Trying to find ways to keep my kids amused and busy at home is harder than ever. I’m buying more arts and crafts supplies than ever before. It is a great way to get them off devices for a bit, plus we have art projects from school to complete. And if I find just the right mixture of things, they are occupied for a chunk of time. This post is going to focus solely on basic arts and crafts – painting and coloring. Every project we work on needs paint, markers or crayons of some sort. You can mix and match and supplement with the tools depending on your project. But always, always, always buy washable paint/markers/crayons! Now, the tools. I have plenty of parent friends who fear paint and markers. I’m honestly one of those parents too. Until I discovered that they make washable everything. Seriously! I prefer Crayola’s washable products and find them to all come off all surfaces easily with water. Trust me, once you toss everything out and replace it with the washable version, you will breathe easier. Even crayons come in a washable version! I wish I knew this when we accidentally washed and dried a blue crayon in our brand new dryer. Let’s break down the basics, below!
Easel and Paper
I suggest starting with an easel. We have purchased the Ikea easel twice for our kids. Avery and Greyson had it in when we lived in New Jersey, but I donated it before we moved. A few months ago, I picked a new one up for Riley on a whim. And I am so grateful that I did! Many Ikea stores are doing online purchase and pickup, so check there first if you have one local! Their price cannot be beat. I also recommend buying the Ikea paper roll as well. It is by far the best price I’ve found on this product. If you can’t get to Ikea, then Amazon has an identical easel and Melissa and Doug paper rolls, both of which are great. Now, you can also just get the paper roll and use it on the floor or table, too, without an easel. I just personally prefer the easel to differentiate and clearly delineate the space.
Side note: the chalkboard side of the easel comes in really handy for birthday parties – write messages for guest, menus, etc. We use chip clips to hold the paper in place on the top. Office clips work great, too!
Now, the paint. If you don’t plan on painting much, get the smaller pots of paint or mini paints. You can get these in so many color combinations, as well as purchase them individually. We plow through these and pick up new colors on every Michael’s trip. Or, we will, once we can resume doing those. We were going through so much paint in January, that I ordered the larger size bottles. They’re pricier, but we have yet to empty them. In terms of price, they’re a better value because they’re squeezable and you can get more out of them. The color selection is not as good, but you still have options. We use the paint almost daily in our house. When we do that, these brushes are our favorite. There are different sizes, shapes and textures, so there is something for every artist. I also highly recommend these paint palettes. They come in a three pack and we just toss them in the top rack of our dishwasher to clean!
Some of our coloring favorites include Mess Free coloring and Dot Paint. The Dot Paint is fun and a minimal mess. It just requires a sheet of paper and is a minimal and simple set up and clean up. Ours are over a year old now and aren’t dry at all! Mess Free coloring pages are another mom and kid approved coloring favorite. I generally keep Mess Free coloring in the car for restaurant outings, but they are getting a lot more time during “school hours” right now. Finally, crayons and markers are basic, but always great to have on had. Large size crayons are great for small hands and larger projects. We do a lot of coloring on cardboard boxes for imaginative play, so markers are a must have for this. My kids all like to draw on themselves for some reason, and washable marker comes right off with a wet towel, luckily!
Thank you for reading and I hope that you have an amazing day!