Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10 art essentials which every kid should own

[Photo by Art Freak]

It’s so easy to encourage your kids to make great art at home; all you need to do is provide them with some raw tools of the artist’s trade and away they go!

But it’s this first stage – the act of going into an art shop to get these materials – which proves a task beyond many of us time-poor parents!

Luckily, the wonders of online shopping mean that you can avoid the hassle of queuing up in an art shop and side-step the embarrassment of asking a shop assistant questions about art products which you are sure you should know the answer to.

You can buy all the craft supplies mentioned in this article online at arts and crafts sites like Yellow Moon and browse their category descriptions to find out vital information about the safety merits of various products. Equally importantly, such sites will give you tips about what you can make with these art essentials.

Here is a list of ten arts and crafts essentials you should put at the disposal of your budding Van Goghs and junior Tracey Emins.

1. Artist smocks

To play the part of an artist, kids should look like an artist. An artist’s smock will often cost you nothing; Dads can just provide an old shirt which youngsters can, having rolled the sleeves up first, wear back-to-front. A smock really sends out the signal that some serious art is about to occur!

2. Paper and card

Paper and card is the blank canvas on which kids can project their imagination. White card – which is generally a little more expensive than paper - is another craft essential and can be used to make home-made greetings cards, hanging decorations and other similar fun items.

3. Tracing paper

If you, or one of your kids, is short of artistic inspiration then why not copy someone else’s picture to get in the mood for art. Tracing paper lets you do this and don’t let anyone say that there’s no skill in tracing – you need a steady hand to trace and the end result can be a great starting point for an original picture.

4. Pencils

If you’re not sure which make of pencil to go for then why not go for a reassuringly well-known brand name like Crayola – they sell pencils which come from re-forested woods. If it’s versatility you’re after then Giotto Watercolour Pencils are a good bet. These can be used as a colouring pencil or, when water is added, utilised to create stunning watercolour effects.

5. Pencil sharpener

There would (quite literally) be little point to a pencil if it wasn’t for the humble pencil sharpener. Yellow Moon’s wooden egg head sharpener encourages creativity on two fronts. Firstly it helps keep young artists’ pencils sharp and secondly kids can paint and decorate them.

6. Crayons

The thicker the crayon the harder it is for young hands to break. This makes them perfect for young hands which are just getting to grips with art. They also excellent for making bold artistic statements and can be used to quickly colour in blank bits of paper.

7. Paints and brushes

Using a watercolour paint set can really hone a child’s sense of colour co-ordination. Poster paints tend to last longer than watercolour paints. Poster paint sticks can cut out the need for brushes and reduce the mess of making art.

8. Brushes and sponges

It’s a good idea to provide a variety of brushes – ones with thick and thin bristles – for kids to experiment with. They can then experiment and find a painting style which suits them. Sponges are an artistic alternative to a sponge for those times when you need a slightly bolder brush stroke.

9. Scissors and glue

Get child-safety scissors and you will eliminate the danger of kids cutting themselves. Handily, many modern pairs of scissors have a ruler on their blade – making them ideal for maths as well as arts tasks.

10. ‘Finishing touches’ art supplies

These are the art supplies which provide the beautiful finishing touches to art displays – beads, feathers, glitter and other tactile and eye-catching materials.

Once you have all these materials there really is no excuse not to start making great art with your kids!

This is a sponsored post