From colorful summer projects to creative after-school arts and crafts fun, it may seem like you are constantly stocking and cleaning up your kid’s crafts supplies. The secret to managing your kid’s crafts without going crazy is to be smart about how you organize and store all the different items.
Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links. Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way. I only promote brands I believe in and products that I use and love myself. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for you.
Why Do Kids Love Doing Crafts So Much?
We are born to create and kids love to do just that. They have not yet been affected by self-imposed limitations and societal expectations about whether or not they are good at arts and crafts. There are no doubts about their ability to create yet which makes the experience immensely enjoyable for them. Adults judge every aspect of their artistic creations while kids simply enjoy the process. For children, it is not about the outcome but rather about the experience. And they love it even more if their parents join in and they get to spend quality time together. Not only do kids love doing crafts but it really beneficial to their overall development as well.
The Benefits of Crafts for Kids
Every time your kids turn to arts and crafts as a form of entertainment, they are learning some important skills and life lessons. As they get stuck (literally – if glue is involved) in a crafts project they are using their imagination. It makes the mess of glue, paint, glitter, and crayons worthwhile.
Here are some huge benefits that will have you encouraging your kid’s crafts time:
- Creating art helps children to communicate and express big feelings.
- Kids enjoy the process of improving and crafts help them to see their progress.
- Spending time on crafts will help their schoolwork to improve as well.
- Crafting teaches kids how to follow instructions but also how to think creatively.
- Arts and crafts are a good way for children to learn about teamwork and acquire social skills.
- It allows for quality bonding time between you and your children.
- Crafts help kids to develop, refine, and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Doing arts and crafts teaches kids to try new things.
Why Does it Get So Messy?
When kids are in a creative zone, they aren’t concerned about a mess. They are simply in a state of flow. Immersed in their activity. Completely present. This means they’ll toss all the crayons out of the box to find the colors they need. Or they’ll knock over the paint bottle in their rush to get back to their work. It’s the reason why glue gets on everything and the glitter goes everywhere.
Now, there is nothing wrong with allowing messy play during your kid’s crafts time. But you want to make sure they don’t need to turn the house upside down to find their supplies. You also want to make clean-up easier for them (and you). That’s why you need to organize kid’s crafts and be smart about storage solutions for the different types of crafts.
How to Organize a Kid’s Crafts Area
There are four super easy steps to organizing your kid’s crafts area. These are the same steps involved in organizing basically any room or area in your home and the process I always follow when facing an overwhelming organizational task. By breaking it down into smaller steps, you make a massive task seem more manageable. Since this is for your kid’s benefit, why not get them involved in the process. When they learn the organizational system first-hand, they are more likely to help you keep things organized.
Step 1: Clear the Clutter
A craft room or area is one of those places full of miscellaneous items that can really heap up and quickly get out of control. Kids are usually too busy turning their creative visions into artistic reality to care about the mess. But when clutter takes over it will make you feel overwhelmed and your kids feel uninspired. That’s why the first step is to purge all the unwanted items – anything your kids don’t actually use or need for their arts and crafts. So, take some time to get rid of the clutter and organize only the crafting essentials.
Step 2: Plan the Area
Regardless, of the size or location of your kid’s craft area, you need to clearly define the area and plan out how you’re going to organize your space. That means knowing exactly what type of craft supplies your kids like to use. When you’re clear on this, it’s easier to decide where everything will be stored and what organizational items you need to purchase to be able to put everything in its place. Decide what art supplies you could group together into logical categories to keep the order. Don’t forget to leave or make a space for your kids to actually do the crafts – a plastic kids table and chairs work wonders and are easy to clean.
Step 3: Decide How & Where to Store Everything
You likely already have all the items you need at home to organize your kid’s crafts space. So, be thrifty and check what you have at home to use before going out and purchasing items. When it comes to organizers, I always seem to have some extra that can be reused or re-purposed in some way and I encourage you to do the same. Before you purchase things unnecessarily, see what organizers you already have in your home that aren’t being used.
For example, egg cartons are already divided into 12 sections, plastic food containers, old trays, old pails, shoe boxes, or baskets. Once you know what supplies you need to organize and store and what you already have available, you can decide what you need to buy.
