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by Gail Miller
When you have younger kids at home it is always a good
idea to have plenty of materials at the ready that you can
dig out to keep them occupied. What about the cost of
these materials though? Crayons, paper, raffia, cardboard.
It can all mount up. However, I have gathered together a
few ideas on how to cut back on these costs. Some are
blindingly obvious when you think about it, but if you are
not careful you can find yourself spending a pretty penny
on stuff that will just end up in the bin after use anyway.
1; Crayons/pencils. Never go to the stationary store for
these items. They can be bought much more cheaply from
market stalls or budget supermarkets.
2; Why not try chalks for once instead of crayons? They
can be picked up for literally pennies. If you have concrete
paving slabs in your garden they can draw straight onto
the ground outside. When it rains the chalk will wash away.
3; Paper. Have you thought of asking your local newspaper
office if they have any end of roll newsprint? Probably not,
but if you ask nicely you have a good chance of picking
some up FOR FREE! Do any local businesses throw out old
dot matrix printer paper? I was walking down the street in
town one day and there was a whole box of paper outside a
company just waiting to be picked up by the bin men. It
ended up in my boot! Have you got any tin foil in your
cupboards, wrapping paper under the bed or cardboard
boxes which can be cut down? All these can be brought
out at Ďcraftí time.
4; Household materials. Donít say you havenít any fruit
cartons, loo roll tubes, empty cereal boxes, bubble wrap,
cardboard trays, wool or yarn, ribbon, braids or trims in the
house. Itís amazing what a child can come up with when
confronted by a pile of rubbish and a tub of PVA glue!
5; Visit your local car boot or garage sale. There are often
lots of second hand art materials for sale. I once bought 100
large envelopes for pennies and 500 sheets of printer
paper for a pittance - The same paper I pay full price for
at the local stationary superstore! Also look out for buttons,
glitter, plastic canvas, balls of wool, tassels, markers or
6; If the weather's hot, instead of using paint, give the kids
a bowl of water and some brushes. Let them 'paint' on the
walls with the water. It will soon evaporate to 'paint' over.
Gail Miller is author of "WILD CHILD - A Mother,
A Son & ADHD" The true story of a mother
driven to despair by her unruly son, and her fight
with the authorities for recognition & treatment
for his condition. ISBN 1 872229 24 7 Patten Press
She also publishes "The ADD / ADHD Gazette" the
on - line ezine accenting the positive side of ADHD.
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