33 Best Art Supplies for Kids and Why You Need Them

little boy drawing

Brands are always introducing new and exciting art supplies for kids all the time.

Figuring out what materials to get for your kids may take more than a few minutes since there are just too many options out there. However, we have prepared a list of 33 items which your kid can use in order to get started with art. 

Keep in mind you don’t need all of the things included on this list, but instead, you can choose which ones are more important for your child. We also suggest picking out some of these materials in case you’re looking for a birthday present for kids, and you can be sure they’ll love it!

So, without further ado, let’s have a look!

Best Art Supplies for Kids

Best Art Supplies for Kids

  1. Solid Tempera Paint

Tempera paints are thick in consistency due to its creamy composition. The reason they are perfect for kids use is because they are non-toxic and washable. That way, you can be rest assured your kid will be fine playing with it even without supervision. 

Besides, these are also inexpensive, so there’s no need to worry about the price tag or how much your kid will be using. But the best feature about them is that they are always ready for use and you don’t need to prepare them.

They come in bottles that you can easily squeeze into the palette or tray.

  1. Liquid Watercolors

Finding a good set of liquid watercolors for your kids is the best way to get them started with painting. They are pretty versatile in that they can also be used on coffee filters or while coloring play dough. 

Since it’s a very common paint medium people turn to when getting themselves familiar to painting, we suggest introducing it to your kids sooner if they have never tried watercolors before. They are easy to use, clean and are always readily available for using.

Best Art Supplies for Kids

  1. Canvas Panels

If you’re planning to have a painting session with your kids every now and then, getting a canvas panel would be a good idea.

Do not worry about the cost because you can get a large canvas of 3 x 4 ft for only about $5 in thrift stores. Painting for fun, and that too with young learners, there is no need to spend so much on a canvas panel. 

Then, you can start teaching your kids how to paint with acrylic colors (which are the best paint mediums for canvases).

  1. Acrylic Paint

When it comes to acrylic paints, the first feature to keep in mind is that they can dry out faster than any other paint mediums, making them highly favorable by artists. 

For kids, however, you can find sets which are non-toxic either online or from the nearest local art store. They can be mixed with water rather than solubles for the process of thinning down the paints.

But when adding other mediums such as gels, pastes or even solubles, make sure you keep an eye on the kids while they are painting for ensuring safety.

Good acrylic paints give out strong and vibrant colors, and they come at a much cheaper price than oil paints.

  1. Sponges

While going through what we should include on the list, we found that sponges create more ways to have fun when painting, especially for kids.

Not only are they absorbent, sponges are also soft and highly versatile for making different shapes or patterns. 

Moreover, cleaning them is easy since you won’t require solutions; plain soap and water will do the trick. Also, not to mention, they are much cheaper than brushes. 

Best Art Supplies for Kids

  1. Paint Brush Set

Although brushes are more costly than sponges, they are essential items which you just cannot do without in the world of art. 

There are different brushes meant for different paint mediums. But when your kids are just starting out, an inexpensive set that contains basic brushes will do them fine. 

  1. Paint Apron

Once a while, getting messy with paints is fun if you have dedicated the whole day to it, and cleaning up is not an issue. However, that is not ideal everyday. 

Hence, you need to purchase an apron since kids have a tendency to create a mess. Also, it would be pretty easy for you to clean up afterward. Having a paint apron will also prevent clothes from getting some of the colors on which can be hard to remove. 

While choosing an apron, try looking up for one which is water resistant, easy to clean, and has several pockets on it.

  1. Face Paints

Face paints can be used for fun activities in school, Halloween, cosplay or any event where they need to dress up. 

What you need to consider before buying face paints is safety. The last thing you want on your child is not just cheap paints but rashes as well. Therefore, to be sure you get safe and high-quality paints, always check if they are FDA-approved.

They are available in two common forms – sticks and pans. Keep in mind that they are not food grade colors, so we highly suggest keeping a close watch on the kids while you’re painting as they might just get some inside their mouth.

Best Art Supplies for Kids

  1. Paint Palette

Although you can mix paints on plates or trays, it’s important to have a palette. It helps you stay more organized and clean. 

For kids, however, it will help them learn how to mix colors the proper way and will also make them feel like actual artists too. 

There are many varieties of palettes in the market such as paper, ceramic, plastic, or even glass. Plastic palettes are advisable for kids since they are cheaper and a lot safer. 

  1. Butcher Paper

As the name suggests, butcher paper is used by butchers for wrapping meat. But it also makes good crafting paper for many hobbyists and artists. 

