Children love colouring, drawing, sticking, threading and making things. But it’s not just about the fun.
Research shows that encouraging children to be creative and imaginative in their early years helps them to be more resourceful and resilient when facing barriers and obstacles in later life. Creating things from their imagination helps kids to find solutions and discover different ways to approach problems. For example, when colouring in or drawing a picture, a child is making all their own decisions about where to put things and what to emphasise — which is really empowering and encourages independence.
Making art and crafting is also a great way to discover that it’s okay to make mistakes and that getting things wrong can lead to a whole new solution. There is also strong evidence to suggest that activities like connecting shapes and following or creating patterns taps into the same parts of the brain that are used for complex problem solving like maths.
Giving children the opportunity to be creative when they’re small can therefore help them to connect all the different parts of their brains and their bodies, helping to build a well-rounded personality and to promote mental wellbeing – as well as honing physical connections such as the fine motor skills they’ll need for activities like writing later on.
Perhaps most simply, arts and crafts are a great way to unplug and unwind, which is so important for this generation of kids who have grown up with technology and social media as the norm.
So what can you do at home to give your children lots of opportunities to get creative and share new experiences? We reckon our top 10 Arts and Crafts Kits for kids are a great start!
Arts and Crafts Kits for Kids Aged 1-4
Suitable Age: 2+
About: Junior Gallery is the perfect colouring and drawing set for little hands.
Benefits: Junior Gallery is all about the development and honing of fine motor skills and creative expression. Little hands can practice holding the markers and use them to colour-in, draw straight lines and shapes (working with the beautifully illustrated pictures on the 36 page colouring book) and decorate with the 50+ included stickers. Remember, it’s all about the fun of making colourful marks on paper, the skills learnt are just an extra benefit!
Suitable Age: 1+
About: Our best-selling range of take-anywhere Oodle Doodles Crayon Sets are designed especially for under 3s. The 8 brightly coloured, easy-grip crayons inside are perfect for colouring-in, drawing and doodling! They’re fun to stack too. The 48 page doodle book and 70+ full colour stickers are primed for decorating prowess, and everything is contained within a neat, portable box.
Benefits: Oodle Doodles - Animals helps develop and hone fine motor skills and creative expression. From random scribbling to finding control of the crayon and its movements across paper, the Oodle Doodles Animals set encourages pattern drawing, counting, shape recognition and animal identification, among other activities encouraging play and creativity!
Arts and Crafts Kits for Kids Aged 5+
About: How to Draw - Animals will have kids creating masterpieces in minutes! With it’s adorable ‘How to Draw’ booklet, 9 colour pencils, sketch-pad and nifty pencil sharpener and eraser, children can learn to draw an assortment of adorable penguins, meerkats, owls (and tigers of course!) by following simple, step-by-step instructions showing where to start, how to create shapes and where to connect the lines. And once you've finished the drawings, they’re lots of fun to colour-in too!
Benefits: In addition to the development of fine motor skills, How to Draw - Animals helps kids develop focus and enhance self-esteem. Drawing skills require practice and focus, teaching a child patience and self control. A finished art piece to share with family and friends is very satisfying and personally rewarding. Kids learn to feel good about themselves and the project they have created.
About: Make kids’ creativity shine through with this new concept in colouring in. Create beautiful, unique stained glass results (without the dangerous glass!) by colouring in the boldly outlined, creative designs on translucent paper, ready to mount on the window and let the sun beam through!
Benefits: Stained Glass Set - Sunbeam Dreams helps kids develop fine motor skills and encourages learning skills. Children’s brains fire away, creating new neural connections and strengthening learning as they experiment and create, practicing unfamiliar techniques, recognising form, shapes, colours and boundaries and using different tools. Colouring is also an awesome “time-out” for overtired and overstimulated kids, helping them to unplug and unwind giving their young minds the time they need to self regulate and process their day.
About: Foil Art - Rainforest is a no-mess, sensory crafting activity that brings to life brilliantly colourful jungle creatures like chameleons, toucans and parrots. Rub one of the rainbow hued, holographic foil rolls against a sticky section of the rainforest designs to transfer the effect and voila! A vivid, metallic masterpiece!
