Labeling Materials For All Ages
As The Carle's Every Day Art Program Educator, I have the unique challenge designing the drop-in art activities for The Studio's ongoing Every Day Art Program that change every 4-6 weeks. If you follow our blog regularly you're familiar with the variety of projects we offer: bookmaking, painting, sculpture, collage, drawing and printing to name a few! Whether our guests are novice art makers or seasoned veterans, anyone can try their hand at our current activity and use the materials at their level of expertise...
One of the often overlooked details of designing each art project is figuring out the best way to organize the art materials guests will use at the tables in various sized baskets.
For one of our recent Every Day Art Projects, Mapping Makeover, I made some fun new labels to organize the drawing tools into warm, cool and neutral colors. To help our young guests learn the different color families, the paper liners are in bright colored paper by Canson. On each label I added small dots matching the drawing tools' hues and familiar images from Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar in warm, cool or neutral colors. We use Avery templates in Microsoft Word to make all of our labels, very quick and easy! We use brass fasteners to attach the cardstock labels to the 3 different sizes of baskets in our collection.
The photos below are the basic steps for adding a label to a basket without tape. 1. Stick the label to a precut piece of cardstock that fits snugly on one side of the basket. 2. Use a bookmakers awl or another sharp tool to make a hole where you want your brass fastener to go. 3. Secure the fasteners to the back of the basket and add the materials. When the labels are not in use I store like-labels rubber-banded together in drawers by category, then they're easy to find the next time we need them.
Sometimes we organize the paper in specific ways, for instance, by the shape of the papers.
Other times the labels are more general, like "drawing tools" and "collage papers" so we can reuse the same labels for different projects.
We also design signage for specific projects to help guests take their projects further like, "How to make an accordion book."
How do you organize the art supplies in your classroom or at home for children?