Art Bags-Revisited

My sister just pointed out to me that this blog, New Nostalgia, is about to have a one year anniversary!  I have so enjoyed sharing what we do around here with you all, and I am so very honored that anyone would care to read about it!  I thought, due to my health and my inability to post as often, that I would occasionally revisit some posts from the past.  It will give you all something to read, and I will enjoy the stroll down memory lane…
My girls favorite thing to do is art. All 3 of them do some type of creative art every day, it is just in them.  Ever since they were little, we have always made sure paper and colors are available for them to use whenever they want. As they have gotten older, I have worked hard to make sure they have access to age-appropriate supplies, so that they can create whatever their little art brains desire.
We have rolling carts with labeled drawers upstairs where we keep all their craft supplies, and use them a lot, but I also wanted to have basic supplies handy on our main floor that they could just grab and start creating with!
My solution was to make them each their own little school supply bag. I shopped for these at the beginning of the school year when all the supplies were super cheap. I found the bag at Wal-mart in the craft supply section. All of the bags are black, but I made them distinct with certain supplies that were all the same color (my youngest daughter likes blue so her scissors, pencil sharpener and pencil erasers are all blue.) This is how they tell which bag is theirs.
I keep the bags in a very central location (our dining room) right by the table, not only because they are in view and the girls will use them more if they see them, but also so I can make sure they take good care of their bags (even though the supplies were cheap, they add up when you times it by 3!) and put them away properly.  Our table is also where they do their homework so the bags are very handy for that!  I am pretty strict about keeping them in the dining room to use at the table.  I only allow them in the car for  trips that are longer than an hour, just because it seems like something always gets lost in the car!
Before, we had supplies on all 3 levels of our home and showing up in places where they didn’t belong! I grew weary of questions like “mom, where’s my little scissors?” and “mom, where’s my tape?” Now that they are in one area it has worked so well.  They know right where they are, and find them daily, sitting on a shelf waiting for little creative hands to grab and use them!

Added 9-19-10:
I had to share with you a story having to do with these art bags that happened just this week.  My husband trains volunteers to teach children to read as part of his job.  My girls often take turns going to help him, as he needs a “model” student during the training.   My youngest was so excited that she was finally old enough to help daddy with training this last week.  I made sure she took a snack and her art bag, to keep her busy while dad did the part of the training that didn’t involve her.  Her snack was a granola bar and a banana.
About 4-5 days after her “turn” we were cleaning up the house.  I picked up the art bags to dust underneath and when I picked up my lil’ ones bag, I was attacked.  By FRUIT FLIES!  So many, many disgusting little fruit flies.  Ugh.  The banana peel from her snack was sitting in the bottom of the bag getting nice and black.  It was covered in them! I ran the bag outside, but not before many, many fruit flies made their way throughout the house.  We have been battling them ever since.  We have about won the battle with the nifty little “vinegar in a jar with holes poked through the top” trick.  Hmm, I think that little trick may need a post of its own…anyone have any other great tips for getting rid of fruit flies?

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  • Amy Bowman
    September 21, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Melody-I didn’t know that! I have tons of basil growing outside, and too many flies that come in when the door opens inside! Thx. for the tip..
    Hi Sara-winkin’ back at you
    Rebecca-your method worked EVEN BETTER than the one I was using. That dishwashing liquid soap trick is amazingness.
    Lana-use a drop of dishwashing soap, too.

  • Lana
    September 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    With apples in the house, i am not afraid to admit we have a few unwanted visitors. I’m running for my vinegar right now!

  • Rebecca
    September 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Love the art bags, and it makes me realize that I need to reorganize our art supplies to be more user friendly! Re: fruit flies: pour apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 inch) in the bottom of a glass, then add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid soap. The soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, so the little guys sink when they land on the vinegar. The only problem is the stale smell of the vinegar, so the jar with holes poked in the top of the lid might be a better option!

  • For the Love of Naps - Sarah
    September 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I would like to know more about this vinegar in the jar trick….not that I have occasional fruit fly problems – wink wink!

  • The Mitchells Five
    September 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t know about fruit flies, but I heard that flies don’t like basil and if you keep a basil plant they won’t stick around.

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