I think there’s still glitter on my floor. From five years ago. Arts and crafts have a way of sticking around, and while I want to encourage creativity in my kids, I hate cleaning up the aftermath.
Yes, we can make them clean up. I know. But seriously, do they ever really clean it all up? If you’re going to be the one picking up from the latest art session, here are 13 crafts that will make your job easier and allow your little artist to be creative.
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Combo Scratch Art Set
I love this and still kids are drawn to it. Scratch through the black surface to reveal amazing colors. Reveal as much or as little as you want. This favorite comes with 16 boards, two stylus tools and three frames. Kids love the rainbow and metallic backgrounds.
- Boogie Board Jot LCD eWriter
A small notebook-sized LCD drawing panel, the Boogie Board Jot is perfect for drawing anywhere, even in the car. No mess and endless possibility. Kids love the erase button and the ability to start fresh. Great for keeping in your purse for kids to play with on the go.
- Made By Me Build and Paint Your Own Wooden Cars
This one does involve paint, but it’s all pretty self-contained. Spread a piece of newspaper and grab a cup of water. Kids put together small wooden cars and then decorate using the stickers and paints provided. This one is great for keeping kids busy and giving them a chance to create.
Fashion Angels Portfolios & American Girl Doll Fashion Design
Kids design outfits and unique looks on the doll-like outlines provided. Tons of great activity books with stencils for those who love to create fun fashion looks. Makeup, fashion and even home decorating books give kids great ways to draw and imagine as they get older.
- Melissa & Doug Paint with Water
Sometimes the little ones want to paint, and a great compromise is this activity that just involves water! Watch images and colors appear magically as your little artists swipe a wet brush across a page.
- Alex Toys Craft Color a House Children’s Kit
Cardboard box play taken to the next level, kids can easily construct a house and then decorate it with crayons. Toddlers love this and it keeps them busy for hours.
Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush & Drawing Pad
Half the fun of this amazing toy is the magic! Kids use the special brush to paint on their paper. It lights up with each color they pick and they create a masterpiece. Plus, it doesn’t leave marks on hands, the table or clothes!
- Rainbow Wikki Stix
These bendy, twisty sticks quickly become a favorite of kids and adults. You can link them together, twist and create without making a mess to clean up. Another great toy for the traveling creative!
- Sidewalk Chalk
Let nature take care of the cleanup! Kids love the ability to leave their mark and draw outdoors. A bucket of sidewalk chalk fits the bill, and all you have to do is wash hands when it’s done.
- Creative Hands Foam Kit Beads 2 Lace
Fun and great for fine motor development, Beads 2 Lace gives kids the chance to string chunky foam beads in different shapes and colors to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. While there are a lot of pieces, this one is easy to clean up. You can even make a game out of tossing the foam pieces in the bucket when you’re done!
- Alex Toys Little Hands Mosaics
Using the color-coded stickers, kids place them on the template and create a beautiful picture. These are great for hanging up when they’re complete! Also offers fantastic color and shape matching and fine motor development.
- Crayola Model Magic
Softer and airier than the traditional Play-Doh, Model Magic is a great way to let kids mold and shape with less mess. It also air dries solid, giving little artists the chance to create forever masterpieces.
- Crayola Bathtub Finger Paint and Crayons
When you can’t avoid the mess, at least make it in the easiest place to clean up! Finger paints and crayons, specifically designed for the tub, give kids the chance to make a mess. And cleaning up when they’re done is contained and fun.
What mess-free crafts do your kids love?