Thursday, July 5, 2012

Top 10 Art Supplies for Toddlers

Now that I'm back to being at stay-at-home mommy, I decided to introduce J to the fantastic world of arts and crafts. As much as I'd love him to be a crafty guy, I'm quite alright with keeping him occupied for 5 minutes making things and using his motor skills.

Just so you know my qualifications to come up with this list, I worked/ran a day camp for 4-6 year olds for 10 years. I've also been teaching for 6 years and next year I get to teach kindergarten. I figure a lot of what I do with the older kids can translate to younger kids, it just needs to be a little bigger and will probably be messier!

1. Non-toxic paint
6 ct. Assorted Color Washable Paint

I love Crayola products because they have stood the test of time in many of my classrooms and day camps as well as in my own use at home. I chose basic paints because they can be used in so many ways (which I'll definitely share throughout the summer). I find that they can be used easily as finger paints or brush paints, but also being non-toxic is key!

2. Paint brushes
painting for kids paintbrushes

There are so many different types of paint brushes that you can get but I found this package at Michaels that has regular paint brushes of different sizes, but also the sponge brushes. I find the sponge brushes work really well with kids because it spreads the paint around and it gets the job done faster. There are also a lot of "texture" brushes and toothbrushes also work well.
3. Construction paper

Construction paperis good for lots of different crafts! It's fairly sturdy so it holds up to markers and paint. It's also good for ripping and gluing!
4. White glue

White glue is definitely the best thing for kids. Glue sticks are alright, but I find that letting them spread the glue works on both find and gross motor skills. Glue sticks are neater and cleaner, of course, but I find white glue can be just a neat if you put a little bit on a plate or bowl and use a popsicle stick or paint brush to spread the glue.
5. Roll of paper

A roll of paper is a must! It can be used just to draw or paint, but I like to use it when I have a present to give from J and want him to decorate it. It becomes the personalized wrapping paper. Also, it can roll up nicely and be put away.
6. Crayons
Crowded Crayon Colors

Crayons are a classic art supply. They are much better than markers for the toddlers because they don't end up on clothes as easily. The best part is now Crayola makes washable crayons so that it is easier to get out of clothes and off walls. They also make triangular crayons, which help toddlers get the pincer grip strong and ready to hold a pencil.
7. Stickers
Trend Stinky Stickers Kids Choice Variety
Sitckers are definitely an easy craft supply. There's no glue or scissors necessary. It's also really funny to watch them try to get it off their fingers. Another positive of stickers is that you can most likely find stickers that suit your child. J loves using Thomas stickers and anything to do with cars.
8. Tissue paper/wrapping paper
Tissue Paper (Оберточной бумаги)

Tissue paper and wrapping paper are fantastic "decorations" on crafts. I'll definitely be posting some crafts that J and I use tissue paper or wrapping paper for. We have tons of it left over in the basement from Christmas and birthdays.
9. Colouring book/colouring pages

A simple search in any search engine of "colouring pages" will bring you to lots and lots of pages that kids can colour. Again, these are great because you can print what your toddler is interested in. Colouring books from the dollar store are also a fantastic option if you don't have a printer handy.
10. Placemat/plastic table cloth/tray/smock

There are lots of options here. They do sell paint trays such as the one above that keeps the paint/colouring contained, however, I've found that a plastic placemat or a table cloth works just as well (and are cheaper at the dollar store). Another option is a cookie tray (which doubles as a magnetic board). Smocks are a must have for painting but again don't spend money on it. Using an old t-shirt of yours or your husbands works well after a few minor alterations!

So there you have it. My list of the top art supplies for toddlers. I'm excited to share some of the "projects" that J and I will be completing during materials from this list
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