There is craft; the finger knitting, origami, sewing kind of craft. And then there is craft; the messy, sticky, smeary kind. Because children are so tactile, paint, glue, and clay are irresistible. And because children have never had to scrub bright red acrylic paint out of the carpet, they don’t really understand the importance of not touching things when they have paint on their hands.
In order to keep the craft fallout to a minimum, here are three craft materials that really should never enter the house.
1) Felt tip markers
The ubiquitous Texta is one of the biggest culprits in the perpetrators of craft criminal acts. They may claim to be non-toxic. They may claim to be washable. They may claim to be non-permanent. But they lie. Non-toxic is relative. Your child may not die if they suck the purple colouring from the end, however the markers come in a plastic packet, they are made of plastic and they will not break down in the earth for about a million years after you chuck them out. They are not washable. There are thousands of child-art murals gracing the walls of ordinary family homes around the globe that are testament to this. They are permanent – they do not wash out of clothes – the fabric will disintegrate around the marked area.
Try: good quality coloured pencils and beeswax crayons.
2) Acrylic paint
As above times about 100. Young children are usually more intent on mixing all the colours together in the hope they will create an as yet undiscovered colour that will be unbelievably marvellous. But all they get is a murky grey brown muck, and you get to clean it off the child, their clothes, and all nearby surfaces. At least it usually comes off the child. When the instructions on the acrylic paint tube say “WASHABLE” what they mean is that it can be washed indefinitely without coming off or fading in colour.
Try: watercolour in cakes or liquid form.
3) Glitter glue
Glitter is one of the most tenacious materials know to the craft cupboard. There is nowhere that glitter cannot get (funny adult joke here) and when mixed with glue, there is nowhere it will not stay. Use with caution – although if you have girls, it is going to feature in your life at some point. It will get in your hair, your handbag, it will be stuck to your lipgloss and the soles of your shoes.
Try: there is no alternative for glitter glue.
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