I have a crafter in my house. He (yes, he) is six and he loves anything that involves glue, glitter, or markers.
Because of Jack, I have learned a few things about crafty kids.
1. Crafts can be expensive (but they don’t need to be).
2. Crafts can be time consuming (but they don’t need to be).
3. Crafts can be messy (but they… wait… yes, they are always messy. Nevermind about that).
I bet that some of you have crafty kids, but aren’t so crafty yourself.
That’s ok, I’m not so crafty, either.
I’m here to inspire you with things that Jack has taught me.
I think that the best way for a child to really have fun and be creative is to give them some basic supplies and let them run with it. Craft kits are fun, but who really wants to make the same project 15 times? Especially when you’re six 😉
I want to share with you a list of the most used art supplies in Jack’s room (notice I didn’t say “in his desk,” because his stash has outgrown his desk just a little).
These supplies are fairly inexpensive, and can be used for multiple projects. Having a steady stream of them on hand tends to keep my little guy from getting bored (and getting into trouble) and assures that we always have something cute to send out to the grandparents.
Jack has shown me that with a few supplies, you can make anything! Some of his favorites are frisbees, 3D pictures, jewelry, and sparkly get well cards.
Without further ado, the Crafty Kid Shopping List:
Paper plates: Color them and make custom frisbees, or make masks by poking holes in the sides and using yarn to hold it to your head (don’t forget the eye holes)! Paper plates are also great for holding painted crafts that need to dry or as a catch-all for crafts that require small items such as beads. (Note to Moms: Once you let them craft with paper plates once, make a rule about them. Or you might end up reaching for them one night and finding 200 frisbees instead. It has happened.)
Tape and white glue: Jack is constantly making “3D pictures” by taping and gluing things (balloons, matchbox cars, yarn) to paper that he has drawn on.
A marker/crayon caddy: Storage like these caddies (see picture above) have saved my sanity more than once. Before we had them, Jack’s markers and crayons were all over the house. Caddies make it easy for a six year old to stay organized!
Beads or sequins: String them on yarn or pipe cleaners to make bracelets, or add them to pictures – beads and sequins are among the most used craft items in our house!
Blank white paper: For Jack’s last birthday, we bought him a craft desk and loaded it up with supplies. His favorite part? His very own package of blank white printer paper.
Glitter glue pens: Definitely one of Jack’s favorite’s, he says that “glitter cards make people happy.”
Washable paint: I know your first thought is “Are you crazy? We don’t paint in this house!” but wait! After a few instructions, I bet your little crafter will know where the extra newspaper is and how to cover the dining room table so there is no mess afterwards. I was reluctant to allow Jack to paint in the house but after seeing how much fun he has and how responsible he can be, I’m glad we have a little painter among us.
Yarn and pipe cleaners: Jack ties pictures together, makes bracelets and rings for his friends, and lets his imagination run wild with yarn and pipe cleaners. Just the other day, he tied a pencil to a long piece of yarn and made an “artsy necklace.”
If you have a mini creative genius on your hands like I do, I understand that it might be hard to let them use notoriously messy craft supplies in the house. It sure was for me.
But the day that you let them craft like they want to and they bring you a beautiful handmade frisbee, complete with sequins and dripping glue? That moment is priceless.