Art / Learning Spaces

Learning Spaces: Art

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Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is hereOver the next few weeks I will be giving you a look at our learning spaces and I have decided to start with my favourite, art! The art shelves live at one end of the playroom. First of all, how awesome are these shelves? I love them. My husband made them for us. There is 3 of them down in the play room and art takes up a whole one alone. I give the most space to the things my girls are interested in and they both create art every single day. Some of their art gets displayed above the shelves, and it’s constantly changing. All we did was get some small stick on hooks, string, and mini wooden pegs. Easy! Ok, lets take a closer look at the shelves…

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

Starting from the top left we have lots of materials for drawing: oil pastels, chalk pastels, charcoal, pencils, watercolour pencils, markers, crayons, eraser, and sharpener. In the blue cup with the charcoal is also some broken candle pieces, they sometimes use them to draw on white paper and then paint over with watercolours to reveal the picture. We also have two art books displayed ‘Usbourne Lift-the-flap Art‘, and ‘Famous Paintings‘. And our little ‘Mannekin‘ there who looks like he’s dancing.

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

Underneath that we have all of our art books, journals, and paper.

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

The bottom left shelf is painting! From left to right we have paintbrushes, micador watercolour palletes, liquid watercolours, washable poster paint, and then trays/cups/pallettes for putting paint in which there are more of but they were in use today. You can see that the ice cube trays are currently being used for liquid watercolours, I find that they are best for them because they don’t end up using too much.

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

Back up to the top, on the right we display any art that can’t be hung up, or work in progress. At the moment it’s filled with clay sculptures.

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

Underneath that is all of our crafty bits and pieces. In the tray on the left there is felt, foam, and tissue paper. The bowl in the middle is the ‘scrap’ bowl. All of the loose bits and pieces that end up everywhere get put into this bowl for later use. There’s ribbons, wool, wooden pegs, recycled materials, and who knows what else! On the right there is jars of small things like rubber bands, beads, pom poms, craft sticks, and pipe cleaners. Then there is glue, a tray full of lots of different types of scissors, tape, and hole punchers.

Learning Spaces: Art | Happiness is here

On the bottom right shelf is all of our clay/play dough materials: loose parts, pattern stampers, clay tools, wire, jars with play dough and clay, rolling pins, and mats to put underneath when working with the materials. The mats are just those cheap thin chopping boards found in supermarkets.

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the tour of our art space. I am often asked how my kids go having free access to everything and the answer is, great! I did envision a lot of waste and constant mess when we first started but that hasn’t been the case after the initial excitement wore off. There is mess, sure, but you have to expect that with artists in the house! They have surprised me with how responsible they are with it.

You can read more about how we approach art here, and I’d love to hear about your art spaces too!

For ideas on how to create a beautiful and inviting art space, click here.


October 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

It’s beautiful. Of course πŸ™‚ And I do love those shelves. Our art space is very small, just a thin cupboard really and the kids work at the dining table. Some day soon we will have our homeschool studio and I’ll excitedly set up open art shelves like these.

Can not wait to see the rest of the room πŸ™‚ If you don’t mind me asking, about how big is the playroom? Is it a rumpus room?

    October 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I think it’s supposed to be a lounge room. There’s a family room though so that’s where our TV/lounge is. This room is down a couple of steps and has a big sliding door to the backyard. Perfect for the playroom. I sent hubby down to check, lol, he says it’s about 6x4m

Jess - Memoirs of a Childhood
October 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm

So lovely and inviting!!

October 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm

It really is a beautiful inviting space!

October 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I love this space! We do most of our art in our kitchen and the girls have access to lots of different materials but because most of them are in drawers I sometimes think out of sight, out of mind. Your open shelves look like they work really well.

amrita sharma
October 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

So beautiful. .so much effort. .u guys inspire me so much..keep it up..

