Monday, October 1, 2012

Toddler Craft Supplies (day 2)

When it comes to toddler crafting I like to keep things simple. Nothing funky or fancy or trendy, just standard craft supplies. With young children it's really more about the process and experience than the final product. I like to find a balance of quality and value when it comes to supplies and, you'll soon see, Crayola tends to be my go to brand. You probably won't be too surprised by the list but I've also added some crafting tips in there too, so check it out.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite craft supplies for toddlers...

Crayola Jumbo (So Big) Crayons
These are even bigger than Crayola's large crayons and are there for easier for small hands to grip and harder to break (although we have had a few break when falling from the highchair onto the kitchen floor.)
But then I saw these crayons. I've never tried them but they look indestructible! And they're cheaper...I think we need them!

Crayola Washable Triangular Markers
These triangular markers are great for small hands and have some neat features. Their triangular shape is supposed to help your little one hold the marker correctly, but it also keeps them from rolling off the table. The tips are like little round stamp pads, so there is no mashing and breaking of tips. My daughter actually prefers pounding them on the paper. They also have no caps and don't dry out! Keep in mind thought that these markers are really for making rudimentary marks and scribbles and aren't ideal for more controlled and accurate coloring.

Crayola Washable Tempera Paint
Tempera paint is a must have. We use it with brushes, stamps, or as finger paint (special finger paint can be so expensive, and around here every painting project usually ends up as finger painting anyway). I buy our tempera paint in primary color and black and white and them mix them to get secondary colors, pastels etc. It's cheaper that way and I have fewer bottles to store. And, as an added bonus, your tot gets a lesson in color theory!

Again, since with toddlers it's all about the experience rather than the end product, I buy the cheapest paint brushes I can find. They get so smashed and mangled that it would hurt to pay any more that $1 for a brush. I usually have two kinds of paint brushes on hand that I purchase at Michael's Craft Store. For about 10 cents a piece I can stock up on 1" foam brushes and I also buy cheap 1" bristle brushes for about 80 cents each.

Butcher Paper
My favorite paper to use for coloring and painting is are huge roles of butcher paper. I tear off huge sheets and use painters tape to tape them to the kitchen table (or patio if it's a get messy painting project).

I love having these large rolls of paper because toddlers motor skills require a large surface to color on since they don't have very well developed fine motor skills yet.

Restaurant supply stores are great places to find large rolls of butcher paper for much cheaper that you would buy a roll of craft paper at the office supply store. If you live in a small town, a great source for free rolls of paper would be your small local newspaper. They often discard the ends of the roll well before they are empty and will usually give them to you if you ask. News paper is probably not the best choice for painting if you are wanting to save the art work however.

My two year old LOVES stickers and they are great for developing fine motor skills in her fingers and hands. I buy them in the Target dollar bins or at the Dollar Store. She doesn't usually care what's on them, she just likes to peel and stick!

Here's my best sticker tip: if your child is having trouble peeling stickers from the sheet, peel of all of the surrounding sticker paper (you know, the negative space?) before giving it to him and it will be so much easier to peel stickers independently. Also, bigger stickers are easier for smaller hands to manipulate.

Play-Doh is a favorite around here for crafty imaginative play. I prefer to buy it rather than make it and have found that the stuff they sell at the Dollar Store (4 full size tubs for a buck!) is comparable to Play-Doh brand and  for the price it's just not worth making it. I prefer to keep the Play-Doh tools to a minimum. We have a set similar to the one pictured below and it provides plenty of fun.

I know a lot of parents hate play dough but I think the trick is to buy the cheap stuff and have only a few tools. Then clean up is easy and you don't have to worry about mixed colors or dried up lumps since it's so cheap. That and invest in a dust Christmas gift I received last year :)
What are your favorite toddler craft supplies? Please leave a comment and let me know! We're always looking for fun, new products to try!

Come back tomorrow for Toddler Painting 101 and a painting project that always turns out pretty!

In Him,

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  1. We've loved the gummed shapes. Working together to stick them on paper. We do love homemade playdough , if only to feel it warm in our hands.

    1. I've never tried the playdough recipes that require cooking. Maybe I would like the end result better. And playing with warm playdough...that sounds like a fun sensory experience. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. We love the foam stickers and shapes. I find a lot of those in the dollar bins at Target, as well.

    1. Yes! Foam stickers are extra fun. Did you see the great idea I linked to in day 5 about making stamps from foam stickers and bottle caps? Genius!