Noah does a lot of crafts around here. He loves everything from the crafts I plan to the projects he creates with just some crayons, glue, and scissors! Since Noah can often be found getting creative at his little craft table, I have slowly stocked a pretty decent craft closet. With an arsenal of supplies that I always have, it's easy to make almost anything we want at a moment's notice. Here are my favorite supplies...
To stay clean:
While I am thrilled to let Noah have freedom to get messy while being creative, I also like to keep my house and Noah's clothes clean. After trial and error, I have found a few simple ways to help with that.
Kraft paper - a simple roll of kraft paper is the perfect table covering for Noah's craft table. It makes for really quick clean up after a painting session to just rip the kraft paper off and throw in the trash.
Smock - while the paint Noah uses are machine washable, I prefer to avoid the mess and put a smock on him whenever paint is involved. What I love most about these smocks are that they are long sleeve and I can throw them into the wash. They last for approximately 5 washes before needed to throw out, but at this price, I don't mind.
In my opinion, different types of paper are needed for different types of projects.
White printer paper - this is what we use if Noah wants to color with crayons and do some simple cutting and gluing. I keep this in a drawer in our kitchen that he can grab whenever he wants.
White card stock - I use this whenever we are doing a painting project or something we want to last. The thicker paper is great so paint doesn't bleed through.
Construction paper - we have construction paper in a variety of colors. For the most part, we cut the construction paper up to make all of our planned art projects.
Good quality coloring books - I love bringing coloring books whenever we go out to eat or need to entertain Noah quietly. After many coloring books, I've become a little picky and really only like the ones with thick, white pages. The ones with the gray/brown pages rip and the ink often rubs off on your hand... no thanks!
Pads of paper - in addition to coloring, Noah loves to draw. I keep these pads of paper in the house, car, and diaper bag. They really come in handy when we are out so Noah can draw and even practice writing his letters (which he loves to do!). What's great about these pads is they are also really good with markers as well as crayons.
Paper plates - We bought a big package of paper plates and I think we use them for crafts more than we do for eating! They are the perfect base for so many of our art projects!
Tissue paper - I take lots of colored tissue paper and cut them into squares and keep in little ziploc baggies. They are perfect for making "stained glass" crafts with contact paper. They are also great for simply gluing onto construction paper or card stock.
Now for the fun and colorful part!
Crayons - we are huge fans of Crayola because they just make a great product. We have a container of crayons on the craft table at all times as well as little boxes or pouches of crayons in the car and my bag.
Markers - we just recently started using markers more. I have to admit I was a little nervous about the added mess, but he's been using them at school so I figure it's time to start at home too.
Tempura paint - this is the paint I use when I'm doing handprints projects where I want a thicker and more vibrant color paint. When we first started our crafts, I bought the package of small tempura paints. Now that we paint more often, I upgraded to the large bottles and love that they have a squirt top!
Watercolor paint - While I love Crayola watercolors, I also love the watercolors I recently bought at Ikea! The colors are vibrant and they are so affordable (like everything at Ikea!). Do yourself a favor and next time you are there, pick up (at least) one!
Ziploc extra small containers - I put water in these cups to rinse the paint off the brushes. I find it's the perfect size so that if it spills it's only a little bit of water. They rinse well and can even be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Paintbrushes - we use a variety of paintbrushes depending on the project. We like the assorted Crayola brushes as well as these thicker Melissa and Doug brushes.
And a few more supplies that we couldn't live without!
Glue - our personal preference is the liquid glue. It might be a little messier than a glue stick, but I find it works better.
Googly eyes - with all the animal crafts we do, googly eyes are a must!
Scissors - Noah loves to cut things. While it can sometimes annoy me to clean up all the scraps that fall to the floor, I love that Noah finds so much joy in this. I feel so confident in his skills that I leave crayons, glue, and scissors out on his table for him to use whenever he wants. The thing I find rather interesting, is that while Noah is a lefty when he writes, coors, eats, and even plays baseball, he cuts with his right hand. And while I didn't push this in any way, I am relieved since when I talk to lefties, they say that using scissors is one of the most annoying parts!
Scissor skills book - Noah has been surprisingly good with his scissor skills from the beginning. I know that he works on cutting at school, and at home we did some extra practice with this book. What I love is that it has a variety of pages that range in difficulty so it can grow with your child.
Play-doh - we are huge play-doh fans. Yes, I know it can be messy. But we make sure to do it on our wood floors and clean up immediately. We either sweep up the mess with a broom or our cordless vacuum.
Play-doh sets - While most kits will come with tools, here's a great set to start you off with. My experience is you can make a lot with a roller, knife, scissors, and a few shape cutters.
While this may seem like a lot of supplies, many of these things are affordable and you can always build your craft closet or drawer slowly. I personally would rather stock up on art supplies than continue to buy more toys... not like we don't do that as well! Watching Noah create and explore his artistic side is amazing and I can't wait to see what he comes up with as he gets older.