Children are born creators, and they love being given a sense of responsibility – so what could be more exciting than being given their very own art box full of tools and materials to craft whenever they like!
Here’s what to include in their first art box:
Even the youngest creative can have a go with crayons! They’re safe, uncomplicated and can be used for drawing, colouring, and interesting rubbings. We recommend going for a high pigment brand (like Crayola or Lyra) so you get a nice clear mark without too much pressure.
Chunky crayons are also a good choice as they reduce the risk of being snapped by over enthusiastic artists.
Pencils are the go-to for older children but there’s no reason a toddler can’t start out with pencils, under supervision. Pencil use helps them practise their pincer grip from an early age. Great for illustrating, sketching and colouring larger shapes in. A pack of graphite sketch pencils is always nice too. Ideal for observational sketching and to practice letter-like mark making.
Sharpener & rubber
Don’t forget a simple sharpener and rubber to keep their pencils sharp. Pre-schoolers will love being trusted with the job of sharpening their pencils, and it’s a great activity for fine motor development.
Perhaps another obvious choice, but not to be overlooked. Felt-tip pens are great for drawing on cardboard and other craft materials where crayons and pencils just won’t show up. Perfect for adding detail and personality to creatures and characters they’ll inevitably make.
Every art box needs some paint! Watercolours are brilliant for providing paint possibilities without the instant mess of poster paint or finger paints (as they’ll need water to ‘work’). For a fun technique to captivate little minds, try drawing secret shapes and messages with a white crayon on white paper. Then let them try a magic reveal by using their watercolours over the top.
Don’t forget the paintbrushes! It’s always best to invest in a quality set to avoid the frustration of brush hairs left on their artwork.
Stampers are available in sorts of shapes and symbols, giving children the instant satisfaction of creating an image with one movement. Self-inking stampers save on mess as they come with a lid and don’t require a separate ink pad.
Papers and card
Give your child a mixture of papers and card that can be used as the basis for endless masterpieces. Plain white paper is a must, but you could also include: coloured paper, coloured sugar paper, coloured tissue paper, metallic paper/foil, wrapping paper, card, and envelopes.
What child doesn’t love being given their own notebooks and pads just like yours? For younger children you may want to go for a cheap and cheerful option they can scribble their way through. While older children may appreciate an artist’s sketchbook with watercolour paper.
Stickers provide hours of entertainment on their own! But left in their art box they’ll soon become robot buttons, monster eyes and important finishing touches for their latest work of genius.
Ruler and stencils
Plastic stencils can help guide your child’s illustrations and aid in the creation of shapes and structures they can’t quite manage free-hand. A ruler is a basic art box essential too.
Pompoms & Googly Eyes
For those who can be trusted with small parts, pomp oms & googly eyes are a fun addition they’ll love! Great for popping on both 3D sculptures or adding to pictures.
If the idea of handing your child their own pair of scissors makes you nervous, you’re not alone. But there are plenty of safe kids scissors on the market, designed for as young as 3 years old and designed to only cut paper – meaning other belongings are safe too.
The more access to scissors your child has, the faster their scissor skills will develop and the more confident you will both feel.
No kids’ art box would be complete without something for all that sticking! PVA is great for bulkier collages and 3D crafts while a glue stick will do just fine for scrapbooking and adding lightweight details to paper. For best results, choose a reputable adhesive brand (like Pritt) as supermarket sticks often lack holding power.
Does your child have their own art box? We’d love to see them with it in action. Tag us in your Instagram pictures using #ogleepoglee
Why not pop a pre-filled craft party bag in as a surprise treat too!