Independence in messy art and craft activities.
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  1. #1
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    Default Independence in messy art and craft activities.

    Well, The 'phew I've done it' period after Ofsted has worn off now and I need to get back on the treadmill of improving my practice!

    In my action plan, the only uncompleted issue was making an area for independent access to art and craft, so the inspector and I ( silly me!) decided this could be my development point- she insisted that it be called 'messy play' as she pointed out access to pencils, crayons, felt tips, chalk, whiteboards etc.. Was already independent in the area I referred to as Mark making/ writing.
    So it says :

    'continue to enhance the already strong focus on supporting children's independence and decision making, for example, by enabling children to more easily access messy play resources throughout the day.'

    I don't have a play room. I currently use my dining room table or a camping fold away table in the kitchen.
    My current practise is that I might ask what they want to do or they ask me : they will say paints or collage or printing etc...and I then decide, depending on other activities out and age of children whether we sit at table or work in kitchen or sometimes camping table in dining room, but then it doesn't leave a lot of space in there. I set it out and the children experience.
    In the summer though I had a great system of out door free access - I had an old wheeled hostess trolley with paint and glue in hand pump containers along with different papers, collage bits, printing materials, roller paint bottles and splodge paint bottles, rollers, sponges etc... The children helped themselves to paint or/and glue and pumped it into containers
    Then chose which paper , what else they wanted and therefore it was completely independently accessed and worked really well. Almost free access, not waiting for me to set it up. The rusty old trolley got wheeled into shed at end of day ..easy peasy.
    I would like to create an all year round version, but I like my house to not have any children stuff downstairs on days off and at the weekend and I have used up storage in dining room - I have a bureau that I have taken over, top drop down part is my art and craft storage and bottom cupboard is small world - this bottom bit works well for this, as all mine love small world beyond anything else and the easy independent access is constantly in play.
    So I am after ideas, DH can make but I don't want it permanently out unless it looks like a normal piece of furniture, yet it has to be easy to disappear too.
    I think I have set myself an almost impossible task, but of course I have now set myself up for the next inspection when I will need to show how I have addressed issue! And I do want this independence in art ....but I no longer have a classroom! ( improving my multicultural/ british values resources would have been so much easier!!!!)
    She could see the summer art on my slideshow so new why I had it in my action plan ....and it is the only area They are not independent in accessing all year round...

    Any suggestions? Sign posts? Good practise sharing? I would be very grateful if you could share. How you allow independent access to the messier art materials would be good to hear about too as I could take on board your ideas as a launchpad for design ideas for mine.

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    A lot would depend on the ages of the children and heights/reach- I could not imagine having free access to paint or glue for a 1-2 year old in my house!

    They can show they want to do that kind of thing- point to the cupboard where we keep all. I have open plan so have to have everything safe to be accessed if I need loo/answer phone etc. I guess if you have a separate area/playroom where children are always 100% supervised then they could help themselves to messy stuff- like at a group setting/nursery/playschool set up.

    I'd be interested to read about anyone who manages this for 1-2 yr olds!

    3+yr olds I can see it working, a box or caddy on a wipe-cleanable table. Doesn't have to be loads of stuff- just a few things like glue, some collage bits, paint- I like your pump bottle idea, brushes/sponges, scrapers and sticks and different papers. I'd just keep it to small quantities if space is an issue (and to limit the spread of the mess!). Could just be part of your current arts and craft materials so not taking any more space for storage, and a little table (folding even, for storage)

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  4. #3
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    Where in all this is our home to home environment we offer... btw having a go at ofsted not yourself... my own children never have free rein to all the messy stuff my house would be a tip.... and mindees don't either.. I'm in North Ireland so not a lot of the regulations you have but you really do put up with a lot of crap from ofsted... sorry rant over
    Tess1981

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    I do similar to you Flora Dora - I give children the option of cutting and sticking, drawing with crayons, felt pens, pencils OR painting OR playdough and then I get the box from the toy storage in back of garage, they sit up to dining room table and get stuck in.

