Archive | March, 2013

Easy Crafting with Kids

18 Mar

photo(32)This article was recently published in my local neighborhood paper – here it is on my blog for easier reading! 🙂

Crafting with Kids

One of my favorite activities to do with my girls is do crafts and artwork – but sometimes as a parent it can be intimidating to try to figure out what supplies you might need, where to store them, and how to keep your house clean in the process. Luckily all three aspects of crafting at home can be easy, inexpensive, and most importantly – fun!

Where and What to Buy

Craft supplies can be picked up almost anywhere! We tend to stick to the easy things – crayons, markers and paper for coloring, paint, homemade play-doh, and a stock of other random goodies that are fun to glue. I love the Dollar Tree for kids art supplies – they are obviously very inexpensive, but they have a variety of items – watercolor paint, pom-poms, sticky-back foam shapes, pipe cleaners and paper in the craft aisle, and cookie cutters and other kitchen gadgets in the kitchen supplies for play-doh. I stock up on crayons and washable markers in the fall when school supplies are out in stores.


Craft Storage and Organization

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Storing your crafts in a way that is easy to use yet organized can be difficult – but I have a great solution for you! We purchased a 5-drawer plastic bin – each drawer has one kind of craft in it. When my kids want to color, we just take out the whole “coloring” drawer and they have everything they need. The same goes for paints, play-doh, foam shapes, and our “everything” drawer.

Keeping Things Clean

Keeping your craft area clean is another obstacle that can be easily remedied. I purchased a vinyl tablecloth at the Dollar Tree and we use that to cover the kitchen table any time we are crafting. When we’re done, I don’t even wipe it down, I just fold it up and put it back in the drawer for next time! I also have t-shirts in various sizes for paint-shirts and more messy crafts. Plus I have a few mugs that we decided are our “paint mugs” – I don’t ever wash them, I just rinse them out when we are done. Easy!

Here are a few great ideas to help you start out with your arts and crafts:

Homemade (and Edible!) Play-Doh

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
2 packets of Kool-Aid for color/scent
Mix together all ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over low heat, scraping the bottom and sides until it it forms play-doh consistency. Cool before use and store in a plastic container with a lid. If this dries out in the dry Colorado air, just spritz with water and shut the container for a day and it will be back to normal!

Clothespin Paint Brush
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Clip a pom-pom on the end of a clothespin (also available at the Dollar Tree) and use as a paintbrush! It makes fun dots and is easier to use than the tiny brushes that come with most paint sets.