Most kids love to paint, draw, sculpt, and create, and besides being fun, it’s actually good for them because it engages a whole different part of the brain. In place of your usual Why Don’t You Wednesday post, today I have some tips for how to create on the cheap.
*Head to Michael’s with your coupons. Michael’s takes competitors’ coupons, which means every time we go, we head there with the 40% off Michael’s coupon and the 40% off Joann’s coupon. You can find both of these in the Sunday paper. You can’t use them for things already on sale, but we’ve used them on paper, paint, and every other kind of supply or kit. This is also my go-to solution when we get a bday party invite, and the gift closet is empty.
*Hit the dollar store-The dollar store is a great source for supplies like paper, stickers, and scrapbooking materials. Do Not buy your markers, crayons, or paint here. They just don’t work as well, and they don’t wash out.
*Think outside the (art) box-Kids can create with anything. Apples make great paint stamps. The plain side of a grocery bag is an excellent canvas. Shaving cream or puddding is fun fingerpaint. Straws and pipe cleaners are interesting brushes.
*Shop School Supplies-When school supplies are at rock bottom next August, stock up. One year one of the office supply chains had crayons for .5 cents a box with no limit, and I loaded up. Not only did I get plenty for my boys, I also got enough to use in birthday party goody bags, and to give to preschool classmates at Valentine’s Day (clever, huh?) Although these materials are by far the cheapest during August, I have found that all year round the same item in the office or school supply section costs less than the one in the art supply aisle.
*Get Thrifty-We get cheap frames at Value Village or Goodwill. A simple frame can make anything look fancy. I’ve also scored good finds at garage sales. One year I got a giant box of old computer paper for a quarter, and my kids drew and doodled on that for more than a year.
*Stick to the Basics-There are a lot of fancy craft and art kits out there, and lots of them are great. For lasting, cheap fun, though, nothing beats a fresh box of crayons or set of paints. The other basics-like the clay recipe from the cornstarch box (great article from Family Fun magazine)-are still the best ones, too!
You prefer the mess making to happen somewhere else? Get the Art Access Pass from your library and take the kids to the Tacoma Art Museum, where they can use the Open Art Studio, and all the fancy supplies in it for free.
Many parks and rec departments also offer art classes, and if you live near Puyallup, I can’t say enough good things about the Fred Oldfield Center. They have classes for all ages, where kids learn real techniques, and they’re a total bargain.
There are also special art areas at the Tacoma Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Museum in Seattle. Don’t forget: You can still score a one year membership to the Seattle Children’s museum for just 40.00 through Savvy Source! This is over half off, and it covers all adults and children in your household-a true bargain if you go even twice a year.
I’m going to post the preschool playdough recipe at the fb page later. If you’ve got a favorite idea for crafting on the cheap, let us know!
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