Art supplies can be expensive. I bought a paint brush that I wanted for a project in the area of the craft store where paint brushes are all sold by the brush, and I spent $10 on it. That was nowhere near the most expensive brush in that area (nor was it the cheapest). Looking at spending that kind of money may make those packages of 10 paint brushes for $1.00 seem pretty attractive to your pocket book. Likewise, those art sets that are filled with paints, crayons, markers, and a ton of other things for $10 also look pretty darn good.
Now, before I go on, let me admit. We have those kinds of things at our house too. Many were gifts (and some we probably bought), but they all get used. There is a time for having those kinds of supplies.
However, I want to suggest that you invest in real art supplies for your children. (And, while you’re at it — join in with them!) The next time you grab out some water color paints, don’t give them computer printer paper. Spend a little extra and buy water color paper. The difference it makes while painting it amazing. Similarly, although we sometimes paint on paper, I also have sometimes let the children paint on actual canvases that I got on sale.
Allowing them to explore with art in a real way conveys some messages to them. First, it tells them that they deserve real supplies. Second, it tells them that you believe they can create works that are worth using those real supplies. On top of that, using real supplies can bring out the artistic spirit in even reluctant artists.
Our Molly has a plan to be an artist when she grows up. Of course, I’m sure this is the dream of many other six year old children. She likes to explore with a lot of types of art and with many mediums. One day, she wanted to do some stamping. She got out some of her inexpensive stamp pads, some cheap rubber stamps, and a piece of paper.
I knew that I could go get the scrapbooking supplies that I had in my craft room, but thought, “What if she leaves pad lids off? What if she doesn’t clean the stamps?” and so on. Then, however, I realized that I just needed to show her how to take care of real supplies. I brought out things for her to use, but also instructed her on proper use and cleaning. Then, I gave her a blank book and she made pages and pages of stamped art. (She also did marker work in with her stamps.) She felt good because not only did she get to use nicer things, but it showed that I trusted her with my things.
With all of the great sales that often come up at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, there is no reason to not have at least a few nice art supplies for your children to create and express themselves.
What are some of your children’s favorite art supplies to use?
Now it’s your turn. Link up your homeschool hints post and make sure to link back here in your post. You can read guidelines for Helpful Homeschool Hints, as well as get the button to display on your own site. If your link is removed, be sure to check the guidelines to see why.