Christmas is almost here! Kids of all ages love to find art supplies under the tree. But don’t feel like you have to spend the big bucks to give your kids hours of creative fun. Here are ten last minute gift ideas you can find at your local arts and crafts store – or, in this digital age, just follow the links to buy from Amazon.
1. Play doh is always a great gift because it allows kids to build, make and create three dimensionally. This inexpensive, non toxic modeling clay comes in a variety of colors and has a bevy of accessories available to keep the learning interesting. Older children will enjoy more sophisticated modeling clay, available at arts and crafts stores.
2. Every kid needs an assortment of Crayola markers on hand. There are lots of ways to spice it up. Buy an assortment of colors – tropical, bold, multicultural and classics. Help keep them organized and looking irresistible by putting them all together in a fun container.
3. Markers aren’t just for art work. Thin markers are great for writing colorful notes, doodling and drawing in a sketchbook. Small hands often enjoy small spaces to write so make the sketchbook a mini. Look for a 4 x 6 inch mini sketchbook at your local arts and craft store.
4. Color Pencils require a bit more effort than coloring with markers, but they allow us to color and draw more detailed and refined pieces. Buy the jumbo pack with lots of great colors, and include an electric pencil sharpener to make things easier for your artist.
5. You are never too old for a fresh pack of crayons and coloring books. The smell of new crayons, with their sharp points delights even adults. Chose your coloring books carefully because some images are too complex and difficult to color. Be sure the level of complexity matches the age and ability of your artist.
6. Keep your kids coloring with black felt poster kits. Your local arts and crafts store will stock a variety of choices and each kit includes a poster sized line drawing and small selection of markers to color with. Your kids will spend hours and hours of quiet time coloring.
7. Our young kids need to make, see and do, and arts and crafts kits are the perfect way to keep them engaged in making. There are kits to match every interest. Look for glass painting, bead making, mosaics, leather work and much more.
8. Pastels are a great step up from markers and crayons. Soft pastels allow kids to layer and blend colors and are best used on construction paper. Buy a student grade, with lots of color choices (the 24 pack) and let the blending begin.
9. Oil pastels, similar to soft pastels, are an oil based and less messy version of pastels. The creamy colors offer lots of opportunity to blend, smear, over-lap and add texture to drawings. Again, choose a student grade with lots of color choices.
10. Kids enjoy using brushes and water to paint, but it’s time to get past the basic tray of paints and buy watercolors in tubes. Tubes offer more quantity, better quality paints and lots of blending and mixing opportunities for your artist. Look for a student grade and throw in a few brushes.
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