Christmas Guide / Art Supplies

November 12th, 2020


The art supplies at our house are WAY out of hand. We used to have an art cart, now we have an art bookshelf. Filled! I’m not tooting my own horn, it’s more of a confession. Here are the main categories that I would get if you are starting from scratch – Watercolor/Acrylic Paint, Watercolor Paper/Construction Paper, Craft Bin (explained below), Colored Tape (lots of it),  Air Dry Clay/Soft Clay/Play Dough/Model Magic, Markers/Crayons/Colored pencils, AND the Recycling/Treasure Bin!

Okay, I have to start with the last item. The recycle bin or the Treasure bin! And it’s free!! Designate a bin, box, or basket for extra bottle caps, random pieces of cardboard that you cut off of Amazon boxes, old jewelry, random ribbon, tags, leftover aluminum foil, old (clean) medicine bottles, small boxes you get BeautyCounter products in, really anything that has a lid or fun shape or normal shape that they can use their imaginations and create something pretty epic. Combine these items with glue or tape and this will be their favorite box. Guaranteed. Now, on to the purchased items…

Watercolor Paint – Buy a good set of watercolor paints:) The ones pictured above have good saturated colors. That means that if your little one doesn’t put enough paint on their brush, the color will still show up well. If your little one puts lots of color on their brush, then the colors are so brilliant! Loretta has a light touch and needs this set. Elsie has a heavy touch and can use almost any watercolor set, although her favorite ones have the most colors, like this.

Pro Tip for littles – have them use a different brush for each paint color until they get used to really cleaning their brushes – this keeps all the colors from turning dark blue, or whatever color they’re into:)

Watercolor Paper or Multimedia Paper – People, go ahead and invest in decent watercolor paper. The computer paper is not going to cut it and it will wrinkle and tear… IYKYK. Watercolor paper seems more expensive, but you can cut it in half or fourths to make it last longer. I always have my girls paint on both sides (once one side dries) bc they go through paper so fast. This paper from Amazon is only $10 for 50 (or 100 paintings if you are doing front and back!)

Acrylic Paint – Get a variety of colors from Michaels or Amazon, always great to have handy. We put the paint in palettes from Michaels and the Dollar store OR use an old egg carton or paper plate!

Watercolor brushes or these brushes – It actually does make a difference what kind of kid brushes you have. The hard bristles do not yield great results, even if your child just wants to scribble all over. Some of my favorite art from my girls has been scribble or when they are just playing with colors. Both of my girls know the ‘good brushes’ and fight over them. They always have sales at Michaels if you are stocking up on art supplies too.

Paint Sticks – We just discovered these and They. Are. Awesome. They dry almost instantly, no smearing, no mess… so good!! These would be amazing stocking stuffers, well, really anything on this list would be great for stockings as opposed to a bunch of tiny toys that you are just going to throw away eventually!!

Construction Paper – Pick some up next time you are at Micheals, Walmart, or on your weekly Target run!

Craft Bin – These are a must! Get a plastic bin or cute wooden basket and pile in all these goodies! I will include links to mamas giving you great ideas for art and craft projects… you have enough going on to not have to make another decision! Buy the one linked from Amazon or make your own and fill your bin with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, wooden sticks, glue sticks and liquid elmer’s glue, pom poms, stickers, BEADS, string, rhinestone stickers, COLORED MASKING TAPE (these are a huge hit at our house), and glitter pens that you can get from the dollar store (we don’t do glitter here).

Paint holder – This little plastic tray and cup set from IKEA has been SO great for us!! It keeps the water from spilling everywhere! The paint is great too but we love the tray the most.

Final thing – Order some of this Craft Paper and it will save your table and make clean up so much easier! We tape it down to our table on painting days!

Okay, that’s it! Ha!! A tiny list of art supplies for you and your family to enjoy!

Check post on my Instagram account for art project ideas!!

Christmas Guide / DIY Craft Kits

November 7th, 2020


We often create our own little craft or activity kits from all the random supplies we have and they are super entertaining for the girls! The following two options are on repeat at our house!

Big side note, I included Amazon links below to all the figurines and accessories pictured but I usually go to the Dollar Store in Cool Springs and stock up on play things to make our clay/kinetic sand/activity kits more fun! The idea is to make your own craft/sensory kit, something like this or order from this company, they are beautifully put together!

1st Option – Combine Air Dry Clay with any figurine of your choice plus some extra accessories. Air Dry Clay dries soft so that it does not break easily. We make activity kits by combining the Air Dry Clay with something extra to make it a craft activity.  The little something extra is usually accessories, which are really BIG in our house and make the pretend play last much longer. You can create a fairy garden, farm, jungle, dino land… anything goes! The only thing with Air Dry Clay is that it DOES STICK to your toys and clothes and it does dry out if you leave it out too long. I recommend that you use the Air Dry Clay to make trees, ponds, animals, food, furniture, monsters, fences, etc… let it dry and then use your creations with the figurines. You can also let the kids smash the plastic figurines into the Air Dry Clay but they will stick and be hard to get off but it’s fun for kids. You can use the Air Dry Clay alone and let them go to town squishing and playing and mixing the colors. We use it by itself or in combo with other toys. Both girls love it!

