9 craft supply essentials for every household
Yes, arts and crafts can boost self-esteem, encourage self-expression, improve fine motor skills, and create moments of bonding between parents and children. But let’s be real. Sometimes we just need arts and crafts to keep our kids entertained and happy on a rainy day. To pass the time as we count down the minutes until Daddy gets home. When that’s the case, make sure you have these 9 craft supply essentials on hand.
Paint isn't just for paper! It can make your life colorful in so many different ways. Paint coffee filters, egg cartons, paper towels, rocks and even leaves with your nature-loving littles. Be sure to experiment with different "brushes" too—use toy cars, flowers, sponges, and of course fingers. Our favorite kind of paint is washable tempera paint.
2. FOOD COLORING
Just like paint, food coloring can be used in a great deal of ways to brighten your day. Add it to yogurt and use it just like finger paint (see how we did it in the photos below!). Combine it with shaving cream to make bath time or water play more fun. Create a tie-dye piece by dropping food coloring onto damp paper towels. You can even add food coloring to 1 cup of corn starch and 1 cup of water for homemade sidewalk paint.
3. PIPE CLEANERS
There's just so much you can do with these fuzzy wires! Twist them around a headband to make a pair of bunny ears. Combine them with pom-poms and googly eyes to create little creatures. Thread beads or Fruit Loops onto them to design colorful jewelry. Or throw a handful in your toddler's direction along with a colander, and have him poke them through the colander holes for a lesson in fine-motor skills. (This will buy you two minutes to get dinner started. Or eat a cookie without him noticing.)
Not only do kids love chalk, but it's usually pretty easy to clean up. Chalk can be used for simple coloring on pavement or construction paper—but it can also be used in combination with white paint to create incredible art pieces. Simply draw with chalk on thick paper, then rub white paint over the chalk with your finger. The chalk color combines with the paint and gives your piece a watercolor effect! Once your kids have used up most of your chalk and you have only bits and pieces left, crush all similar colored pieces up in a resealable bag, then put it in a bowl and add water to make chalk paint.
Markers are a great drawing tool for kids of all ages. The color is often more vibrant than its wax-based alternative, and it's easier to clean. (Mom win!) Much like paint and food coloring, markers can be used to bring color to life. Of course, they work great on plain paper or in coloring books. But they can also create faux watercolor art if you spray water onto your paper after you're done coloring. And once your markers dry out—which is inevitable if your kids are like mine and forget to put the caps back on—you can make your own watercolor paints by soaking the markers in water.
6. CONSTRUCTION PAPER
It's wonderful how versatile colored paper can be. You can create creatures like our peacock below, festive decor and more from just construction paper and glue. One of our favorites is making simple flowers out of an assortment of bright colored paper and giving it to someone to brighten their day!
Straight edged scissors are vital for most craft projects. Cut out small squares of different colored construction paper with your scissors and use tape or glue to create a mosaic. You can make your cutting even more creative by having craft scissors with fun edges.
8. RECYCLED CARDBOARD BOXES
If you're like me and get almost everything online, save those boxes—and your Craft Kit boxes, too! My kids use them to make everything from playhouses for their cats to labyrinth mazes (we'll have a tutorial on that soon!). In my experience, a toddler or preschooler can have a home full of toys but choose to play with an empty box for hours instead. Take those scissors and tempura paints we talked about earlier to help your kiddos craft a car, a lemonade stand, or a treasure box from recycled cardboard.
9. GLUE STICKS
This one's a no-brainer. While you can easily use liquid glue, sticks are easier to apply, spread and clean up.