October 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thanks so much for sharing!!! It’s great to see other people spaces! I currently have a 16 month old who eats art supplies so can’t keep things within her reach but it will be lovely to create an open access art space for my girls one day!! πŸ™‚

October 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Lovely! This post is perfect timing for us. We are just about to move to Melbourne and renovate, so my kids will have a playroom. Thank you for your inspiration. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it πŸ™‚

October 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm

What an inspiring space and materials ~ no wonder they love creating each day πŸ™‚

Danya Banya
October 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Oh wow! We have most of these materials too, but most are out of reach in our craft cupboard. I love that you have them accessible and beautifully displayed! I’m hoping that when my 2 year old is just a teeny bit older I’ll be able to bring down our paints for free access too…

lisa walker
October 9, 2014 at 12:54 am

love the art shelves! Love to look at what people put on them for ideas and inspiration for mine. The kitchen is the only room in our house that has flooring appropriate for paint spills so that is where the grands do their artwork. My oldest granddaughter and I recently culled all our art stuff except for the dough materials and put them in a trolley that has 5 pullout shelves. she labeled them all and we have great fun with the independence it gave to the artists to find their own supplies and use at their leisure. Am excited to see the rest of your setups for play and learning. Also can you tell me a little more about the Usborne lift the flap art book

    October 9, 2014 at 10:06 am

    That sounds really great!
    My girls love all the usborne books, especially ones with flaps and things. This one is great with lots of information on different types of art, how they were made, different artists, etc. It tells you a bit more if you click the link, but it’s been a winner here πŸ™‚

October 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

This is such a beautiful organised space! Love it!!!

October 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I just love the way you’ve set these spaces up, so inspiring.

October 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

So inspiring πŸ™‚ What a glorious space to be explored!

October 10, 2014 at 11:21 am

I love the way you display their work and how easy it would be to add their latest masterpiece! This is just what I have in mind for the future, so I’ll be pinning it now! πŸ™‚

October 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

It’s so beautiful and neat (can you tell our house isn’t? lol!) I love that they have access to it whenever the artistic mood strikes them!

October 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Lovely, well thought out and so inviting. Pinning! xo P

October 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

This is so lovely. My lack of tolerance for mess means that there are not many opportunities for art in our house and that’s something that really needs to change! Thank you for the inspiration.

November 19, 2014 at 10:10 am

What a great space! You have some really interesting materials and yet there’s not too much on display so it’s not overwhelming. I’m excited to have found your site!

December 22, 2014 at 3:03 am

Hey, I have a 4 and 5 year old. Do I just give em the materials or do I need to work on a project with them using the supplies? I am usually too tired to sit with them, darn!

November 25, 2015 at 12:17 am

Beautiful and organized. We simply do not have the extra room for this but I enjoy your blog though. I’m wondering how this works with a toddler who enjoys exploring and pulling things off shelves? Sometimes I can embrace mess and other times I lack the patience for it. πŸ™‚

    November 25, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Hi Heather. Some things have been moved around since my toddler began walking. So glass bottles and paints are now on the top. With everything else I’ve just kind of let her explore and get used to it. There was a time where she was continually there pulling things down and investigating. But when she got over that and had thoroughly checked everything out it settled. Trying to keep her away just made her more interested. Now at almost 2 she is fine. She doesn’t pull stuff off for no reason but she uses the shelves like the other girls. She will get glue/scissors/pens/pencils etc to use herself πŸ™‚

February 17, 2016 at 5:47 am

I love the accessibility of the materials! I’m wondering how you deal with all of their creations. Sometimes my son gets very prolific, and I haven’t yet discovered the best balance of display and storing for all of the results of his labors. Do you display and then store? Do you throw away and recycle? How do you involve your girls in the process of deciding respectfully what happens with their art? Thanks in advance!

December 10, 2016 at 6:49 am

Hi Sara!

I’ve used your learning spaces many times as inspiration for our play area, very clever and beautiful.
A question’s been burning though, if I may ask; what did this look like with a toddler in the house? Did you change the art shelves?

November 15, 2017 at 7:10 am

What are the dimensions of the shelves? It looks like it would go great in our space.

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