Children have an innate curiosity to explore their world through tactile experience and creative imaginative play. Sometimes as adults, we forget that we too have this ability. Here's a great list of materials to help your family get creative!
See if you remember this traditional and creative kids game. You're sitting on the playground and someone suddenly calls out, "The sand is lava!" Everyone runs to the playground equipment — and suddenly it feels like the whole world has changed and you are surrounded by a lake of lava. Or maybe you played dress-up with your siblings and cousins in your parents' clothing — and suddenly you were all transported to a fancy dinner party or playing family. How did you feel as I described those things? As I wrote this, I suddenly started to feel the floor under my desk start to heat up.
With the help of the Sparkle Team, I've created a list of art supplies and creative play materials to help expand your child's world beyond the little electronic boxes we've all come to depend on.
As a homeschooling parent, I'm all about art supplies. I like to stock enough supplies so that when creativity strikes — and sometimes it strikes really hard — our art supply cabinet is ready to go. I like to stick to natural and non-toxic materials as much as possible.
In our cabinet you'll find:
- beeswax crayons (wedge crayons, rock crayons, and stick crayons)
- watercolor paints (both dry palettes and wet mix tubes)
- watercolor paper pads
- paint brushes of all sizes and bristle shapes
- watercolor painting boards
- colored pencils (and the watercolor version)
- colored beeswax modeling sheets
- wool roving of various colors and felting needles
- yarn of various colors and knitting needles (for older kids)
- air-dry clay
- Sculpey in various colors
- charcoal sticks
- newsprint paper
- kite paper
- origami paper
- construction paper
- printer paper
- embroidery floss
- cardboard boxes
- duct tape
- washi tape
- scotch tape
- stick glue, liquid glue, rubber glue
- tempera paint
There is something absolutely magical about getting dressed up in costume pieces that are wholly different from your normal life. Whether it's a wig, or a cloak, or a pioneer bonnet, it can transform how you think and speak and act.
Here is what is in our creative play boxes:
- play silks
- wooden blocks
- felt play foods
- wooden swords and bows
- faux fur blankets
- face paint
- glass rocks aquarium
- old jewelry
- musical instruments (flutes, darbouka, xylophone, shakers, ukelee, djambe, thumb drum)
- wooden spools
- nature materials (rocks, pine cones, shells, sticks)
- old costumes
- used adult clothing (dresses, jackets, shoes)
Here are our favorite source for art supplies and costume pieces:
- Your local thrift shop
- your grandparents' closet
- garage sales
- Nova Naturals
- Bella Luna Toys
- Imagine Childhood
- Learning Herbs
- Natural Art Supplies
- Stubby Pencil Studio
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.