Yay, I love Christmas. I'm not someone who likes to celebrate Christmas for two months with lights, decorations and music since Thanksgiving. But on the actual party days with families, I have a lot of fun. I'm also very excited because I have 2 weeks off of teaching to spend time with my darling baby girl and also to spend some time making art. Daria (who is 1 year and 2 months old) has started to become interested in coloring and painting like her mom. I will place her on my lap and she will watch me paint with watercolors, laughing as I put the colors on the paper. It works well until she grabs the paintbrush and tries to color herself or put it in her mouth. She likes to color (and chew on) regular crayons, but we also have been letting her color with these:
She will sit there for a half hour on the floor and scribble with them or just play with the markers. The good thing about these is that they don't color on anything except the Color Wonder paper, so she can't make a mess. I wouldn't recommend them for older kids but for kids age 1-3 they are great.
I'm not a very shopping oriented person (well, I like looking, but not spending so much money). An art kit is a great idea for a little kid. Any kind of art supplies would be great for a kid to play with. Elementary kids especially love: Model Magic I highly recommend it. Very little mess and it's similar to play doh, but it's more fluffy, like a marshmallow.
And of course, I do love receiving art supplies for myself for gifts. This week I got some great artsy presents that I'm super excited about:
I rarely buy new, full price items, especially for art materials or books. Half.com has a lot of books for cheap, or I buy used books from amazon.com. Actually, I rarely ever buy art books anymore if I have looked through them first and they are not at the library. I will often just check them out from the library when I want to look at them. Occasionally the library will not have them (like this creative illustration book) and I just HAVE to read it, so I will ask for it or purchase it then. One reason is become you can easily become consumed in books.. you run out of shelf space for all of them quickly. Art supplies are trickier. Most often, I will wait until I have a Michaels' coupon (most Sundays they are in the paper) to purchase something I want. Joann's also has them and they are usually 40% off of one item. Then you can usually get a good deal.
Another way I save money on books is through paperbackswap.com. I have swapped at least 50 books now. You can put them on your wish list and if someone posts them you will be notified. It is a free service, you just pay for shipping on books that others' request from you. You don't have to pay for shipping on books that you request. I've gotten art books, childrens books, fiction, non fiction and even audio books before.