Atelier Ideas

One of my favorite parts of the Reggio Emilia Approach is their dedication to the atelier. Today I want to feature some local atelier ideas in the hopes they may inspire you or spark an idea for you and your atelier!


“Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known.” —Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children

What is an Atelier?

Before we begin exploring atelier ideas, we must first address what an atelier is. What is it’s purpose? How does it foster children’s learning experiences?

An atelier is essentially a space for children to express their selves artistically through multiple mediums, using the language of art.

The atelier houses multiple artistic tools and materials which children can use to create to their hearts’ desire. Ultimately building critical connections in the brain through the various art processes and creative thinking experiences.

Ideally, an Atelierista, a teacher with an arts background, would be present in the atelier to help guide the children in this artistic journey.


Atelier Materials

Ateliers may contain any materials that the school or teachers feel are necessary, but some basic materials would include:

  • paper (various kinds)
  • scissors
  • crayons and other coloring materials
  • pencils
  • sketch pads
  • glue (liquid and sticks)
  • loose parts (see the loose parts post)
  • clay
  • ribbon
  • art books
  • paint
  • watercolors
  • paint brushes
  • clay tools
  • forks (plastic or metal for creating paint texture or scoring clay)
  • chalk
  • easels
  • wire
  • beads
  • (if you can think of any more materials, post them in the comments!)

Atelier materials ready for use in Betty Foshee’s room in a public school in Tulsa, OK.

Atelier Ideas

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…ATELIER IDEAS!


A lovely classroom atelier from Rosa Parks ECEC. Love the use of the spool to hold the easel!



Classroom shelving transformed into atelier material storage in Betty Foshee’s room in a public school here in Tulsa, OK! This is perfect if you are lacking space for a full atelier.



A very active atelier at All Around Child, a Reggio-Inspired school in Overland Park, KS. So many material options!


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Bringing atelier materials outdoors at Rosa Parks ECEC. Such a fantastic idea for those beautiful weather days!

Which atelier idea inspired you most?

Share your atelier ideas in the comments! 

For more atelier ideas follow my Atelier Ideas Pinterest Board!

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