It's Not a Stick, It's a ...

April 18, 2009

Kids love to create, and their definition of artwork can be quite different from ours.  This means that chances are your child would be excited about an art project regardless of the materials used.  So, why not take advantage of that and scout out your home or your backyard for some craft supplies that would otherwise go unnoticed or just end up in the trash?

Flowers, grass, and leaves make some great collage materials. I like to use clear contact paper to eliminate the need for glue (which is especially good for the littlest ones).  Then I also will cover the creation with contact paper as well.  Instead of just using  these materials for a collage, use them to spell your child's name - flowers are great for dotting an I! 

Head inside and you'll find even more great craft supplies. Cut pictures from old magazines. Look for specific colors, shapes, or letters and help your child create his own color, shape, or alphabet book. Popsicle sticks are lots of fun, too. Glue on some yarn for hair, draw on eyes (or use google eyes) and clothes to make people.  Glue four together to create a square-shaped picture frame. Challenge your child to make other shapes. Decorate old food containers (such as cool whip tubs or juice concentrate cans) and turn them into keepsake containers, pencil jars, or banks. Leftover bits of yarn, fabric, ribbon, or wrapping paper make great collage materials.

Create a stationary set for your child using the envelopes that come with junk mail (or your bills, if you pay them online and don't use them), paper that's been printed on one side already (cut them into fun shapes to make them seem interesting), and some return address labels. Use an old shoebox to make a mailbox.

Think outside of the box and you're sure to find lots of art materials around the house.  Before you throw it out, stop and think, what could my child create with this?

Alison is the Albuquerque City Editor for The Savvy Source. You can read more of her work every day at Being Savvy Albuquerque

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