Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crafting Supplies

My first experience with craft supplies for Reece was crayons, which broke the very first time he used them, frustrating both he and I.  Crafting is supposed to be fun; there should not be frustration when trying to use supplies. So right then and there, I decided if we were going to craft, we were going to use quality supplies.
Crafting for a toddler, and for me for that matter, involves many senses; from feeling the crayon in your hand, to the creative mind creating a picture to the visual aspect of seeing the finished product. I decided right then and there, if we were going to be a crafting family then we would have quality products which would allow Reece to focus on creating and not frustrate him.
So began my search. My first magical find was Stockmar crayons. These crayons are made from beeswax and are not only beautiful to use, but also beautiful to look at. Last Christmas I bought a small set for Reece and we were not disappointed. This year his nana and papa bought him a larger set with some wonderful colours and we ordered the block crayons for him.  These crayons are wonderful to use, and the colour they produce is vibrant. Reece was so enamoured with his new block crayons they came with us everywhere for the first few days and we were not allowed to put them away in the craft drawers.

Next up was paint. We tried the typical kid paints, but they just didn’t live up to my hopes. Their colour lacked vibrancy, and faded. Add too much water to the brush and the colour was too faded. Not enough water on the brush and Reece became frustrated that no colour was coming off the brush and onto the paper.  So, I hit the art supply store, there had to be a better alternative, and I was right there was.

These are water colour paints, which are used by the local high school students, so the owner of the art supply store told me. She said they would be the perfect starting point for Reece. So, I added it to the wish list I was compiling for nana and papa and the paint set found its way into Reece’s gifts this Christmas.
And of course if you are going to use water colour paints, you need the proper paper, so we have picked up some water colour paper to make the experience one to enjoy.
A new addition to Reece’s craft supplies are the water colour pencils above. We have not used them yet, but are looking forward to giving them a try soon.  They can be used as regular colouring pencils, but you can also do a number of other creative things with them. A brush is included with the pencils so you can wet the brush and paint over what you have drawn to create a water colour painting. You can wet the pencils before your draw with them for the same effect or you can even wet the paper and then draw on it. So many ideas with just one pack of pencils, you can’t beat it.
You will also find dot markers in our crafting drawers, ink pads and stamps, glue sticks, feathers, beads, felt, eco play dough, sparkles, rhinestones and scissors (Reece loves to cut). I am always adding to our craft drawers as I find things which I think will interest Reece and create a fun crafting experience for both of us.
And the one last thing you will in our craft drawers find is a pile of paper. We have lots of white paper, but I also think it is important to have paper in many different colours. I lucked out with this one a few years ago when we were at Ikea and found a package of paper with colours so bright and vibrant I had to pick it up. In fact, as our supply runs out, we usually head to Ikea just to pick up our stash of this paper.

So there you have it, our craft supplies at the moment. We have a ton of fun with these supplies and I know our craft drawers will continue to grow and change as Reece gets older and develops different or new interests.

You will notice some of these supplies are a little more expensive than the typical toddler craft supplies. This is a decision we have made, to spend a little bit more for quality products. This creates a quality experience for Reece which is fun and carefree. It reduces frustration and allows him to experience crafting to its fullest extent with all of his senses.

One last thing on our crafting routine. We have fallen into the routine of doing a craft project on Thursday afternoons, each week it just seemed to happen that way. So I have decided Thursday is our craft day. That does not mean we don't get the paints out on Monday, actually, Reece has access to the craft drawers at all times. This works for us and allows him to grab supplies and draw when the mood strikes. He does not have to ask Justin or I to get something for him, he knows where everything is and can be creative on his time at his own pace. Here's a peek at where we store everything.

Hope your crafting journeys are full of fun.


  1. Fun! I'm a big believer in high quality craft supplies (and toys), too. I'd rather have fewer things of good quality that last and are a joy to create with, rather than lots of the "cheaper" versions. Those are beautiful supplies you found :)

  2. I so agree with you Jaime, on the supplies and toys, quality over quantity every time.

  3. That is great that you have a craft day every week. We work projects in throughout the week, but I used to do a lot more with my 3-year-old before his baby brother got mobile. Now, when we leave craft supplies out, they mostly get eaten...So, for a little bit longer, craft supplies have to be the special things that only get taken out when all three of us are ready to use them together.

  4. I totally want to get those crayons. I bought some bees wax crayons I like from Stubby pencils studio because they were slightly cheaper. But Sofia likes to bite them because they smell so good. So I'm waiting on the stockmar until she's really ready. Like Jaime I agree, you get what you pay for. Quality over quantity. Great post.

  5. Oh, yes Katie, I can imagine with a little one around, supplies have to be tucked away :) I really like our craft day, and I think Reece does too. He just got a craft table on the weekend (post about that coming soon) and he has been using it all weekend :)

  6. Thanks KC, they are really great crayons, we love them!