Parents and teachers of preschoolers know how important it is to make basic art supplies available for preschoolers to use when they want to. Free art time helps preschoolers to explore their creative side and can be very relaxing for over-stimulated preschoolers, but giving preschoolers free access to art supplies can create a huge mess. Simplify free art time by providing each preschooler with their own art box that contains only the art supplies that they have proven mastery of.
What You Need
Plastic shoebox-size containers
Labels with each preschoolers name
Assorted art supplies:
What To Do
Collect enough plastic containers that each preschooler can have their own. Many stores sell shoebox-sized containers that are easy to store and fit most basic art supplies but any small plastic container will work. Label the plastic containers with each preschooler’s name. Use a clear font that preschoolers can easily read. This will give preschoolers practice recognizing their name and the names of their preschool classmates and help to create a print-rich preschool classroom.
Determine what art supplies each individual preschooler has mastered. You may want to start each preschooler off with a box of crayons and add art supplies as they prove they know how to use them responsibly. Safety scissors should be included in the art box once each preschooler has demonstrated that they understand basic safety rules that they need to follow when using scissors.
Let preschoolers know that if they do not follow the rules with a particular art material that it will be removed from their box. This is helpful for preschoolers to understand before being given free access to their art box. That gives you the opportunity to remove craft glue if preschoolers consistently make a mess by using excessive amounts or to remove markers if preschoolers draw on an inappropriate surface.
Organize the art boxes on a low shelf in your art center so that preschoolers can easily access their individual art supplies during free play or free art time. Preschoolers will have their own basic art supplies to use whenever they want to create their own work of art.