Whether you consider yourself a crafter superstar, a crafter wannabe, or an anti-crafter, here are some tips and tricks to get crafting with your kiddos! As an art studio owner, I see moms every week drop their kids off to get creative. I know first hand how overwhelming arts and crafts can be, and that is why art classes are a great way to get your child crafting. And you can bring creativity into your home too with a few key supplies and the right mindset!
Artist or not you can lead your kids in creativity!
The most important factor in getting creative with your kids is not artistic talent or years of experience in scrap booking.
The most important factor is making time.
Setting aside time in your schedule to make a craft, paint, doodle, or collage is the first step. Once you decide you want to add more creativity into your family, prioritizing time is your game changer.
Setting aside just 20 minutes is enough time to unplug and make a creative memory with your child!
The benefits of crafting with your kiddos are huge. It is difficult in today’s culture to find ways to spend quality time with your children. When you plan to craft, you are saying to your child, “this is our time to work together, to problem-solve together, to make memories together, to communicate together, to learn together, to discover together, and to have fun together!” They will have fun, discover new abilities, and make memories that will last forever.
Knowing you have everything on hand will get you crafting in no time! I recommend finding a dedicated space for all your supplies and choosing a location that you will use as a workspace. This could be a kid’s table, kitchen counter, coffee table, or dining room. Keeping old newspapers or a roll of craft paper on hand to cover the surface makes any area a safe place to get a little messy – and messy is good.
Yes, it will be good for both of you to let go of some control and allow some mess!
A cabinet near your workspace is great for storing and organizing your supplies. Also, I recommend this
craft cart. If a cabinet isn’t an easy option, using a convenient cart is perfect! You can store it out of the way and you can roll it in when you plan to craft! Once you have a dedicated art space, you can gather all the supplies you need and you probably have them somewhere around the house. Find crayons, pencils, markers, glue and glue sticks, scissors, sharpies (if you’re brave!), gel pens, paints, paintbrushes, construction paper, printer paper, buttons, gems, stickers, tape, and more! A simple way to organize everything is to use leftover cans (peel the labels off) or you can find inexpensive bins at your local dollar store. If you want to purchase some of the basic supplies listed above, you can’t go wrong shopping at your local Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon.
Here are my top five craft tips and supplies to have on hand in your home.
We all need inspiration. Coming up with the idea of what to do is absolutely vital. Let me tell you as an art teacher at times I find myself at a loss for ideas. When I’m not waking up at 2:00 am thinking of the next best painting project, then you’ll find me on Pinterest, my favorite source in pinch.
Utilize Pinterest for inspiration… there is no shame in using others’ ideas. We are all in this together. Sharing is caring:)
Pinterest is a never-ending supply of ideas. Craft with the season and the holidays. Search according to your child’s age. You will never be without a new idea, I promise! If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet… sign up now!
2. Art Journals
Art journaling is one of my favorite ways to incorporate creativity into everyday life. Journals are great for a number of reasons. Journals keep all the art in one place. They are portable. You can grab a journal, pouch of pens or paints, and take them to go.
Get creative on the soccer sidelines, at the park, in the school pick up line, even at the zoo.
Journals also record a timeline of development and become a keepsake to look back on for years. It is best to purchase a durable journal that can take paint on its pages. Purchasing an art journal as a gift for each child makes a great Christmas tradition for your family! Have them design the cover including their name and fill the pages all year long. Be sure to date the art periodically and if your child is too young to write ask them what they drew or painted and title the work at the bottom. Allow any wet pages to dry completely before closing the journal and storing it. Oh… and mama, get yourself an art journal too:) You can make your own pages along with your child!
Watercolor paints are one of my favorite paint supplies. They are great for all ages and of all the paints are the least messy! Here is a simple watercolor palette that is great to keep at home. It is inexpensive enough that you can get one for each member of the family. (Tip: always use a coupon for Michael’s if an item isn’t already on sale:) I also recommend getting a simple travel-size watercolor palette to take on the go. Not sure where to start with watercolors? Have your child make a few puddles of watercolors on his paper and watch the colors blend together. After the paint is dry use markers or sharpies to transform your watercolor shapes into flowers, birds, or fun doodles. And don’t forget to search Pinterest for an endless supply of watercolor projects for kids.
4. Tempera Paint Sticks
Paint sticks are just so much fun! Why do I recommend these? Low mess, simple for toddlers to use, but great for older kids too. The colors are super vivid and blend together really well. The tempera paint dries in under 90 seconds! I love this set from Michael’s as well as this brand you can find on Amazon. Try them in your art journal or on black paper for a quick and creative time together.
5. Change up the paper
A simple way to utilize your collection of basic supplies you have on hand is to change up the paper. Typically artwork is on a white background. Try giving your child black construction paper with white gel pens, white colored pencils, white chalk, and white crayons. Also, you can let your child choose the background color of their choice. This switch can make a simple paper drawing or painting project feel new and exciting!
Cardboard is a great background for paintings.
Now you have a new reason to continue ordering from Amazon:)
Cut down the sides of boxes both large and small to create cardboard canvases of all sizes. Use tempera sticks, tempera paint, and acrylic paint to create up-cycled masterpieces. Create mixed media creations by gluing on buttons, gems, and cut shapes of scrap paper or cardboard to these paintings. Tacky glue works great for this.
Old book pages or music sheets make great backgrounds for watercolor paintings or to use in collage. Begin by cutting a bird shape out of a music sheet and mod podge it onto a painted canvas background. Then, add detail and color with paints and markers! Finally, glue on some feathers. Let the music notes show through to add interest to your creation. If you search mixed media art for kids on Pinterest you will find the never-ending possibilities awaiting you and your child!
It doesn’t take a skilled artist, just a mom with mad mom skills, to get creative with their kids. Just a little time. Make tapping into creativity as part of your motherhood journey and enjoy all it has to offer!