Do your kids love having their face painted (or in my kids’ case, their entire body besides their face)? Then get yourself some watercolor pencils and call it a day. Nothing beats them for basic face painting, especially when you have kids who like to DIY.
My favorite for the job are the $4 MÅLA pencils from IKEA. Just dip the sharpened end in water and get painting! The best part is the ‘paint’ just washes off with water. Pro tip – make sure to let them dry out (tip up) when done so they are easy to sharpen for the next go round.
For young children, it’s the process of making the art that matters vs the end product. They are interested in the way the colors mix, the drip of paint and glue being squeezed, the feel of the materials, and the enjoyment of peeling as many stickers off a sheet as possible. They don’t care if their end result always ends up baby poop brown 🤷🏼♀️, so neither should you.
Have fun with the making together. Get creative with the materials and tools you use (Pilot was very excited to have ‘space paper’ (foil) to paint on). And don’t feel pressure to save everything they make. Also remember that this is why it’s important for even young children to have good quality (which doesn’t have to mean $$$) materials. How can they enjoy mark making if the crayons and pencils they are using don’t leave a lovely bold mark?
Did you luck out with a lovely bunch of flowers for Valentine’s Day? A week on they may be ready for the compost, but don’t be too hasty throwing them away. Instead pull off the petals and use them in your tiny human’s mud kitchen.
Don’t have one? No worries. Why not set up a little potion making/cooking station inside with the petals, water, and any other natural ingredients you can find. Worried about the mess? Use a towel as a tablecloth/rug to catch all the spills.
You might have noticed that I use mirrors in all my installs – inside and out. Aesthetically, they are an easy and inexpensive way to make your space feel bigger and brighter. I love adding large mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect light, over desks and work spaces, or hung low to the ground so our small humans can watch themselves play and learn (side note – all kids love looking at themselves in the mirror).
A long or full length mirror is also essential for your dramatic play nook (how else can you admire yourself post dress-ups?).
Outside I often hang mirrors over/around sandboxes and mud kitchens, but you can choose to hang anywhere where you want to add a little more dimension.
You can look to thrift a large (my general go-to) or get something simple like the NISSEDAL mirror from IKEA.
I also love to use small mirrors in play. You can buy acrylic mirror sheets, which are non breakable and make a really lovely play surface – for inside and out (note they will eventually get scratched). I’ve also used smaller square mirror sheets to create mirrored trays for a more portable play surface/display case.
I also keep a couple of table top/hand mirrors with my art cart. They are great when drawing portraits or for adding a new dimension to still life artworks. You can also use the acrylic mirror sheets as a washable canvas.
Addie and Charlotte are such creative kids, with art and craft materials to rival a professional artist. Charlotte loves American Girl Dolls, and has an enviable collection of dolls and their fashions/accessories. Both girls also love LEGOs. All of this adds up to a lot of stuff but not a lot of space to put it all. This equaled a main level play space that was overflowing and muddled with art supplies and toys, while their basement play space was being underutilized.
This is where I come in. :) Their lovely parents were keen to find ways to maximize their play spaces and create better storage and organization. They also wanted to keep with the same beautiful aeshtetic on the main level they had created with their custom pieces from Forty Third Place. Here’s what we did: