Children have an inherent love of art; and they enjoy expressing themselves and creating masterpieces through a variety of fun and engaging mediums. But making arts and crafts with your kids doesn’t have to equate to using piles of paper that either end up tacked to the refrigerator or crumpled up in the recycling bin. There are countless ways to encourage your child’s inner artist to blossom, that are easy on the earth and your budget. Here are several top tips for greening the art regimen around your house!
Enlist Nature to Create Art
An artist’s tools exist all around us, as evidenced in the potato stamps seen at the top of this post. There’s no need to buy expensive rubber stamps when you can get interesting results by using what you have on hand at home. Cut baking potatoes in half, carve shapes into them, dip them into paint, and let the kids stamp away. Bonus points for composting the potato peels and skins when you’re finished with your art project! And be sure to check out one mom’s green idea on using dandelion flowers as paint brushes.
Source Art Project Paper from Home Instead of Buying Paper – And Use the End Result as Wrapping Paper
My two-year old daughter is shown above painting on a long ream of butcher paper that was used as padding in a package I received. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing the paper away, or even recycling it in its pristine condition, so I spread it across our dining room table and let her have a messy finger painting session! We then used the paper to wrap gifts. All of the recipients loved the personal touch, and we didn’t waste paper or have to purchase wrapping paper. If you look hard enough, there is a ton of scrap paper around your house that can do double duty and be used in art projects.
Forgo Paper and Let Kids Draw on a Dry Erase Board or Chalkboard
Another way to get crafty and save paper is to invest in a dry erase board or chalkboard and let your kids create their works of art on the reusable canvases. The easel shown above is from Melissa & Doug, and it boasts a dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other. If you want to immortalize your child’s masterpieces before they get wiped away, take pictures of them and keep an art file in your computer and backed-up on disks.
Buy Organic, Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Art Supplies
Inevitably, you’ll want to purchase art supplies to open up the world of artistic possibilities for your kids. When doing so, choose supplies that are responsibly crafted, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. We love our tube of Mama K’s Play Clay, which is organic, gluten free playdough that is delightfully scented with organic essential oils. You’ll love playing with it as much as your kids do!
Other favorite green art supplies include, Glob Botanical Paints, which get their vibrant hues from nature (fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices) and Clementine Art Supplies, which offer a wide range of eco art supplies for kids from soy crayons to markers to washable glue.
Images: Petite Planet