When Cate was six months old, I mixed some food coloring, flour, and water to create finger paint for her. She had fun just making a mess. The first time she realized what a crayon could do on paper as a one-year-old, she was mesmerized. And if you read this blog fairly regularly in the fall, you got to know how much she loved art class.
But even before art class, all the way back to when she was that bald six-month-old just painting away, I dreamed of making a space for her, and any subsequent children, to create. Today, I finally did just that.
Our basement is what I call semi-finished. The whole thing is waterproofed. But when we took out the drop ceiling, we never really did anything to make the ceiling look nice and finished again. We put down carpet tiles with non-skid bottoms instead of regular flooring. This way if a part of the carpet get ruined by paint, kid puke, spilled food, whatever, we can pull up the tile and replace it (we ordered extra tiles). We actually do spend quite a bit of time down there playing since there's a "sitting area" for the adults (excuse the mess in this picture-- it was 80 here one day last week so I pulled out the bins of bigger sized clothes we've inherited or bought at end-of-season sales to start getting out the summer stuff).
The basement seemed to be the perfect place to make Cate what she calls her own art "studio."
The table? Rescued from someone's garbage, then cleaned and spray-painted green. The buckets? Target's dollar bin.
Drawers for feathers, pom-poms, foam stickers, and googly eyes? Also Target.
Then we headed out to Michael's to puchase said feathers, pom-poms, and googly eyes. Along with some popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and construction paper (kept in a inbox/outbox type of thing). We already had tons of stickers, glue, kid scissors, markers, crayons, colored pencils, chalk, paint, etc. It was always in a big bin and was a pain to get out any time Cate (or Mommy) had the urge to create. Now, everything is out in the open. My sweet girl can draw, sticker, chalk, glue, and create to her heart's content. All of our supplies are kid friendly, so she can work independently if I'm doing laundry or tending to Brennan. Today, she made this (with Daddy's help):
She LOVES her new space. As do I. Her art easel fit nicely behind the table so she can paint there but have access to everything else in case she's going for mixed-media art by gluing some feathers on or something. It's nice to have everything out in the open and ready to go. The only problem is this:Good thing I've still got several months to figure out how to somehow enclose this space once he can pull up. I could always buy more secure storage for the stuff he shouldn't be into as well. Then he can participate too with his own little scribbles and masterpieces. Cate would be able to reach the big kid stuff, but he wouldn't (like scissors and glue and pipe cleaners and stuff). Our art supplies are non-toxic, so if he chews on a crayon when he gets a hold of one, no biggie...just rainbow poop.