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How To Set-up an Arts and Crafts Area for Your Child
Promote creativity by having arts & crafts supplies readily available.
One of the ways that you can nurture creativity is by providing a creative outlet for your child. While arts and crafts are not the only way for your child to exercise creative expression, it is one of the most popular techniques. Young children are less comfortable and less capable of expressing themselves verbally.
Time spent drawing, coloring, and cutting also helps to develop fine motor skills. You will find that working on arts and crafts projects are a large part of pre-school and early elementary routines.
Setting up a well-stocked arts and crafts area at home will provide your child the opportunity and materials necessary to exercise their creative muscle. The time and money that you invest in setting one up will more than pay for itself in the hours of enjoyment your child will get in return. Seeing how much fun the kids are having may just inspire you to boost your own creativity.
Here are some of the things you’ll need:
1. A plastic storage container
You will need to designate an area to store all of the supplies and materials. Some parents limit arts and crafts activities to the child’s bedroom or playroom. Instead, why not store materials in a heavy-duty plastic rolling cart with drawers. These carts are affordable, durable and will hold everything that you’ll need. Best of all, you can easily move it from room to room so that you can keep an eye on your little Picasso in the making.
2. A tablecloth
Whatever work surface you decide to allow the kids to work on, a vinyl, flannel-backed tablecloth will protect your furniture from stray markers, scissor cuts and glue. At clean up time, you can easily wipe-off the tablecloth with a damp sponge and then fold it up to store away until its next use.
3. Crayons or washable markers
Crayons and washable markers come in two different sizes. Thicker sizes accommodate the grips of younger hands, while thinner sizes are better for the detailed coloring that older children will want to do.
There are pros and cons to both crayons and washable markers. While crayons won’t get on hands, they will break and can be ground into the floor or carpet. Washable markers are easy to clean up, but if your child leaves the top off, they will dry out quickly and need to be replaced sooner.
You’ll need to have plenty of paper on hand. Copier paper is the most affordable, but assorted colored construction paper is more fun. Why not stock up on both?
5. A set of decorative crafting scissors
Decorative crafting scissors come with different edges such as scalloped, zig zag and waves. They are often used by scrapbookers to cut decorative borders.
At the large warehouse stores you can buy a set of decorative edged scissors on a rotating wooden caddy for about $25. Be forewarned – although these scissors aren’t as sharp as regular scissors, they aren’t child safety scissors, either. They do make a limited selection of decorative scissor styles just for kids. If your child is less than 5, you may want to invest in these.
6. Scotch tape
Scotch tape will allow your child to transform 2D drawings into 3D masterpieces. An office style tape dispenser will make handling easier for small hands.
There are a number of “extras” that you can pick up from any $0.99 store. Some suggestions are stencils, stickers, google eyes, glitter, small pompoms, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, ink pads and stamps, glue sticks or white glue, and non-hardening clay.
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