This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.
Does your classroom art or paint center require a lot of teacher management? Maybe it’s not even a designated center or it’s only available to students on occasion. These must-try tips for an independent Pre-K and Kindergarten art center are sure to help you create an art area that your kids will love and can use DAILY!
*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
Tips for an Independent Pre-K & Kindergarten Art Center
Art in the classroom shouldn’t just be saved for special occasions or step-by-step projects. Encouraging students to create with art supplies freely and often is so important. Kids can’t become independent with something that they don’t get repeated practice with!
I know that setting up a classroom art center may feel overwhelming or intimidating but if you check out our simple steps for setting up your art center, it’ll feel like a breeze!
Once everything is set up, these easy tips will help to ensure that your art center is an easily accessible, low-stress place for your students to explore their creativity all year long!
Tip #1 – Keep Art Supplies Accessible
Do you have a classroom easel? Is it out and available for students to use or is it tucked away for specific activities and projects?
Encouraging independence in a Pre-K or Kindergarten art center begins with allowing regular access to the art area and supplies. Start by setting up the easel with paint aprons or shirts that are within reach and accessible to students.
Tip #2 – Begin with a Small Amount of Paint
When providing the paint for your students, start out with just ONE cup of paint. You can always gradually add in more as the kids gain independence but it’s very hard to put the paint back in the bottle. Take it from me!
Also, whatever you do, do NOT fill the paint cups. Kids do not need that much paint to produce beautiful creations. Just a little does the trick and will mean less spills and less mess in the end!
RELATED RESOURCE: Back to School Math and Literacy Clothespin Clip Cards
Don’t have an easel? Or maybe you already have a full art center and you would like to level it up! Try adding in some mess-free painting tools like Kwik Stix!
There is no water needed and they dry almost instantly. Kwik Stix are fun (and yes, I said it… mess-free!). Kids love them and they are the perfect tool for encouraging creative independence.
They’re also great for more than painting. We love to use them for activities outside of our classroom art center too!
What’s your Pre-K or Kindergarten art center like? What are your favorite materials to include? Let me know!
Want to stress less and learn more about how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?
(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)
If you want to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you will want to be sure to join me in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!
It’s going to be awesome (you can check out more about it HERE) and I can’t wait to learn together when the virtual doors open.
- Simple Strategy for Improving Classroom Management - November 28, 2023
- Easy Fine Motor Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten - November 21, 2023
- 5 Classroom Routines and Procedures to “Reset” When Things Feel Chaotic - October 26, 2023