A Preschool Art Interest Center is a place to store all your amazing art materials that will accessible to children. Art activities help your preschoolers to develop in so many ways! It helps them to engage their imaginations, learn about cause and effect, develop fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, express creativity and so much more!
Setting up your Preschool Art Interest Center is actually pretty easy! When thinking about it as a place to store materials that your children will have access to, the plan is simple! Place the materials in bins that children can see. Choose materials that your children are always asking to use! Of course, also add materials that will be introduced in the upcoming week.
In many classrooms, the Art Center consists of many shelves with many materials on them! The tables used for art double as snack and lunch tables during the day.
The materials you might have for your art center are ENDLESS!
Which Supplies Should You Have?
Well, as many as you can! You might not have ALL your supplies available ALL the time. I recommend having all the basic supplies available all the time such as:
Paint, brushes, paint cups, paper, shaving cream, glue & glue sticks, tape, miscellaneous arts/craft pieces and scissors.
From there, you’ll need to decide other supplies to have available based on your children’s interests.
I recommend placing each supply in sturdy bins labeled with the printed word and a picture of the items.
This allows your children to be part of the organization of their environment.
How Can I Afford Supplies with a Small (or NO) Budget?
Supplies don’t need to be costly. Supplies don’t even need to be store bought!
Some of our children’s favorite supplies were collections (think Loose Parts: milk caps, marker covers, and more).
Some ways to save money on supplies are:
Order with other teachers and share the costs
Ask families for donations! Let them know what you are collecting and which store bought items you would like to have.
To learn more about my other suggestions about setting up your preschool art interest center as well as what your preschoolers learn through art, you can CLICK HERE to read my full article!
What About the Art Easel?
Yes! The Easel is yet ANOTHER Preschool Art Interest area which is often not planned for! I find that the art easel is an area that is under-used in most preschool classrooms.
It is a center that is “open” occasionally rather than daily. Use your easel EVERYDAY!
PLEASE, plan activities for your easel just as you would for any other activity.
You do not have to change the type of activity daily as you would art. I have always changed either the type of paint or the tool just once or twice a week!
For example, during a Valentine’s Day Theme, you might offer water color paints and stickers for a few days for the children to create Valentine cards.
Then change it for the rest of the week by offering cups of red and white paint for them to become Color Scientists and see how many shades of red and pink they can make!
Painting at the easel offers the same developmental benefits I listed above for Art Center activities. In addition, because the children are typically standing, it also helps develop their core, their large muscles and encourages language and cooperation skills as they work together at the easel…
And yes….encourage there to be more than 1 person at the easel! Be certain that both sides are open at your easel.
Our easel had a whiteboard on one side and a chalkboard on the other. The children had so many options! We clipped paper on both sides and offered paint.
If the children wanted to use the dry erase board or the chalkboard rather than paint, so be it! The materials were there if they decided to choose those options!
For more information on setting up and stocking your Easel, you can read my full article on Art Easels in Preschool by CLICKING HERE!