Do you sometimes find your kids telling you they’re bored and have nothing to do? Is it raining and they can’t go out to play? Why not engage them and explore their talents with an art and craft kit?
You don’t need to be arty yourself for your kids to have fun and explore the world of arts and crafts. They can create something special, with or without your help. There are kits available for toddlers through to older children that can keep all ages amused.
Let’s look at the benefits of arts and crafts, what features to look for and how to find one that’s age appropriate for your child. We’ll also share what we think are some of the best arts and crafts for kids.
What Are the Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Kids?
Arts and crafts are fun for kids, allowing them to be creative and express themselves. Little do they realize the developmental benefits they’re gaining. These activities help in many ways, which include (1):
- Hand coordination: Activities such as gluing, cutting, and molding often need the use of both hands at the same time. This helps kids when they’re learning to tie their shoelaces or play an instrument, for example.
- Fine motor skills: Small tasks, like doing up buttons and zips, can be a challenge for kids. Honing their fine motor skills and coordination can help. Crafts which involve holding paint brushes or pencils correctly, following lines or coloring in patterns will help develop these skills.
- Patience and self-control: Some crafts might take time to dry or need more concentration. These can help your child be flexible and learn that not everything happens immediately.
- Boosts self-esteem: Completing an art or craft project will give your child a sense of achievement and pride. Just make sure you don’t choose something which is beyond their skill level. Also remember, there’s no right or wrong, good or bad — it’s their creativity that counts.
- Express feelings: Drawing and painting can help kids express themselves non-verbally. They can let their imagination run wild and design whatever they want. This inspires them to create with an open mind.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking: Sometimes when crafting and creating, your child will come across a problem. This will encourage them to think about how to solve it.
On top of these reasons, in today’s hectic life, it gives you some time to bond with your kids while doing something fun.
What to Look For
One of the main considerations when buying an arts and crafts kit will be age. You need to make sure that it’s not going to be too difficult or too easy for your child. They want to be challenged, but they also need to achieve.
Some of the things you might consider include:
- Quality: There’s nothing worse than sitting down with your child and finding the kit you’ve chosen has bits missing or isn’t good quality.
- Safety: Check that any paints, pencils or plastics are safe for children. This is especially the case with younger children, who might put things in their mouths.
- Washable: Many markers and paints are now manufactured so they can be washed out of clothes or cleaned off walls. Despite our best efforts, I’m sure we will all experience the little one who wants to redecorate the home or furniture.
- Engaging: Think about your child’s interests. You want to choose something they will enjoy and that will hold their interest.
How Can I Find an Age-Appropriate Kit?
Manufacturers have to put an age guide on their products for children. Many art and craft kits may not be suitable for toddlers as they will contain small pieces. Older children will want something that interests them so look for a theme they’ll like.
Use your parental common sense and, provided the kit poses no safety issues, choose what you think is appropriate for your child.
The Best Art and Craft Kits of 2020
Here’s our choice of the top art and craft kits for kids. We’ve covered all age groups and different types of kits, to engage and inspire your child.
1. Klutz My Egg Carton Animals
Specially made egg cartons in this kit can be painted and decorated to make these farmyard friends. Over 100 pieces are provided to complete your animals, such as paints & paintbrush, googly eyes, and stickers.
Clear-dry glue is included and the kit is safe and ideal for kids 4 years and older.
The ideas book has lots of fun facts about the animals as well as some great designs to create your barnyard buddies.
2. Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Water Wow
These magical spiral flip books have line drawings of vehicles and animals until you use the water-filled pen on them. This chunky pen, easy for 3-year-olds and up to hold, reveals bright colors when used on the pad. Let it dry and the colors disappear, allowing it to be used again and again.
I particularly like that the pen fits in its own storage space in the cover and that the whole kit is portable. Ideal for traveling, visits to relatives, and more.
3. Kinetic Sand Beach Kingdom Playset
Kids love sand, but parents often don’t. This kinetic sand feels wet even though it’s dry.
It sticks to itself and is easy to mold, but it won’t stick to your kids, so clean up is easy. It’s made with real sand and you get 3 pounds in the kit.
The box can be used as a beach setting for your kids to build their sandcastles in. Completing the set are molds and tools, letting your budding architect to create their own castle. Kids aged 3 and over will love the imaginative play this kit brings.
