Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 Art Essentials to Spark Your Child's Creativity

I always loved art, and I CHALK that up to having wonderful experiences with inspiring art teachers in early childhood. 

Hoping to inspire my own children's creativity, I've collected these essentials to encourage artistic exploration and expression.

1. Crayons
Big ones. Small ones. Gem-colored. Rainbow-colored. 
Every kid needs 'em— the go-to for beginner art. 

2. Colored pencils
I keep these in my purse, in the car and in our travel bags.
Colored pencils won't melt like crayons can, so they're ideal for portable art ops!
colored pencils

3. Markers
For bolder colors, cleaner strokes and card making, markers make kids' art POP.
kid art

Because they're not always as 'washable' as companies claim, we set these aside for specific use, but marker designs stand out and are wonderful for creative expression.

We also love window markers for gorgeous, stained-glass-like designs.

4. Watercolor paints, glitter glue and Mod Podge
Watercolors are a FAVORITE around here. Kids can experiment with layering, brush stroke variation, blending, color-mixing, splattering and color-gradation. Get the appropriate paper and have your kiddos make gorgeous designs to frame throughout the house!

Mix media by adding glitter glue on top of watercolor designs. Extra jazz!

Mod Podge is great for adding sheen to art and for making magnets! We cut out photos, glue them to magnet paper and seal with a coat of Mod Podge. Fun for making gifts and magnets for your own fridge!

5. Stamps and ink pads
Stamping is so much fun! Get some rhythm goin' while stamping designs, patterns, borders, and scenes. These make excellent add-ons to homemade cards, drawings and paintings. 
art for kids
Don't underestimate your own hands as tools. Use ink pads and fingerprints to create original designs as well! 
art for kids

6. Art kits
When I was younger, I was gifted art kits that are still kickin' it today! Loaded with colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, paints, brushes, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and even a palatte, these kits have it ALL.

When these kits come out, art explosions occur and they're AWESOME every time.

7. A variety of paper
Construction paper is a must for all wee ones, but as art exploration expands, so should your paper arsenal.
art for kids
We keep sketch pads, tracing, scratch art, oak tag, border, construction and watercolor paper around to be prepared for wherever the creative road leads.

8. Box kits
Box kits make wonderful gifts and are perfect for sparking creative ideas.

I love that everything you need is included in one box, so there's no scrambling to grab materials. Bring these on vacation, over to grandma's, outside on the deck, or out to the park for portable experimentation and exploration.
art for kids

9. Chalk
We actually keep a box of colored chalk in our car for art sessions on-the-go. So much fun for making impromptu hop-scotch, maps, body tracings, etc. when you want to get creative outside. 

We draw on our deck, create faces on our trees, adorn the pillars on our house, write messages to visitors. The rain washes away all traces and the rewards are plentiful! Get tons of different kinds to experiment—large, small, skinny and glitter chalk!

10. Clay
Whether with Play-Doh or actual clay, molding and manipulation are incredible activities for shaping the mind.

Find interesting tools to press into your material to create any and everything you can dream up!
"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."- Oscar Wilde

I never want to lose the passion to create, and nothing makes me more proud than to watch my children express themselves through art. 

Let's give them all the tools they need. 

What are your favorite art essentials? Send us new ideas if we're missing anything!

P.S. Congratulations to Miz Vikick, #79 in the comment list and the winner of the Sport-Brella recliner chair. Put your feet up and enjoy, friend! 
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