Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art Box

Mr. Sunshine

This is the final Art Box post.

M is at a point now where he’s drawing the same thing over and over and over again.  And then one more time.  He still loves his art box, perhaps more now than ever, and gets it out at least once a day.  But I feel that the quality of the posts I’m writing about this aren’t worth the time and effort I put into them.  I will continue to take pictures of his artwork for his little memory box and of course we’ll save some of it.  I just won’t be posting about it every week.  I am hoping to do at least one, maybe two, structured art projects with him per week that I’ll try to post about.  Or maybe one art project, and one craft project, depending on the season (and my need to craft ;) ).

So, for an ending note, I thought I’d share with you about the variety of things that go into M’s art box and how I switch them out each week.  Occasionally, when I’m feeling brave, I let him into my craft drawers to pick his own supplies for the week. :)  

There are some art basics that are always in the box, which I replenish as needed.  carousel filled with basic art supplies


  1. paper – usually this is a combination of newsprint and construction paper.  For a change once in a while I add in some colorful tissue paper, fun foam, scraps of wrapping paper, or aluminum foil.papers
  2. scissors – the safety kind for children are always in his box.  I also add in one or two pairs of my craft scissors (with fancy designs) from time to time.
  3. glue – basic white school glue.  If interest in gluing wanes, adding a few drops of food coloring to the bottle and shaking it up (or stirring it in with the pointy end of a small paintbrush) can revive interest pretty quickly!  Glitter glue is always a big hit too!
  4. drawing utensils – this can be crayons, oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, gel pens, chalk, etc.  Lately there have been two to three of these in his box at one time – did I mention a lot of drawing has been going on here?
  5. paints – fairly non-messy paints include watercolors, roll-on paints, and do-a-dot painters.  I also have a small pill container that I keep a little tempera paint in.  It has seven sections – perfect for the six primary and secondary colors, plus white.  M has been painting since he was born (well, maybe not quite that early) and isn’t all that messy anymore.  For a younger child, or one that hasn’t painted much, the temperas should be used under supervision, for the sake of mom’s sanity. ;)tempera paints
  6. paintbrushes – chunky and big, as well as thin and small.  Foam paintbrushes are a fun change too, as is a mini paint roller.
  7. collage materials – this can be just about anything.  Torn pieces of paper, catalogs (Christmas ones are lots of fun!), tissue paper, fabric pieces, or ribbons.  I also keep a small divided container in M’s art box and it’s usually filled some combination of the following items:
    1. pom poms
    2. googley eyes
    3. buttons
    4. beads (usually pony beads or foam beads)
    5. sequins
    6. shapes from craft punches
    7. dyed macaroni
    8. glass mosaic pieces (like what you find in stepping stone kits)
    9. seashells
    10. cotton ballssmall collage materials

Extras – depending on space, I try to have a couple of the following extra items in his art box each week:

    1. craft sticks
    2. pipe cleaners
    3. stickers – foam or regular, occasionally something fancy like pop-up stickers
    4. tape – colored, scotch, double stick, masking, or electrical
    5. glitter
    6. play dough that is just beginning to get old (this is great for making sculptures to stick things into!), or is being replaced by new play dough
    7. something new to paint – like a wooden train car, airplane, or those bendable wooden snakes and crocodiles; small ceramic or plaster items would be fun too 
    8. stencils
    9. stamps
    10. feathers
    11. new things to paint with – a bath pouf, crumpled plastic wrap, porcupine balls, potato masher, small cars with that make neat tread marks – just about anything will work for this!

I know there are many, many more things that could be added to this list.  If you have a favorite that isn’t here, leave it in the comments!  One of the reasons I started writing these posts was to share ideas and get ideas from other mamas so our Art Box would always hold something interesting for M.  I’d love to hear about your child’s favorite art supply!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Awesome organizing!!
    Where did you find the round container that holds the glue, paints, pencils, etc.?

  2. You know my kids and pipe cleaners.

    We just feel behind on posting about our art endeavors as well. Partially it felt sometimes that I was posting the same thing over and over again.

    It was fun to read and see while you had time to do it :)

  3. What a great post! Thanks for sharing all of your ideas. I especially like how you put the paint into a pill box.

  4. Alyssa - thank you! The round container is a lazy-susan utensil holder (like for plastic forks, spoons, etc. at picnics). I actually found it at the dollar spot in Target, but it was summer then. I'm sure they will have more sooner or later - it really does work great! I love that M can spin it around to find what he wants.

  5. I love all of the ideas you shared in this post! I need to start getting a little space where Sammy can go and work on a project just when he feels like it.

  6. I'll miss the art box - M is such an amazing little artist! But I understand!

  7. Great list!I've enjoyed the art box, but I certainly know what you're going through. M also does basically the same thing all the time when it comes to art. Right now she's in a cutting phase. No gluing after, just cutting. C, who is 6 now, is much more varied with his artwork, so I find I'm always sharing his artwork on my blog instead of hers.


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