Kids Educational Craft Ideas – Alternatives to Using a Paint Brush

Painting opens up a world of colour and communication for children and is a wonderful way for them to create. There are many simple and exciting alternatives to using a paint brush.

String painting is easy and is a great way for children to pattern paint. You just wrap some string around a small wooden block (this could be a building block that your children play with). A square or rectangle shape is better, but make sure that it is big enough for the child to hold easily. To aid in your child’s learning, it is best to have a variety of different sizes handy. Prepare some paint and pour it into some old polystyrene trays or any tray that you can afford to use for lots of painting activities. Dip the block into the paint and press on the paper and you’re done!

Marble painting is another way for children to have fun and also learn hand eye coordination whilst creating different patterns. Prepare some paint and put it in a container that has deep sides, such as an old baking tray or a shallow cardboard box. The top of a shoe box is an excellent example providing that it is still strong and intact. Put some paper in the bottom of the tray with a small amount of paint (you can use two or three different colours at a time). Drop a marble in the tray and let the children move the marble backwards and forwards, sideways etc. to create their own work of art.

Finger painting develops the child’s sensory skills as they feel and touch the paint. Put some paint on an old table and let the children put their hands in it and make their own designs. If you do not have an old table that you can use, then you can always put some plastic on the table and this will suffice.

Please bear in mind that most paints are easily washed off surfaces and hands with hot soapy water but please check the instructions to be certain! Once the children have finished their painting, put a piece of paper on top and peel it off. Put it somewhere to dry and then they have a print of their art work to show to family and friends.

Here are some other quick tips and alternatives that your children may enjoy that can also be used for printing…

  • Cotton bud painting can encourage children to paint in a different way, which develops fine motor skills.
  • Cotton wool has a different feel and texture to it.
  • Paint rollers are fun to use on large rectangular areas. So this would be ideal for example, if you are planning on painting a red cardboard bus.
  • Cotton reels and corks can be used for pattern painting.
  • Sponges cut into different shapes can be a great way to recycle and you can use both their rough and smooth sides in painting. Some examples of shapes you can use are rectangles and circles and a diamond or star. You can also purchase sponge shapes from a good toy shop, or you can order them from educational supply magazines.
  • Other ideas include the cardboard rolls inside household foil and plastic wrap, plastic forks or jar lids.

Just remember to let those creative juices flow.

Donate Educational Supplies And Help Those In Need

In today’s tough times, schools are having some difficulties providing all of the educational supplies that they need for their students. Recent tax cuts and budget cuts have meant much less money for schools everywhere. Although these cuts have left many school corporations with minimal supplies, they are still trying to maintain high education standards. One of the ways you can help your local schools and your community is by donating the school supplies that they so desperately need. Here are a few ways that you can go about doing that.

Look for educational supplies at home – Many times throughout our own homes and personal offices, we have a plethora of unused supplies sitting around. You can start by donating a stapler or two, a ream of copy paper or a pack of pencils. Any donations, small or large, can help a school district that is struggling. Pack up any extra such supplies that you might have and drop them off at your local school’s office.

Give the students what they really need – One of the best things you can do when donating educational supplies is to call a local classroom or teacher to find out what they could really use. There are so many things that they could benefit from besides just the basics Materials for special projects, classroom library books and curriculum resources are just a few of the educational supplies a teacher might be longing to have. Share your resources and abilities so that you and the teacher can come up with the best way to help in the classroom.

There are many different programs online where various teachers and schools can ask for donations and make a wish list of what they need the most. You can browse the schools in your area, or elsewhere, and decide what you would like to help with. Once you have picked out the educational supplies that you are donating, you can mail them to the school you have chosen.

Buying anything wholesale means that you can get a much better price than you ever could at any retail outlet. Many times, you can find a reputable dollar store supplier online that can offer you a wide selection of premium school supplies for a very economic cost. Some of them are even willing to give a discount if they know that the educational supplies are going to be donated.

Tell everyone about the need for educational supplies – Even if you can’t fit donations into your budget at this time, you can be of great help just by spreading the word about how much a few educational supplies could really help out the schools in your area. Post notices on community message boards, write about it on your blog or put up a flyer in your break room at work. The more people find out about shortages on these supplies, the more they can work together to help provide a solution.

Hopefully, now that you see how easy it can be to make a difference in your schools and your community, you’ll start doing what you can today to donate educational supplies to those who need it. Something so simple can make such a huge difference.

How to Save Money on Art Supplies

Hobbies such as arts and crafts are important because they help reduce stress, polish your creativity and help you use any spare time productively. However, in these tough economic conditions, the art supplies that you require for your hobby can turn into a cause of further stress, thanks to their high costs. You might have to compromise on their quality or cut out some products from your shopping list in order to keep the expenses within your budget. If you don’t like to compromise on the quality of your art supplies, but cannot afford to spend exorbitantly, read on. Here are some ways by which you can save money on art supplies.

Buy in bulk

One of the easiest things that you can do is buy in bulk. If the arts and crafts that you indulge in include products that do not perish quickly, it might be a good idea to buy large quantities directly from wholesalers. The drawback of this technique is that you might not be able to buy all the things you need in bulk. However, make a list of things that do not become unusable quickly, so that you can save money on them. For example, you can stock up on fabric elements, buttons, tags, papers and other such products. Some kinds of paints dry up quickly; you might not want to buy in bulk and store them for a long time.

Reduce waste

Be very careful when you use art supplies. Before you begin an art project, plan it out so that you can reduce waste as much as possible. Saving your supplies can definitely help you save money. Additionally, make it a point to store your art supplies in the right way so that they last longer. For example, paints do not dry up quickly if you store them in a cool and dry place. If you expose them to heat, they quickly become dry and unusable. Also, place all your art supplies in a clean enclosed space in order to prevent them from possible damage due to dust and exposure to light or heat.

Keep track of discounts and offers

Be it your local retailer or an online one, keep track of the discount offers that are made available at regular intervals. These stores also put up ‘end of the season’ sales. Use such opportunities to stock up on the supplies. You can sign up with a good online store in order to receive updates about sales and offers.

Reduce allied expenses

Buying art supplies includes several expenses other than the actual cost of products. For instance, you need to drive over to the store to buy the supplies. So, you incur fuel expenses. Shopping online is a solution to reduce this expense. When you shop, you might end up buying a few products that you never planned to buy, thereby overshooting your budget. You save money if you can reduce such allied expenses.

Do not compromise on quality

Buying poor quality art and craft supplies might save you money in the short term, but in the long term, such products turn out to be more expensive because they do not last long. Also, you might not be satisfied with the final outcome because of the poor quality. So, shop only for high quality art supplies.

So, go on and shop for your favorite crafts supplies.