June 22, 2013

Organized Chaos: Art Supplies

My art supplies habit dates back to my own childhood and I've been hording pastels and gouache paints ever since. So it is no surprise that we order art supplies in bulk these days. But a bigger question is how to corral the goodies.

We've tried boxes on the shelves but tucked away the paints just never come out. Freely roaming art supplies around the house drive everyone here mad. Little jars for crayons are good in theory but if the crayons were out, they never made it back into the said jars. So now we are trying stackable boxes. So here are our must-have supplies, one box at a time.

Labels are really a road map for supplies to make their way back.
Paper - plain white and colorful construction paper, extra packs are stashed away. Tissue paper is helpful too.

Crayons are a given, loads and loads of crayons. This isn't the place to skimp. Crayola is the way to go, cheaper crayons just don't stand up and are too waxy. While natural and posh crayons appeal to my own sensibilities, Klatch kids like Crayolas very well. 

Crayons are bound to break and ratty broken up crayons are not fun to draw with, but fun to melt.

Oil Pastels. These are not a must strictly speaking but a nice addition, bright and vibrant.

Keeping crayons in jars failed us miserably so now crayons get their own box.
Markers. Self explanatory. Washable are best. The skinny pencil size ones remind me of the ones I had as a kid. The small pip squeaks are popular around here too.

Pencils. These do not get as much play around here these days, perhaps time to invest in a decent pencil sharpener.

Tools box is full of glue (liquid Elmer's and glue sticks), glue gun for supervised activities, extra scissors since they always seem to go missing. Masking tape in different colors has been a welcome addition. Sponges and droppers are waiting for the right project to come along.

Odds and ends - this is the fun box bursting with goodies. You can never risk running low on goodly eyes. The pad of paper dolls is possibly the best thing we ever bought. One never knows when pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, and poms will come in handy.  Feathers and glitter. We need to replenish our glitter glue supply.

Two other very worthwhile additions for non-messy fun. Floam, sticky little foam beads, though somehow the colors get mixed together right away, and Wikki Sticks, bendy waxy sticks.

Of course there are other supplies that do not get every day use and are squirreled away elsewhere. Since we are a gluten free household, Play Doh is out of bounds and early experiments with Moon Sand proved to be detrimental to the carpeted area. Our molding product of choice is Model Magic - clean and bright, at least until the colors get mixed. A tub of clay is popular around here. Turns out cardboard six-pack boxes are perfect for storing pint sized bottles of tempera paints on the very top shelf.

So to recap, must-have supplies to buy in bulk - I am a big fan of Discount School Supply and Michael's:
  • Paper - stacks and stacks of paper, different colors, textures, and size
  • Crayons - a good supply of fresh crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Color pencils
  • Tempera and watercolors (acrylic is too risky for the younger set!)
  • Lots of brushes in different sizes
  • Extras of glue and scissors
  • Googly eyes (yes, these make the must-have category)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • At least one of the following - poms, glitter, pipe cleaners, feathers
  • Something to mold - play doh, model magic, clay
Nice additions:
  • Colorful tissue paper
  • Paper doll cut-outs
  • Pony beads
  • Floam and Wikki Sticks
  • Felt fabric
  • Foam shapes
  • Ink pads and stamps
  • Stickers
  • Sun paper
  • We'd like to try Magic Nuudles, seems like a worthy addition
Anything else to add to this list?

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