I did a bit of a spring clean out during the holidays and while doing so ran an “insta-story” on what was in our craft box. I received so many responses to it that I felt it would be worth running a blog on all the basics you need to get your crafting going.
Make it easier for your children to “create” by filling a box that’s just for them with craft supplies. You would have seen that I have one box for “them” that is easily accesible for them to reach and another for mummy which contains things like glitter, the paints; “messy” items that I prefer them to use under supervision. The box is theirs to use however they wish, with no need to ask permission. Another thing I did was to cut a piece of plastic material (or just use a plastic tablecloth), and we use this as our drop cloth. The boys know if they want to do any messy play, rule number one is to put a drop cloth down.
Keep in mind your childrens ages and abilities when filling up your craft box. We still use jumbo sized crayons for easier grip and safety scissors. If they are going to be doing crafts while I’m cooking, I need to know they are safe. I always keep the paper, card and leftover paper plates in their “craft” drawer in the play room, so they can pull it out whenever they need. Larger items from around the house like kitchen towel rolls, empty egg cartoons, bottle tops and other recyclable materials on the bottom shelf in our pantry. My 5 year old gets sudden “mister maker” urges and creates the most unique pieces at the oddest times, so I want to make sure he can reach everything he needs without causing havoc.
To start you off, in “their box”, I keep the following things:
- Scraps of coloured paper
- Tissue Paper
- Pipe Cleaners
- Felt Scraps
- Items of interest like buttons, sequins, ribbons
- Googly eyes
- Pom Poms
- Glitter Glue (they dont get loose glitter unless I am around)
- Popsicle Sticks
- Stick Glue
- Watercolour paints (these tray paints are ideal for less supervision)
Items from around the house to collect:
- Bottle Tops
- Empty Egg Cartons
- Empty Yoghurt Tubs
- Polystyrene trays
- Toilet Rolls/ Empty Kitchen Rolls
I then keep things like the crayons, paintbrushes and pencil colours in standup tins on their book shelf to easily reach whenever they need. Paint, glitter and play dough can be introduced on days that allow for more time to prepare and clean up, or when you want to provide other hands-on learning opportunities.
Keep the everyday supplies to a minimum so both you and the kids are not overwhelmed.
In “My Box” I keep things like liquid glue, loose glitter, more expensive jewels/beads and sharper items.
We have a tray filled with all our liquid paints. Our favourite without a doubt are KV Dala paints and their Teddy range is perfect for children! For more advanced crafters they offer every colour of the rainbow in acrylics and craft paints and the Teddy range stocks everything from Finger Paints to Rollerball paints perfect for little fingers!
When painting with children remember that young children work best standing up. A wall-mount or free standing easel are great ways to create this space. You could even craft your own temporary one out of cardboard. We use a free standing chalk board that doubles up as an art easel. Dont be afraid to experiment with different materials and encourage process art. In our paint tray I keep empty squeeze and spray bottles, sponges, plastic syringes and tape. When we have a little more time everything is on hand to set up for creative play.
There you have it, everything you need to get your crafting set up. Build up most of these items over time, it wont be something you purchase all at once. Dont be afraid to let your kids create as much as they like! Happy crafting!