I've gotten a few emails lately asking for recommendations for arts and craft supplies for children - the holidays are coming up after all, and kids love to receive the gift of creativity! I thought I'd share a few of the items that we use all the time:
- My boys have always prefered colored pencils over crayons, and Prismacolor Colored Pencilsare the best, producing smooth even colors in a wide variety of shades. The Prismacolor scholar line can frequently be picked up for around $10 and they work very well for children.
- For nature journaling we like to use Academie Wirebound Sketch Diary with SpiralGuard, but any wire bound notebook that lays flat when open will work. The 6"x9" size is perfect for little hands!
- We always have a bin full of collage materials available at all times (and it gets used a lot!). Ours is filled with kids scissors, Elmer's Extra Strength glue sticks (and regular Elmer's school glue too), pom poms, feathers, beads, googly eyes, sequins, rhinestones, bits of leftover colored paper and yarn. I store all of it in a clear storage tub with the different items organized into ziploc bags...hardly a day goes by where we aren't experimenting with all the things we can create from this bin full of fun!
- Recycling materials are awesome! Dedicate a small bin or container for recycled household items that the kids might like to use in crafting. We save tp/paper towel rolls, plastic containers and lids, frozen juice lids, glass jars, #6 plastic takeout containers (for shrinky dinks) and anything that is a fun or unique shape. You might be surprised at how long you can keep the kiddos occupied with creating robots and superheroes from the recycling bin!
- Paint is the #1 art supply that we use, and Crayola Artista Washable Tempera Paints are our favorite. The colors are smooth and saturated, and they don't dry out too quickly while the kids are working on their masterpieces. We also love Colorations Liquid Watercolor Paints and the Make it Glitter and Make it Shimmer additions (we haven't tried the Make it Puffy yet, but that looks like fun too!). The cost may seem a little steep for either set of paints, but trust me...they last a long time, even with frequent use!
- For younger kids, you can't go wrong with the classic Crayola Washable Markers. If your kids are older and you are less worried about the product's washability, we love BIC Mark-It Color Collection Permanent Markers and Mr. Sketch Scented Markers (we have the fine and broad tipped sets of each). Some day when my boys are much older I might have to share my set of Prismacolor Double Ended Art Markers that I have stashed away, left over from my design school days!