What child wouldn't be inspired to create, write and imagine in a space like this? More info on the breakdown of this lovely atelier can be found here:http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/february-jumpstart-2009-entries/how-to-design-a-space-for-playful-learning-mariahs-february-jumpstart-project-2009-077238
I think that children who grow up in the U.S. have little or no exposure to the arts and are not taught to understand the importance of beautiful and natural quality materials (ie. not plastic) compared to their counterparts in Europe. Which is tragic because at what other point in your life do you have more liberty and natural inclination to engage in art (I've observed that young children are naturally and passionately drawn to the act of creating)? Once they embark on becoming schooled in this country, the emphasis will mostly be on rote memorization. So how precious is this time for a child to enjoy, with little inhibition, the wonders of painting, drawing, crafting, writing, etc. - in other words, being creative and expressing their unique selves!
Which is why I'm working on my own little atelier for K. Since my background in art and teaching is nonexistent and I have no natural artistic abilities to speak of, this project may very likely be abandoned in the next five minutes. Abandoned with vigor becuase I'm also contemplating the mess that will come with encouraging art in the home - crayon on the walls, paint on the furniture, oil pastels scattered throughout the house. UGH. The longer I am a mother, the more I am convinced that a full-time maid/housekeeper is the answer to everything.