I was just working on this post about “must-have” craft supplies when Job Description Mommy published her 10 Toddler Art Supply Must Haves! Great minds and all, right?
Luckily we only had some overlap (finger paints and pipe cleaners are a must!) so I decided to change mine to make it a supplement to hers. So you really don’t want to miss the first 10 must haves at her blog.
Crafting and Art is so important in allowing kids to use their imagination. For mom, it breaks up the monotony of being trapped in doors during the winter. Here are some must-haves for your craft survival kit!
1. Construction Paper
Multicolored paper is something kids love but construction paper is a gem because it tears easily. Kids love to tear and if your kid is pre-scissors it really opens up craft ideas! Plus it is routinely available in recycled varieties!
2. Glue sticks
A less messier version of liquid glue. This obviously needs adult supervision especially if you think your kid might want to take a taste. But even if junior eats the whole stick it is non-toxic. I love Coccoina almond-based non-toxic, non-acid, non-solvent glue stick!
I know many of you are cringing at the mess and yes, there will be rouge pieces of glitter you will still be finding in 30 years. BUT…your kids will LOVE it! Not only is it sparkly (oooo! sparkles!) but it is cool how it sticks where the glue is but falls off where the glue is not! Awesome.
4. Paper Bags
Grocery bags or recycled lunch bags are available in most grocery stores and they have limitless possibilities from luminaria to puppets! They take crayons, watercolor, or markers really well so they are great for customizing! Check out these awesome paper bag puppets! Not only fun to make but fun for months afterwards.
5. Googly Eyes
Along with pipe cleaners you can make anything with googly eyes! Robots, monsters, Mr. Potato Head with an actual potato! There is even a book of 101 things to do with googly eyes!
Felt is construction paper’s sturdier cousin (in craft terms). It is easy to cut, glue, and shape and it is very eco-friendly if you buy Eco-Fi. This felt is made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles saved from the landfill! It is available by the bolt at fabric stores or in 9×11 sheets at craft stores. Felt is great because it loosely “sticks” to itself so it is great for “paper” dolls as in my Dress Up Dolls (available in my Etsy shop! Check out the other great felt imaginative play toys too).
Macaroni is a fun and cheap craft item. You can dye it colors, glue it to things, or practice hand/eye coordination skills by stringing them on yarn! Oh, be prepared to wear macaroni necklaces to work!
8. Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes
Upcycling and art go hand in hand. You can make creatures or pirate spyglasses. they take markers and paint well (crayons are hard because you can’t push hard enough without mushing the roll). I won’t make them each separate supplies but EVERYTHING can be upcycled art – egg cartons, milk cartons, every kind of box, etc. There’s a book for that too! Earth-Friendly Crafts for Kids: 50 Awesome Things to Make with Recycled Stuff
wait for it….
Those toothpicks are the perfect connector for food art. Personally I love mini-marshmallows and toothpicks. Building structures (and learning how to make it stand tall) is a math and engineering skill for young kids and I’ve done this with middle schoolers as well. It is fun and increasingly complex. How about putting a face on an apple with carrot chunks and black olives? Celery houses with peanut butter and toothpick nails and glue? Smeared yogurt on a tray with a toothpick “pencil” for writing/drawing. Fun with food provides a positive food-attitude and inspires creativity!
What are your favorite craft supplies for your kiddos?
*If you are inclined to purchase any of the books mentioned here and you purchase through a link on this page I receive a modest referral fee from Amazon.com