5 Tips for Managing Kids' Arts and Crafts, Kits and Supplies

The holidays have passed and many households are staging a game plan to store away all of those gifts! As parents of three girls, our home has been home to tons of artsy, craft items throughout the years. Craft kits, jewelry making tools, and an array of inexpensive art sets graced every holiday in some form or other. Remember ClickIts? We still have picture frame kits from seven plus years ago in our arts and crafts cabinet! Unfortunately, the eldest still holds “claim” to the many kits and craft tools from years past, so the younger two requested beads for Christmas this year and received what my mother in law labeled as an amount equivalent to a mom’s worst nightmare! How can you manage these multi-piece craft sets without losing your sanity and limiting those creative genes?

Pink Dinosaur toy and craft paper covered with glitter confetti dots
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Invest in organization BEFORE you open the arts and crafts kits and supply boxes. Beads are super inexpensive, cool craft tools. Leftover paints, markers, embellishments, and other art supplies are great as well. You’ll use them on everything from school projects to handmade holiday gifts—if you can find them when they are needed and can keep them out of your vacuum! I also found that one of our cats tended to eat unusual craft supplies.  While the multi-colored cat litter was always a unique site to behold in our house--I figured it was not very good for kitty digestive health. Lesson learned! Take stock of the craft supplies and shell out some sanity cash on some organizers and storage cases before opening the boxes and unleashing the scatter-prone supplies.

Request storage containers WITH a craft supply gift. If beads and such are on a child’s wish list, plan ahead. Many craft kits come with a storage box of some sort—but, make sure that gift givers know the importance of supply storage and either have them look for self contained items or offer up a storage box with the craft supplies.

If you don’t want arts and crafts supplies, or you’re maxed out, let it be known. Arts and crafts kits make quick and easy birthday and holiday gifts when the giver just isn’t sure what to give. If you DO NOT want 7 of your daughter’s 10 birthday party guests to show up with the same “paint your own lava lamp” kit or a mega bead box—ask that they avoid arts and crafts gifts. Many parents will ask about desired (or undesired) gifts when phoning in an RSVP—make your life easier and SPEAK UP!

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Combine the kids' resources. This is a tough one in our house—sharing does not come about easily! However, does each child really need a half-filled bead case? Make a pact to create a “community stock” of arts and craft supplies that everyone is able to use. You’ll save space, money and time! You may have to be a bit of a negotiator if there are special supplies given to only one child—but, if the rule is set from the start, the kids may be more willing to comply.

Re-gift or donate unused or unwanted supplies. If the DIY potholder kit wasn’t really all that appealing—or the beads and glitter paints have grown to astronomical, mom’s-worst-nightmare proportions, get creative once a year and either make up gift baskets or some homemade craft kits or donate supplies to your child’s art teacher or a local youth center.

Craft supplies are wonderful tools to inspire children’s creativity and imagination—if busy parents learn how to manage them effectively! Happy crafting!

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  1. This is great post. As my kids are getting older, I'm finding us more and more buried under unorganized crafting supplies. Thanks for the tips--very useful. And thanks for linking up with the #MTMmixer!

  2. Great tips. I don't have that many craft supplies for them, but I wanted to get more, and now I know that I need to prep so things don't get out of control!

  3. This is good blog, I'd like to add, I keep most of our arts and craft supplies in a cupboard in the garage. But, I also keep a box of basics within easy access so that when a creative moment hits, we can get crafting quickly and without a lot of fuss. Thank you.



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