Two words you never want to hear from a child’s mouth: “I’m bored!” Yes, the dreaded B word is enough to make any parent cringe. Instead of fearing the next boredom epidemic in your household, set aside a closet (or cupboard or storage bin) and fill it with fun and engaging art supplies that your child can create with when they are home sick from school, stuck inside the house on a rainy day, or anytime they are looking for something to do.
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You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a closet full of crafty possibilities for your young one! The key to a fun and affordable craft closet is to have supplies on hand that are versatile.
Stay away from “one-note” craft fads like kinetic sand; while you may have seen this latest craze at your local craft store, it is more toy than art supply. The sand feels good squishing between your fingers, but you can’t actually MAKE anything permanent with it. Another such craze is the rainbow loom; if and when your child loses interest in it (from frustration or otherwise), you are left with a useless product… and a million tiny rubber bands.
(Photo: Betsey Ideas)
Start with a foundation of basic art supplies:
- Elmers (or school) glue: $ 1.50
- Crayons: $2-4
- Washable markers: $4
- Permanent markers: $3
- Ink pads of various colors: $1-4 each
- Paper clips: $1, or on hand
- Child-safe scissors: $2
- Foam craft sheets: $8 for a pack of 24
- Pencils and pens: on hand
- Parchment paper or wax paper: $4, or on hand
- Construction paper: $5
- Craft paints: less than $1 each
- Items headed to the recycle bin, like scratch paper, toilet and paper towel rolls, or egg cartons: free!
Add some fun extras:
- Washi tape in various designs: $1-3 per roll
- Buttons of different sizes and colors: $7 for a variety pack
- Large wooden letters: $3-5 each
- Wine corks: $7 for a pack of 30, or on hand
- Duct tape in fun colors and patterns: $5 per roll
- Puffy paints: $7 for a pack of 6 colors
- Craft punches: $7 each
Though the supplies listed above aren’t many, their versatility allows for a wide variety of project ideas!
Washi tape. Washi tape, parchment (or wax paper), and scissors or craft punches are all you need to make stickers. Lay strips of washi tape on a piece of parchment paper, making sure to slightly overlap each strip. Cut out shapes with a craft punch or scissors. Carefully peel the stickers away from the parchment and they are ready to decorate your child’s notebooks, binders, or even their bedroom walls!
(Photo: Miss Vicky Viola)
Any child (or adult, for that matter) would love to be a king or queen for the day! Wrap different patterns of washi tape around a toilet paper roll, then cut points at one end of the roll. Poke two holes at the opposite end and feed ribbon or elastic cord through the holes. Now you have a crown befitting royalty!
(Photo: Craft and Creativity)
Wooden Letters. Buttons glued onto wooden letters (perhaps your child’s initials) is a great project for children of all ages to add personality to their bedroom! Alternatively, the letters can be decorated with paint or collaged with construction paper (or any combination of the three).
(Photo: Shabby Chicks)
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Puff Paints. Gripper socks come in handy when kids are constantly running around the house! Line up a row of socks on the table, heel side up. Your child can use the puff paints to decorate each sock with different designs and colors. Once the paint dries, these one-of-a-kind socks will be worn proudly (and will prevent future slipping and sliding on the kitchen floor!)
(Photo: I Am Momma Hear Me Roar)
DIY window clings can brighten any home! Place a coloring book page inside a plastic zip-top bag and fill in the image with puff paint. Once the paint is dry the clings are ready to adorn the windows, mirrors, or any other glass surface around the house.
(Photo: Seven Thirty Three)
Foam craft sheets. Rubber stamps can be expensive, so why not make an alternative? Draw an image onto a foam sheet with a ballpoint pen, pressing hard to make an indentation. Cut around the design and glue to a wine cork.
(Photo: Happiness is Homemade)
What is better than store bought bath toys? The kind you make yourself! Draw on foam craft sheets with permanent markers and cut them out carefully. Once they get wet they will stick to the tub and bathroom tile.
(Photo: Kids Activities Blog)
Duct Tape. As Pinterest can attest, the number of duct tape crafts is infinite! Duct tape wallets and purses are popular crafts for kids. Cute bookmarks can be created with duct tape and paperclips, and cuff bracelets are easily made with duct tape and toilet paper rolls.
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Setting up a craft closet for your child doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. And this list of supplies is in no way exhaustive; once you have a craft closet started, you can add to it gradually. Before you purchase a potential addition, ask yourself, “Can this item be used for a variety of projects?” This will keep your craft arsenal dynamic, and your child’s imagination limitless. There you have it: a kids craft closet to nip boredom in the bud!
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