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5 Ways to Include Art in Your Kids Space

by Jean Van't Hul
January 24, 2008

5 Ideas for Decorating Your Kids Space – NYT and kids art article

I saw this article, about a 3-year-old girl who has an expensive art collection in her playroom, is from a 2006 New York Times article “The Playroom of Modern Art” by Ginny Chien. Why would parents spend $20,ooo on art for kids rooms for a 2 or 3 year old, you ask?

Here’s a quote from the article:

“…purchasing fine art for toddlers is the latest way for Hollywood parents to nurture little A-list intellects. These youngsters won’t just be smart — they’ll be creative, unorthodox thinkers, and they’ll have good taste, too.”

Of course I want Maia to grow up to be smart, creative, an unorthodox thinker, and to have good taste. Who doesn’t?

But I don’t have an extra $20,000 for the art collection that will supposedly foster those traits. And if I did, I’d probably spend it on a trip around the world, or some other eye-opening experience (as much for me and my husband as for her), rather than the art collection.

I also think that encouraging a child to make art herself is a better way to encourage creativity and unorthodox thinking than looking at art someone else made, especially in the early years.

Since I don’t have thousands of dollars to buy modern art for my toddler’s bedroom/playroom, and since many of you probably don’t either, here are a few inexpensive alternatives to decorating a child’s room with art.

Art for Kids Rooms Ideas

5 Ways for decorating your kids space - Kids Frames

1. Your Child’s Art

Give your child’s art the star treatment by matting and framing it and hanging it in their room (and around the house). And if it’s an abstract toddler drawing or painting, then it looks super modern!

Fine Art for Kids Rooms? Try Our 5 Ideas for Decorating Your Kids Space - picture book Madeline

2. Illustrations from Favorite Picture Books

Mat and frame your favorite illustrations from children’s picture books. There are some amazing artists out there making beautiful illustrations for children’s books. Hang one, or a series, on the wall. Whether you buy a new book for this purpose or pick up a copy at a library book sale or yard sale, it’s still a lot cheaper than most art.

Fine Art for Kids Rooms? Try Our 5 Ideas for Decorating Your Kids Space – Poster Art

3. A Poster or Print

So it’s not original, but it’s inexpensive. Visit Art.com or Allposters.com and search by artist, subject, or even color. Or, when visiting an art museum, buy prints or even just postcards of your favorite art, then mat and frame it.

I know I’m repeating myself about the matting and framing, but a mat and a frame makes everything look great!  (I used to mat and frame stuff for a living as a preparator at an art museum.)

Fine Art for Kids Rooms? Try Our 5 Ideas for Decorating Your Kids Space – Chalkboard art

4. Ephemeral Art

Put up a chalkboard to encourage art that changes day to day like this example on Petit & Small.

Fine Art for Kids Rooms? Try Our 5 Ideas for Decorating Your Kids Space – Original Artwork

5. Original Art

If you would still like original art, try Etsy for inexpensive, original art like this from Mermaid Meadow. Or become a patron of local artists who haven’t had their big break yet.

More Art for Kids Rooms

Any other art for kids rooms ideas? Post a comment… I’d love to hear from you.

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5 Ways to Include Art in Your Kids Space

One Response

  1. Wow, what an interesting article you found! Wouldn’t we all love to be surrounded by $20K of modern art — hello office space?!?!! I love your suggestions, especially framing and hanging your child’s artwork. As young kids, my children made terrific abstract art. Now, in elementary school, we’re getting some beautiful realistic pieces. I hope to decorate with their art for years to come!

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