The basic craft supplies – such a simple concept, and yet, the few tools that make up the basics can change how your little one sees the world. Art helps our little ones make sense of the world – allowing them to connect themselves to the many experiences surrounding them. The availability of such supplies can also be part of crafting a creative home – a space where individuals, no matter the age, are encouraged to create in whatever way suits them.
The thought of having art supplies in the hands of little ones who may see the world (and your walls) as their art palette may make some of us shudder. Luckily, these days there are plenty of washable options and cleaners to remove the occasional mark (or full picture!) from your home. Offering only a few supplies at a time, designating an art table (if you have the space), or implementing a creative table project into the rhythm of your day can help contain the mess off your walls. See? Not too scary!
So what about these basics? I will admit – what may be basic to one, may not feature in to another home’s supply at all. For instance, I really love googly eyes – you can stick those little things on anything and make even the most mundane a touch more exciting. But there are a few supplies that we feel should be in every home including: scissors, glue, paint & brushes, crayons, pencils, paper and an art tray or palette. Of course, there are variations within these basics – colored pencils and #2 pencils, tempera paint and watercolor paints, colored paper and white scrap paper – you get the picture.
The other aspect of the creative basics is much less of a thing as it is a willingness – a willingness to seek out non-traditional materials for making.
Indoors, I am often reminded of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto that was so popular in my youth as I dig through our own recycling bag to find new supplies – egg cartons, cardboard cereal boxes, empty glass or plastic containers – they all can be easily (and cheaply) transformed by the basic art supplies. A peek into the pantry can bring about the perfect supplies for science or tactile play. There are non-traditional supplies hidden in plain sight – it’s just about, well, seeing them.
Outdoors, my daughter is the champion of finding nature bits to transform. We have an ongoing stick pile – her go-to nature art material – that have turned into everything from a Nature Journal (as seen in Finding Spring), a mobile (as seen in Fall Nature Walk), a walking stick and much, much more.
Indeed, we approach each project here on our blog and within our magazines with these basic supplies in mind, but we also know that sometimes gathering the supplies – even just the basics – can be tricky with a little one (or more) underfoot! That is why we offer craft kits – along with the basic supplies, our craft kits provide all the “special” or harder-to-find supplies needed to create our projects. Our single project kits come complete with all the supplies needed to complete the project (no hunting needed!) And keep an eye out to our shop – basic supply kits will be coming soon (shhhh!)
So, what are in your basic supplies? Do you have anything else you would add to our list? (and do you love googly eyes too?!)