The easiest way to foster creativity at home is to have an arts and craft stash ready for little hands and minds. Both of us have child-accessible supplies at the ready for our kiddos and it makes all the difference in encouraging them to create, as well as making craft time fun and easy for us! In addition to our ‘little hands stash’, we each have a slew of craft supplies we use regularly that are not in the kids’ reach due to safety and sanity (think scissors, acrylic paints, staplers, glitter, etc.), but for the most part, the day to day items are right at their level so they can create on a whim.
As a professional nanny, Amanda keeps her overflowing stash ready for on-the-go travel. She has a variety of supplies for her daughter and charges to choose from:
Being a stay-at-home-mom means Jess has the liberty to keep a massive (and growing) collection of supplies on hand. Being stored beneath her kids’ easel gives them access at all times:
Our top seven arts and crafts essentials are:
- Crayola Washable Paints – believe us, we’ve tried them all and these bad boys provide excellent value in an assortment of colors, and they live up to their *washable* name. Whether finger painting or watering them down for watercolors, you can’t beat the Crayola name in this category.
- Construction Paper – is there anything more useful than a huge stack of multi-colored construction paper? Drawing, cutting, painting, pasting, etc. It all starts with a formidable base and construction paper is your best option.
- Elmer’s Glue Sticks – while liquid glue has its place and we use it often, a glue stick is a relatively mess-free option for little hands who are fine-tuning their fine motor skills. Amanda’s daughter has been perfectly capable with a glue stick since before her second birthday #bravemama
- Paper Plates – Can you say “multi-purpose”? Paper plates can be used as a base for a variety of projects from masks to puppets, to sheep and suns. They’re also the perfect disposable paint palette, drop cloth to catch excess glitter, and tray to hold materials for multiple kids
- Safety Scissors – Scissors are a must for crafty littles. We’ve all heard the horror stories of kids quietly playing in their room only to come out with a chunk of hair missing or worse, a bloody digit – safety scissors like Maped’s only cut paper. PHEW!
- Crayola Washable Markers – like their paint counterparts, these markers are pretty easy to get off of just about everything and their bold spectrum will surely delight your young child.
- Baby wipes – Whether you’re using them to quickly wipe hands after a handprint craft , spot clean the table as you go, or have a child who likes to use their art supplies as face paint, baby wipes are the perfect child safe, all purpose cleaner that we consider a must have in our art supply stash.
What about you? Is there a basic you’d recommend for every parent or caregiver to have on hand?
Disclosure: We are not affiliated with nor compensated by the aforementioned brands. Our recommendation is genuine and based off of years of experience and use with a variety of products.