Whenever I make a trip to second hand shops, I always keep my eye out for arts and crafts books. One of my recent finds is a real gem: Art Fun!
Put out by North Light Books in 1997, the projects contained in this book are still fresh and up to date. The projects are presented using clear and simple language with plenty of step-by-step illustrations so that a child can easily follow the instructions by themselves. Each chapter contains a variety of different projects related to a specific form of art such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. At the start of each project, there are bold photographs showing all of the materials required so that you can make sure you've got everything on hand before you begin.
Each chapter begins with a note to parents to outlining the objectives and requirements related to that art form, as well as tips and suggestions for ways to enrich the child's creative explorations. There are clearly-marked helpful hints throughout that offer technical advice, as well as indications for when a project will need time to dry and when an adult should assist to ensure the project remains safe. One of my favourite things about this book is the simplicity of the projects. Most of them require very basic art supplies or things that that can be found around the house.
This book emphasizes creative experimentation and encourages young artists to bring their own unique ideas to their artworks. Although I believe this book is now out of print, a quick search shows that there are plenty of used copies available for sale online. Art Fun! would make a great addition to any collection of arts and crafts books; I highly recommend it!