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<p>I am not artistic in any way, shape, or form and so I love how Waldorf is so rich in its art education.  I am slowly learning about  Waldorf so I am not sure of a few things.</p>
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<p>Ds is 4 and loves to draw pictures.  I give him scrap paper and crayons or pastels and he will sit and draw several pictures.  He likes to draw trucks, cars, houses, flowers, suns, people, ect.</p>
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<p>I would like to get him some stockmar crayons but am not sure if I should get him the blocks or the crayons.  I've heard the blocks are hard to break and last a long time, and that appeals to me because ds likes to break his crayons in half.  But how do you draw with blocks?  If he is used to drawing with crayons, would it be hard for him switch to blocks that don't have a pointy edge.  I also have a one year old, so should I get both?   And I see they come in sets with different amount of colors (like standard and waldorf, sets of 8, 16, or 24).  What color set would be good to start with?</p>
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<p>At what age is it good to buy pencil crayons? </p>
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<p>Also, I would love to do painting with him but am overwhelmed by the cost as money is really tight.  All ds has done thus far is paint with cheap tempera paints.  I am intrigued by the wet on wet water color painting and would love to try it out but just don't think I can afford the paints, decent brushes, and water color paper right now.  Is it better to not do any painting or to just keep on with the cheap stuff we do have?  Does it matter if they don't start painting at a young age?  Ds rarely asks to paint so it would be easy to just not paint until we do have money to buy water paints.</p>
 

