Fine Art for Kids Rooms? Try Our 5 Ways to Include Art in Your Kids Space

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 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

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 24, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Welcome to the blog world, Jean! I’ve been so thankful for our invitation into the toddler art group… and am excited to learn and get new ideas from you in this way as well.
    To answer the question in your post:
    We have several budding artist-friends who thankfully are in love with our kids and happy to do some art for us for free for Justin’s room. I bought several friends canvases, paint, and brushes. I asked them to each do a form of transportation (the theme in Justin’s “big boy” room). They look amazing! They match in size and colors, but are very different in style- which we love. And most importantly, Justin loves them and loves talking about his friends who painted them for him.
    I bought a couple forms of transportation (a train, helicopter, plane, car, truck, etc.) cut out of foam for $1 at an art supplies chain… and let Justin go to town on them with glue and glitter. I have hung them from them on his drapery rods (you could also hang from ceiling and/or make mobiles) with fishing wire.

  • Reply
    Bobbi
    January 28, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Hi Jean,
    I love your blog!
    Do you ever take Maia to art galleries or museums? What are your tips for doing that with a toddler and making it a fun and educational experience?

  • Reply
    Linda Ann
    February 16, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Great post and great ideas. I love the thought of framing favorite illustrations from children’s books. Beautiful.
    Blessings, Linda

  • Reply
    kelli maier
    May 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    The parent can make art for the child…simple geometrics, stylized scenes, are all fairly simple. A box canvas needs no frame and is very cheap at art supply stores. Also a family painting with words like “Love” and “Family” that each member of the family contributes to would be very special.
    Art is as much about joy and bringing us together as a familial group and a larger human group with common traits that we recognize in one another through images.
    Let that joy come through a group effort of creation.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Player
    March 4, 2009 at 11:17 am

    You certainly don’t have to spend tons of money to expose your child to art! I started my toy company, AmazingWIZkids.com, in part out of inspiration from Ginny Chien’s article The Playroom of Modern Art in the New York Times. Buying inexpensive fine art prints for my home – that I just happen to enjoy anyway – will familiarize my child with some of the more famous pictures I love. There is nothing wrong with a good copy. Not everyone can afford six or seven figure artwork but everyone can enhance their child’s education with fine art.

  • Reply
    DIBA MUSHTAQ
    March 27, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I love this blog …another fun exercise would be in a bucket of water put some oil paints dip the paper in water ,let it dry and you have lovely motifs!
    have fun :)
    Diba.

  • Reply
    dreamworkertoo
    May 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Thank you so much, I am glad I found this page. Late last year we gifted our son with his own ‘spot’ on the web for his ‘creations’ ( http://batangthomasatbp.blogspot.com ). Since then, he’d take pictures of anything he made or fancies which he says are to be put on his website.
    One of the pictures you’ll find there are those of his ‘sets’ — originally unrelated toys (his Thomas the Tank Engine pieces [gifts from family], old plastic tracks, other wheeled toys, clay, lego, wood scraps, etc.) which he’d put together for his monologue ala-Thomas and Friends stories. The venue would be the 1st level of our little home’s double deck bed which we floored with rubber mats. We kept his toys there in various covered boxes and call it his ‘play corner’ — something that does a lot to brighten up our small space (he also calls it his Room), which we also don with little frames featuring his toddler paintings. Whenever he completes a ‘scene’ he’d ask us if it looks good. We only answer ‘yes’ when he’s tidied up the ‘creation’s’ surroundings — first to point out that his ‘creations’ will look better if surrounded by neatness, and secondly to instill the habit of tidying up his own space.
    I am excited to go over the ‘creative blogs’ — may we add a link to this blog (and others which we might love as much as this place) from our little boy’s ‘gallery’?
    Thank you very much! :)

  • Reply
    dreamworkertoo
    May 10, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you so much, I am glad I found this page. Late last year we gifted our son with his own ‘spot’ on the web for his ‘creations’ (http://batangthomas.blogspot.com). Since then, he’d take pictures of anything he made or fancies which he says are to be put on his website.
    One of the pictures you’ll find there are those of his ‘sets’ — originally unrelated toys (his Thomas the Tank Engine pieces [gifts from family], old plastic tracks, other wheeled toys, clay, lego, wood scraps, etc.) which he’d put together for his monologue ala-Thomas and Friends stories. The venue would be the 1st level of our little home’s double deck bed which we floored with rubber mats. We kept his toys there in various covered boxes and call it his ‘play corner’ — something that does a lot to brighten up our small space (he also calls it his Room), which we also don with little frames featuring his toddler paintings. Whenever he completes a ‘scene’ he’d ask us if it looks good. We only answer ‘yes’ when he’s tidied up the ‘creation’s’ surroundings — first to point out that his ‘creations’ will look better if surrounded by neatness, and secondly to instill the habit of tidying up his own space.
    I am excited to go over the ‘creative blogs’ — may we add a link to this blog (and others which we might love as much as this place) from our little boy’s ‘gallery’?
    Thank you very much! :)

  • Reply
    lisa Keegan
    September 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I agree with putting lots of kids’ own art on the walls as it can often look as good (sometimes better!) than commercial art. I am contributing artist for http://www.kiddingabout.com so write a lot about encouraging creativity in kids, not through buying art for them but letting them create it!
    Having said all that, I have 3 kids and for each of their birthdays I buy a piece of art, as well as having lovely (and mostly inexpensive) pieces to decorate our walls, we also have reminders of birthdays and significant occasions.

  • Reply
    Rick
    September 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I love the art and ideas on this site. I especially think it’s nice to frame a child’s artwork and have it treated with respect and importance – a great way to foster a sense of self-esteem at a young age. I put together a website for my mother’s acrylic artwork with is whimsical and colorful paintings – at: http://www.kathleenkbellows.com Let me know what you think! I’ll be back to check out some more of your ideas on art for children.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 26, 2012 at 6:50 am

    This is a great article – thank you ! If anyone is interested in original fine art for their children’s rooms, they can check out http://www.artchigallery.com. We work with top class artists around the world to create beautiful, heirloom pieces that children will cherish forever. I love the quote by someone called Twyla Tharp : “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” This is so true for children because they really get mesmerised by good quality art.

  • Reply
    Yolanda Drewell
    January 10, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Hi Rachel. I have just launched a website that specialises in original fine art for children’s rooms called Artchi Gallery. I’m looking for photographs of bedrooms/ playrooms with art taking pride of place on the walls. If you’d like to, then please contact me on the site. I love your idea of asking various artists to paint their own interpretation of art !

  • Reply
    ArteBambini.com
    March 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Children should be surrounded by fine art from early age on and every parent should approach buying fine art prints/originals very carefully. No matter what your budget is make sure images are colorful, creative and evoke positive emotions. So often today we see art that is sold for kids but has none of these traits. Enjoy fine art prints from http://www.ArteBambini.com !

  • Reply
    Your Guide To Choosing Wall Art For Each Room In Your Home
    September 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    […] about the kind of artwork to hang in these rooms. Framing illustrations from your child’s favorite picture books can be a great way to incorporate beautiful artwork while showcasing your child’s interests. […]

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