Do you have an artsy kid? This gift guide is full of the best art supplies for kids. From toddler safe materials to supplies for elementary-aged artists, explore this complete list of art supplies that make fantastic presents.
Why I often gift art supplies
I love gifting art supplies. It’s one of my favorite gifts to include for kids – and this was instilled by my Mom who insisted there’s no better gift in childhood than a new box of crayons or a fresh set of watercolors.
It’s like gifting possibilities.
Whether you deeply know the child you are buying for or it’s a new classmate, art supplies are a great equalizer: all kids see the joy in art supplies.
As you go about your gift buying – whether for holidays or birthday parties – think about tossing in a few new or never tried before art supplies.
What art supplies for kids are on this list?
This is a magical list of some really unique art supplies.
While I love a new box of Crayolas as much as the next person, the supplies on this list go beyond basics.
This is an exciting list of art supply ideas for kids – with supplies for all art developmental ages and stages.
Gifting art supplies could unlock some more magical creativity waiting inside that child.
Pair these art supplies with an art-themed book
I love a good themed gift box moment – and adding a book into a box of art supplies feels like the right way to go (especially for the 5+ year old crowd).
Here’s a short list of some great art books for kids that may be perfect along with some of these art supplies.
Busy Toddler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
- The Usborne Art Treasury (I’ve owned this book for 15 years!)
- Cardboard Creations: Open-Ended Exploration with Recycled Materials
- Recycle and Play: Awesome DIY Zero-Waste Projects to Make for Kids – 50 Fun Learning Activities for Ages 3-6
- A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures
The Busy Toddler list of the best art supplies for kids
This list is in no particular order. Make sure to consider your child’s age/stage to decide which tools might be best, most interesting, and most used.
These are great: think slick, easy to use crayons with an “is it paint? Is it crayon? Is it marker?” like quality.
Colored Pencils (good ones)
This is a good set. It’s not professional level but it’s more than a normal kid set. They work great.
These are really cool. They aren’t messy and they wipe off a window (or other slick surface) with just a wet rag.
Remember how cool tracing paper was when you were a kid? It’s still that cool.
These are so neat: tempera paint sticks and they are VERY cool. They create a great painting effect that all ages can be successful with.
A step up from the traditional kids watercolor set, as an adult – even I reach for this set.
This are so nice to color with and they leave behind the smoothest color. Plus they have a triangular shape that makes them easy for little hands to hold.
A modern day classic: these large BINGO-dauber style markers are a staple.
Ah, they’re just the coolest. School-ages kids will know these from the classroom and be ticked to have a set at-home.
These 10 foot long banners are hand-drawn and printed on thick, slick paper (it doesn’t bleed through). They come in all styles, seasons, and holidays (I linked to the insect banner). The banners are the BEST and make a fantastic gift along with some art supplies.
When my older kids turned 6 and 8, they wanted to use “adult” paint. I got them a set of acrylics and it’s been so much fun to watch them create their art. *NOT FOR LITTLE KIDS – very, very permanent and not washable*
Along with the acrylics, a set of canvases is a must. We found that smaller canvases work better – these are 6×6.
Nothing feels fancier than using a palette. It’s a fact. I have no science behind that fact but it feels right. (These also help keep painting tidier and easier to manage here.)
Oh the possibilities of modeling clay! The simple joy and kids just love it.
These changed my world this year! Dump a little into a cup and start painting right away. Here’s an activity idea so you can see the possibilities. No diluting needed (IYKYK).
Another new-to-me supply this year: watercolor paper aka heavy paper that’s made for both watercolor and liquid watercolor. The paints absorb better on this paper and don’t bleed through. Highly, highly recommend.
Puff paints are still just as cool as they were in the 90s. Period.
Shopping for a big kid? May I suggest some big kid, double sided markers?
Still awesome. Still a great gift. Still want to lick the red one. Just being honest.
Continuing on the Mr. Sketch train, we also have these gel crayons by the same brand and they’re magnificent.
Nothing like gifting some art AND the canvas to create on. Don’t miss giving kids some form of paper with their art gift (I like this sketch pad a lot).
For kids new to coloring, these jumbo colored pencils are a great size. They’re shorter and stubbier – super fun to color with.
Time to move beyond poster paints and finger paints. Washable tempera paint is where it’s at. This is what I use for all my art activities.
Technically this counts as an art supply, right? We’ve loved owning these – they inspire so much dramatic play.
Frequently Asked Questions
This varies child to child. Some will enjoy painting at or before age 2. Some might not until much later. Let your child lead on painting (and arts and crafts) as they show you what they’re interested in. Not all children love arts and crafts – that’s fine!
I store supplies in two main spaces in our home (both have evolved overtime as my children have grown). As toddlers and preschoolers, our supplies were organized like this. Once they got older, we switched to art supplies in a closet where they could access them easier.
We display artwork as best we can, but about every month or so, I take down the art on display, and choose 1-2 special pieces to keep. Having been a teacher, I know how quickly art work adds up in storage. Each child has an art storage portfolio where I put the really important stuff. The rest…yes, I recycle.