PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Here’s a list of some of the best craft supplies parents can keep on hand to keep the little ones busy!

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

PAPER FAMILY

  • Construction paper
  • White drawing paper—any kind
  • Tissue paper—fun to tear, comes in so many pretty colors (leftovers from store purchases, gifts, packages, etc. are great)
  • Card stock paper—this sturdy paper holds up to markers and all sorts of glue and is perfect for making slightly more structured projects, like, um, cards (and computers and TV screens, like Lila likes to make)
  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls—these can really get creative juices going. (Lila and Sonni and I have made binoculars, Very Hungry
  • Caterpillars; Lila has requested/made: a Barbie boat, a Barbie bathtub, a TV stand for Barbie “newser” TV set)
  • Cardboard scraps (cereal or pasta boxes for example).

Kid scissors (and one pair of grown-up scissors, because using kids’ scissors with grown-up hands can try a grown-up’s patience)

Stickers—all sorts. For younger children, sometimes adhering stickers to a piece of paper is the epitome of arts-and-crafts time. Dollar Store variety, free stickers that come with fundraising junk mail, anything goes here.

COLOR FAMILY

  • Crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Washable paint

GLUE FAMILY

  • Glue sticks – best for certain projects, including some tissue paper things, and best for younger kids.
  • Traditional glue—as Lila already learned in school (and we encouraged at the library long ago): “Dot, dot, not a lot” is the motto to be repeated here.
  • Glue Dots!—mightier than a glue stick, faster than traditional glue, safer than a hot glue gun. Different shapes and sizes available; not too expensive. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0011N832C

FASTENER FAMILY

Pipe cleaners—for fastening, hanging, making caterpillar legs (hee hee)

Yarn—scraps are fine. Another type of fastener, use to make hair/fur, etc.

Hole punch—for aforementioned hanging/fastening

Wooden craft sticks–they sell boxes of 1,000(!!!!) at Michael’s, which will last a lifetime and could easily be divvied up with another family. Kids get inspired to create more structured projects, and… for younger kids, gluing sticks to paper is often a big deal.

Googly eyes. Nuff said.

Colored painter’s tape and/or duct tape. There are very cool duct tape crafts for school-age kids and teens. Examples: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/duct-tape-crafts-1251006 For younger kids, painter’s tape can be fun to decorate and create with (no scissors required, easily removable) AND it can make a “mistake” look pretty, if needed.

Washable ink pads and stamps. Kids can also make their own stamps from household items like bubble wrap, potatoes, bottle caps, etc. And the homemade stamps can be used with paint as well.

Dollar Store-variety plastic party/picnic tablecloth(s) for messier crafts. Old newspapers or old paper grocery bags (which are harder to come by these days) can serve the same purpose. Or some families might splurge and dedicate a painter’s drop cloth or something as their regular “crafting” tablecloth. Just to help save tables and floors from big messes. And, many moms (like you, Heather!) already know—messier crafts are done outside when possible.

And keep an eye out for interesting looking treasures before you put them in the trash. You can upcycle cool-looking bottle caps, lids to canisters of wipes, plastic drink bottles. No need to keep a lot of these around of course—just what you need for a project.

Also, things found on a nature walk can be used for craft projects: leaves, flowers, stones, shells, etc.