Keeping your little artists busy can be tough on the budget, but with a little planning, you can put all of your art supplies to the best use and thus get all the value out of your consumables. To keep things as organized and tidy as possible, try to define dedicated art time as well as space, so markers and paints are not left to dry out.
Sign Up for Rewards
If you have a regular craft store that you frequent, make sure you sign up for coupon notifications. Consider asking if they have a birthday club or a repeat buyer discount.
For many artists, shopping is almost as fun and creative as making art. To make sure that everyone stays on budget, including you, give everyone cash before entering the store. If you have little ones who are too small to understand currency, set a limit on items they can purchase.
On other shopping trips, encourage your children to keep an eye out for frames. For example, if you like to take a walk through your local thrift store, keep an eye out for wooden posters and painting frames. You will need to take them apart without help, but a big frame can serve as a nice goal for your little artists to fill.
Set Up an Assembly Line
For families with multiple children, invest in a pack of tracing paper and some drafting tape. Keep an eye out for old bird or animal books and nature magazines at yard sales.
You can put your older children to work tracing while younger children choose colors, then put your littlest kids to work coloring these traced images. If older children have the skill and the interest, show them how to make small images bigger with a grid. All you need is a ruler and some patience to help your older child learn perspective and increase their eye-hand coordination.
The ability to draw well will serve your children all their lives. Tracing is a legitimate first step, and learning to the grid will engage their engineering brain. Be ready to get creative with things you already have at home, too. Food coloring and glue can be used to make stained glass. The white paper can be marbled in a flat casserole dish with a bit of water and a drop of food coloring.
Keep an Eye Out for Rebates
In addition to getting great discounts as a preferred customer, you can also sign up for fast rebates and godaddy coupons on many websites. Be sure to keep your receipts and scan them in as soon as you get home so you can stay on top of these discounts and money-back options quickly.
When shopping for bigger items, such as a
- crafting table for a studio
- set of easels for many children
- filtered light fixture to improve the quality of light in your artistic space
consider using a credit card that will give you points and cashback. Many cards give you freebies or credits on multiple websites, including some huge multinational retail sites. There are a lot of small art supplies that do not cost much, so if you can save up for the big stuff, buy it with the card that gets all the points, and fill in the smaller items you need with freebies from the card, your studio will go together that much more quickly.
Keeping little fingers busy does not have to be expensive. Before things go into the trash or the recycling, ask if they can be made into something else. Get children and adults thinking of new ways to use the items that have served their purpose in the home.