What are the best art supplies for kids? What a brilliant question! With plenty of experience with drawing, painting, and creative supplies for kids, this is the list you are looking for. Toys for kids come in all shapes and sizes, and this one is for your creative kid who cannot get enough. I try not to pick gift guide favorites, but it is fair to say this one has my heart.
After 13+ years in the classroom and now a mom to three littles, I have painted, glued, and given art play prompted 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’ art supplies?
Children need arts and crafts supplies 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.
What do you get a child that loves art?
My favorite art supplies to get a child who loves are a fresh roll of colored painter’s tape, a drawing sketchbook with crisp white pages, and a new set of watercolor paints. Yes, all three of these are listed in this gift guide.
I broke this art supplies for kids list into three helpful categories to simplify things:
- Unique art supplies for kids
- Sketchbooks, picture books, and art ideas book
- Supplies for the everyday artist
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20+ Art Supplies for Kids
Unique art supplies for kids
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.
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!
These colored pencils are the best! Everything Arteza is terrific, and the quality of these pencils will not disappoint! – They are watercolor and will act like paint when you brush over your drawing with water!
3D Doodler Pen
This 3D Doodler Pen is pretty cool! It makes a great art toy to sit and chat with your big kid after school as you cook dinner.
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.
If your child got into the air-dry clay, this is their next art supply to introduce a pottery wheel. Everything you need is included.
Toys don’t have genders, and this friendship bracelet is one that many children enjoy. However, I will say this friendship bracelet kit is for kids who like to pay close attention to details. It is tricky to get the rhythm down at first. If you have a child who can focus well to create, this is their gift!
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 who 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.
This Rainbow Loom was a HUGE hit with my neighborhood this summer. The kids would take the kit to the pool and design bracelets between jumping in. It makes a great kit for something to do when siblings are at practices and need something to do while they wait.
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 who 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.
This process art workbook has lived on our shelves for years. We LOVE it! Inside are 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.
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.
Okay, maybe it is the teacher in me, but Paper Mate pens bring me so much joy. If you have a big kid who enjoys drawing, this makes a fun stocking stuffer.
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.
Little fingers need lots of little movements to prepare for writing. Add these fun mini hole punchers to their next Breakfast Invitation!
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.
More Toys for Kids:
Every holiday season, I spend countless hours updating gift guides, making sure this is the best list for your family. I know you will adore these favorites!
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.