Step 4: Everything in its Place
Now that you’ve determined where everything will go and how it will be stored, it’s time for the fun part. Putting everything into its place. This is your kid’s crafts area and organizational system. So, make sure that it works for your kids. Everything should be easy to reach without digging through other stuff. You want to make sure it’s visible too (use clear storage containers).
The simpler you make it to find and put back, the more likely it is for your kids to keep things in order (or at the very least, tidy up once they’re done). Remember that being organized is all about putting systems in place and forming habits around these systems. Teach your kids the system and encourage them to form good habits that support the system.
Kid’s Crafts Basics
Crafts help to stimulate children’s minds which is why it’s important to encourage their artistic endeavors. Arts and crafts are the perfect activity for kids and are much better for them than screen time. Make sure their craft area is a fun but organized space that they can really enjoy. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing your little ones create.
Children are more likely to turn to crafts if their supplies are clearly visible and easy to access. So, here are some kid’s crafts area basics to keep in mind:
- Keep a plastic drawer organizer full of paper (see below)and use colorful tin buckets for colored pencils, crayons, and other art supplies.
- Consider using a cubbie to store kids’ art supplies. Cubbies offer a specific space for each supply category so that your kids know that everything has a place for them to access it and put it back with ease.
- A rolling caddy is one more way to store a myriad of supplies that can easily be moved to the workstation.
- A hanging canvas shoe organizer is also a great option for kids to easily store their art supplies in. This will keep everything neatly together in one place.
- Make a space to hang and display their artwork and creations near their craft area. One idea is to take rope, cord, or twine that has been stretched between two points and hang the masterpiece with a clothespin. You can also let the artwork dry that way. This will instill a sense of pride in their accomplishments and encourage them to keep practicing or try new crafts.
- A bulletin board is another way to show off their creativity.
Organizing the Different Types of Crafts
When it comes to organizing kid’s crafts supplies you need something that is kid-friendly. A practical system that can easily be maintained. Ideas that may work well for a craft room used by adults may not work so well for kids.
Here are some clever ideas for organizing kid’s craft supplies that actually work:
- Store glitter in plastic salt and pepper shakers – the colors will be visible from the outside and it makes the glitter easy to apply.
- Use hanging organizers with clear pockets to store items such as glue tubes, crayons, paint bottles, scissors, and other items.
- Place clear bottles (non-breakable) filled with things such as pom pom balls, googly eyes, buttons, and more on a spice rack that is easily accessed.
- Put oddly sized items such as pipe cleaners, markers, sticker packets, and foam cut-outs in clear plastic storage containers that are labeled – they are inexpensive and stackable.
- Slip yarn or spools of ribbon on a paper towel holder.
- Store extra white paper, different colored paper, felt sheets, pens, tape, paper plates, and more in plastic drawers at a level that kids can access.
- Mason jars are always a hit for storing art supplies and can be used to group together pencils, markers, paintbrushes, and crayons. Look for the ones that are kid-friendly.
- Recycle food jars or tins that you’re no longer using in the kitchen to store miscellaneous items such as buttons, beads, rubber bands, ribbons, and thread.
This guide was designed to help you manage your kid’s crafts without feeling overwhelmed. Best of all, each and every solution also keeps your budget in mind. It’s likely that this craft area will evolve over time as your kids grow up – so you don’t want to spend too much money on it.
The goal is simply to make it a fun space where your children can get creative. Encourage them to create but also give them the tools to tidy up when they’re done. It will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Do you have a craft area for your kids?
PIN IT FOR LATER:
Fabulous ideas for organizing children’s crafts, Ronni! As a former elementary school teacher I know just how messy kids can get with crafts but I also know that it is essential to let them express themselves. When you have the crafts organized, clean up is easier and the children can pitch in.
I don’t think I knew you were an elementary school teacher. I worked in preschool for a few years. I used to think that i was lucky because I got to play all day.
I learned a lot about organizing kids’ crafts then. Having an organized system to store the crafts and having children put the crafts away when finished, is an important skill.
