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I am struggling for new art at home ideas. I have a four year old who enjoys all things creative. We don't typically plan projects, but just gather materials based on a theme and then play it out until boredom sets in. I like doing things that way, but think we are getting burnt out on crayons and play dough.

Any ideas? And where do you buy quality art supplies? I'd like to avoid crayola type products (not that I dislike them, but the color palette is limited) and buy supplies like you would find in a real studio for older students.

Oh, also, my town doesn't have much in the way of big box stores. I would like a company that sells stuff online.

Thanks in. Advance!
 

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United Art & Education and Dick's Blick are two online stores. Look for books from your local library for ideas. Lots of things can also be made by upcycling household materials - many tutorials which can be found online through places such as Pinterest. Think broadly- puppets, fairy gardens, dioramas...
 

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For your equipment you could try art or educational supply shops or Steiner shops. I assume you are in the US so there's not much point me listing specific shops but that's what I would search for.

Craft ideas:
Oil pastels - just draw with them. Or draw a picture and then make pattens over the top with a cotton bud dipped in oil.

Water colours - decorate wooden peg people. Or soak heavy gauge paper in water. Carefully lay flat on the table and use a sponge to wipe off the excess water. Then paint onto the wet paper.

Acrylic paints - find lots of bits and pieces to paint with. We have a shaving brush and nail brush as well as a selection of paint brushes. You can also make stamps with bits of foam, potatoes, bubble wrap wrapped around small bits of cardboard and secured with a rubber band, leaves, hands and feet etc.

Wooden Beads - string them onto yarn or string. Thread them onto pipe cleaners.

Yarn - sewing cards. Get a piece of lightweight cardboard (Manila folders are good) and draw a simple line drawing onto it. Using a darning needle or skewer, punch holes all the way around the outline, about 1cm apart. Thread a darning needle with yarn and let the child sew around the outline.

Cut simple shapes out of heavier cardboard (cardboard box weight). I like to do seasonal shapes such as autumn leaves. Make snips around the edges, about 1cm deep and 1cm apart. Use lengths of yarn to "weave" back and forth over the shape.

Cat's eyes - collect some sticks. Cross two sticks and weave around them with different coloured yarns.

French knitting - you can get large mushrooms now that are easy for little hands to hold and they can loop the yarn over with their fingers http://www.amazon.com/Montessori-N-Such-Knitting-Mushroom/dp/B002NZVYHI

And what to do with the finished product http://www.domesblissity.com/2013/08/22-things-to-do-with-french-knitting.html

Pressed flowers and leaves - collect and press. Then make collages and cover with clear Contact. Or stick between two bits of contact to make sun catchers.

Air drying clay - make pots of models or Christmas decorations. Use beads or those glass, decorator pebbles or coloured stones to make mosaics.

Beeswax modelling - just for an alternative to play dough.


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art at home

I checked and was surprised to see recognizable brands on Amazon (only US I'd imagine):



The suggestions above are good, also:

papier mache

homemade paper/pulp projects

macrame/weaving crafts

homemade dyes using flowers, vegetables, nuts etc.

collage/assemblage (use recyclables/old books/textiles)

salt dough

toys from scraps, like dolls from clothes pegs, snakes from old ties, bunnies from socks or gloves etc.

photo reactive paper/film

prints from natural objects

monoprints/linoprint/potato print/stencil

batik/tie dye

homemade scratch paper using crayon and ink
 

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There are tons of art resources for kids. Child drawings can even be used to assess his or her psychological state.
Search for a House-Tree-Person test.
And this is a good way to direct him a little bit, give him ideas about what to draw.
I really liked working with mini-magnets myself, but they are not safe for children, obviously.
And you can always go 3D with polymer clay and such. You can make some interesting jewelry together :wink:
 
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