There’s an artist in every child, especially when the activity involves lots of paint, glitter and mess! We’ve rounded up some art and craft ideas for kids that will maximise the enjoyment and creativity for them, but minimise the cost and mess for you.
The basic must-haves
Before we start with the art and craft ideas for kids, here’s a list of a few must-have items that will make the experience more enjoyable and less messy for everyone. We've put together a few deals on the basics to get you started.
Table and floor covers
The kids WILL make mess – no matter how much you encourage them not to – so be prepared and have the table and floor covered before they start. In some cases you can get away with newspaper, but paints and glues can go through paper to damage and stick to the surface below.
- Splash mat for £2.99: Baker Ross has decorative blue splash mats for just £2.99 each, or three for £8.55 (a discount of 14p each). The mats are 150cm x 150cm.
- Design your own aprons for £3.99: Keep the kids clean with an apron, which they’ll be particularly proud of wearing as they can design and decorate it themselves. These fabric aprons can be decorated using textile paint and fabric pens (not included). The set of two aprons is available through Yellow Moon for £3.99 – discounted from the usual £4.99.
Most forms of art and craft involve cutting something or other, so be sure to have scissors that are suitable for your children and also up to the task at hand.
- 20% off three pack scissors: Spring-loaded scissors can help kids make clean cuts and not leave scissors open when not in use. A three pack is currently on sale for £3.99 at Yellow Moon, a £1 discount on its usual price.
Almost all art and craft ideas for kids will involve glue, but some glues can give off toxic fumes, particularly if being used indoors. You also want to avoid the kids’ masterpieces being stuck to the furniture or themselves, so again be sure they have access to non-toxic, water soluble glue such as PVA glue.
Many a parent has been stung by giving their kids crayons or pens to colour in with, only to find the drawings have made their way onto the walls and clothes, and won’t come off! This is a big hassle – and expense – you can avoid by making sure you only give them washable ink markers.
- Assorted washable jumbo markers in packs of 12 or 50: Depending on how many markers you’re willing to put in front of your kids, you can buy a pack of 12 through Baker Ross for just £2.99, or a tub of 50 for £11.99.
- Set Scola Chubbi paint markers for £8.50: Paint markers are a much simpler, less messy way of painting than using pots and brushes. Yellow Moon has these markers for £8.50 for a set of eight – just over £1 for each 75ml marker.
Art activities and supplies
What child doesn’t enjoy making their own art masterpieces! The kids will have plenty of fun without leaving the house, whether it be drawing, painting, colouring-in or using decorative stickers. Here are some of the most popular art ideas, and where to find the supplies you’ll need.
Putting pen to paper is only half the job – different pencils work best on different materials, so you’ll need to think about whether the kids will be working on paper, cardboard, wood, glass, plastic or fabric.
- Save £3.51 on coloured paper with Baker Ross: Packets of coloured A4 paper have been reduced to £7.99, or the equivalent of 80p per sheet – a saving of around 30%. Each pack of 20 sheets includes different coloured sheets.
- Colouring pencils for only 99p: Colouring pencils are definitely a cheap way to go, when you can pick up a pack of 36 for just 99p from The Works.
Painting is one of the oldest forms of human expression, and a great way for the kids to have fun and produce artworks to hang in their room or stick to the fridge.
- 25% off glitter paints: Painting an assortment of materials – from wood and paper to clay and terracotta – glitter paints are flexible, intermixable and add a sparkle to a finished work. Yellow Moon is offering a pack of six pots in assorted colours for £8.99 – a 25% discount.
- Half price deluxe art set: Older kids may appreciate having their own art set to paint with. The Works has a 32-piece set, including oil paints, brushes, artist’s pad, pencil and eraser. It is currently half price at £19.99, a saving of £20.
Colouring-in and stencils
Colouring-in is a favourite for both little children and older ones. Nowadays colouring-in isn’t just restricted to books – there are all sorts of materials they can make their mark with.
- 20% off fruit and vegetable stencils with Baker Ross: The kids can make perfect salads and fruit platters – well on paper at least – using tracing stencils. These stencils are currently 20% off at £3.99 for a set of 12. Each stencil is 15cm x 14cm in size.
- Colour-in activity book: What cheaper way to keep your littlies busy than with a activity book they can colour in themselves for 99p. The book has a variety of animal pictures to fill in, for under £1.
Making pictures with stickers can be the simplest and least messy option – provided they aren’t stuck to walls or trodden into carpets!
- Web exclusive on 1000 dinosaur stickers: The Works has a special discount offer on selected sticker packs. The 1000 dinosaur pack is available through its website for £1.99 – that's over £3 off the shelf price.
