A few weeks ago I discussed making over our playroom. If you missed the post check it out here: sensory-table-and-new-playroom.
Part of my inspiration for the new playroom came from The Reggio Emilia Approach. One of many things this philosophy promotes is making items/toys accessible to children. For me this meant purging and organizing.
One of the areas I focused on was our art corner. Previously all the materials were just thrown in bins and if the girls wanted to use them we had to sift through all the bins to find what we wanted. There was really no rhyme or reason to it and some of the materials I even forgot we had.
Here is one wall of the new and improved art area.
The shelves were actually old cd shelves that were just sitting in our storage area completely unused. I had my hubby nail them to the wall and I organized all the material so that they could be seen by the girls and easy for them to take down and put back. Part of The Reggio philosophy is to have as many natural and real material as possible. We are still a work in progress but in the mason jars are rocks, shells, gems and wooden pieces for the girls to explore. The girls need to be supervised when using the mason jars, especially my 20 month old but they love exploring the materials in them.
Above the art shelves I placed some signs with questions. I use to have the signs in my pre-k classroom and often referred to them when guiding the children. Nothing ground breaking here but it reminds me to ask open ended questions while I am interacting with them during play. Sometimes I fall into being reactive with the girls play...answering their questions but not challenging them to think further. These questions among others not listed here really help with guiding them to think outside the box. "How might you make that tower bigger?", What did you do to make the color pink?", "Why do you think the puzzle piece doesn't fit there?", "What would happen if I added eggs to the flour?" etc.
After organizing the new playroom we also had fun decorating it! I bought some canvases at Michaels and had the girls paint them to hang on the walls in the playroom. They loved it and really enjoy seeing their work displayed.
The completed projects displayed.