Entertaining your kids at home can be a time-consuming task when you're trying to think up non-screen related activities. In a world where children crave technology and the ability to play the next level, watch a new show or download an app, we as parents have to continually strive to provide fun, creative alternatives to capture their attention and teach them lifelong skills.
Many parents, us included, turn to arts and crafts to entertain their children - and we promise it works for hours on end. From drawing and painting to sewing and crafting, the options are endless! Allowing your child to bring their imagined creations to life is not only beneficial for their cognitive development, but for their self-confidence, patience and creativity.
In order for your child to get immersed in arts and crafts, it's important that you have all the necessary supplies for them to complete their desired projects. Now before you start getting overwhelmed, we've compiled a list right here of the most essential items, with a more complete downloadable list available at the bottom.
We may be slightly biased, but our sewing materials are always the first to be replaced. Without these items, we wouldn't even know how to craft!
- Needles - Needles are the lifeblood of sewing, so we always make sure we're stocked up on various sizes and types. From thread thinness to yarn thickness, different needles are required for various projects, whether you're sewing on a button, completing needlepoint or threading yarn through your newest creation.
- Thread/Yarn - Once you have your needles, now you need a material to use with them. Depending on your project, stock up on beautiful thread and yarn colors that your child likes. Choose shades that go with their upcoming projects, or that you know they simply like in general, as these are always the first to go.
- Beads - Finally, we love to keep a variety of beads on hand so that they can be added to any project. Your child may love the task of beadwork or perhaps they'll simply want to bedazzle their newest creation. Having these on hand allows them the ability to be creative if they choose to do so.
- Drawing tools - If your child likes to draw, there are a multitude of supplies you can choose from to make this happen. To keep it simple, we recommend a set of crayons, pencil crayons, markers and pencils. These will keep a child entertained for hours with the ability to draw and create anything they can imagine in a variety of colors.
- Painting tools - When it comes to painting, there are various types to dabble in. We recommend choosing between tempera paints and watercolors, then buying the necessary brushes and paper to accompany your choice.
There are some items that we swear you can never have enough of. Somehow, we always seem to be out of the same items time and time again, so we've started buying these particular essentials in bulk:
- Glue - Between caps being left off and excessive glueing of crafts, there never seems to be enough glue in the house. When you head to the store, stock up on white glue, craft glue, glue sticks, the works. You won't regret it.
- Scissors - How do these seem to go missing every bloody second?! It's smart to have a few pairs of these lying around because you never know where the other pair may be, or what they are covered in.
- Paper - It's great to have different types of paper around so that you have choices when it comes to various projects. For example, you'll likely want colored construction paper for festive projects, white paper for drawing and watercolor paper for painting.
- Tape - Similar to paper, there are many kinds of tape needed for different projects, so we like to stock up on all kinds at once since you simply can't keep track of tape inventory. Masking, washi, scotch - save yourself some time and add it all to the cart.
Around the House
This is such a great way to be creative and save money. We love finding items around the house to use in our crafts, whether it's something that's broken, doesn't have a use anymore or would otherwise be thrown out.
- Toilet paper rolls - Yes, these are great for crafts! Using these cardboard cylinders, you can make animals, towers, construction sites, trees - the sky's the limit! Find some ideas online as to what your child can make, or simply provide them with the supplies and see what they come up with.
- Buttons - So many shirts and sweaters come with extra buttons, and let's be honest, they pile up in a drawer, most often unused. Start adding these random buttons to your at-home craft station so that they can be used to adorn new projects and add some flare.
- Packaging - In today's world, we get a lot of things delivered to our house and much of it comes with unnecessary packaging. We like to take the styrofoam, brown paper, packing peanuts and cardboard (if it's not too beat up) and add them to our craft area. These are great items to play around with and utilize carefree because they were - well - free!
For a more complete list next time you head to the store, download our FREE Art Supplies List here!