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15 of the Best Art Supplies for Kids

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Get creative with these top art supplies for children

I have tested and tried a lot of art supplies over the years and here are my top art supplies for kids.  This is the list of top art supplies that I have found for kids from preschool-aged to school-aged.

I have seen a lot of painting on tables, marker smelling, brush washing, handwashing, pencils breaking, glue tasting, okay you get the point…

These supplies would also work for older students, however, if they are a serious student artist, they may start to buy even higher quality (and more expensive!) art supplies.

While some of these supplies may be the more expensive brand for elementary aged-students, they truly are worth it and will last longer than generic art supplies. Feel free to click the items and other links in the descriptions to see exactly which products & brands we recommend.

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Best Art Supplies for Kids

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.  

Top 15 Art Supplies for Kids

Top Art Supply #1: Elmer’s Glue

Okay, you are probably wondering why is Elmer’s glue listed on this list? It is because this is a specific type of Elmer’s. I do keep washable glue, however, there will be projects that need a little more extra adhesive. This Elmer’s glue can be used to for a lot of different materials. I have used this glue to fix model magic, collage thick painted or to complete our melted crayon art.

Top Art Supply #2: Watercolor Paint Palettes

These semi-moist watercolors will last a long time if used properly. It is an endless battle to have my own preschoolers pet lightly and “keep a good hair day with their brush,” but these seem to withstand a lot of paintings before needing to replace the colors.

The colors are more vibrant than some other cheaper alternatives. Since these are semi-moist, it is important to teach students to lightly pet and that a “little paint will go a long way”.  The watercolor sets I have linked above are the professional-grade and they are awesome! However, here is a more student grade product if you are looking for a cheaper alternative meant for elementary-aged students.

Also, click here if you are looking for an easy and fun watercolor project for kids.

Top Art Supply #3: Oil Pastel Sets

Just like the watercolor paints listed above, this brand of oil pastels seems to last the longest while giving vibrant colors. In order to keep these staying nice, you can use a paper towel to wipe the other colors off after blending and using them.  These oil pastels come in a variety of sized packs, so you have a lot of options on which to buy.

Top Art Supply #4: Liquid Watercolor Paint

Sometimes your projects need a little extra pop of color or you only need one color. These are concentrated liquid watercolors and can be diluted to achieve the color you want. Kids love using the fun colors in this pack since some of these colors are not in the standard watercolor palettes.

Top Art Supply #5: Mr. Sketch Markers-Unscented!

Ahh…if you ask kids, they will want you to get the scented markers. It is a passage of childhood to smell lemon, grape or even chocolate while coloring. If you are only buying one set of these for your child to use at home, by all means, go for it! They will LOVE these!

Again, these may be a little more expensive than other markers out there, but they will last a lot longer. I was unable to link the unscented markers, however, they are still my favorite set to buy. I would say that is worth it. 

List of 15 Top Art Supplies for Kids

Top Art Supply #6: Crayola Colored Pencil Sets

For preschool and elementary-aged students, these colored pencils will give you the most bang for your buck. They will be able to learn how to create different values by shading and blend colors with these.

There are several brands out there that are impossible for kids to learn these skills because the lead is not soft enough. This brings up one important point, PLEASE for art purposes do not buy erasable colored pencils. These do not allow children to successfully achieve certain art techniques and skills.

If your budding artist is really showing interest in drawing and you are looking for the next step in colored pencils, then I highly recommend looking into Prisma colored pencils. There are the professional packs and scholar packs (which are more economical). 

You are able to tell how smooth both types of Prisma colored pencils go on their projects. Check out how to use regular pencils and colored pencils to transfer images and lettering in this post. Do not over sharpen these, as kids tend to need to learn how to properly apply pressure. They will break the tip off until they get the hang of it!

Top Art Supply #7: Fiskar Scissors

This brand of scissors if by far the best scissor out there. I always watch my orange handled scissors like a hawk when someone borrows them off my desk! Once you start using these scissors, you will not want to go back!

They also produce kid scissors with blunt tips or sharper tips. I also recently purchased a true pair of LEFT-Handed scissors for my toddler son to use. We are still trying to figure out what hand is dominant! True left-handed scissors will have the blades reversed so that the cutter can see what they are cutting.

Top Art Supply #8: Tru-Ray Construction Paper

There is nothing worse than having kids create beautiful collages or artworks to see that the glue or sun-faded their projects!

This construction paper is a MUST for all your paper art projects that you intend to save (check out how to make DIY memory boxes) because it will not fade nearly as much as other generic brands. I really can’t stand using any other paper for that reason.

Top Art Supply #9: Neon Oil Pastel Sets

These are super fun and different than regular oil pastels. Kids love the fun colors in this pack. They look awesome as part of any oil pastel and watercolor resist project. An added bonus, these neon oil pastels will glow in black lights. Kids will be amazed!


Top Art Supply #10: Crayola Acrylic paint

These acrylic paints are fuller-bodied than others at this price point. Kids like the coverage they are able to achieve and the choices of colors that these acrylic paints come in.  We used these acrylic paints and the glue listed above to create these amazing stained glass art projects or watered down the acrylic paint to also create the frame images on this DIY chalkboard wall.

Top Art Supply #11: Crayola Tempera Paint

I like these Crayola tempera paints for the same reason I like acrylic paints. They cover well and come in a variety of colors. Tempera paint is great for when you need a little more washable paint. I mainly use tempera with younger students and only 2-Dimensional projects. Tempera can chip off of 3-D projects.

Top Art Supply #12: Gold and Silver Paint Markers

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE using gold and silver paint markers. Adults and kids can use these on all sorts of projects. Any child will get sooooo excited to use these paint markers to add extra details to their projects. These marker cover acrylic paint as we did in our crayon canvas paintings, marker and can work on 3-D projects! They really can help make projects neater and stand out!

Top Art Supply #13: Sharpies (Black and Colors)

Permanent markers are a must for any young artist. Having a variety of tip sizes; ultra fine, regular and chiseled allows kids to create all types of lines on their projects. Ordering a box of 12 is a sure way to save money.

Normally I am able to buy A LOT of boxes on Amazon for cheaper than other art supply stores. Check out the links and see for yourself. At the time of this post, the sharpie boxes were listed for half off normal pricing. 

Top Art Supply #14: Marks A lot Permanent Markers

These are new chiseled tip markers that I found. Kids love the wide tip and the black color does last! They also seem to last as long or longer than sharpies.

Top Art Supply #15: Model Magic

Are you looking for a clean and simple sculpture material that kids will love? Look no further than model magic! Kids LOVE this product because it is a clean sculpture building material that is easy for students to mold like play-doh, but air dries so they can keep what they have created.  It comes in a variety of colors, however, I normally only buy the white model magic and have students paint or “color” their final projects.

The dried product is not super sturdy, but I find that coating the projects in acrylic gloss medium or mod podge can really help with the structural integrity of the sculptures. I love this type of mod podge to add a little something extra!

Are you looking for extra art projects to do with your children? Here are some related posts:

Jackson Pollock Inspired Art Project for Kids

Easy Rainbow Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers

DIY Word Canvas for Adults and Kids

Enjoy being creative and creating art projects with these top art supplies!

If you have stuck it out this long, then hopefully you have found some new top art supplies for kids to try out. I would love to hear what DIY and art projects for kids you have done. What art supplies are your favorite to use with kids?

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15 Great Art Supplies for Kids

Hello! My name is Erin and I am a DIY nut. Currently, I live in Ohio with my beautiful family. I am an artist, teacher and lover of all things DIY. I hope this site inspires you to become a DIY nut!

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