Many people also find it to be highly versatile because they can use it for various purposes. Since it is a heavy-duty paper, you can get one roll and use it as painting paper for your kids or as a backdrop for photo booths. All in all, your kids can use this paper for almost any creative idea that comes to mind. 

  1. Droppers

Pipettes, also known as eyedroppers, are perfect for fun activities which include playing with any liquid coloring mediums. While they vary in size, a small one will be ideal for children. 

Not only can it be used in painting but a dropper will make another additional toy to your kids’ collection.

  1. Sculpture Tools

When it comes to sculpturing, you need to be a little more resourceful in finding the tools. Among many suitable items, take a look at our samples below:

  • Wood craft sticks can be used for crafts, sculptures or even making catapults. 
  • Pipe cleaners, on the other hand, can be used for threading beads, manipulating, as well as sculptures.
  • If you want to save money, try using wood scraps which you can easily get from carpenters for your sculpture projects. 
  1. Coffee Filters

Coffee filters can also be used for multiple activities and crafts. Some examples include making spider webs, snowflakes, and collage. 

Kids will find them easy to work with since they are soft and can accept liquid paints. At the same time, they are also pretty sturdy for handling. They are not expensive, hence, you can purchase these papers for making large quantity of cut shapes such as butterflies or leaves.

  1. Sketching PadSketching Pad

A sketching pad is one of the most essential items your kids should own because that’s where original and rough ideas go on to.

If not paper pads, there are sketching tablets available for kids which are not hard to operate. Most of these sketching tablets are made to withstand bumps and falls, so you don’t have to worry about yours breaking. 

photo 1524841641477 62d86f1392b8

  1. Crepe Paper

If you’re not familiar with crepe paper, think of it as an extra thin tissue paper because that is exactly how it looks like. It is available in different sorts of colors, which is why it is ideal for kids projects. It also comes in either sheets or rolls. 

The most common craft people take up using crepe paper is making paper flowers and decorations for parties. 

If you have decided to get some of these papers, be sure to go for high-quality ones such as the Italian crepe paper since these offer the best outcomes.

  1. Cardstock

Planning to make some fancy cards with your kids? Then, cardstock is the material you need. These are rigid, thin, and very smooth at the same time. 

Many kids who love DIY projects love these cards because they come in multiple colors and they are perfect for making greeting cards, scrapbooking, and other paper projects. 

Cardstock is medium weight, which means it stands somewhere between our regular white paper and cardboard. Not only does it come in different colors but cardstock is also available in different textures.

  1. Colored Tissue Paper

There is a lot that your kids can make with just a few colored tissue papers. For instance, many DIYers out there prefer these papers for papier mache in which you mix them with PVA glue for moulding a desired figure. 

Colored tissue papers are also perfect for making suncatchers on a large number where you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive beads. We also use colored tissue papers to manipulate the textures in a painting.

  1. Glitter

While some people are not big fans of it, glitter is actually a cool art enhancer. Plus, most kids are attracted to anything shiny and colorful. They can use it for cards, decorations, and other fun projects. Little girls can also mix them with nail polish when playing. 

  1. Easel

Kids love the idea of looking like a professional artist and having their own easel might just make them feel like one. Getting an easel will also be easy for them as they can freely move their arms and easily mix their paints. 

Since your kid is learning, there’s no need to buy one that’s overly expensive. Instead, go for a decent option which you can find from any local art store. 

  1. Treasures

In case you’re not aware of them, treasures are materials which are mostly used for decorations or extras. A few popular examples include pom-poms, sequins, and stickers

Maybe you’re already aware of it, but we can’t help but remind you to be extra careful when letting your kids work with small items. They might just swallow if they find beads, for example, to be pretty. 

With that said, don’t forget to get some containers/jars and keep treasures separately so they can be easy to find and will also help you stay organized. 

photo 1560427450 4aa993c4c6ed

  1. Play Dough

We remember how play dough was something we really wanted back in our younger days. Not only is it filled with different colors but it also helps enhance the child’s creativity since it’s highly flexible.

We don’t doubt that today’s kids are also fond of play dough as we were back then. So, getting a box or two for your kids will be a great choice. 

There are also play dough recipes which you can make for toddlers that are safe to use under guidance. This way, all your young ones can get a headstart at being creative.

  1. Low-Heat Glue Gun

If you see your kid being good at building things, we suggest getting them a low-heat glue gun. It is a very useful tool, which you too can use at times. 