    I can't see how I could have these activities at a lower level as if 3 & 4 year olds can access independently, then so can the 1 & 2 year old babies and toddlers - even pritt sticks would be eaten by my current toddler! I provide mark making by using magnetic drawing boards and clip boards with pens on shortish string and the little ones don't take much notice. I do have for outside painting some sort of roller ball paints, maybe you could have some of these to use with an easel and paper?

    My inspector suggested I may want to make story sacks to share with the parents - think I got off lightly compared with you!

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  7. #5
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    I do pretty much the same as you guys. I plan activities but am also guided by the children. If a child asks to paint (which happens frequently) I judge it based on what is out already, time of day (is it nearly lunch, school run time?) and decide whether or not to get out. I couldn't cope with a free for all! We are not nurseries. I have no solutions I'm afraid Floradora as to me your setting already sounds amazing to me :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tess1981 View Post
    Where in all this is our home to home environment we offer... btw having a go at ofsted not yourself... my own children never have free rein to all the messy stuff my house would be a tip.... and mindees don't either.. I'm in North Ireland so not a lot of the regulations you have but you really do put up with a lot of crap from ofsted... sorry rant over
    Only on Fridays do I have LO's under 2.5 years old - amazingly I know from in the summer that the 2 year olds then, worked the system well - after an initial constant paints being pumped!

    Home from home - can still be the focus..... I am sure, as that is a priority of mine too.
    My own boys had paints and glue etcc in a kitchen cupboard....they would just help themselves to paint pots with lids - we had a kitchen table then ..so easy to just pop on and paint...from walking they did this, so my home has always had this...but My DH has said a big no to his now precious storage in the kitchen being used! Since DH is a craft man, there has always been somewhere for modelling/ making...it used to be the bureau - used to be in the corner of the living room and someone was always making something on the fold out desk area, but it all disappeared when we had guests - but toddler craft needs more room...and low..like the kitchen cupboard....

    I think that if I could set something up, then it would be easier for me and remind me of my boys when they were young and growing up..oldest does illustrating now and I like to think our encouragement helped...so not for OfSTED ...they won't be back for a few years. our house has always been a home, but never a show room...too many creative people living it!
    Last edited by FloraDora; 17-02-2015 at 07:18 PM.

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    I have a little art caddy with A4 paper/coloured card, glue stick, hole punch and a few other bits. If they want paint I put it out on the kitchen window sill, which they can reach. I don't put out every bottle of paint for obvious reasons. They can pour their own and I try and use recycled containers so that I can just bin them afterwards. I have a Little Tikes plastic picnic bench that I put in the kitchen for messy activities. If you really want paint out at all times could you settle for tablet paints in a little plastic lidded tray - the ones where you have to add water? They are usually less messy. My paint is stored in a low cupboard in the kitchen and I am happy for them to access it but under my supervision. I also have a set of 12 little plastic clear lidded boxes which come with their own stacking shelf thing. Each one contains a collage type of material - gems, ribbons, mini bows, dry pasta, buttons, shiny bows etc. We also use these resources with playdough or pretend cooking. I have an under the bed storage box full of A3 paper. They are all transportable as we work in different parts of the flat - except when we are painting - kitchen only for that!

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  12. #8
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    I do have a play room and dedicated craft table so know I am lucky. But we do free access craft here with the hand pump paint and ova glue even for the one year olds it works well.
    Before I had the paints out the children would get a paint apron, paint brush or roller and bring it to me to indicate they wanted to paint.
    I have one of those storage on on wheels (three drawers) I've two sets one has a little clip you have to press to open the drawer so good for scissors and pens. The children help themselves to paper, pens, scrap materials, stickers etc. they go mad for the first couple off weeks but once the novelty wears off everything settles down.
    Before I had the playroom I would wheel the u it back under the stairs each night. Another portion might be to take over a kitchen cupboard and insert those metal shelves that swing out
    Kitchen Pull Out Storage | eBay

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  14. #9
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    Hmm, sounds like a bit of a pickle. Could you not set up a basket that was self contained? (similar to the one you said you did outdoors) one that you could put out on an "accessible" surface but that you could tidy away when the children leave. I love the self pump paints, I saw that on Pinterest and was thinking of trying that. Blue bear's idea of wheel-able drawers was a good one, if you have the space to store them. That's given me some ideas.

 

 

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