Arts and Crafts Storage Solutions: In The Kitchen or Other Room

Stash it. If you're dealing with limited storage space, clear out a kitchen cabinet or a couple of drawers to dedicate to art supplies. This is a good idea even if you have more supplies in a playroom. Preschoolers like to be where you are, so having some crayons and paper in the kitchen will come in handy. Drawer dividers, which you can make yourself or buy in discount department stores, keep materials neatly separated. Other options: a corrugated cardboard chest of drawers placed in a closet or a wire rack unit with plastic drawers.

Look to the walls. A door-mountable canvas shoe holder, which you and your child can decorate with fabric markers or acrylic paint, is a simple way to display and store smaller-sized art supplies that might otherwise find themselves underfoot. Use half the pockets for collage materials (kids this age like gluing things together and working with different textures), such as colored glue sticks, feathers, cut-out shapes, vacation postcards, pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, and pom-poms. Keep potential choking objects like beads and buttons up high, out of reach. Use the other half of the pockets for miscellaneous supplies: scissors, brushes, clear and colored tape, a hole puncher.

Before hanging, decorate and code the front of each collage pocket by gluing a sample of the inside contents on the outside. (If you're using a glue gun, keep small children away from it. The glue dries immediately, but it's extremely hot to the touch for the first few seconds.) For the miscellaneous pockets, you might glue or stitch on letters of the alphabet in felt appliqués, using the first letter of each supply to designate what goes where: "S" for scissors, "B" for brushes, and so on. Mount the art-supply holder near your child's arts-and-crafts nook (and low enough for him to reach it) by using hooks or by looping a length of string, ribbon, or shoelace through three or four holes in the top of the canvas and then suspending the loops from picture hooks.