Monday, March 1, 2010

Write On!: Our New Writing Center

I just love finding ways to facilitate creativity in my kids. This weekend I reorganized our art and craft supplies and repurposed an old tv stand to hold everything the kids like to have free access to. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, since I didn't spend a penny on it and I think I have eliminated one of our clutter culprits. Tons of junk always landed on the top of this table. I had to sift through stacks of school papers, artwork, old mail, and random objects thoughtlessly laid atop this tv table, but it was worth it! I hate clutter!

Here are a bunch of pics of our new writing/creativity center:

I used the baskets we already had, so they don't all match, but they work for now!

The top view: I used an old serving tray to define the mail center. The cake stand is for new mail.

We now have a "Cards and Envelopes" basket, "Sticky Notes and Small Note Paper," and an old utensil caddy that holds freshly sharpened pencils, hole punchers, scissors, tape, pens, and a variety of paper pads. A pretty clipboard holds a stack of kindergarten lined paper.

The middle section (where the dvd player used to be) holds Ikea boxes of markers, crayons, and other essentials for writing and drawing. The lime green basket is for stickers. I put a sheet of "make your own" blank stickers in there in addition to tons of little chart stickers and round tag sale stickers.

The picture labels make it easy for our 3-year-old to find what she needs, but also has the words for our 6-year-old to practice reading. These little boxes are from Ikea and are the perfect size for our art supplies.

The bottom drawers hold stencils, colored construction paper, and a basket of sight words.

The kids know exactly where to put the mail when they bring it in. When they need a stamp on their envelope, it goes in the green pot for me to stamp it. I gave them some return address labels that we got for free in the mail...they love these! The basket in the back is our "Bird Watching" basket with binoculars, sketch pad, bird book, and colored pencils, ready to be carried outside on an expedition.

So far, this writing center has inspired lots of writing and creativity! Hopefully it continues to be a good clutter-buster, too!


  1. I absolutely love. I love the orginization as my kids writing desk is always messy miscategorized and has a million shards of paper that have been trimmed off.

  2. Boy, that sounds really familiar! I'm hoping that they will want to keep this area neat and tidy so they can continue using it whenever it strikes their fancy. If it gets messy, they won't be able to use it so easily. Having it in the dining room (Grand Central Station in our house) makes it harder to ignore if it gets messy. So far, they're doing a great job of putting things back where they belong and picking up the remnants of their projects. It's the first place our son heads when he wakes up every morning, so I'm very pleased with it so far!

  3. That looks great! I had a nice set up but the girls stopped keeping it neat after 2-3 months. And then we moved. And now that Capri is 2 a lot of things (like all writing utensils...crayons, markers, paint) were removed and put on high shelves until in use. The older two love to do art, and she likes to do it with them, but it usually ends up on the walls, table, and floor. :( I don't know what I'm going to do in the new house.

  4. Lindsay, that's a tough balance to achieve when you want to provide open access to art supplies to the older kids, yet keep the little one away from dangerous things like scissors, beads, sharp pencils, etc., and things that would just be too messy for a 2-yr-old to handle without constant supervision.
    Perhaps a high table with stools for the older girls to work at and some low baskets of Capri-friendly materials to play with (chalk and a section of chalkboard paint on the wall...if the chalk goes beyond the edges of the chalk paint, it wipes off easily, colored paper for tearing, colored wooden popsicle sticks to sort, etc.)
    I didn't put all the art supplies out. They have to ask when they want to paint, use glitter, confetti, feathers, and small beads. I really just wanted this to be a writing table, but E. isn't ready for pencil & paper writing. Crayons and scissors are good pre-writing tools for her.

  5. Those of us with a long memory can compare Mr. Busch's prose of today with that of years ago -- and be delighted at how much more interesting and incisive it has become.


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