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<p>Our homeschholing isn't all waldorf but I'm really into waldorf art and toys. My six and almost five year olds use the art supplies, the 20 month old joins in sometimes, and the baby is too young. We used to use the pencil crayons (I'm thinking of the twistable ones) but they weren't any better than regular because the kids would twist them up and break them off) plus they're really pricy. My best advice when building up your art supplies is to go slow (so the kids will really enjoy and get into each new addition before another one is added) and look for sales and coupons for art or craft stores. Also, try not to stress if you can't get all waldorf or natural things right way, I was really concerned about this and it took a long time before I accepted mainstream art supplies as good enough. My kids really enjoy art projects and doing crafts. If we used only the 'good stuff' our art supply budget would go from $20 or so per month to over $100 so I've had to settle on less expensive supplies for general use and only pull out the good stuff for special projects. I think it helps them appreciate the good stuff when they get it, they know they can use all the copy paper they want but they can't blow through $5 worth of watercolor paper in an afternoon.</p>
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<p>For the oldest two (and sometimes the toddler) we use:</p>
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<p>- stockmar block crayons; the kids don't use them as often as I thought because coloring is less precise and they enjoy making detailed pictures, the toddler really likes them but has to be watched because he will bite them (IMO they are too large to be choked on before they have been worn down but I don't think they are supposed to be used by kids under 3), they are super durable and with crayons constantly being dropped and stepped on I wanted the sturdy blocks rather than the sticks, if they're left out the kids get 'creative' and carve them up with whatever is on hand so I always try to put them away as soon as the kids are done coloring, the colors are nice but look really similar in the box (I really want to get the supplementary colors so the kids have some more options), the colors are mostly 'natural' ones such as browns and dark greens, they have been colored with a lot and are only very slightly worn in the corners, you can make something similar by putting pieces of broken crayons in an old (or foil disposable one) muffin pan and melting the wax in the oven, $24 for 16</p>
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<p>- crayola crayons; the kids like them, they're super cheap, they come in a ton of colors, you can find them anywhere, they can be sharpened, the coloring is as precise as a crayon can get, the colors aren't very rich and the lines are cakey looking but the kids don't seem to mind, these are our go to everyday crayons 24¢ for a 24 count box during back to school sales $2 for a 64 count box on sale</p>
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<p>- real clay and homemade play doh; the clay is a special thing we only use when doing an art lesson (our lessons are looking at famous sculptures or works of art for a few minutes and reading about the artists then making our own), $10 for a 5lb. block of air dry clay less than $1 for homemade play doh</p>
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<p>- drawing pencils and charcoals; the kids really like these, it's a change of pace from crayons, they can be purchased individually and inexpensively, the harder leads last a long time but the softer ones last ok too, $1 or so for a single pencil $5 for a small set of charcoals $2 for a set of paper blenders</p>
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<p>- crayola colored pencils; like crayola crayons these are our everyday pencils, I had ordered a set of prismacolors and while the one I tried colored nice and smooth many of the pencils arrived broken and we returned the set, the kids like the thin colored pencils because they can use them for detail, 88¢ during the back to school sales</p>
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<p>- lyra ferby colored pencils; I really like these but the kids are lukewarm on them, they are really thick and must be sharpened frequently to maintain the point the kids want, they are nice for the toddler who needs the larger triangular barrel to hold a pencil (this company makes a graphite pencil as well and it's really fun and blendable), $15 or so for the colored ones $2.15 for each graphite </p>
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<p>- lyra aqua pencils; these look like colored pencils and draw like them but then the kids use a wet painbrush over them and they end up looking like watercolors, $11 for a set</p>
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<p>- stockmar moulding wax; the kids hold a piece in their hands to soften it while I tell a story then they shape the wax, the only drawbacks are the cost and the fact that the kids frequently want to keep their creation rather than reuse the wax, $30 for a pack of 15 (the sheets are fairly large and 1/4-1/3 is plenty for each creation)</p>
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<p>- paper; usually just blank copy paper ($4 per 500 sheet ream on sale), watercolor for special projects ($5 for 50 large sheets on sale), tracing for a fun change ($5 for 50 large sheets on sale), construction for all kind of things ($1 for 88 sheets at back to school sales or $2 for 50 sheets of sturdier paper and fun colors), rolls that fit on the easel or can be taped to the wall or table ($18 for a three pack), drawing for special projects ($8 for 100 sheets)</p>
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<p>- crayola watercolor paint; I keep eyeing the stockmar paint but have yet to take the plunge, the crayola watercolor strips work great and are inexpensive enough that the kids can use them all the time (I know I would ration the stockmar stuff), it can be used wet-on-wet when using watercolor paper (it's too messy with regular paper), $1 per 8 color strip in a case with a brush</p>
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<p>- tempera paint; I get it for about $1.50 per quart bottle or $9 per gallon from discount school supply which is inexpensive enough for the kids to paint every day if they want, it's great stuff is wonderful for letting the kids experiment with color and discover color mixing rather than have it be shown to them, they make fingerpaint but we use this as fingerpaint</p>
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<p>- sidewalk paint; I thought it was a great idea when I saw it in the store.... until I noticed the price, now I make my own (just cornstarch, water, and food coloring to the right consistency) I buy the cornstarch in bulk because it uses a lot of it, I give the kids those super cheap foam brushes to use with it (19¢ each if you can catch a good sale at a craft store, $2 regular price for a 5 pack of different sizes), it washes right off the driveway in the rain or with a hose</p>
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<p>- paintbrushes; we used to use the ones that came with the watercolor paint then we moved up to the packs of crayola brushes from target ($4 or so) now we use real art store ones and it's wonderful ($3-8 per pack of 3-7 on sale), they go on sale for 50% off all time and last a long time, we rinse them out and dry them in a school brush holder but a toothbrush holder would work great, using nice brushes makes me feel a lot better about using cheap paint</p>
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<p>- felt; I really wish we could use wool felt but $8 per sheet v 14¢ per sheet when purchased in a big pack (discount school supply) is a major difference and the kids don't seem to notice when we use the pricy stuff, I've even made a bunch of felt play food out of cheap felt and it came out great</p>
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<p>- beads; glass beads would be nice but we use plastic and it's ok, the kids aren't all that into beading anyway, $7 for a giant bucket from dss</p>
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<p>- glue; yes, there is natural glue but we use good old elmers, 19¢ for a 2 pack of sticks and 25¢ for a 4oz. bottle during bts sales </p>
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<p>- assorted 'crafty' things; the kids use this stuff for projects of their own design to occupy then when they're bored (like decorating a kleenex box), we have foam sheets, polyester yarn, assorted buttons purchased by the bucket or old ones out of my sewing box, fabric scraps (from old clothes too worn to donate), and many other things, this is a great way to use items found on walks like leaves, pinecones, and so on </p>
 

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<p>We have a mixed container of stockmar crayons. Our three year old and the baby (15m) play with both. I would probably choose just sticks for a 4 year old though.  We also have "regular" crayons. A bigger hit are the lyra ferby pencils in the short size. We LOVE these pencils. Beautiful colors, last forever, even the baby can draw with them and not break them. We got a set that matched in size to the Nova Pencil Snake. Seriously, our favorite. Pencils + pencil snake = big hit</p>
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<p>DS plays with real clay at preschool so we don't do it at home. And I've never liked the texture of homemade playdough so I buy the commercial version.</p>
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<p>Also fans of faber castle glitter gel sticks. DS loves those.</p>
 
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