While there’s no need to rush out and buy a closetful of art supplies, having a few key tools and materials can make snowy afternoons and unexpected sick days much more fun. Here’s a checklist of items you’ll slowly want to amass.
Scissors You’ll need a decent pair to cut out any fine details yourself, but for little crafters, safety scissors are a must. If you see scrapbooking scissors on sale, nab them—they give a decorative edge to paper (and make school projects look way more polished).
Glue gun For parental use only, hot glue dries super fast and provides a very strong hold.
Other sticky stuff Have these on hand: white glue, tacky glue (good for felt), glue stick (great for tissue paper), glitter glue (no sparkle spills!), double-sided tape (add a professional touch) and washi tape (it peels off easily).
Paper products Toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes and shoe boxes are easily transformed into musical instruments, skyscrapers, dioramas and more. (Really, you can never have enough.) Get a colourful range of construction, blank, craft and tissue paper. And patterned card stock can make any weird creation look instantly cool.
Building materials Wooden spoons, Styrofoam balls and toothpicks can help you build anything.
String Kitchen twine, embroidery floss, ribbons (save them from gifts and fancy shopping bags) and leftover yarn help tie it all together.
Trimmings Collect pompoms, pipe cleaners, feathers, googly eyes (in various sizes), doilies, felt, fun fur and interesting bits of nature (shells, twigs, pine cones and so on). If you can glue it, you can use it.
Sparkly things There’s nothing like a little bling to take a craft to the next level. Think glitter, sequins and metallic confetti.
A version of this article appeared in our December 2016 issue with the headline “The craft essentials,” p. 79.