Sunday, May 8, 2011

Top Art Supplies for Empowering Real Fun

A friend once asked me which art supplies I considered the basics for a well-stocked kids closet.  I'm afraid I've taken my sweet time answering her (partly because I felt unqualified to answer; I'm a really bad minimalist-  my crafts closet is bursting at the seams!)   One of the many great comments on the recent post 13 Things Parents do that Inhibit Real Fun made me think though, that the time had come for me to do some thinking on my friend's question. 

The comment had to do with keeping  open-ended art supplies around instead of buying kids craft kits.  Such a good point!  The question is, what are the most helpful supplies to have around?   A person could spend their life savings impulse shopping at Michaels!  So...which things are likely to sit on the back shelf, and which things will inspire and empower creativity and fun?

I did some thinking about the supplies I use most in crafting with and for kids, and this is the list I came up with.

1.  Scissors!  Child and adult pairs.  My mother taught me to keep some scissors nice and to use others for rougher jobs (for example, cutting through anything sticky or grainy)

2.  Glue sticks.  I try to get the kind that have larger tops so they're not such a choking hazzard.

3.  String.

4.  Markers

5.  Crayons

6.  Tissue Paper- It seems like there are so many great ideas around the web for using tissue paper in kid's crafts these days!

7.  Hole punch.

8.  One inch fasteners- these metal brads are sharp- so not good for unsupervised kids, but they allow for so many creative projects with joints, dials, etc.

9.  Hole enforcer stickers- great for making little homemade books, etc

10.  Packing tape- one of my absolute favorites- cheap laminating!

11.  Washable Paint- just writing those words reminds me that I really should send the girls outside with an easel and several jars of paint the next time they are having a rough day.  I'm sure it will improve their spirits 100%!

12.  Popsicle sticks- the "backbone" for many a craft.

13.  Colored cardstock- construction paper is definitely cheaper, but it fades and rips so quickly.  I guess both are good to have around!

14.  Paper cutter- not for young children to use definitely, but I have been so glad I've had mine for dozens of little games, etc. I've made for my toddlers. 

Everybody does arts and crafts a little differently.  I'd love to hear what you would add to this list or swap out! 


Lydia said...

Hey thanks! You have no IDEA how much this list helps me! I think we have most of what is on the list and I'll get the other things as well. It is budget friendly and something I can send to friends in other countries! - Narah

Having Fun at Home said...

Hi Narah, I'm glad it's a help. So sorry I didn't respond to the question earlier :-(

Hmschlof4 said...

stapler and scotch tape.  these are two things we use a lot of.