I’ve met people who claim they simply don’t have the tools they need to do crafts with their children, and it’s for them I write this. A guide to just the bits you really need. There really is no need for cutting machines and expensive craft tools to make memorable creations with your children. While it would be wonderful to imagine one day we will all have these clever tools at our disposal, it’s not a reality yet. I think for around 2 thirds of crafts I only use the top 10 items listed.
I’ve grouped my top 30 kids craft essentials into 3 sets.
The first 10 are essential for everyone…
and I’d be surprised if your home didn’t already hold most of them.
Paper – just the cheap 80g office paper. Buy it in a ream / big packet.
Scissors – get a comfortable pair for you and a few child sized pairs.
Glue – dry glue sticks work best. If you use wet glue set out only enough for your needs.
Sticky tape – put it on a dispenser to save yourself hours of finding the end.
Printer – If you can, invest in a laser printer, more expensive but saves money over time.
Stapler – any size any shape, buy the spare staples too.
Coloured pencils – cheapest solution to colouring is often pencils, they last ages.
Pencil sharpener – get a chunky one that catches the mess inside.
Hole punch – a single one is best but a standard desk punch will suffice.
Sticky tack – for positioning, can also be used like plasticine.
The second 10 are things I’d hope at least one person on the team has…
or the church cupboard has in stock.
Ruler – If you can find a metal one all the better.
Push pin – The best thing I’ve found to score paper with is a plastic topped push pin.
Felt tip pens – bright and bold, chunky ones are good, keep the lids on!
Wax crayons – for the younger kids and to fill large spaces, thicker ones don’t snap as easily.
Thin card – approx. 140g often passes though the printer like paper but makes a big difference.
Craft knife – get a blade cover and keep it out of reach of the youngsters.
Cutting mat – well worth the extra to get one and they last for years
Cardboard – old cereal boxes, packing boxes, anything study you can stick paper to to.
Paint – large bottles or tubes of red, blue, yellow, black, white and silver should suffice
Paint brushes – Buy the cheapest biggest pack and let the small ones do finger painting
The third 10 are the basic craft items that get used again and again…
while not available everywhere, it’s usually worth buying when you see on offer.
Cardboard tubes – salvage these, get them from kitchen paper not toilet paper if possible.
Split pins – the simplest way to make moving crafts.
Pipe-cleaners or chenille stems – can be great to play with on their own too
Lollipop sticks or tongue depressors – save them or buy in bulk. Often sold in colours.
Tissue paper – get the flat tissue paper and not the crinkly crepe paper.
Craft foam – buy it in multi packs and get the flat sheets to cut your own shapes out.
Ribbon or string –thin ribbon is great for threading and hanging alike.
Stamp pad – or make your own using a little paint and a piece of felt on a plastic dish.
Fabric – collect scraps of felt and non fray thinner fabrics, in plain colours.
Fabric scissors – well worth having one set of blades that haven’t be dulled by paper-crafts
What did I miss? Leave a comment on this post or on Facebook to let everyone else know.
The only thing I would add to the list is either glitter or glitter-glue sticks.
If I remember correctly glitter was number 32 , 31 was double sided tape, I find lots of teachers, and some building managers tend to avoid glitter at all costs so it got cut. I must admit it was a tough call for a lot in the last category.