Children return to the ‘make and do' culture of yesteryear as kids' arts & crafts sales soar

Britain is enjoying a major revival of children’s ‘make and do’ culture of yesteryear with demand for arts and crafts for the under-10’s market at a 30 year high.

Britain is enjoying a major revival of children’s ‘make and do’ culture of yesteryear with demand for arts and crafts for the under-10’s market at a 30 year high.

Until the 1980s many youngsters growing up during the golden era of BBC’s Blue Peter programme would occupy themselves by making playthings out of household objects.

However, sales began to drop with the arrival of other distractions such as videos in the 80s, computer games in the 90s and more recently all day children’s TV.

But now sales of arts and crafts staples such as finger puppets, stencil sets, felt and badge making kits as well as painting sets for youngsters are soaring with demand up by 50 per cent in the last year at Tesco.

Retail experts put the revival down to tighter budgets with many parents viewing art and craft activity learning sessions for youngsters as a cheaper and easier option than expensive ‘outside’ birthday parties and days out during school holidays and weekends.

Tesco stationery buyer Serena Norman said: “The trend has been growing for the last few years and is a result of tougher times with parents looking for cheaper ways to keep groups of children entertained, especially for birthday parties and play dates.

“Taking a party of 10 kids to a soft play area for a birthday party can easily amount to over £100 and that’s without food and drinks included but keeping that same number amused with a few arts and crafts kits will cost a fraction of that.

 “The growing popularity of arts and crafts for youngsters is great news as it suggests that children are being encouraged to try out hobbies that are creative and also sociable.

“Although we’re seeing more interest from children in the kinds of hobbies that their grandparents filled the hours with, the materials are modern.

Sales of arts and crafts staples and also make and do kits for everything from wooden-spoon puppets and hand-made cards to key rings and jewellery are seeing significant uplift.

Particularly popular at the moment are the following:

  • General crafting kits – sales up 100 per cent in last year
  • Kids’ felt tip pens – up 90 per cent
  • Paper and craft glue sets – sales up 70 per cent in the last year
  • Painting sets – sales up 40 per cent
  • Colouring books – up 40 per cent
  • Crayons – up 35 per cent

Traditionally sales can rise by as much as a further 50 per cent during school holidays and half-term, which is next week for many pupils. If it is rainy then sales can soar by a further 25 per cent.


For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to bringing the best value, choice and service to our millions of customers each week. Our core purpose is to make what matters better, together.



You may also like

Welcome to Tesco Little Helps Plan.

The Plan sets out how Tesco will make a difference to the social and environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities.


Tesco PLC

For the latest updates and company information please visit our corporate site