By Rebecca Gutknecht

Summer is here, warm nights have settled in, wind chimes glitter in the air.  Your first thought might be to jump to the beach or leave for a week-long vacation in the tropics, but with this pandemic still in motion, summer might be more of an indoor party this year.  The children are getting restless, ready for all of the typical outdoor excursions and you’re at your wit’s end trying to come up with the next entertaining game.  Well, you’re in luck because we’re going arts & crafts crazy.  It’s time to spice up your parenting with an art box.

What is an art box?  It’s a simple container with all of the best artsy materials packed inside for a fun-filled crafting day.  The best thing is that each of your children will be able to create their box, personalize it – glitter, stickers, you name it.  It’s something that can encourage summer crafts for days to come.

  1. Choose the box.  Selecting the container is important as you need to pick something that will stand the test of time, dirty fingerprints and occasional dropping.  Plastic bins, wooden crates, baskets and tins are potential options.  Let the children decide on their own.
  2. Get the supplies.  One of the best parts of the entire process is deciding what goes into the box!  Get the typical supplies like colored pencils, a watercolor set, chalk, etc.  After the essentials are finished, go a little wild.  Give your children a limit of five to 10 items for personal touch.  If they need a little boost to get going, mention yarn, glitter, fake flowers and glow-in-the-dark stars.  The kiddos will have bursting boxes by the time shopping is over.
  3. Decorate!  Set up the kitchen table with a table cloth or protective covering and give the children free reign on their designer boxes.  Have each child write their name on a flashcard to keep track of ownership.  This way, they will feel responsible for their box and its contents.
  4. Set rules. As always, rules are essential to a productive (and fun) environment.  Make a clear list of the guidelines for using the art box.  Is there a time frame for art box usage?  Can siblings or friends share their materials?  Wash hands first?  Get all of those big and small issues out of the way before beginning the first art project together.
  5. If your summer does include a vacation, be sure to pack the craft box for those quiet evenings after dinner or rainy days.

Your children will be able to create their box, personalize it – glitter, stickers, you name it.

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