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There are so many amazing kids’ crafting supplies out there and it is hard to be prepared for all scenarios. Even choosing basic supplies that also fit into your budget is difficult. I started to think about what I thought the essential kids’ craft supplies were and what I seem to use all the time with my toddler. These are the kids’ craft essentials that are always “in-stock” in our crafting box and are always ordered before we run out.
Warning: Some supplies are not for younger children. Be sure to read the recommended age group and product labels and decide based on you and your child.
Basic Kids Craft Supplies
One thing to keep in mind is the paper weight. A lighter weight paper like this one is good for cut and paste type of craft projects. While a heavier weight paper is better for crafts that move or crafts that will be handled a lot by children. It will be able to withstand more “abuse” than a lighter weight paper.
Here is a great article with directions on how to make a scrapbook/memory book with your child. For a cute Christmas craft using construction paper, have a look at this article.
Pipe cleaners are a bit tricky when it comes to young kids. Pipe cleaners have somewhat sharp edges, but there are so many different crafts and ways to use pipe cleaners it would be a shame to not include them in your basic kids’ craft supplies. Be sure to supervise your little ones when using pipe cleaners.
Bending to shape the pipe cleaners can hurt sensitive hands. They are not recommended for children under 3. Here are a few tricks I use when making craft projects with my toddler.
- To make a spring, use a pen with the cap on. Slide the pipe cleaner under the tab of the pen cap and have your child twist the pipe cleaner around the pen.
- To minimize injury, use pliers to flatten the end as much as possible when you and your child are done with the craft.
An alternative kids craft supply to pipe cleaners
A great alternative to pipe cleaners are bendable Wax yarn sticks. The sticks are yarn dipped in non-toxic wax that can be formed and reformed into different shapes much like pipe cleaners. However, these sticks are also not recommended for children under 3.
Until a few days ago, I had never really used these sticks. I had seen them at a few crafts stores and always wondered how they work and what exactly they were for. After buying some off Amazon and I am now enjoying designing crafts with them. I am not worried about my daughter hurting herself or her sister since the sticks do not have sharp edges like the pipe cleaners. And since they are non-toxic, I don’t have to worry about any harmful residue on our hands when we are enjoying arts and crafts time.
The one downside I have noticed using these verses pipe cleaners is you have to use a lot more to make something about the same size. This is because the fuzziness of the pipe cleaners takes up more space than the thin wax sticks.
Scissors are a must in any craft box. Almost all kids’ arts and crafts projects use scissors at some point in the process of making it. I would recommend having both adult scissors and kid scissors in your basic kids craft supplies. Because while it is important for her to learn to cut paper using a tool that will not hurt her, I need to use something sharper and easier for adults to use.
While any brand of scissors will work, I have a favorite pair I have had for almost 10 years now. They are super sharp, have a comfortable grip, and are pink so they can be easily spotted. I can’t seem to find the pink color to purchase any longer, but they now come in a teal color which I also love and should be easy to spot!
Scissors for kids
If you are wondering what scissors you child should use I had the same question.
For children under 3, I would not recommend using scissors at all. Projects, where you tear the paper and paste it or tape it down, are preferred. If you are looking for a cute project like this take a look at this sticky note turkey.
For 4 year and older, the scissors need to have a blunt tip. This just means the tip of the scissors is rounded. I found these scissors that even have a place to label each child’s name. It may help with fighting over the scissors.
Now I know 3 different kinds of tape seems a little excessive, but each has a purpose and we constantly are using all of them for different crafts and projects.
Double sided tape
There are a few different kinds of double sided tape. The double sided tape I prefer is actually made for scrapbooking and paper crafting. It comes in a dispenser that is easy for both me and my toddler to use. Although it is a little more expensive, I find the time savings on not having to try to cut little pieces of tape well worth it.
A less expensive alternative is Scotch Tape Double Sided, 1/2 in. It is very sticky and says permanent in the product description. It is a little harder for toddlers to get a small piece of tape, so if you use this, it will probably require more supervision.
You may be asking why do I need glue in my kids’ craft supplies if I have 3 kids of tape? Well, the answer is you can do more with glue than just hold two pieces of paper together. Also, some crafts do much better with glue.
Although glue sticks are not my favorite, they are great for kids. Our favorites are the jumbo size sticks. These glue sticks made by Elmer’s are toxic-free and acid-free. Acid-free is important if you want to use it on pictures.
