom in this way translates as trust I think. It looks a wonderful area you have created. I think any child would flourish 'working' within it!

  3. Love this space. Thanks for the list. I'm sure Dimples will make great use of this space when his baby sister arrives.

  4. We have a craft area just off the kitchen where we can see her without necessarily hovering over her. With JJ being only 2.8 years, we've got less selection than you - washable textas, pencils, sharpeners, crayons, chalk, child scissors, masking tape, stickers and a big pile of recycled paper. She knows what our expectations are - she can only colour in, cut etc on paper unless she asks first, and she *mostly* abides by the rules. And I'm gradually adding things as she matures.

  5. I love your thoughts on this and what a fantastic space you have provided! How lovely that he is treating it so well...that's what happens when we make it special isn't it?

  6. What a great little art center, I love that everything he could ever need is right there! really love the colourful pens in their holders, it all looks so appealing. We have a similar kind of area in our home too, it's such a beautiful thing to give kids the freedom to create whatever they like whenever they like (with a few rules thrown in!). Occasionally we have little disasters like glue on the floor or a Barbie missing some hair (that was today actually haha!) but they learn from it and help to clean up afterwards.



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