2nd Option – Kinetic Sand – we are HUGE fans of kinetic sand… and from my friends I have found out that you are either a huge fan or you hate it. Ha! It totally depends on your kids and whether they throw everything or not:) I either put down a big sleeping bag and some large plastic bins and put the sand inside OR put the sand in a large tray and let them sit at their little table (it sweeps up super easily). The kinetic sand sticks together to make awesome sand castles or cookies or whatever your kid dreams up. Add in some cups and spoons – OR go a step further and add figurines and accessories and let their imaginations go wild!

Accessory ideas! (again, go to the Dollar Store for cheap ideas as well)

Plastic animal figurines – they have these at Michaels

Fairy figurines – not the cutest things but they have lasted us outside through rain and sand and clay – also at Michaels

Fairy furniture – we don’t have this exact set but these are a super fun addition to make your own fairy garden, indoor or outdoors!

Food accessories – Cute and fun addition. My girls love tiny toy food – hilarious!

Army guys – I did a craft kit for my nephews and I put Army guys in one and they used the Air Dry Clay to make hills, holes, and bunkers for soldiers to hide from each other.

If this all seems too much, then you can purchase craft/activity kits through this company: Young, Wild and Friedman. They are called sensory bins and their kits are beautifully put together!!

Christmas Guide / Craft Kits

November 5th, 2020


We love a craft project at our house… or I should say, the girls and I love a craft project. Wade is more into games with the girls. But there is always a craft going on at our house. If we want to eat a meal at our table, then we have to clean off some sort of art or craft project. Here are some pre-packaged kits that we’ve been loving. Enjoy!!

1. Biggie Bead Board and Beads – These are excellent for little hands but not so little that they put everything in their mouths. Loretta is 3 and loves this craft. Your toddler can take the beads and place them on the Biggie Board to create patterns, shapes, or whatever they like! Once they are finished then you iron the creation to have a fun piece of art. Another way to use these beads is with good old Elmer’s glue. I use the glue and draw dots or shapes on a piece of cardboard and let Loretta put the beads on. It has faster results and the beads don’t roll off your cardboard as easily. There are also regular size Pearler Beads for older kids; Elsie loves this project as well!

2. Lace and Trace – This is a super fun activity for kids! It helps develop fine-motor skills, following directions, and they feel so proud when they get the hang of it! There are so many variations of this activity – I’m sure you can find it at a local toy store, Michaels, or TJ Maxx.

3. Sew Simply Sewing Kit! – Elsie got one of these for her 7th birthday and is loving it!! The kit comes with square cloth, thread, good scissors, stuffing fluff, ribbon, buttons, and kid-friendly needles. It gives you a book with a couple ideas of what to design, but you can cut, stuff, and sew whatever you like! Elsie likes to design her own little pillows and pouches so far. And it all comes in a cute little suitcase to keep it all organized, which mama loves!

4.Plush Craft – Someone gave Elsie the square plush craft pillow for her 5th bday and it was a hit! They have now come out with stuffed animals that you can create. The craft has a little plastic tool that you push in small pieces of fabric to make it 3D. Elsie is asking for the puppies plushes for Christmas this year! Last year Elsie picked out the panda for her sis and gave it to her already completed – Loretta loved it and it was a gift that kept Elsie busy when she was “bored” – win win!

5. Woodland friends Sewing Kit – We don’t own this kit but I might get it for Loretta for her 4th bday but honestly Elsie or my nephew, Bauer (5 yrs), would love this project too! These animals are precut and the holes are already punched so it’s much easier for your child to sew. And who doesn’t love a super cute woodland animal!

6, 7 & 8. Klutz craft kits! We LOVE a Klutz craft kit. The ones we have purchased have been well thought out and brought tons of fun for our girls! Here is a short summary of the ones we have personally done:

Mini Bake Shop – This kit provides a book and all the art supplies you need to make a little bake shop. This craft introduced us to Air Dry Clay and we have not looked back. Boys and girls will love this kit, and the older they are the less assistance they need. And, I have to admit, I love helping with this craft too.

Tiny Camper – This kit comes with a lot of paper and punch outs. I would definitely recommend your kid be a little older or at least have a ton of patience. Elsie did this craft this year but she is a little advanced in the craft department – did I mention that I used to be an elementary school art teacher – so she has a little home-field advantage with the arts and crafts. It comes with all the supplies but we pulled out my hot glue gun to make the project go faster. If you use the glue in the kit, then you have to wait overnight for pieces to fully dry. Their glue looks better than hot glue but Elsie wanted faster results:) It is super cute and small and was a great project to do over a couple weeks.

Clay Charms – This kit is F.U.N. FUN! The kit comes with instructions on how to make charms – you sculpt and then bake them! We made a bunch of little food charms and the girls loved it, okay I loved it. This one takes parent participation because the charms are so small but this would be a great weekend project!

Up next…some DIY craft kits that we have been loving lately, must-have art supplies and toy ideas!


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