As Moms, we’re always on the lookout for ways to encourage our children and develop their brains. There’s loads of research out there that says that the maximum brain development in a child’s life happens during the early years, so everyone’s in a hurry to make the most of it!
Young children learn mainly by observing and doing, which includes play and other activities. An easy way to engage with your child and help her learn is by making art and craft projects. It also helps build her self confidence when she sees that she can make something beautiful by herself!! Making crafts with things around the house is a great way to learn improvisation and recycling.
So how does one start? Well, you need the right supplies, of course!
When making crafts for toddlers, you’ll find that there are a few things that are needed all the time, so it makes sense to stock up on them. Here is a list of 15 must have art and craft supplies for toddlers.
15 Must Have Art and Craft Supplies for Kids
1. Colored and Patterned Paper
This is probably the most basic craft material – paper! Even if you have nothing else, you can make paper folding or origami crafts! Get paper stacks in bright colors and fun patterns and try getting your toddler to match them; you can also get rolls of bright wrapping paper.
There are various kinds of cardboard out there, but the easiest one for toddlers to handle would be the thin variety, like cereal boxes. They are easy to cut or fold and don’t cause too much trouble for little hands. So start storing all those Kellogg’s boxes now!
3. Toilet Paper Rolls
Yes, the most mundane things can become very useful in crafts! Toilet paper rolls are definitely a must have for toddler crafts, and there are so many projects to make with them. Along with these, save the cardboard rolls that come with aluminum foil or cling film – they’ll come in handy when longer rolls are needed.
4. Foam Sheets
Foam is fun; it’s easy to cut and hardy enough to withstand a toddler’s fumbling. You get all kinds too – colored, patterned, glitter. Get an assorted pack of colored sheets which should work for most toddler crafts. If you have punches in various shapes, you can also get foam cutouts to decorate other projects.
5. Googly Eyes
You can of course paint or draw eyes on your crafts, but they wouldn’t be half as fun as googly eyes!! They make everything better and give crafts a more ‘realistic’ feel. A word of caution though; if your toddler has the habit of putting things in his mouth or nose, you might have to keep them away for later.
6. Pipe Cleaners
Pipe cleaners or Chenille stems are perfect for toddlers to develop their fine motor skills. These bendy stems are soft enough to require little effort but hardy enough to hold their shape. The bright colors are an added attraction and you can make a huge range of crafts with these alone, so stock up!
These are a great way to introduce your little one to crafts. Stickers are really inexpensive too, and you get all kinds even from tiny stationary stores. Stock up on common motifs like stars, hearts, flowers, numbers and letters. Get the regular ones along with some of the 3D or puffy versions.
8. Paper plates and cups
Even if you don’t entertain often, it’s good to have a few paper plates and cups, if only for toddler crafts! With these, you have a ready made circle base for various crafts and masks. Cups are also great and are as versatile as toilet paper rolls. Stick to paper though, and avoid plastic – they are easier to cut and paint on.
9. Cotton Wool
Cotton wool doesn’t belong only to your first aid kit; it’s also an indispensible craft item! How else are you going to make snow, smoke or clouds in the sky? Get a small roll from your chemist – it’s cheap and works well for crafts. Also works for clean up!
Of course, this is like stating the obvious, but we included it just to cover all our bases. Get non toxic ones, and go for the triangular shapes for younger toddlers, since it’ll be easier for tiny hands to grip. While you’re at it, you might also want to get some fabric crayons – let your toddler design his own T shirt!
You can buy Non Toxic Metallic Crayons through the below link
11. Paint and brushes
When it comes to kids, the messier the better right? Well this applies to arts and crafts too, so don’t restrict them to crayons; give them some non toxic paints and thick brushes to swish around. Who knows, you might get your own piece of modern art!
12. Kid friendly Scissors
Now you don’t want any accidents, so a pair of child friendly scissors is essential in your craft kit. These scissors can cut paper but are too blunt to cut skin. They also have a more child friendly grip, perfect for those precious little hands.
13. Non toxic glue
What would you do without glue!!!! We’d suggest getting two kinds – a stick variety (which is less messy) and the liquid variety in a squeeze tube (messier, but better for hardier surfaces). Make sure they’re non toxic and be sure to wash hands afterwards!
You can buy non toxic glue from Amazon, it is little bit costlier on the side, but check it out, it has rave reviews from the leaders in the niche.
14. Sticky Tape
Sometimes glue just won’t do; you need more reinforcement – enter sticky tape! Get a narrow one, a wide one and a double sided one so you’re covered for all kinds of needs. Be careful if you’re getting those tape cutters; the edges can be quite sharp.
Your household trash is more valuable than you think! Your trash is also your treasure when it comes to crafting and you never know what might come in useful! So collect bottle caps, cardboard boxes, old magazines, expired invitations and the like to have a motley collection that’ll be really useful later. Just be careful that you don’t turn into a pack rat and that you stay away from things with sharp or pointy edges.
With everything done, don’t forget this: a place to organize all the supplies! Have a system like plastic drawers or hanging organizers; else you’ll go crazy every time you have to craft!
Some toddlers find it easier to grasp certain concepts through projects like these. If your child is one of them, you’ve found an easy way to teach him! Like we mentioned earlier, it’s better to have these supplies in stock so you are ready whenever boredom strikes your toddler. This is way better than finding a craft for your toddler, and then going to the store to shop for the materials. Both of you’ll lose interest by then!
Do you have anything more to add? Do Let us Know…
You might also be interested in our post 27 Wonderful Wooden Toys for 1 to 3 year olds – Safe, Non Toxic, and Full of Fun & Learning
Article By Fabida Abdulla
Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum Stay at Home Mom to her boisterous 6 year old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes.