The Basics of Crafting with Kids

Aug 22, 2012

We're very lucky today to have a wonderful guest post from Susan Case of Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers. Today she shares with the Learn with Play at home readers, a fabulous excerpt from the book that she's co-written with Katie Norris. You can see all the details at the bottom of the post. Be sure to check out Susan's blog which is filled with tons of fabulous ideas and resources for parents and teachers. Now I'll hand you over into Susan's more than capable hands! Debs 

Crafting and art with kids does not have to be complicated, expensive or too messy for indoors. The best arts and crafts are:
  • Easy,
  • Cheap, and
  • FUN!

Where to Begin

First, you need to get organized. A good place to start is to go to your local hobby or grocery store and purchase some basics.The most important point to remember is that you control everything. Keep all your supplies in a bag or tub in the closet and get them out one at a time. Put away a project completely before you allow a new one to be used. Do not dump everything and let your child choose what to do. They need guidance, modeling and boundaries. This educational play should be separated from their normal toys.

 What to Purchase

  • Colored construction paper and tissue paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Stickers of any kind
  • Washable paint (buy big bottles in the primary colors of red, yellow and blue)
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Playdough in several different colors or make your own playdough
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glue sticks
  • White school glue
  • Kid safety scissors
  • Buttons of various sizes, colors, shapes and textures
  • Beads of varieties, sizes and shapes
  •  Large push-pins
  • Ice cube trays
  • Paper cups
  • Rice and a variety of pastas: Color your own putting some in a baggie with a few drops of food coloring. For brighter colors add a few teaspoons of rubbing alchohol or vinegar. Let sit and toss. Food coloring will stain your skin so you might want to wear disposable gloves. Red + blue = purple.

Art supplies can be inexpensive, especially in the summer before school starts so it is a good time to stock up. Save them for that rainy day and for Christmas stocking stuffers.

RECYCLE! KIDS ACTIVITIES & ART (collaborative Pinterest board)
Before tossing away anything, think: How else can this be used? You will be amazed how many projects you can do with just construction paper, a toilet paper roll, and some googly eyes! Upcycle, Recycle, Reuse and Remake with:
  • Rolls: Toilet paper, paper towel, gift paper, mailing tubes
  • Plastic containers: Whipped topping, icing and yogurt containers (perfect for playdough)
  • Boxes of various sizes: pizza, shoe, appliances
  • Plastic drink bottles (discovery bottles)
  • Eye droppers from medicine or vitamins
  • Oatmeal and nut cardboard containers
  • Milk jugs and containers
  • Newspapers, magazines, comics, cards
  • Craft scraps or wrapping paper and tissue paper scraps
  • Veggie, cookie and meat trays
  • Straws
While you are shopping, purchase some bins and tubs. Keep everything in the tubs or in plastic bags. Some things, such as ice cube trays and paper towel rolls, may be too big for tubs. For these items, try using a soft recyclable bag because it will not tear. When you offer paint, keep it very simple. Squeeze paint onto plastic or paper plates or even old egg cartons. Just put a dab of paint into each of the slots. Water soluble paint can be diluted with water to stretch it. Oranizae paint and brushes in a basket.
 Now that you are organized, you are ready to start creative fun times with your child!

You might like my post Why Craft? Why Art? These photos were provided by Katie Norris of Mommy with Selective Memory and the text is an excerpt from our book The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn - a No. 1 Bestseller on Amazon in Motherhood category. Let us help save your sanity - one project at a time. Only $3.99 for Kindle and $9.95 in print. I hope you'll visit me at Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers.
Let Children Experience Childhood.
What would you like to add? Thank you.

You can visit Susan’s blog, Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers and also find her on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest. 

PS- Learn with Play at home also have a full alphabetised art/craft supplies list with both bought and recycled goods. You can see it here. :)