We have a whole cupboard dedicated to art and craft supplies. However, with 4 eager artists on my hands, it can be quite the challenge to stay on top of keeping things at somewhat organized – at the very least, I aim for sections in the cupboard for specific things – but I usually end up throwing my hands up in surrender and declaring an armistice and ban on ANY more art projects being created. EVER. Which lasts about 2 days.

While discussing this issue of wanting to encourage the kids to create while still maintaining some order and keeping things tidy, a teacher friend and mom of 3 grown kids shared with me an idea that she’s used over the years. It’s so simple, so brilliant, and so easy to encourage your kids to create while still tidying up after themselves.

I give you…..

Kids Art Activity Box

Kids Art Activity Box

What is it?

A simple plastic box with a lid (dollar stores are great for these!) filled with random art and crafting supplies.

kids art activity boxes

What are the rules?

Not many! The basics we follow are:

  • Ask before you take it out (there’s nothing like starting an art project at 4:55 when we’re trying to get things tidied up for supper :D)
  • Whatever you take out has to go back in the box, and the box back in the cupboard when you’re finished.

What goes in the art activity boxes?

Whatever you want! To get you started, here’s what we put in our boxes:

  • stickers
  • googly eyes
  • sequins
  • glitter glue
  • craft foam

art activity box ideas

  • Sharpie marker
  • popsicle or craft sticks
  • interesting brads
  • a small container (also dollar store) with beads
  • white glue and a glue stick
  • pipe cleaners (full size and some cut down)
  • stamps and a small ink pad
  • different shapes of hole punches
  • scissors (regular and scrapbooking)
  • cardstock
  • tissue paper

art activity box supplies

  • foil
  • Scotch tape
  • washi tape
  • ribbon
  • clothes pins and pegs

I don’t re-stock these boxes all the time – right before Christmas and summer break and some holidays I take inventory of what we’re running low on or think of any themed items I’d like to add and then we go out once to refill the items. That keeps it simple and within a budget (though a lot of what they’re using are leftovers from other projects!).

These boxes aren’t out on a daily basis during the school year, but during the summer time they see a lot more use! It’s amazing some of the creations they can come up with using the supplies in their boxes. You’re guaranteed to have at least an hour or more of the creative juices flowing!

What would you add to an art activity box?