With cooler days there are lots more craft projects, coloring books and little games around our house. My son loves to cut, paste and tape things together. We have many, many supplies to keep him going. He also seems to have dozens of little games with small pieces and parts that can get everywhere. It’s a wonder I can keep any of it put away, but I do try to keep things organized. We try to have a place for everything. Eventually, things do get put back into their place.
Our office/den is where my son does many of his craft projects as we have a small table and chair set in here. I have to admit that I really like using plain old plastic shoe boxes to store many of our small art supplies and games in. (You might have seen more of them here). Although perhaps not the most elegant looking containers, they really hold up to glue, paint, crayon smears, knocks, drops and other wear and tear. They are clear, so you can easily see the contents, they stack, and they are very inexpensive as far as matching storage containers go.
I was storing many of our son’s supplies on these shelves above our computer. I’ve since moved them down to his level so he can retrieve them himself.
Here’s a close-up showing what I keep in some of the boxes. Markers and/or crayons in one. Sewing cards and beads in another. Small alphabet magnets that would wind up all over the house if not kept in another. And random goodies and games such as marbles, silly putty, flarp, tic-tac-toe and card games in another — some of these I also keep within sealable snack bags so we don’t lose little pieces. (This ‘games’ box has since been divided into two separate containers, one just for card games and flash cards.)
A look inside the games box.
Crayons get a whole box to themselves now, so there is plenty of room to dig. I keep a small plastic container with a lid in here for crayon sharpening time. Any mess has to stay in that container.
Construction paper has it’s own, larger box. Glitter, glue, and other messy items have their own.
I keep a large freezer bag to store larger paper scraps in, as I like to try to encourage reuse. We also keep random funny papers or catalogs with interesting pictures for Ezra to cut out in here. All of the loose paper and cutting stuff goes in this one place.
This cabinet helps to hold many of our things as well. This was a thrift store find that I did a little makeover on. More about that in another post.
A pull out drawer (that once was for keyboards) holds flat wooden puzzles.
Stickers have been moved to a file drawer in the cabinet, along with coloring books and workbooks. Instead of having a pile, we can see them at a glance. A small basket at the back props them up straight and also holds smaller items.
The smaller drawer above this holds some random office things we all use. (Adult scissors, staplers, usb cords and other grown up supplies stay in a separate, off-limits drawer by the computer.)
More presentable crayons, markers, scissors, pens and pencils are now kept in this little art caddy I made.
And — for convenience — all the little plastic boxes have now moved down to this child-sized shelf in the corner of our office.
This might not be the most stylish system for organizing art and craft supplies and small games for kids, but it holds up and is easy to work with.
To keep things orderly, I recommend trying to have inexpensive matching containers (I like these) and using labels to help identify the contents.
When my son is older, I may switch out the utilitarian containers for more aesthetically pleasing ones, but these work well for now. What works for you?