Friday favorites: best kids art supplies

It’s time for another installment in my on-again, off-again Friday Favorites series. If you like this post, be sure to check out the others that came before.

My last couple of Friday Favorites were all about the moms, so here’s one for the kids: our favorite arts and crafts supplies! These are must haves in our house. I can’t wait to hear about some of yours.

Watercolor pencils. And now for something completely different – a new medium for your young artists. Watercolor pencils truly are amazing! I had thought the arts and craft world was limited to the five basic tools – crayons, markers, chalk, pencils and paints. Boy was I wrong. Watercolor pencils blur the line between ordinary colored pencils (so boring, so annoying) and watercolor paints (so beautiful, yet often so messy). These things are genius – you can draw like a pencil, or bust out the water (via a sponge, your finger or a wet paintbrush) to subtly blur and change the texture and look of your creation. We first experienced them at the Columbus Art Museum (a source of great inspiration for our family) and we were hooked so Zoe got her own set for her birthday. You would not believe the intricate coloring she’s been able to do, not to mention the awesome drawings/paintings, and I believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.

Colorful chalk. So many options here, too – especially if you spring for the big 48-color box. Outside you can decorate your patio, front steps, a garden path, your driveway, the sidewalk or even a neighbor’s driveway (a great and fun way to wish someone a happy birthday). Indoors, colored chalk is fun to experiment with on paper (white drawing paper or construction paper – even black), a blackboard/chalkboard if you have one ( you can easily make your own) or even hair. Consult my friends Google and Pinterest for more fabulous ideas and details.

Painting easel. Zoe got the Melissa & Doug multi-purpose easel for Christmas a few months before she turned four, and it has been in use ever since. She loves to paint! One great tip I read on a blog once: move the easel around if your child loses interest. Take it outside for nature-painting or the super fun but messy art of splatter painting. And always keep a blank roll of paper in the house for your budding Picasso or Pollack.

Pipe cleaners. We heart these fuzzy wires so much. Sculpting them into shapes or animals, jewelry-making, cat toys, mysterious inventions  – there’s no end to the creative possibilities here. We keep them around in as many colors as we can find.

Pony beads. These versatile beads are a relatively recent find for us and we adore them. We melt them to make suncatchers, we thread them on pipe cleaners or lanyards to make jewelry, and we create intricate beaded creations for keyrings or decorations. They are small enough to be pretty and big enough to be manageable for little hands. Maybe age five and up for this one? Four and up if you’re closely supervising and involved.

Those are today’s favorites – who knows what we’ll discover tomorrow. Got any new awesome, multi-purpose arts and crafts supplies to share with us? I’d love to hear in the comments below or on Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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