art with kids- simple gifts to give

We do a lot of art making around here, especially at the holidays. I like to have the girls give handmade gifts, and they love to make them. 


It isn't anything expensive or complicated. Messy? Yes.
I think that crafts can be intimidating to moms. They usually require instructions and specific supplies, and a lot of planning. Art with kids is simple. I much prefer to simply give kids the materials we have on hand, and see what happens.




This is one of the simplest: stamped or painted wrapping paper. I save the brown paper that comes in packaging. We have used all kinds of things- potato prints, stamps, markers, stickers, glitter, pom poms, or just paint.


Canvases are cheap, come in all sizes, and can be painted over again and again. These make nice artful gifts. Last year we did snow scenes and Christmas trees.

 I use the bottles of acrylic craft paint and yes, it stains.




Other ideas:

Nearly anything can be painted, glittered, embellished. I love to give the kids different materials and see what they come up with.

Give kids cheap Christmas bulbs (plain, the larger the better- they come in sleeves of ten at the Dollar Store) and glitter glue, stickers, and sharpies to make ornaments to give. We have also bought the clear glass bulbs and squirted paint inside to swirl.

This year we found nice wooden ornaments on clearance at the craft store. I gave the kids paint, glitter, and embellishments. These will be the gifts they give this year.

Sharpies. I believe in giving kids good materials to work with- it is worth the extra cost and stain factor. My kids love sharpies, and they can be used on anything. Oil-based sharpies are great for decorating cheap dollar store coffee mugs, kitchen towels- anything. The metallic sharpies are best for decorating glass bulbs or ornaments. Here is a great link of Sharpie projects.

These cinnamon applesauce ornaments are so great, and make a really nice gift that lasts for years.

Sam is making pot holders this year with the loom kit she got for her birthday- she loves this!

For more ideas here is my Christmas Crafts board on pinterest.

Next up: one of my very favorite art projects with kids, great for Christmas or all year. Coming soon ...

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