The Art Cart

The Art Cart

As the girls get older I am making a slight shift in my outlook on creating spaces for them… With younger children I recommend a more curated collection of materials that can be rotated in and out according to their interests. Yet, as I set up this new space (more will be revealed in the upcoming Playful Learning Spaces Workshop) for my 10 and 11 year olds, I decided to take a lot of our supplies out of the storage closet and bring them into the light of day and on display.

Art Cart...

Older children are able to handle more choices and need easy access to interesting materials. They can quickly become interested in exploring an idea, yet just as quickly move on if they don’t find what they need. The goal of any space created for children continues to be the encouragement of independence and exploration.

For the older artists in our lives there is a shift from teaching them how to use and explore a variety of materials to experimenting with materials in order to solve design challenges. They come to this space with their own ideas and inspiration for projects and their time here is spent making the image they have in their mind a reality through trial and error.

It is just that kind of problem solving and persistence we want to see develop within our children. Creating spaces that feel safe (so they are comfortable taking risks) and enticing (to get the ideas flowing) is a small thing we can do that makes a big difference in their lives…


In many ways it has become a maker lab, because, makers gonna make, especially if they have an inviting space…

At this point we have discovered many different tried and true art supplies, which we like to have on hand (although we always love new recommendations). Being well-stocked and organized comes in handy for last minute school projects and when spontaneous DIY inspiration strikes.



More Art Area Inspiration…


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With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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