So, I saw one of the people at the Picnic wanting to know what different arts and crafts stuff is used for and what to get and when and how and all of that stuff, so here’s my list of what is what and what it can be used for:
tempara paint or poster paint-this is my go to for paint projects. It mostly washes out, and doesn’t really stain, and works for most projects you’ll do through elementary age
finger paint– this like it says is intended to be painted with fingers, it spread easier to my mind and to me feels slightly slimy, it doesn’t seem to stick to you as much as tempara paint does, it washes off your hands easier. You’re supposed to use special finger paint paper, but in reality I don’t think everyone does.
watercolors– this comes in 2 different forms, there’s the cake form you remember from school, which I’ve never had much luck with, and there’s the tube form that you squirt out, I haven’t experimented much with it, but that’s on my list to try at some point
acrylic paint– this is permanent once it’s on your clothes it does not come off, so why would you use it with kids? well, making a handprint apron for a Father’s Day gift, or other projects like that. This does not wash off with water like tempara paint, which can be helpful depending on the project
glitter glue– not really a paint, but I’ve used it similarly, it’s glue with glitter in it, depending on the brand it does not dry completely and will stay slightly sticky (so don’t use it in homemade books) and it has a nice dimensional quality, it tends to be a neat way to use glitter where it won’t get everywhere
PAPER (in order of weight, more or less)
tissue paper– aside from being great for stuffing in gift bags, it’s great for collages, paper mache, making sun catchers
copy paper– this is what you use in your printer, great for general coloring projects, and a lot of art projects
construction paper– this is slightly bigger than copy paper, if you cut it down to size it would run through your printer, but it’s a lot of work. It comes in all sorts of colors and sizes. I tend to get the one that’s closer to normal copy paper because most of our projects at this point aren’t big enough enough to need the larger size
manilla paper– this may depending on the brand be lighter than construction paper, it comes in the large size paper 15×24?, I have no clue on the measurements. This is what the schools use all the time for projects. It makes great basis for making books.
cardstock-this goes through your printer, is the same size as copy paper and is a lot stiffer, it’s like a really light weight cardboard. This is great for something you want to stand up on its own. Or that you think will get a lot of wear and tear
fun foam– this isn’t really paper, but I use it in similar ways. It’s a light foam that is the size of paper, it comes in lots of colors and textures. It doesn’t really fold, or hold a crease so it can’t be used for stuff with folds, but otherwise it’s great.
Crayons markers and the like
Crayons– get crayola, go to the 20 cent back to school sales and buy all you want then, I like crayons more than markers because they don’t bleed through, don’t accidentally stain my carpet (thank you boys), and they can be cut into little pieces and melted into all sorts of cool projects
Markers– get washable, in theory it comes out, I like crayola brand, but Rose Art is starting to get some decent products as well
Color Wonder– this is a newer product that only colors on the paper made for it, my kids have never liked it because there is a slight delay while the chemical reaction takes place before the color shows up, that and it doesn’t seem to color as well as regular markers
Sharpies– permanent, does not come out, great for making cool looking clothes, but in general that’s one to keep way out of their hands
colored pencils-I love these, little kids don’t like them as much because they don’t cover as much as fast as crayons or markers, but they provide some really cool looking results
watercolor pencils– after you’re done coloring with these you can brush over it with a wet paintbrush and it will blur slightly to make a watercolor effect. Kind of cool to my mind.
General cool stuff
glitter– high on the messiness factor if not carefully monitored. I think it works best to use it on a cookie tray and in theory contain the glitter. You shake it out onto wet glue and it will stick to your paper and give it some bling factor. I don’t use it much because I have the worst luck with it getting stuck everywhere.
googly eyes– these are either a sticker backing or glue on, but they make animal projects look super cool
felt– this is sold by the sheet in most craft stores, it’s a type of fabric that can have all sorts of fun textures and colors
stickers– I love these as a quick easy way for a preschooler to add color and characters, my kids still mostly just scribble, and this lets them add recongnizable characters, and they’re fun to put on
pom poms or fuzzies– these are great for adding dimension, you glue them on, and they are fun, my kids love to stuff them in things
pipe cleaners or chennille stems– can be bent into most any shape, I”ve used them to make little dolls, they can be glued onto paper for a little texture, stuck into egg cartons to make legs or antennae, endless uses
That covers most of the obvious craft items you can buy in a store I can think of, anyone else have any to add?