I read this wonderful quote recently that said: “Sometimes Creativity looks a lot like Chaos.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. And in our house this is especially true when it comes to storing crafts.
In our home we have a very famous box. This box is supposed to be brown, it has been washi taped and sticky taped too many times. It has also been drawn on so much, you can hardly see it used to be brown. This box is pretty much falling apart on all sides and has been well loved for the past 2 years since our big move from South Africa to the Netherlands.
The box I’m talking about is our craft box. Or at least that’s what we call it. It is literally a dumping ground for any and every crafting resource we own. Ok not quite everything, but definitely the most popular items.
In this post I am going to share with you our top 10 basic Crafting supplies that will always be in our craft box. These materials are used on a daily basis.
Here are the 10 basic crafting supplies that you need to keep in your house.
Can I say that this one goes without saying?
Paper is the base to most of the crafty activities we do. It’s not just great for drawing, colouring and painting, but it also serves as construction material for paper towns, paper planes or masks. It can magically be turned into paper maché, or collage materials. Paper is something we ALWAYS have in our house, and I try to make sure that we always have a variety of colours and thicknesses.
Pencils are our most loved drawing medium. If I had my way I would get rid of all markers and pens in our craft kit, but I do have kids over 6 and they LOVE their gel pens. But I’m working hard to get my 3 year old to fall in love with pencils again, because these days she can’t resist a colour marker. Pencils are incredible. They are great for fine motor development. Markers and pens are more of an instant gratification medium because it’s so easy to draw with them. Pencils need a little bit more effort. I even buy very nice art pencils with beautiful colours and softer points to make it a little easier, but my youngest is a real copycat and wants to be grown up like her sisters.
3. Markers or pens or both
There is a lot of value in exposing our kids to a variety of mediums. We love using pens when practicing calligraphy (very simple beginner style for the kids) or when the girls create or colour mandalas. Markers are great for big drawings or outlines or creating posters. I find markers to be loved by younger kids and then they move on to pens as they get older.
Glue plays a big part in our art activities as we use it for making slime and paper maché. We also use glue in a couple of science experiments. There are so many different kinds of glue, so we have a variety. We use school glue like Elmers for basic projects, craft glue for a bit more heavy duty crafts and some wood glue. The kids have basic school glue and hard pritt glue in their craft box. Usually liquid glue is stored far away from busy little hands.
We have way too many pairs of scissors in our house! I’m not kidding! Every time I misplace a pair, I buy a new one. It’s just because we use them SO often! I feel that kids should learn scissor skills as early as possible! Having strong little hands is a crucial foundation for school readiness. The earlier they can start strengthening those little finger muscles, the better. For tiny fingers I strongly recommend plastic scissors that cut through paper but pretty much nothing else.
6. Sticky tape
Sticky tape is such a fun and versatile material to use. We have lots of clear tape as well as pretty washi tape. We use the clear sticky tape when doing paper crafts, science activities and painting activities. And washi tape whenever we want to add a touch of pretty. My kids have even made abstract art pieces using only washi tape.
7. Ribbons and string
Ribbons and string don’t often make it onto our pictures, they are usually add ons to our projects. A gift isn’t fully wrapped without a ribbon after all. We often use string in our DIY gift ideas and as a bonus, string can provide hours of entertainment. Teddies are great pets on leashes and children transform into horses. Using string encourages children to come up with simple engineering concepts and ideas like designing a pulley system because they are too lazy to carry their toys upstairs. I have never understood this! My kids can spend hours running up and down the stairs to try and perfect a pulley system to take their toys upstairs for them, but they refuse to carry those toys upstairs themselves. It would’ve taken them like 2 seconds! Is it crazy, or is it just me?
Stickers are a MUST HAVE staple if you have young children. They have been a favourite craft material for all three of my kids when they were young. When I find a stickers on sale, I stock up! We use stickers a lot while traveling, especially on planes, or when we have to sit and wait at extra mural activities. Stickers were a life saver when I had to home school my two older kids and my youngest was restless during lock down.
9. Play dough and accessories
I don’t even know where to begin when talking about play dough! Playing with play dough is one of my daughters’ favourite pass times. There are so many ways you can play with play dough. I am always astounded by the creative games kids come up with while playing with play dough. We make our own play dough and you can find our recipe for Making your own Play dough here. When making your own play dough encourage participation from your kids. Make lots of different colours and most importantly DON’T freak out when they start mixing the colours! It’s all part of the fun of learning!
Technically paint doesn’t go into our craft box, but that’s just so little fingers can’t unpack it every day. I believe in about a year I will allow safe watercolour paints to be accessible, but craft paints will stay out of reach of my 3 year old for a while longer. Even my 6 year old still makes a huge mess while painting. Packing out and away, is just too big of a responsibility to put on them at this age. It’s not that I’m just worried about the couches getting a new paint job! Paint can be extremely harmful to children when ingested, so no taking chances! It’s also a good idea to try and buy non toxic paint whenever possible.
There you have it. Our craft cupboard contains a lot of different types of materials because I like to keep it interesting and expose the girls to many different mediums, but these basic crafting supplies are always in stock in our house.
What are YOUR favourite art materials? Tell me in the comments below!
And then go and get crafty with your kids.