Must-Have’s on our Art Cart

The most important wisdom I’d like to impart in regards to art supplies for your littles is to give them respectful materials. Children inherently know when we give them something counterfeit and the message we send is that they aren’t capable of more.image“A child is a person in whom all possibilities are present- now at this very moment-not to be educed after many years and efforts manifold on the part of the educator.” – Charlotte Mason

When I stopped offering crayola washable paint with cheap brushes and started offering art materials that I use, our entire art world was forever changed! It could be because the quality of materials drew them into more thoughtful and intentional work or it could be that I simply communicated that I trust them and know how capable they really are. imageHere are a few of the must haves on our art cart:
Acrylic paint– less watery and full of texture and rich color. Children love when each stroke of their brush makes full and stark marks. (this is a material I closely monitor because it’s expensive and doesn’t wash easily. My 4 year old can use it independently but not my 3 year old).imageBlack felt tip markers– sharpie or otherwise, children love the dark stark marks they make.
Oil pastels– are an oily-chalky type stick that makes textured, interesting, and gorgeous marks.
Good brushes– small and large with all different tips.imageLiquid watercolor– are vibrant and last forever. You can add water to a dried out pallet and start over.
Watercolor paper– add to the vibrancy. It’s thick and quality and make your marks pop.
Large quality sketching paper– this was a recent addition to our home. Since the addition my 4 year old paints and sketches everyday and her work is elaborate!imageLoose parts- can be added to almost any project (and most of the time is!) Beads, glass stones, wooden bits, etc, can enhance a painted landscape, or adorn a cardboard castle or whatever!
Low-temp hot glue guns– instantly dries parts in place making it easy it build a castle upwards, or secure glitter in place promptly. ( I closely monitor because although low temp it still hurts- my 3 and 4 year old use them).imageTempera paint- Is more watery, goes a long way, and is easier to clean up! This is good for super littles and is a favorite for body painting!
Art books- Fiction and non-fiction books bring fresh ideas to the art experience! Sprinkle them in your art space! Prop them up like cook books while you cook up a new masterpiece!imageAir dry clay and real clay tools– molds and remolds easily for small hands and dries into a permanent state when work is finished! Wooden and metal tools are most excellent for most excellent work!image

imageA few bonus materials:
Shaving cream- added to paint or whatever adds an extra sensory element!
Salt- added to liquid watercolor or whatever adds texture and a little bit of science discovery.
Nature bits- can be added to a painted landscape, be painted themselves, smooshed into clay or playdoh, or just serve as an inspiration! The possibilities are endless!imageUnique canvases – mirrors, scrap wood, large real canvases, foil, glass window etc. serve as a special and different place to make art! These are some of my favorite to hang around the the house.
Pipettes- splats liquid watercolor and are great for science inquiry play with vinegar and baking soda
Water spray bottle- displace paint in a neat way and soften clay projects into slippery wet fun! They are also a great help in getting the table clean after!imageOne last bonus: Display their work! In semi permanent and permanent fixtures around your home! This shows how seriously you take their work. For more on displaying their work click here.imageMay we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Mud Kitchen

At the beginning of spring, when the world is puddle-wonderful, as E.E. Cummings put it.

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playI got the wild idea in my head that we MUST have a mud kitchen. The girls NEEDED a place to build mud pies. With some old crates and decorative finds from the local thrift store, my husband graciously brought my vision into reality. We are tickled… brown?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playOf course, mud is messy/sensory play, a very important type of play, but it’s certainly not just that. Fin carefully counts out how many shiny rocks she can find for her special cake. She engages in sequential processing as she lists the steps: Find dirt, add water, gather ingredients, mix, bake.

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory playFin gains understanding of how different materials meld together. The feathers float while the rocks sink. In the goopy mud the sticks stand straight up. The sun dries the pie out and water makes it goopy again.

The intention of the learning environment is to give children exposure to a range of materials, resources and experiences that give them practice in skill refinement, in language development, in creativity, and in play.” – Kathy Walker

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and literacy playShe writes her ingredients down and hangs her recipe in her space as she works. Who knew mud could be a literary practice?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and litaracy play
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” – Mr. Rogers

Dramatic play, another pre literacy practice, unfolds as Fin acts out real life scenarios. She bakes her pie in the oven, watching it get hot, and careful pulls the “hot” pan out of the oven.  Only to put it in again because its not quit finished yet. She expresses her ideas as she narrates her play.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play“Let’s bake another, we need a timer”.
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play 
“Let’s sing happy birthday”, “First we need candles”. “Sister when is your birthday? Let’s make a cake for you”
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory play
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” –  Fred Rogers

Mundane tasks, that we as adults take for granted, are works full of wonderment for children. Washing gathered goodies from the garden is a treasured moment for youngsters, especially when shared with friends.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor garden playDear E.E. Cummings, 

We have had a “mud-luscious” spring indeed.

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