Crafting with little ones. Hands up who's shed a little tear at their first creations - or was it at the mess? 😂 For us, it's often been the latter, but we've wised up to some great arty and crafty products that offer damage limitation with your mini Monet.
MINI MAESTROS: 0-12 months
Newborns can be introduced to art from day one, and it's great for their sensory development. Even though it takes some time for their eyes to focus, monochrome prints are the most absorbing. We love the muslins and comforters by Etta Loves for the gentle stimulation they give babies while they're sitting, lying, feeding or burping. Around the 3 month mark, when they can start to focus a little bit more, Wee Gallery's Art Cards For Baby are a great pick. Designed with high contrast playful illustrations, they're really captivating. Once they reach the drawing stage, older toddlers can use the cards as inspo and copy what's on them.
EAGER EXPRESSIONISTS: 1-2 years
Once babies find their feet, it can be a bit of a battle getting them to sit down to do anything. Cool Australian brand Micador makes great products for diddy Da Vincis and we're betting your toddler will love their Early stART Zoo Crew: 6 animal shaped crayons that double as fun finger puppets.
Or, host a bath time art session with the Wee Gallery Colour Me Bath Books. Rest the book on the side of the bath, let your tot paint with the water and watch as the pages reveal hidden colour.
CONCIOUS CREATIVES: 3-4 years
Kids' creative skills develop so quickly. Before you know it, there'll be glitter, stickers and pipe cleaners everywhere. But crafting is still possible without acres of mess. Kipod's a new brand at KIDLY that we're mad about. Each craft set builds to attractive wooden toys that actually look good and are designed to 'awaken creativity, develop imagination and challenge thinking'. (And they're loads of fun, of course!)
Wee Gallery's lacing cards are crafty kit activity that can be reused again and again and again, encouraging their co-ordination. Or how about letting Selfie Craft Co's colour-in capes act as the canvas and, once the design is done, they can play at saving the day wearing their very own unique creation.
For animal lovers, the Djeco 's Into The Wild craft set includes 18 sheets of pre-cut, adhesive foam pieces to layer on to 4 bold animal templates. As they build them up and bring the creatures to life, the relief effect created is wonderfully tactile, allowing kids' to easily make masterpieces that they'll be proud of - and you'll be happy to display.
MATURING MAESTROS: 5+ years
By 5, their fine motor skills are really - er - motoring, and they'll find their dexterity beginning to do justice to their imagination. It's a good time to give them their very own sets of tools that they can use in lots of different ways. A baking set gives them permission to get a bit more ambitious in the kitchen. We also can't get enough of fun silicone cake moulds like these by monbento - they're so super easy to use and to clean, and lend themselves to fairy cakes, chocolates, ice pops and a whole host of edible delights.
So there you have it - creative inspo for every age. And if you need any advice on the best craft products for any stage, or any help at all, just pop us a message on Live Chat. We're here 7am - 11pm every day and we'll do all we can to set you on the right track. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.