I loved organizing kid’s play and work spaces. There are so msny options to keep them organized. Great post Roni!
Thank you, Margarita! What I loved most about kids’ play and arts and crafts was the creative expression. A million times better than videos and cartoons. It truly opens the mind.
You always include the most wonderful photos. And for this post, seeing all the colorful arts and craft supplies made me want to break out my stuff and start creating.
Making things was a huge activity in our home when our daughters were growing up. We recognized that they had to be easily accessible because you never knew when the urge to create would happen. Coloring or painting along side them was one of my favorite things to do.
Two things that were helpful. My husband made a large board that we could easily pull out and put on the floor or table to provide a good base for messy projects. I also remember repurposing these cute kids’ wipes containers that were shaped like large lego pieces to contain art supplies. I glued a picture of the contents on the outside since the containers were brightly colored solid plastic.
Crafts was definitely big time in so many households. It was also a super rainy day activity with something to show for it at the end. I would even go as far as framing some of their pictures and hang them up.
What a clever idea your husband had for messy projects. I threw a sheet of plastic down to protect the floors from everything. The board however, gave you a sturdy platform to work on.
I love how you repurposed kids’ wipes containers to contain art supplies. They’re so handy and perfect for craft storage.
We were a huge craft family, with two girls. These are all such terrific tips. I remember one thing that worked for me was to get a stacked paper sorter to hold our various coloring and activity books. I remember using paint pens to hand write labels on the various plastic bins with the pencils, markers, crayons, etc.
Crafts were huge in my home too. I now love watching my grandson play with crayons, paints and everything stickers. It’s such a fun activity for little ones.
I like the idea of a paper sorter. It’s easy and smart and definitely teaches sorting and categorizing.
Great post, Ronnie! My kids had a great craft area. They loved making things and still do but have their own portable craft area to bring with them to college. At home, I have updated the kids’ craft area throughout the years as they grew. And, now I adopted the “kids craft” area for me, and my adult kids come to my craft area to do things. =)
I’d love to see your craft set up because I know you’ve been knee deep in DIY projects for years.
When my kids were small, we had an old and very long farm house table. I would cover it with a cloth and that’s where we’d do our craft projects. There was a lot of room to spread out and they loved creating!
Great ideas! I love that you repurpose what you already have for storage.
I hope you see my response to you below!
great tips – love that you repurpose rather than buy items for storage
I love repurposing because it’s my answer to too much waste. I really do think that crafts, especially kid’s crafts lends itself to simple storage and containers. Why toss out an old tissue box when it can hold a stack of paint brushes?
So many great ideas for kids craft organizing, Ronni! I’m looking forward to sharing this post as a resource for my clients with kids because as you say, where there are kids there is creating. And glitter. Lots of glitter.
Lucy, you’ve got to love the salt and pepper like shakers for glitter! The thing with glitter is that it multiplies and crawls to places you never would have imagined. Days later. It must be the sparkle that draws a child’s fascination.
Stellar advice for both new and experienced parents (and grandparents)!
You’re right that it’s messy because kids are in the moment, but also because they lack fine motor skills. (As do I, which is why I’m so uncomfortable with crafts, because the mess bothers me more than the crafts delight me!)
Shoe boxes and egg cartons are old school, but they’re classics for a reason. Craft storage can definitely be frugal! And I love the idea of vertical storage with a shoe organize for keeping those supplies in line!
Julie, I’m all for old-school (if it’s not broken don’t fix it) and frugal, especially when it’s messy.
You’re right that little ones don’t have the fine motor skills. But they also don’t have boundaries and they just love touching and feeling and exploring. It’s wonderful to watch, that is until the clean up. Ugh!
This is a great guide to organizing crafts! I love your storage product recommendations, especially using clear containers, so kids know what is inside. Your 4 steps to organizing a craft space are very helpful. I also agree that getting the kids involved in the organization process will make them more likely to keep the crafts organized!
Thank you, Nancy and I’m so glad you liked my post. I was a preschool teacher for a few years and I learned so much then. I also have two grandsons. A toddler and a newborn, so I’m usually focused on crafts which my toddlerloves.