Feed your child’s imagination with these thoughtful, creative and inspiring gift ideas.
Every painter needs a canvas on which to create. Pre-stretched canvases are available in just about any craft department. They are already mounted and ready to hang once your artists does their handiwork.
Canvas is relatively inexpensive and sold in a variety of sizes. Some stores sell them in packs with two or more sizes, which makes gift-giving easy.
Dependent upon the age of your child, choose between finger paints, poster paint, watercolor, acrylic or oils. Finger paints are non-toxic and water based, which makes clean up easy. Poster paint is basically finger paint, but thinner in texture for use by older children. Poster paint is usually non-toxic and water based, thus easy to clean. Watercolors are dried paints which require the painter to dip their brushes in water to moisten the paint, which may then be applied.
Acrylic paints are easiest to use by new artists. They work like poster paint, but have permanence once dried. Oils are what most people think of when they think of artists paints. Oils should only be used by more experienced artists. They require turpentine for removal and stain just about anything they land on. It can takes weeks to months for oil paints to dry, and thus should be used in an area free from dust, which can accumulate within in the paint.
Sketchbooks are a requirement of any artist, or aspiring one. They need something to record their ideas, draw out their plans for a painting, or just sketch because they feel the need.
There are sketchbooks to fit any budget. They can be found with pages glued to cardboard flaps for just a few dollars, to leather bindings with sewn pages for over thirty dollars.
4. Unlined Journal
Even if your artist has sketchbooks, they still need an unlined journal. These smaller books allow them to carry their creativity with them anywhere they go. Most artists work out of several sketchbooks and journals at the same time. They may wish to separate various types of ideas one book from another.
5. Quality Paintbrushes
Paintbrushes are easy to find and inexpensive to purchase, but buying your artist a few high quality brushes for their important works of art is an investment they will appreciate. Cheap paintbrushes lose hairs in brush strokes. It is an annoyance an artsy child does not like dealing with.
6. Unfinished Boxes
You can find unfinished boxes in cardboard, paper mache or wood. These boxes are begging to be decorated by your little artist. Give them a few and see what they create with them.
7. Variety of Scissors
If you have ever scrapbooked, you know the fun of using a variety of scissors, scissors that cut different shapes and edges. These are also fun for the artsy child, who has probably hidden a few of yours under their bed. Around the holiday season, you can find buckets of these scissors at most craft stores for under twenty bucks and your child will love you for them.
Not only will you save on washing paint stained clothing, but your child will feel more like an artist if given a smock to paint in. It’s easy to find smocks for younger children, but the older your child is, the less age appropriate those children smocks become. Take a look at the smocks made for nurses and cafeteria workers. Pick up an extra small size and even if it is too large for your child, they will swim in it in fun.
A variety of plastic containers will help your artsy child store their supplies and help organize their room. Find one or two large containers that a bunch of smaller ones can fit into. They need lots of small containers to keep each type of supply separate. Purchase ones in different shapes and sizes as pencils and felt are not the same size or shape and will not fit into similar containers.
10. Craft Supplies
Craft supplies do not have to be fancy or even follow a theme. An artsy child collects things with which to create and any crafty item will be appreciated. These can be found in amazing places. Besides the usual craft stores, department stores and the like, you can find craft supplies in dollar stores, flea markets and yard sales.
Some suggestions of where to begin are: glue, glitter, feathers, felt, fabrics, ribbons and wiggle eyes.