4. Little Hands Paper Bag Monsters
Kids love funny monsters, so let them make their own with this fun kit, which includes a glue stick, five bags, and 225 stickers and paper shapes. Once they’ve created their paper bag monsters, they can put on a show for family and friends.
The instructions are easy to follow pictures with no reading involved. This makes them ideal for children as young as 3 years old.
5. Magnetic Mini Tile Art
Make your own decorated mini magnet tiles to place on your fridge or any other metal surface. The kit contains 12 x 2-inch by 2-inch tiles for you to decorate, using the paints and brush supplied. When you have finished and your work of art is dry, attach a magnet (also provided) and decorate your fridge.
Kids over 8 years old can have fun creating these ornaments for themselves or as gifts for family and friends.
6. ALEX Discover Tots Art Start
This kit is for your budding artist who is just starting out. It has lots of brightly colored stickers, tissue paper, crinkly paper, and fringe — 102 pieces altogether.
The crayons are easy-grip so toddlers of 18 months and older can use them. Sheets of activity paper (shaped like a giraffe and a tree) complete this fun, all-in-one starter kit.
7. ALEX Discover Giant Busy Box
ALEX toys scores another winner with this busy box for kids aged 3 and over. It has 16 projects, including making dough animals, decorating paper bag puppets, farm animal collages, and tissue art animals.
Everything you need is in the box, including easy to follow instructions and frames for your little one’s creations.
8. Deluxe Slime Starter Kit
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like playing with slime? You can mold it, stretch it or just use it to gross out your grandparents, siblings or friends.
Suitable for ages 3 and up, the three different glitter glues need to be mixed with a couple of household items, and voila! Gloopy, toxin-free, washable, glittery slime for lots of fun. Given there is some mixing involved at first, younger kids will need some support.
9. Darice Premium Art Set
Contained in a stylish wooden box, this art set has everything your kids need to create beautiful pictures and drawings. There are 131 pieces, including paints, paintbrushes, pencils, crayons, and markers.
Just add paper and your child’s imagination, and let them loose. The kit does contain small parts so it’s not suitable for younger children, unless supervised. Due to the small parts, and the inclusion of sharpeners and scissors, the manufacturer’s recommended age is 6 years and up.
10. Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit
Painting, personalizing, and hiding rocks has become a worldwide phenomenon. Sometimes called “kindness rocks,” they leave messages for people to find and rehide or keep (2). This kit is suitable from the age of 6.
This kit has everything for painting waterproof designs on rocks for kids to leave around your community. You might have to set up a Facebook group or join an existing one, so your kids know when their rocks have been found.
This video shows people of all ages participating in the kindness rocks project.
11. Creativity for Kids Origami
Use bright neon colored paper and fold your way to make animals, flowers, and more. This is a mess-free activity that hones fine motor skills and is suitable for kids ages 7 and up.
Step-by-step instructions are included and there are stickers to bring your creations to life.
There are also instructional YouTube videos to follow, like this one.
12. ALEX Knot-A Shark Kit
Kids will want to snuggle up in this shark sleeping bag once they have made it. Introducing children aged 8 and over to sewing skills and knotting, everything you need is included to make this fishy friend.
Easy-to-follow instructions take you through stitching the shark’s face and then knotting its sides together, before finishing with his tail. All the pieces are pre-cut for ease of assembly.
13. Happily Ever Crafter
Skills such as embroidery, crochet, and sewing are loved by young and old. This could be the start of a hobby for life. Aimed at kids aged 8 and older, all you need is packed neatly in this storage case.
Details for nine projects are included, so you can make your own stuffed dog, embroidered bandana, bracelets, coin purse, and more.
Time to Be Crafty
Unleash your child’s creativity and let them express themselves through arts and crafts. It will give them hours of fun while developing fine motor skills, cognitive thinking, and improving their self-esteem. Not only that, it gives you some valuable mom or dad bonding time with your kids.
Our top choices cover many age groups. But the one we were most interested in was the Klutz My Egg carton animals.
We appreciate the thought and creativity that went into this set, making it stand out from the rest. Whichever you choose, though, make sure that it’s age-appropriate for your child.
Were you inspired by our guide? We hope you found one suitable for your children. Please leave us a comment — and don’t forget to share.