Toddler Friendly Art Center

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
As part of Lincoln's Christmas present this year, we expanded his art area to give him a few more options to create beyond table top drawing. I was able to put the area together pretty economically, thanks to Goodwill, handmade, and gifts from relatives. A tour, shall we?

The table remains in the corner. We get really good natural light here, so it works out to be an ideal spot. In case you missed it, the tutorial for the table makeover is here. Super easy, and it gets tons of use!
The tarp on the ground was made by me. It is just a big piece of duck cloth that I encased in extra wide bias tape. Took about 20 minutes. We have a non-slip rug mat underneath it, because it was pretty slippery on our laminate floors! It is washable, and I even vacuum it with a little handheld vacuum. As Lincoln would say, "Niiiiiiiiiice!"

The easel was $4 from Goodwill. It is also a chalkboard. My next project is to repaint the chalkboard with new chalkboard paint, because it is quite well used :) The paper roll is on the floor in front of the easel. The rod that holds it on the easel was missing, so we just bought a length of bamboo from the garden section at Home Depot. It hasn't been cut to size yet, hence the reason it is on the floor...
These paint cups are the best invention ever. Paint stays in, and when you are done, they have lids so the paint doesn't dry out. Perfect! We got ours at Lakeshore.
Another favorite art activity is stamping. The foam animal stamps were a Christmas present from Aunt Breanne, and the giant ink pad (blue in the picture) is again from Lakeshore. Lincoln was really concentrating hard on his art here, as you can see by the intense look on his face. (bwahaha...just kidding. that is currently the look we get when we ask him to smile, and part of the reason we never had his 2 year pictures taken...)
I would be lying if I didn't admit that these paint drops bothered me (on my nice, newly sewn tarp! ack!) But, I remind myself how nice it is to have clean floors, and that a paint spattered tarp can looks just as nice. Right??
A close up of the completed masterpiece.
To give you an idea of his technique...he jams the brush into the paint cup, pulls it out and inspects it closely to make sure he actually got some paint (this is hard to convince him of when we use white paint...he never believes there is any on there, even when the brush is completely covered. it is both amusing and maddening!). Then he winds up and jabs it down on the paper full force. This is usually followed by handing mama the brush and saying "mama stool bus?" meaning, that was fun, but now I'd rather sit here and watch mama paint a school bus.

Also in the art center, our brand new puzzle rack from Grandma (it is Melissa and Doug, found on Amazon). It is a lifesaver and I wish we had it sooner. Puzzles are ridiculously hard to store, don't you agree??


  1. fantastic! I love those paint cups...we use them at the children's museum here, but I should really get our own...and a fancy paint tarp too!

  2. Gosh yes, I've been meaning to get a puzzle rack forever! And I have to say, I absolutely love the art center. I love doing art on the floor because you can have your supplies all spread out to your liking. The floor cover is such a great idea!! I think that might be even nice to throw on a table?


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