Just beginning to spark that creative spirit with your little one?
It's always helpful to have a few supplies on hand to embrace creative whims. Nothing too fancy. A small plastic shoebox is a great start. Let your children decorate the box and label it ART -- this will give them a great sense of ownership and excitement for artistic endeavors.
Not convinced you want to make a huge mess?
Designate one spot for creative pursuits and try these ideas to minimize clean up time.
        -- art smock or old t-shirt for you and your child!
        -- plastic tablecloths cut in half - one on the table and one on the floor under the table
        -- vinyl placemats
        -- baby wipes to swipe chairs, tables and your little one before she leaves the ART area
        -- clear, plastic tubs for supplies
Don't forget the paper!
You'll need a canvas for your artwork. Use baskets or boxes to store paper flat.
        -- construction
        -- white (ream of inexpensive copy paper in various sizes)
        -- white (ream of inexpensive card stock) or watercolor pad from art store
        -- index cards in various sizes
        -- colored tissue paper
        -- lined paper
        -- variety, otherwise slated for the recycle box at home or work
Need some ideas for what to stuff inside?
Here are the basic must-haves:
        -- crayons
        -- colored pencils
        -- markers
        -- pastels
        -- chalk
        -- pencils with erasers
        -- glue sticks
        -- glue bottle
        -- watercolor paints and brushes
Feeling a bit more ambitious?
Buy a second box and stuff it with the sophisticated need-sometimes:
        -- scissors
        -- tape
        -- stapler
        -- hole punch
        -- ribbon
        -- pompoms
        -- foam and felt sheets
        -- glitter
        -- stickers
        -- popsicle sticks
        -- googly eyes
        -- feathers
        -- fabric and material scraps
Want to really stretch those creative muscles?
Pick up a few of the more advanced gotta-trys:
        -- stamps and ink pads
        -- stencils
        -- beads and string
        -- paints (acrylic/tempera)
        -- clay
Go Green! Gather some of your everyday household items and turn them into something new.
        -- cereal boxes (an invalubale source of cardboard)
        -- old magazines
        -- gently used ribbons and gift wrap
        -- cardboard paper towel or toilet paper holders
        -- plastic applesauce containers
        -- any plastic bowl with a lid (such as margarine)
        -- old greeting and holiday cards
        -- old phone books
        -- shoe boxes
        -- plastic milk containers (from fast food restaurants)