Friday, December 30, 2011

Toddler Art and Sensory Material Storage

For our updated storage, click here.

With all the new art and sensory box supplies Meg got for Christmas, I decided it was time to update her storage situation. I'd been shoving all her art supplies into pigeon holes above a desk in our kitchen and keeping extras in a desk in my craft room. This meant she had to ask for help accessing her supplies, and the storage areas were overflowing.

So, I took out her (mostly unused anyway) highchair and did this:

The table is a Lack side table from Ikea. Just $6, and it's the perfect height for her.

I didn't have a large budget, but I wanted everything visible, easy for Margaret to access herself, and somewhat matching and attractive, since it would be seen from the front door.

I started with a $15 bookshelf from Wal-Mart. We have 8 of these scattered about our house in various sizes. They're inexpensive, unobtrusive, and really functional.

I bought 2 quart plastic jars ($2 apiece) and 4-packs of food storage containers ($2/pack) for the art supplies and sensory materials.

Top shelf: crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, and various blank papers in a magazine holder.
Second shelf: shaving cream, water beads, grey moon sand, blue moon sand, pinto beans.

Third shelf: paintbrushes, glue, masking tape, empty containers for painting, collage material and play dough.
Bottom shelf: outdoor play clothes.

It was important to me that the containers be clear, because I find it easier to be creative when I can see all my materials at a glance, rather than reading labels or remembering what containers hold. I figured the same would be true for Margaret. I wish I didn't have to stack them all two-deep, but our space is finite, so you do what you gotta do. Hopefully, some rotation on my part will keep things fresh.

On the bottom shelf of the bookcase, I put a dishwashing bin ($2) and a CD organizing crate ($1). They hold outdoor messy play clothes, so we don't always have to trek upstairs before we head outside to play. I tucked a pair of old shoes for myself on the shelf and we hang our "messy jackets" on pegs beside the bookcase.

I'm really happy with this new storage arrangement. There's room for both the materials and my girl to grow and change, she can access everything herself, and it looks neat and orderly. Do we call that a win-win-win?



Nikki said...

I really like the idea of a place for play clothes downstairs. I just might have to figure our a way to incorporate that somewhere.

Laura Ingalls wannabe said...

Two weeks in now, and I can say that having the play clothes so easily accessible has been awesome. I wish I'd done it ages ago. Makes it so much easier to say "Yes" to requests to head out back.