Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

5 Must Have Art Materials To Add To Your Mini-Atelier A Reggio Inspired Program

A Learning Series On A Reggio Inspired 
Mini Atelier In Public School

Now that you have set up a Mini-Artelier you can create a budget for acquisition of resources.

Liquid Watercolour Paints - you may choose to begin with paint trays and then transition to liquid water colour paints as you find space in your budget. I collected used paint trays from a teacher at the end of the year and used those my first year while saving for liquid water colour. 

I love how bright the liquid water colour paints are and how we can soften the colour by adding more water or add texture with salt. I use Sargent Liquid Water Colour but there are other great quality brands. You will want to use small containers with lids to store the paint so that it does not evaporate. I use some small baby food jars that were donated to my room however, initially I use little glass tea light holders while they learn how to use the tools and paints. Our school is a block from the seashore. The nature collection in the art centre includes small shells which are beautiful when painted with water colours.

Begin with coffee filters while teaching and then move onto the more expensive water colour paper cut into small squares. Eventually they will transition to large pieces of paper but expect some wastage.

Paint brushes -  you will want the best quality that your  budget can afford.  Tall, short, thick brushes with different bristles; thin, flat or wide edged should be on your list. Brushes have different styles for different uses so educate yourself before making a purchase. Invest in paint brushes with natural bristles. They will wash up and last for many years. Teach the children how to care for the brushes. I like to keep a tub in the sink for children to soak the brushes during clean up.

Pastels I use chalk pastels but am looking forward to adding oil pastels this year. The colours are bright and while messy the children love to draw and colour. Pastels work very well with mixed mediums like paint or collage. Introduce this centre with a few colours and gradually add more choices. If you want to reduce the mess a little you can use a light coat of hair spay as a sealant.

Playdough or Clay - If you choose play dough use a easy recipe and then double it. There are plenty of great recipes on the internet, my favourite is from Imagination Tree. Modelling tools will include wood shaping sticks and a wire cutter (for the potters clay).

Tape - access to tape adds immense creativity to the children's art. It enables them to attach, wrap, decorate, paint over and reimagine materials. You can begin with less expensive masking tape which comes in beautiful range of colours, painters tape, scotch tape and then as your budget allows hunt for sales on washi tape. Megan at The Art Pantry has a great post on using tape at home or at school including great photos - well worth the read.

If you missed part one and two of this series you can access them 

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