- Yellow Moon has 33% off glitter heart stickers: These glittering heart border stickers have been reduced by a third to £1.99, a saving of £1 for the pack of 15 borders, in five assorted colours.
Crafts are a great way of bringing out children’s imaginations and creativity. They can make things of their own accord, such as houses and buildings out of empty cardboard boxes, or you can give them some ideas along these lines:
Why not have the kids take more pride over their toys by making a few themselves!
- Save nearly over 10% on pom pom bug kit: Pom pom creatures are great toys that are soft, flexible and easy to make. Yellow Moon currently has a kit to make your own pom pom bugs, with 51p off the normal price at £3.99.
Puppets and masks
Puppets and masks provide heaps of fun for kids, as they can enjoy making them and then play with them for hours afterwards.
- 40% discount on farmyard hand puppets: You can make puppets using old socks and buttons, but for a more authentic looking puppet you can buy pre-designed puppets that the kids can colour and decorate to their own taste. Yellow Moon is currently offering a 40% discount on its pack of six farmyard puppets. Priced at £2.99, the fabric puppets have moving mouths and will fit most hands.
- Cheap crown mask packs: Masks let kids pretend to be something or someone else, and who better to be than a king or queen? Baker Ross has multi packs of blank royal masks for £2.99 for a pack of 12, or £7.92 for a pack of 36. Kids can design and colour their own mask using a variety of materials.
Cards are another great way of getting the kids involved in holidays and special events. They can make Christmas and Easter cards for the family, birthday cards for their friends at school or decorative cards to commemorate special events such as their favourite athlete’s sporting success!
- Blank card cut-outs: You can buy blank cards already cut out into various shapes, so the kids can simply sit down and decorate them. One popular shape is cupcakes, which Baker Ross has in packs of eight for just £2.96, or 24 packs for £8.40.
- Stained glass effect cards: Get the kids thinking about Christmas by making their own Christmas cards. You can purchase a huge range of materials to do this, as well as card-making kits – such as the stained glass effect cards Yellow Moon is currently selling in packs of 12 for 40% off at £2.99.
Badges and jewellery
Making jewellery and badges can be fun to do and a great way of encouraging your kids to give personalised gifts to their loved ones on special occasions.
- £2.99 badge making kit: Badges are easy to make and fun to show off. Yellow Moon has a badge making kit that makes 10 badges for a reduced price of £2.99.
- Make your own macaroni jewellery: When looking at art and craft ideas for kids, it’s hard to ignore jewellery-making! Jewellery is easy to make with string and a range of beads and buttons, from necklaces to bangles, bracelets and anklets. Baker Ross is selling macaroni jewellery packs for £3.99 each or three for £11.25.
Creative kits and models
Often the no mess -no fuss option is to buy kits that come with all the materials and instructions for the kids to assemble and enjoy:
These days you can get model kits for just about everything, from landmark buildings to cars, planes and trains.
- Save 17% on bulk buys with The Happy Puzzle Company: Find a range of models, from famous landmarks to the Titanic. You can save between 15% and 17% if you buy one of the company’s selected multi-model packages, such as the Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa models for £29.97, instead of a total £35.97 if you buy them individually. Better still, no glue is required to put them together!
- Build an owl for £6.99: Another option from The Happy Puzzle Company is this inexpensive timber owl, which is assembled using pre-cut pieces which slot in together. And at only £6.99, it’s an inexpensive project that will be a real hoot with the kids.
Kits don’t just cover traditional building and car models, there are a range of kits that are suitable for kids of almost all ages that don’t involve small parts or complex constructions.
- Cheap animal coin purses: Little kids can enjoy making their own money purse to carry around with them. Baker Ross has animal themed kits available, priced at £3.99 for a pack of eight, and £10.80 for a 24 pack.
- Waxidoodles 3D art: Waxidoodles enables kids to create 3D artworks using specially coated modelling sticks.
Themed decorations are a great way to go, as the whole family can enjoy getting into the spirit of the occasion by making your own decorations. There are decoration ideas available for every holiday and season, including Christmas, Easter, Halloween, birthdays and special events. Or you can get general decorations to brighten up a room.
- Butterfly Magnet Kits: The kids will enjoy creating their own magnets to help decorate the house. This pack of 5 magnets are now £2.99.
- The Amazing Flower Kit: One of the Happy Puzzle Company’s most popular kits is the bunch of decorative flowers. The kit includes 48 flowers, consisting of eight different types of flowers, which don’t require gluing or cutting to put together. At £14.99 the kit is not currently on sale, but nevertheless is among the most novel art and craft ideas for kids to get stuck into!