I can’t tell you the number of times I have been saved by my awesome kids craft kit. Whenever I have my son’s friends over, or I’m watching nieces and nephews, I almost always end up pulling out my craft kit and we can
waste enjoy an hour or two happily entertained. There’s hardly any yelling, fighting, biting, etc. when the craft kit is out. And when the kids are returned to their homes, the parents are full of happy thoughts towards me for not having the tv on the whole time. Everyone wins (and in parenting or babysitting, we all need a win-win).
I know some people have expressed that craft kits are messy, or expensive, or there’s no place to store one, and is it really worth the bother? As I’ve just explained, yes, it is worth the bother, but no, it’s not much of a bother. I’m going to share how easy it can be to have a craft kit.
What should you keep in your craft kit
Both sets of my grandparents grew up in the depression and developed the attitude that everything has value.
That’s true, and not true, especially as it concerns craft kits. I’m always amazed at what the kids come up with and use to make their masterpieces. So I do keep little odds and ends. I will keep a roll of stickers that only has two stickers left. I’ll keep the broken crayons. But I always throw away scraps of paper. The environmentalists may hunt me down, but I can’t keep every little triangle and snippet that has been snipped.
I will also keep different types of paper: cardstock, printer paper, foam sheets, some scrapbook paper. I have a couple of coloring books and the brown lunch paper bags.
I keep markers (but regularly remove the dried up ones). I keep colored pencils, regular pencils, pens, water colors, and glitter glue. Most everything is washable so there’s less stress on my part.
I carefully oversee the use of glue, gluesticks, and of course the glitter glue.
I also keep a pair (or two, if they don’t get lost) of kid safe scissors, they have a blunt tip and supposedly won’t cut skin, but I’ve never tried.
The really fun stuff is the crazy stuff. I will keep pipe cleaners, googly eyes, dried marshmallows, old macaroni noodles, and pom poms.
I don’t keep play-doh. I’ve tried it, and I don’t like it. It IS messy, and expensive, and dries way too quickly for it’s value (if you ask me).
How do you afford to keep a craft kit
I buy a lot of the items on clearance. When back-to-school sales hit, buy a couple of boxes of crayons, washable markers, washable watercolors, whatever other art supplies are super cheap. You can even buy paper for a great deal this time of the year.
I always check the clearance aisles at the craft stores I frequent. One of my greatest scores was a huge box of glitter glue. It was regularly priced at $20, clearanced at $7.99, and I bought it using one of those 25% off your entire purchase including clearance items. That huge pack of glitter glue is the favorite item for most of the older kids.
I also find clearance craft stuff at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. These aren’t as easy to find, but you can get some great deals on wacky stuff that the kids love.
The dollar stores are also great treasure troves for cheap craft supplies. I buy craft supplies for my projects there.
How do you store all those crazy items
I have a couple of small plastic totes and boxes that the majority of my craft supplies will fit in. I keep it in a cupboard in my kitchen so it is always accessible. I have a lot of cupboard space in my kitchen, but it would be just as easy to keep in the top of your kid’s closet or any other little nook that is accessible. That’s the key: keep it small, and keep it accessible.
If you have tons of craft stuff and the boxes are big and bulky, or everything is out of the way, you won’t use it. Kids really don’t need large over-the-top items in their craft kits, they’re happy with the small and simple. They want to create, so let them have at it. Keeping too many stencils, or templates inhibits the creativity.
One day we’ll all have luxurious homes with an entire room devoted to our children’s creativity, but until then, use what you have.
In case I haven’t illustrated my point enough, start gathering some kooky items and put them in your craft kit. Then sit back (with bon bons in hand) and relax while your kids entertain themselves and express their amazing creativity!