Setting the stage for creativity and learning

Life January 11, 2015

If I lived in a giant house I would have a craft room where the kids could go crazy and whip up wonderful designs and inventions all day long.

But I don’t.

If I was Martha Stewart, I would have a perfect craft organizational system with color-coded bins. A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.

But I’m not.

Until recently, these two limitations had me stuck. If I couldn’t perfectly have it all, then I wouldn’t even try.

And then I got over myself.

Last week I cleaned out our school supplies/craft closet and cleared out three new shelves. I took puzzles and activity boxes out of the kids’ room that never get played with and put them at eye level.

I found random craft supplies that have just been sitting around and put them in piles and jars, inviting the kids in with glue, tape, and ribbons. We have an origami pile, a painting pile, jars of beads, sequins and thread.

I found an old wooden soda crate at an antique mall and filled it with things we already own, but are now within reach. Colored pencils, markers, tape, scissors, paint brushes.

Setting the stage for creativity & learning |

These aren’t fancy organizational systems in a perfect craft room. I doubt these photos will be pinned millions of times. But so what? I am providing the opportunity for my kids to create and learn, and they are running with it.

My kids have created and experimented more in the past week than in the past year. And they haven’t asked to turn on the television once.

Like anything else in life, I’m learning to stop waiting for the perfect scenario, and to just get started already. 

It’s better that way.


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  • Laura Lindeman January 12, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I stop myself from doing things ALL THE TIME when I feel like I can’t do it justice. Sometimes I won’t sit down to write if I know I only have time to start but not finish. Good for you!

    • InspiredRD January 12, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Me too! The pitfalls of perfectionism… 🙂

  • Robin January 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    You said it perfectly! I have to say I’m most impressed by the last photo of the kids using glue… in a room with carpet! I’ve always thought, “If only we had a craft room, it would have smooth floors for easy clean-up!” I shouldn’t let that stop me from creating a ‘space’ anywhere.

    • InspiredRD January 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Usually they do crafts in the kitchen, but honestly I don’t worry much about the carpet because we live in a rental property and they are going to rip the carpet out soon!

  • Nicole Bennett January 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Great post, Alysa! I’ve struggled a lot about the (lack of) space for creative activities in my home but the fact of the matter is we just have to make do with what have. 🙂 I LOVE your found art caddy.

  • Michele Gorham January 19, 2015 at 9:33 am

    As an art teacher I love this! Kids do not need much to be creative, paper, scissors, crayons. Glue and paint if you are brave! I am sure this nook will keep them entertained for hours, more than a movie or video game could. I love having a raid the supply cabinet day in my room and seeing what 20 creative little brains come up with! And I think the Coke bin is beautiful (and practical!)

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly January 20, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Oooh love this post – I can so relate. Some great ideas and I’m totally getting one of those wooden boxes -perfect for craft tools!