Benefits: Fine motor skills are essential for performing every day tasks like using cutlery, tying shoelaces and buttoning up clothes as well as academic skills like writing, colouring and drawing and using scissors. Foil Art - Rainforest is a great kit for the further development of these skills in kids over 5, by emphasising tasks that require hand-eye coordination and bilateral integration.
About: Create your very first comic with our Comic Book Kit - Practice. Plan. Create! Make your characters and story come to life with the all-in-one set; it contains a duo pen, pencils, sticker sheets, blank comic strip booklet, 24 page ‘how to’ guide and very handy sharpener and eraser.
Benefits: This guided set helps older kids further develop their fine motor skills, by using and manipulating different tools. Additionally, the “how to” guide book provides simple instructions (both written and visual) on creating lettering, speech bubbles, staging, perspective and proportions. Working through each section helps kids to practice ‘following instructions’, both improving reading comprehension and teaching them an important life skill. Learning to follow written instructions enables children to complete tasks effectively and is a key literacy skill in the primary years.
About: Take a trip down memory lane with Shrinkies - DIY Fun! The set includes everything you need to create and colour your own shrink art key rings – they’ll start big before you pop them in the oven and watch them magically shrink to 40% of their original size and watch the colours intensify! Adult Supervision is required for this project.
Benefits: Shrinkies - DIY Fun is a multi-step craft activity that encourages concentration and patience. By dividing the process up into small, bite size tasks (eg trace/design keyring, colour in, bake in oven, allow to cool, create keyring) this activity inspires a feeling of progress and movement, making it easier to focus on the task at hand and see the project through to completion; and never underestimate the value of that personally rewarding, “I made this!” moment.
About: Take your colouring to the next dimension with our 3D Colouring Set - Sci-Fi Fun! Jam-packed with everything you need to create stellar optical illusions, colour in using the warm/cool principle*, pop your very own Tiger Tribe 3D glasses on and watch your artwork pop off the page!
Benefits: In addition to the key benefits outlined in the Stained Glass Set above, our 3D Colouring Set presents an exciting and challenging new concept in colour perspective. Warm colours (eg red and yellow) are considered advancing colours and cool colours (eg blue and green) are receding colours. By using these colours in the right combination, kids will see the warm colours come forward and cool colours recede, thus creating a 3D effect when wearing the 3D glasses. This process encourages kids to experiment with colour while developing scientific thinking skills, including observing, asking questions, making predictions and testing ideas.
*3D glasses make warm colours appear closer and cool colours appear further away. Experiment while you are colouring in, with both warm and cool colours to make your pictures look 3D.
Arts and Crafts Kits for Kids Aged 7+
Suitable Age: 7+
About: Encourage the budding young artist in your house with our handy, portable Artist Kit - Learn. Imagine, Create., containing all the tools required to perfect your art. Practice the techniques demonstrated in the guide, play around with colour, pen and pencil techniques, drawing anatomy, perspective, colour theory and so much more!
Benefits: Artist Kit is a technique based set that helps older kids further develop their fine motor skills and explore the many aspects of drawing. Holding and manipulating different tools and implements to create different drawing effects requires a certain level of concentration and manual dexterity that only comes through practice. Additionally, drawing provides immediate visual feedback depending on the tool the child is using and how they use it. This feedback helps kids identify the best way to produce the desired results.
Suitable Age: 8+
About: Cross-stitch is a great, simple introduction to hand embroidery and working with a needle and thread, and our Charm Design Kit - Cross Stitch is the perfect beginners set for kids. Start stitching your very own key chains and necklaces using the included pre-punched plywood charms, necklace cords, and all the other handy bits and bobs required.
Benefits: Tasks like holding and threading the kid-safe plastic needle, pulling and knotting the thread and stitching through the holes in the charm help older kids take their fine motor skills to the next level. They help develop and improve wrist movements, pincer grip and dexterity. Mastering the cross-stitch technique and completing a charm takes determination, focus and discipline, teaching a child patience and self control. By working on these charms, children learn the satisfaction and pride of completing a project with their own hands.