Sunday, May 24, 2009

Basic Craft Supplies

So many people often ask what kind of stuff should you keep on hand for impromptu rainy day craft times. Well, I have compiled a list of MUST HAVES for most kid-art crafts. These are things readily available in most stores and are easy to store and inexpensive to buy.

Construction Paper - get the assorted pack. You can use construction paper for ANYTHING including just for coloring.

Crayons or Markers - you can NEVER go wrong with crayons and markers. These are essential tools for any budding artist.

Tissue Paper - This is fairly inexpensive and in some cases, free. Just save the tissue paper next time you get a gift. This can be used in a variety of ways. You can glue it to anything to add a little color and texture. Wad up small squares and add a 3-D look to any image.

Glue - Whether it is glue sticks, white glue, rubber cement, spray adhesive or hot glue guns Glue is a must have for craft projects. Now remember that each glue is different and each project is different. It is good to have multiple kinds of glue available to use as some things will only need a glue stick while other projects may need a heavier more sturdy glue. Either way, these different types of glue are inexpensive and last for a really long time.

Paper Plates - from masks to animals to Frisbees and beyond, paper plates are really easy to use for crafts. You can decorate them with just about anything and use your imagination to create wonderful masks or animals.

Paint - Who doesn't like to paint (well I don't like to paint big things like walls or houses, but little craft projects, heck yeah). One really good tip is buy powdered tempera paint. This can be found in most craft supply stores or look in your neighborhood parent-teacher store. This stores really easily and you can mix colors easily to create new ones. This is also really good to use because depending on how much water you add you can use this as finger paint (the thicker the better, lots of paint, little bit of water), water colors (the thinner the better, little paint, lots of water) or regular paint. I used empty water bottles (washed and dried) and would pre-mix some paint to have around as well. The powdered paint costs a little more but it lasts FOREVER!!!

Wooden Craft Sticks - You can use these for mask handles, build boxes, "log" houses, picture frames, and so much more. The list goes on and on for the uses of Wooden Craft Sticks. These are great to have on hand.

Sharpies or Permanent Markers - Now I know you must be thinking "I would NEVER give my child a permanent marker to color with" and you are correct!!! There are too many ways this could go wrong and too many things to ruin but it is handy to have a permanent marker for writing on these wonderful crafts that your children create that will never come off.

Scissors - Most people have scissors around the house but how many of you have kid scissors. Buy a couple of pair of kid scissors (they come in round or pointed tip, round are great for small children) and let the kids practice their cutting skills. Draw lines on a paper and have them cut along the line. This helps develop their fine motor skills and improve hand-eye coordination. Just make sure they don't run with them!!

I think you get the idea. There are countless things to add to your craft supplies such as buttons. My mom used to have this huge jar of buttons and I loved to think about all the things I could decorate with them. Use them as eyes or a nose or use them as a 3-D button on a picture. You can also add glitter, but as my sister pointed out after her daughter got into some glitter, it gets EVERYWHERE. Clothespins are a good addition as well. The ideas are endless. I think that these are good basics that each person should keep on hand for those rainy days.

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