The Elmer’s glue sticks are also purple when they are wet and dry clear. It is very helpful to know when the glue has dried and more needs to be added when you are doing a craft with your child. I like to use glue sticks when doing mosaic crafts and crafts with tissue paper. There is a fun mosaic backpack craft found here.
The glue is really great to use as a coating to cover cutouts and glue them to popsicle sticks or keeping a stronger bond than a glue stick.
Crayons are a staple in any house with children. They are constantly being used for learning, coloring, and crafting. The question I asked myself was which crayon was the best to keep in our crafting supply. There are so many options I decided to break it down to age groups.
First crayons for 1 year olds
I like the egg-shaped ones the best because they seem to be the easiest to hold on to. If you are looking for a block option, these are made with beeswax. I have not tried them myself, but they have great reviews on Amazon.
Crayons for 2 year old and toddlers
When my daughter was 2, the crayons we like the best were the jumbo sized Crayola crayons. I feel like these are the closest thing to a regular crayon and will help her more in the future when she is learning to write.
Crayons for preschoolers
Once kids get to be preschoolers (cue the tears), they can easily use the smaller crayons. I have found some of the less expensive crayons are less expensive for a reason. The color doesn’t show up as well on paper. My go-to brand is Crayola when it comes to crayons because you get what you pay for. They are a little more expensive, but they are better quality in my opinion.
Nothing fancy here. Just a normal pen/pencil. These are great for tracing templates, drawing a picture for your child to color, drawing little details on a craft project, and writing the name and date of your child on a craft. My toddler tens to “borrow” my pen/pencil, so I like to keep more than one around.
Popsicle sticks are so much fun to use with crafts and they come in a bunch of different sizes, shapes and colors.
Small popsicle sticks
If you are only going to buy one type, I would buy the small raw wood popsicle sticks. They are most widely used when creating crafts. If you want them to be colored, you can always paint them or use markers to color them.
Jumbo popsicle sticks
Extra small popsicle sticks
I remember using these to eat ice cream in elementary school, but they are also fun with crafts. This size is great for putting together letters with sticks and we even used them to make some adorable ocean themed stick puppets.
Extra extra large
These Extra large popsicle sticks were designed for DIY hand fans. I know my toddler loves paper fans and making one herself would make it that much more fun. These would also be perfect for larger stick puppets.
When looking for the exact names of the popsicle sticks above, I found two more I have never seen before. I wish you could have seen my face when I found them because it was basically a smile with my mouth wide open in astonishment! I was so excited that I ordered some to try out and create some fun crafts. Be on the lookout for those in the future!
Sawtooth Wood Craft Sticks
My first thought on these and why I got them is to use in a busy bag or a restaurant bag. Small, entertaining things to give to the kids to keep them busy! I like to use pencil pouches made for binders with a window in the front for our busy bags. With these sticks, all you have to do is put them in the bag and go.
Popsicle sticks with holes
I have been thinking about how to punch a hole in a popsicle stick for days and then there they were, already done and ready for me to add to my cart! In the description, the manufacturer suggests making a wall frame, a pen holder, or a CD frame. I am not quite sure what a CD frame is, but I am sure we will be making a wall frame for a gift and lots of other fun crafts.
Paper plate crafts are everywhere! I see them all over Pinterest. Since children’s paper plate crafts are so readily available, I would highly recommend having some in your basic kids’ craft supplies.
Card stock paper
String or yarn
Stickers are such an easy way for your child to create a beautiful work of art, a story book using, or even as a reward for a good job. Gold star anyone?
We used stickers with a foam board when potty training and it worked out really well. With all the stickers out there, you can buy a few different packs and some construction paper and let your child’s imagination go.
Kids’ art and kids’ crafts go hand and hand. They are usually grouped under one category, so I would be wrong to not include art supplies here as well. There are so many options for paint, I am only going to include what we have used.
Our favorite paint brushes are sponge brushes. These also come in a kit with the paint. The sponges are great for little fingers to use when painting. They make it easy to make different kinds of shapes and lines.
I like to use the paper designed for painting. The painting paper we have is thick and glossy. It doesn’t let the paint bleed through and cause a big mess. This paper comes in a variety of sizes from different brands.
You can also paint on construction paper, however, I would be cautious with the construction paper because the paint is more likely to bleed through the paper and onto the surface underneath. If we are painting on construction paper, I like to keep paper towels under the paper.
What about ________ kids craft supplies?
There are so many more craft supplies out there, it would take me a week to write them all out. However, these are the kids’ craft supplies that we use the most and I find myself buying over and over again. They are the basic craft supplies I like to keep on hand to be prepared for a lot of different crafts use these supplies.