Often I feel like making messes. Well, art messes, that is. Sometimes it’s because life has moved inside a bit from the outside living we do in the summer. Other times I see an awesome art supply in the store and get an idea of how to use it. And, often I want to try something out before I introduce the idea to a client in an art therapy session.
So, this is the first of a few posts on art with the kids for you and your children. Let’s go over some different ways to get that going, or jazz up what you are already doing.
Art Supplies – Gotta Have ’em!
Since children’s art is not about a final product and is all about the doing, a wide range of goodies to use will inspire lots of creativity. Frequently, I see kids just “doing stuff with paint,” or paper, or yarn, or a combination of the above. Kids usually have no great plan, and if you watch, they just seem to get lost in their activity. Variety inspires creativity and this supply list will get you started well.
The Budget List
- Paper – You need some all purpose paper for painting, collage backgrounds, drawing, pastels, whatever. I like this paper from Discount School Supply since it’s inexpensive, a little bigger and more substantial than copy paper, and it feels like “real artist paper” according to the kids.
- Paint – Acrylic paint in bottles works great for all ages. For example, it has great texture, you can water it down to act like watercolor paint, and kids can even finger paint with it. Furthermore, you can add things like baking soda, salt, or glue to create effects! A few colors will do and let the mixing begin!
- Brushes – Those little sponges on sticks make great brushes for big texture swipes and dabbing. I also like to give kids a range of “real” brushes. Some younger kids really like the big chubbies. However, older kids – probably 8 and up – start wanting exotic things like a fan brush, very tiny brushes, and so on. Look for inexpensive sets at stores like Michaels.
- Pencils – #2, colored, mechanical, and don’t forget the pencil sharpener.
- Markers – You can start fine with a basic set of 8-12 markers. Additionally, you could add a couple of Sharpies. The Hallmark Store near us used to sell Crayola markers by the each!! Sooooo many colors.
- Crayons – A small set works well, and, ALWAYS let your kids break them and peel them.
- Chalk – The sidewalk kind costs less than pastels for getting started, and has plenty of uses!
- Glitter – Not totally cheap, however, worth the money for the thrill! Consequently, glitter is probably a must.
- Mat board scraps – Check at private frame shops. They have lots of scraps, moreover, they likely will give them away for free.
- Glues – white, stick.
- Scotch tape
- Stapler and staples
- A hole punch
- Super cheap and free stuff – homemade play dough, any kind of paper, free wallpaper sample books from a paint store, cloth scraps, newsprint roll ends from your local newspaper printer, textured things for print making, wood scraps, items from nature, egg cartons for holding paint, a roll of toilet paper for murals, colored rice, magazines – I think you get the idea. In essence, anything will work.
Michaels – These stores are popping up everywhere out our way. Their online store has everything and often in small, very affordable amounts. Check out the glitter!
Discount School Supply – a vast and delicious resource. This company caters to schools, therefore some items come in larger lots, but not always. Perhaps you can share some with a friend.
Second hand and junk stores – gold mines!
Grandma – aren’t you amazed at what she is willing to part with for the grandkids?