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.

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.

Online College Credits – Making College Education Affordable

If you are one of those who wish to rejoin school but are afraid that you might not have the time or money to do so can use the services offered either by community schools or enroll for an online degree. There are community schools that offer online classes, so that you can attend those at your own convenience. Further, there are university colleges that too offer these online classes and degrees.

However, if you are short of college fees, there are online college credits available that can help make funding for your college fees easier. Online college credits can be earned online and thus provide you with the leisure of working from the comfort of your own home, and at your own time and pace. Almost all the major colleges in the country offer online programs in varied subjects such as criminal justice, accounting, computer science and business. Now is really the time to get started.

Though online college credits can ease up your expenses towards college education, they cannot just be simply obtained. There are some prerequisite things that you need to do to get yourself some online college credits. Cited below are some points that can help you attain online college credits more comfortably.

  • First, start by searching for colleges that offer online degree courses in your area. There are scores of these community colleges that are very popular for their online degree programs. These community colleges enable you to file a request for a Federal Pell Grant. The Federal Pell Grant acts like online college credits and can pay for your college classes and for your other educational supplies as well. This is very helpful if you do not have enough money to pay for your college because it lowers your education fees to a large extent.
  • Once you have finalized on your college and program, quickly apply for the Federal Pell Grant that can help you with your online tuition fees. This grant is supposed to pay for classes that are taken from any accredited school.
  • Remember to collect keep all the information in respect to your graduation in order, you will need all of it to support your request for the grant and for securing a seat in the college. An admission in a college will require an ACT or SAT and GED or diploma.
  • Also, when you are done with finalizing a school for yourself, contact its admission office once you have all your documents ready. If the school has a campus, visit it and seek for any details that might help you in your admission or fir online college credits. Even if the school is a strictly online one, the admission department in it can guide you on the varied areas of study as well as on the courses that are available.
  • Keep regular contact with the school that you plan to get into. You do not want to miss out on the registration dates. Also, online seats are more readily filled than the regular ones, so be ready.
  • An extra tip, update your computer systems. Since all the education is to be online, you will need a high speed cable internet connection or a DSL.