One of the easiest ways to encourage creativity in young children is to have an art cart available and accessible.
Children are actually born creatives – they have incredible ideas, even if us adults don’t always see their genius. Rather than setting up loads of planned crafts in the early years, try introducing an art cart instead.
5 Reasons you NEED an art cart in your play space
Planned crafts and art activities aren’t actually the best way to raise a creative. Children need plenty of choice.
The early years are very much an experimental stage when it comes to using art materials. In order to become confident creatives in the future, there needs to be plenty of opportunities for your child to explore without an end goal in mind. This is commonly known as process art which focuses on the journey rather than the end product.
An art cart helps you keep supplies neatly organised, even if you don’t have heaps of space
If you’ve ever accidentally bought several packs of googly eyes because you didn’t realise you already had loads (true story), then you need a system for organising your art supplies! With an art cart, it’s really easy to see how many items you have – and what you’re running low on too. The cart can be wheeled from place to place too so you don’t need a pantry sized cupboard for all those supplies!
Children can become independent creatives
An art cart helps children choose when they want to get creative AND what materials they want to use too. Our art cart is now kept out in the main play space because my children have had plenty of exposure to art and know how to respect the materials – and my walls!
However, if you’re worried about keeping supplies out when you have younger children around, you can always wheel the cart away – that’s the beauty of it!
It’s not just about art. An art cart can help develop fine motor skills too
Including fun notepads, sticky notes, pens, hole punches, scissors and sewing supplies on the art cart can help develop those all important fine motor skills too. Learning to write does not happen overnight and so including a range of fun resources will help your child work on these skills without the need for dull handwriting worksheets!
You can adapt the cart to your child’s needs over time
An art cart can be adapted to suit the needs of your family. I’ve seen them used as snack stations, Montessori style and even as a night stand. We have two in our house: one for the youngest children so that they can get creative whenever they choose and one for my eldest son. His is dubbed ‘the homework helper’ and is filled with art supplies, notepads, pens, revision flashcards and his school exercise books – he even built it himself, too!
Art supplies to use:
You can find out more about our favourite art and craft supplies in this blog post.
Where can you purchase an art cart from?
Our art cart is from IKEA
Search the term ‘art cart’ or ‘art trolley’ on Amazon and heaps of options will come up. My eldest son’s ‘homework helper’ is available here.
Learn the benefits of process art by reading this guest blog post.