#1. This book, "Art" by Patrick McDonnell is a wonderfully inspiring book about what exactly "art" is. I like to read this book at the beginning of the year to inspire kids and make them think about what they will learn in Art class. I'm always on the lookout for new books to read to my Kindergartners, especially, and this one does not disappoint.
#2. Crayola Multicultural crayons and markers. They're a little pricey, but will get you through the "my skin is tan, mine is brown, mine is white" awkward moments. The markers are great, too, and I keep them hidden until we actually do a project that requires them. Like I said, a little pricey, but worth every penny!
#3. Large Crayola oil pastels. I used to use smaller oil pastels, but they would disappear literally in front of my kids' eyes. These are also ribbed on the sides, to prevent rolling off the tables and being crushed and ground into the floor (can you say MESS of EPIC proportions?!) I also like how they (start off) with a pointed tip.
#4. Sax Liquid Concentrated Watercolor paints. Oh liquid watercolors, where have you been all my life?! In the past, doing a crayon resist project has been a nightmareishly loooooong process. With these, I put a bit of the concentrate in a shallow dish, add some water, and there you have it. No more refilling the watercolor pallette over and over and over. They do seem to stain the tables a bit, but nothing some 409 won't get off!
#5. Miracle Sponges Compressed Sponges. Oh Nelly. Be still my beating heart. These start out about the thickness of cardboard when dry. You can cut out your sponge-stamping shape, put them under some running water, and then they puff up into a regular sponge. Yes, they're just like those things that magically grew out of capsules when you were a kid....I love these and used them a few times to make different shaped stamps for (especially) my Kindergartners.
#6. Scrapbook paper pads. On clearance. I scope out the local craft shops for holiday versions of these paper blocks, or use coupons from Michael's to buy them. They're great for cutting up to use for collaged borders or backgrounds, etc.
#7. Amaco Velvet Underglaze in Bright Red. I have searched and searched for an underglaze that a) covered in minimal coats and b) had a nice, true red color. This is the one that has worked best for us! I also like to use underglazes and then a clear glaze on top of all our projects. So far, so good with this 2-step process and my kiddos.
There are other things that I couldn't live without...but these are things that I've found this year to be extremely useful, things that I will continue to order for years to come! What are some of your favorite finds this year (or things you cannot live without?)