On a 13 on Thursday post, I created a list of 13 ways to build creativity in your children, and decided that it would make for a great series! This is the 2nd post, based on the 2nd item on the list (creating an art box). Click here to see all of them!
When I was a kid, my Mom made it super easy to create a variety of art projects at almost a moment’s notice. It wasn’t fancy, and sometimes you had to dig for a moment to find what you were looking for, but that was half the fun because it was a treasure hunt! In the process, you might find something you forgot was in there, that would be a really cool addition to the project.
The secret? A box full of supplies… it’s been many years, but here are a few of the items I remember…
- Construction paper (we could always grab white copy paper from the box under the printer too)
- Tempera paint (a few rather large bottles, if I recall)
- Glue (stick, liquid, glitter)
- Pipe cleaners
- Pom poms (in a variety of colors and sizes)
- Glitter (larger cylinders in a few colors)
- Scissors (regular, and with fun edges)
I’m sure there were more things, and it changed a bit from time to time. In addition we always had crayons, and colored pencils… for many years, I could always tell what one of my gifts was… several of us would have the same box, that had a tell-tale thumpy-rattle when shaken ever so slightly.
I very firmly feel like this was a strong foundation for my life of creative pursuits. Not only was I surrounded by innately creative people, but I was given room to pursue my own ideas… and the art box gave me a range of mediums to play with.
If you don’t have time to put one together yourself, or you want a variety coming in, you can sign up for a subscription box (and I’ll include a list of some of the ones I know about at the end… although I’ve not tested any of them myself).
But you can easily make one yourself filled with supplies from Oriental Trading, Amazon, or your favorite craft store. Sometimes you can find supplies at flea markets, thrift stores, or Craigslist. But you can also get a pretty decent head start from your local dollar store.
Here are some great ideas for your box (in addition to what I mentioned up there)… of course your mileage will vary depending on the age of your child (but limit things for safety reasons, not necessarily by what their skill level is…)
- Tape – Scotch tape was kept on my Mom’s desk, and washi wasn’t even a “thing” back then. But it is nooooow.
- Sequins, buttons, etc. – I’d put these in individual containers or baggies… something so they’re not loose all over the box
- Stickers – If your kids are like mine, the trick will be keeping them away from your kids long enough to be put in the box.
- Stamps/stamp pads
- Yarn – I crochet, and I’m picky about what yarn I use, so if I’m gifted yarn and it’s not anything I’d hook with, it goes here.
- Hole punch – Craft stores have all sorts of fun punches these days (and paper edge punches too!)
- Aprons/oversized t-shirts for use as smocks
- Googly eyes – these make everything awesome right? 😀
Of course there are many more things you can pop in these boxes… you’re only limited by your imagination (and your budget). If you’re more interested in subscription boxes, here’s that list for you:
What are your must-haves for an art box? Have you done this for your kids yet?
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