May 16, 2013

Are your kids feeling CRAFTY? 20 must-have Craft Supplies

Kids love crafts.  Even if YOU aren't an inherently "crafty" person, every single human is born with an innate sense of creativity, it's a part of that "created in His image" deal.  You can either foster your children's creativity or squash it.

I recognize that if you don't LOVE crafts and don't feel overly creative, that it can be a little overwhelming to imagine that YOU are responsible for fostering creativity in your kids.  Never fear.  First read THIS post on Fostering Creativity in your Children and then come RIGHT back here to get the must-have list of creativity boosting supplies.

Both of my children seem to be slightly obsessed with paper and scissors and creating messes with craft supplies.   There are two ways I can look at this:

1. YAY! Someone to do crafts with!  Something my kids can do other than watch T.V. and demand my attention!
OR 2. BOO! Another mess to clean up!

I choose the first one (most days)

My kids are slightly older, so I will specify which supplies you should make available to kids according to ages ... in fact I will build the list from the youngest to the oldest... so you know what and when to add to your supplies.

Without further ado... the 20 must-have craft supplies in your home:

Toddler-Age 3
1. Paper: White paper, construction paper, scrapbook paper, paper of every shape, size and color... but mostly white paper.
2. Stickers: You don't have to break the bank buying massive amounts of stickers.  Save the stickers you get in the mail (kids don't care if they are stickers with movies or addresses on them).  Wait until the sales and buy stickers from craft stores.  Go to teacher supply stores and buy small star and heart stickers.
3. Crayons: Again, they don't have to be perfectly sharpened and unbroken.  Kids will use crayons regardless of what they look like. (Most kids will anyway)
4. Washable markers: Please note the washable part... it's really very important.

4 and 5 years old
5. Scissors: Small scissors for little hands, BUT PLEASE get the kind with actual metal blades, the plastic ones are so frustrating! Most kids need to know how to cut on a line for kindergarten, so practice is helpful, {you may have to get the vacuum out.} OH and keep an eye on them... haircuts happen really fast at this age.
6. Playdoh and tools: Make your own or buy the pre-made stuff.  Give them the option every day. Kids love playing with clay!
7. Paper Glue: Gluestick or Elmers, both can do damage, but once kids start to cut paper, they want to glue it to other paper.  Consider buying some Mod Podge while you're at it.
8. Water Color Paints and Paper: This is a craft that your kids can enjoy for hours, but doesn't make a huge mess, as long as you are prepared.  Cover the table, give your child a towel or paper towel (to clean up drip messes), a half-full cup of water, and allow the masterpiece to be created!

6 years old and up
{you know your children and their destructive abilities, use your judgment}
9. Craft Glue: Aleene's is great, but any brand of tacky glue will help your kids be creative with 3-d crafts without going crazy with frustration.
10. Popsicle sticks: buy both sizes, the large "tongue depressor" size and the smaller size as well.
11. Pom Pom balls: Seriously.  My kids use these up in ways I could never imagine.

12. Chenille Stems: Also known as pipe cleaners, these now come in a variety of colors and have endless creative uses... just Google ideas and you will be amazed!
13. Googly eyes: Because anything you make with a Pom Pom ball will be cuter with eyes.
14. Felt: You can buy packages of 8.5"x 11" sheets of multi-colored felt.  Felt is useful for creating because it doesn't tear like paper, but is flexible.
15. Magnets: Your kids will LOVE making things that will stick to the fridge... or the magnet board you will ultimately buy them for their room to get their "creations" off your fridge.

 16. Beads: Again, please don't break the bank (and beads really can), invest in some cheap plastic beads, pony beads and little plastic multi-faceted beads.   Your kids will thank you.
17. Hemp twine: Best bet for non-stretchy string for beading.  It doesn't fray and stays nice and stiff for easy beading.
18. Yarn: Any color, any weight.  Kids will use it for a number of different projects!
19. Tapestry needles.  Though you might want to keep this locked up and away from kids, these needles are great for learning to sew with felt and yarn, and a little stuffing.
20. Hot Glue Gun.  Another one of those items you may want to keep locked away from your kids, every home absolutely should have a glue gun.  At times, no matter how hard they try, your kids will not be able to stick something together with tacky or white glue, plug in your gun and you can stick nearly ANYTHING together! :)

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