And unlike our usual glue guns, this is specifically meant to be safe for kids or students who have creative projects. The glue tip does not get extremely hot. It is also easy to use and helps kids get their art finished in no time. 

photo 1553133426 e83f4efc72ec

  1. Markers

Markers are one of our favorite mediums which we can use anytime and anywhere. We prefer washable markers for kids since they are easy to clean even if they doodle on walls, tables or glass.

When buying a set, look for ones which can be used on different surfaces and not only on papers. To be safe, do not forget to get only non-toxic markers for the kids. 

We do recommend starting off with basic markers before switching to more expensive options.

  1. Stickers

Almost every little kid loves stickers. From their favorite superhero to little butterflies, you can find almost anything kids love in the world of stickers. 

They also come in different types that fulfill different purposes. Craft and wall stickers are some of the most popular options. Besides these, you can also include sticky items like googly eyes, foils stars, and many office supplies in this category. 

  1. Construction Paper

Another material to get your kids to come together and have fun showing their creativity is the construction paper. This is also an exciting way to teach them how to paint.

Construction paper comes in many colors and is very rigid. The white color is good for painting but colors don’t last pretty long.

However, other colors are perfect for making crafts and small projects. Many teachers use construction paper for kids’ art projects in class. 

  1. White Glue

Since we are focusing on what’s good for kids, we can say white glue is the best pick when it comes to adhesives. It sticks objects, especially paper, very well. It is much cheaper than other kinds of adhesives in the market. 

More importantly, most types of white glue are safe for kids to use since they are non-toxic. Take our advice and get white glue for your kid’s first project.

  1. Chalk

We’ve added chalk here because it is a very handy art item kids can use anytime. We would say the best kind is the sidewalk chalk, although regular chalk is good for indoor projects. Chalk can be used on both paper and boards. 

And if you don’t know it yet, there are also liquid chalk markers in the market that kids can use without creating a mess.

young girl drawing hopscotch

  1. Ink Pad

One of the essential tools for scrapbooking is ink pad.

Ink pads are available in many types and colors. There are non-toxic options which are ideal for making stamps and fingerprint art. With such an item added to your kid’s art collection, making patterns has never been easier. 

Good-quality ink pads can be used on many surfaces besides paper, such as boards, wood, walls, and glass. And the best thing about the ink is that it is washable, so you don’t have to worry about where your kid puts it on.

  1. Scissors

If your child is below 3, we highly suggest getting them a pair of plastic scissors first. This  way, they will be able to learn how to hold and use it properly.

At some point, your kids will want to use actual scissors that they’ve seen you use. As parents, we know about the concerns you’ll have when this time comes. However, this is also the time when your supervision is fully required.

young boy drawing on coffee table

  1. Crayons

Crayons are smooth and easy-to-use mediums. Perhaps, that is why most kids prefer using them over other coloring mediums. They are also pretty cheap compared to other types of colors. 

What makes these sticks convenient for kids to use is that no matter how big they are, you can break them in two so that your child can get a better grip.

  1. Cardboard

Instead of disposing off those cardboard boxes, why not make good use of them by creating art with your kids?

There are a lot of things you can make with cardboard, and it doesn’t cost a penny. For instance, you can make a dollhouse, money box, cat house, decors, and so on. Or maybe for their next school project, your children can put cardboard to good use.

  1. Oil Pastels

Just like watercolors, oil pastels are good paint mediums to let your kids learn art at a young age. Oil pastel sticks are similar to crayons, therefore, kids will find it easy to work with them.

The difference is that oil pastels are more vibrant and cost more too. So, if you feel that your child is ready to handle these mediums, they will truly help bring out their inner creativity in the long run. 

  1. Foam Paint

Last but not least, we have foam paint. This is a fun coloring medium which we’re sure your kids will enjoy during their art sessions. Everything about it – from the feel to the looks – makes it highly desirable by a lot of kids. The colors are also highly pigmented. 

The best feature about foam paints, however, is that they are not costly. Moreover, they do not smell like shaving cream, although they look like it.


So, this is our list of kids art supplies that we find are best for children to use. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for exactly, don’t worry because there are a thousand more items out there. 

And with that, we have come to the end of this guide and we hope to see you again soon!

Until next time!

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Anton Giuroiu

Anton Giuroiu

As a sheer idealist, Anton’s approach in architecture and content curation is tedious and meticulous this clearly reflects in his work here on Homesthetics with each and every article, after a decade of work on Homesthetics, the content creation guidelines still being improved every month.

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