What are the best art supplies for kids? What a brilliant question! With plenty of experience with craft supplies for kids, this is the list you are looking for!
After 13+ years in the classroom and now a mom to three littles, I have painted, glued, and crafted my heart out with early learners. I’ve tested many brands, and these art supplies work best when taking on creative projects.
RELATED: Store it all in your art cart or closet. This is the art collection of craft supplies you need.
What are my favorite kids’ crafting supplies?
I am so happy you asked! (wink, wink)
Children need craft supplies that allow them to bring their stories to life. When creating art, kids can express feelings and test ideas about the world around them.
We don’t need a lot from crafts on Pinterest to process art. We need a few supplies to inspire creativity and flow the artistic juices!
Let’s begin with the basics here to get creating.
The Best Toys for Kids
Choosing the best toy for kids can be a daunting task.
Here are the BEST toys for kids of every age and stage.
20+ Art Supplies for Kids
I broke this art supplies for kids list into four helpful categories to simplify things.
- Creative supplies to elevate the artwork
- Sketchbooks, picture books, and art ideas book
- Supplies for the everyday artist
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Creative Supplies to Elevate Artwork
Spice up child-led artwork with these art supplies. We keep these in the art cart for my boys and neighbors to spend time after school creating.
Will your child put this tape in places you didn’t expect? Probably. I’ve walked through a lot of laser tape mazes. The perk? It is hours of play. This roll of rainbow tape is a staple in our home.
These Kwik Stix are where the paint meets crayons. They are bright, vibrant colors and great for chubby hands to hold.
These gel sticks are the next level after the Kwik Stix. I have used these with toddlers, but they need some safekeeping when finished. These gel sticks are for children who understand that drawings “only go on paper.” When ready, they are fabulous!
Clay is a terrific way for young children to strengthen their hand muscles and enjoy time at home. This clay kit comes in 11 colors.
Toys don’t have genders, and this friendship bracelet is one that many children enjoy. Make bracelets for friends and family. Perfect for the down time over the holidays!
Remember rainbow scratch paper from your childhood? It hasn’t changed, and the excitement level as you design is still five stars. A simple wow for your child that enjoys drawing.
Just like the rainbow paper, Shrinky Dinks are still a blast. Color the designs and watch them shrink. The process never gets old.
Another variation of the friendship bracelet is a beaded friendship bracelet. Sharpen that hand-eye coordination as your child creates.
Sketchbooks, Picture Books, and Art Ideas
These mini sketch pads are my FAVORITE. The quality is great; my children have fun doodling drawings inside before they head to bed.
This sketch pad is just like the mini pads, only larger. Another fantastic book for child created drawings.
My middle child has the best time with this sticker-by-letter book from Brain Games. Watch animal faces come to life as each color is added. Great for road trips, quiet time, and plane rides.
Have an artist that wants to make every picture perfect? Read Beautiful Oops. A fantastic picture book to help children see how mistakes enhance the artwork.
Another winner! The Dot is about a young boy that feels down about his ability to draw. A dot and someone on your side can go a long way. One of my all-time favorite books.
Another must-read by Peter Reynolds. Ish also shares how drawings and art can come from many directions.
This process art workbook has lived on our shelves for years. We LOVE it! Inside is 25 process art experiences that allow children to take the lead and create from recyclables. This book has inspired years of ideas. (and time to sit on the sidelines for me)
Art Supplies for Kids and the Everyday Artist
These are the art supplies we keep on hand for everyday use. The paints are the only thing we keep on a shelf above the washing machine. Here are easy painting activities for kids to come back to for ideas. New to painting? I wrote this guide on how to paint with kids.
One of my most frequently asked questions is where to find a good sticker book for kids. This Melissa and Doug sticker collection is a winner! 500+ stickers.
This 40-pack of washable markers makes a wonderful gift. Level up the traditional pack with more vibrant colors to choose from.
Remember when you got that new pack of crayons as a kid? They are just as exciting for our children. This 64-pack of ultra-clean washable crayons is a classic.
When we first began painting, we used this set. It makes a terrific starter set for those ready to paint but not quite all in.
Every set of paint needs paintbrushes. This set will last a few years as you paint with watercolors or tempera paint.
Looking for an easel? This is our favorite. A chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other. Creating a vertical surface is a fantastic way to help build arm strength.
Where will all the artwork go? Here are 50 sheets of white construction paper to paint, color, cut, draw, and use the gel sticks. I keep this pack at home for the boys to use.
More Toys for Kids:
Frequently Asked Questions
We store our art supplies in an art cart. Keeping supplies in one place helps children know where to put markers, crayons, scissors, and paper when they are finished using them. Keeping everything in one place also helps keep cleanup more productive.
Start with only a few supplies. I begin with markers, paper, and child scissors. Over time, you can add more art supplies, such as glue sticks, gel crayons, and watercolors. Too many supplies can be overwhelming on introduction.
The best art ideas for kids can be mess free! This list of art activities for kids has 50+ ideas for easy art ideas, painting, and recyclable art ideas.