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Siblings and accessible art supplies

by Jean Van't Hul
March 10, 2010

Maia doing the Monart pre drawing exercises

Almost all of our art supplies are accessible now either in the studio or around the house. And most that are not, are only out of reach because of lack of space down low. Maia is at the point where I trust her to know what to do with the art materials and to keep the mess factor within limits and to even clean up some of the time (I’m still working on that last one!).

I’m wondering how this may have to change once Daphne is mobile and getting into everything.

Mel asked this question a few days ago in the comments:

If you ever have time, I have a request for a future post.=) I am
wondering if you have suggestions for how to let older kids have access
to art supplies while there are smaller siblings around. I have a 4
year old who LOVES to create, but I feel very limited on what I can
“leave out” for her to experiment with on her own because of her little
sister. My 4-year old would love to have access at all times to
scissors, crayons, markers, glue and paint, but I feel like everything
needs to be put away for the safety of her sister and our walls and
furniture.=) It may be a while before your littlest is really mobile,
but do you happen to have any suggestions? Thanks!

Mel’s question got me thinking and wondering. How will I address this issue myself? I have a few ideas, but I’m still not sure and am hoping for some input from those of you who have older kids who need access to art materials as well as younger kids who are not ready for unsupervised access to certain materials.

Here are some of my ideas:

  • Put the washable crayons, markers, and paper down low and the paints, glitter, scissors, etc higher up where the toddler can’t reach them but the older sibling can. Genius idea, eh?
  • Create a box of materials just for the older child that the toddler can’t open (maybe one of those rubbermaid type storage boxes) or that is kept out of reach of the younger one.
  • Keep the door closed to the room with the art materials. Older child can open the door, but toddler cannot.

I’m sure there are lots of other ideas out there from people who are actually dealing with this. So come on, folks. What do you do to give your older children access to art supplies while keeping your toddler (and house) safe?


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