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There are many facets (such as motivation, language, environment) to preschool learning, and many studies have found creativity is as important as the rest. Implementing a creative space for children to explore their arty side is just as fun as creating the pieces of art themselves. Though the thought of it may sound a bit messy and overwhelming, if you go about it the right way, creating a creative corner for preschool learning is both fun and easy.
How to Create a Space for Creativity
Decide on the location, size, and the furniture for your creative space, and then the essentials like cleaning materials and storage.
Step 1: Location
Identify a corner or spot for the creative space. Don’t choose a space or corner that is too small as this may inhibit the freedom to mess and be creative. Remember this is a free space for free thinking and learning, so some leeway for spills and mess should be allowed. Don’t identify a space with carpeting or with no sink, as clean-up time can turn into a bit of a nightmare if your kids must run into another room or a far- off area to wash their hands and tools.
Step 2: Furniture
Once you identify your space, it’s time to furnish and decorate. Unvarnished wood won’t be your best bet here because of stain retention and splintering. Stick to garden furniture like plastic tables and chairs if you can, ensuring the height is appropriate for the little ones. Outdoor plastic furniture also works well as the table allows for storage underneath, which is a must. Try not to use wicker or straw storage units as these may not clean easily – again go for plastics, think low-designed plastic laundry baskets for example, as these are easy to wipe off. You can also get plastic drawers for easy storage. Make sure to get your hands on a drying rack as well, like several dishracks for each table, or a clothes horse for the whole room – again, no unvarnished wood if possible!
Step 3: Materials
After you furnish your creative space, it’s time to stock up on the creative materials. Here you can let your imagination run free. Get anything from paint and paintbrushes, crayons, small scissors, chalk and a chalkboard, paper, Lego building bricks, coloring-in books, string, any materials like net and lace, glue, glitter, contact paper, foil, markers, old leaves and twigs, ribbons, plastic leaves and flowers… the list can go on. Make sure that there’s a place for everything and that everything is always in its’ place though, to keep things tidy. Get plastic or tin buckets to store these in, and label them with a waterproof sticker, such as laminated paper. One bucket can contain the paintbrushes, the other the crayons, another the Legos, and so on. Store these on the floor next to the tables or underneath them.
Step 3: Create Themes
While having a free space for the kids is great, it is also not a bad idea to create different sections for your creative space, such as a science section, an art section, a paint section, a math section, and a nature section. Again, label the containers so that the kids know which supplies are used in which section, but don’t stifle the creative learning process too much.
Step 4: Keeping It Clean
After you have identified a space, furnished it, and bought your art supplies, you’ll need to think about the aftermath – the clean-up process. Covering the floor with a plastic cover, such as refuse bags held in place by sticky tape, would be a good way to protect the floor. For the table you can do the same or invest in some splash mats for this purpose. Protecting your clothes and that of the children is also important, so get your hands on some preschool sized aprons. Always have moist wipes and hand wash by the faucet and purchase darker colored hand towels instead of the lighter kind.
Preschool learning is fun and having a creative play space will make it even more so. Follow these tips above and get in contact with Stone Brook Academy to ensure the best in preschool learning.