Spring is finally here! The temps haven’t broken 50 degrees just yet, but we have had two park play dates so far. The fresh air and the tiny bit of sunshine just feels so good! Dear summer heat I am ready whenever you are!

You may, or may not, be making plans for spring cleaning. I like to try to get it all done before the sun shines and everything melts so I can be outside the very first day it warms up. However, I suffer from delusions of grandeur. I start out thinking I’ll move through my cleaning cycle with Martha Stewart-like precision, but then I end up just opening the windows and spritzing air freshener  for a “clean effect.” Whatever…

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I do however, try to tidy up the important and most used areas of our home. Today that spot is our art cart! We don’t need to spend a ton of time spiffing up the art storage, but spending a few minutes organizing and tidying up will pay off later when we find ourselves inside for a day.

Don’t have an art cart? Go get one! Where else are you going to store your sequins, dryer lint and toilet paper tubes for all your Pinterest projects? Just a simple box to put all your crafty/arty items in works!

1. Clean out all the broken crayons, dried up makers and sharpened up the pencils. Each item gets its own box so little hands can take out of the big drawer when needed.

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2. Toss all the old papers and drawings that are not keepers (sorry kids!). I’m talking all the crumpled pieces of scrap paper, or the pieces of paper with one scribbled line. Group all the same paper with the same paper for a cleaner look.

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3. Toss out any dried up paints, glue or stray random pieces.

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4. Assess which items need to be replaced.

5. Decide if you need any extra storage containers.

 

Not sure what to keep on hand for quick art projects? Stop by your local dollar store or craft store and search the dollar bins for pre-made art projects;  from DIY photo frames to DIY painted ceramics there are plenty of fun little things to stash away for a rainy day.

We like to keep brown paper lunch bags on hand to decorate in a pinch and use in the back yard for a simple treasure hunt. Shaving cream and food coloring makes a really quick sensory project for little ones. There are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to the thousands of different ways to use pipe cleaners! Keep plenty of those on hand too!

Keeping a fully stocked (and tidy) art cart will allow your kids to use their imagination and really get creative!

 

Other things to keep on hand for instant creativity:

Washable paints

Washable markers

Playdough

Beads or dried pasta shapes

Craft sticks

Seasonal stickers

Do-a-dot markers (dot paints)

Construction paper

White glue

Plain paper plates

A handful of recycled magazines for collages

 

Some great sites for free or inexpensive art supply ideas:

Dollar Store Art Supplies

Make your own art supplies:

Free label printable

11 Great Art Materials for Toddlers

 

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