If you’re a parent, you’ve probably walked the fine line between thinking your child is a budding Picasso and wondering how many more macaroni picture frames and pieces of paper with a single line drawn on it you can possibly cram into your closet. Of course, artistic expression is important for young kids, and you can encourage that self-expression by keeping a cupboard or drawer stocked with the best kids art supplies out there — so your little ones have all the items they need to create their next masterpiece (be it Picasso-level or macaroni-level).
But regular-old crayons and colored pencils get boring, and if your tot isn’t into the tools, they won’t be into using them. Save yourself from spending big bucks on supplies that don’t get used by subbing in these seriously cool versions instead. Add a couple kids craft kits, and you’ll be prepared for every rain/snow/vacation day that gets thrown at you.
These supplies are not only really fun; they’ll also motivate your little ones to create. Plus they’ll keep them busy for hours, so you can do whatever needs doing uninterrupted. This is one time when the kids being suspiciously “too quiet” might just be a good thing.
This watercolor set comes in a convenient travel tin with an adorable woodland forest scene on it. With 12 colors, a brush, and a tin that’s cute enough to store tiny items once you use up the watercolors, this one is a keeper.
Eeboo watercolors, $13.95 at Amazon
Dust-free chalk sticks? Um, yes please. These non-toxic options in a variety of bright and bold colors come with 12 sticks and a magnetic chalk holder.
Butter stix chalk, $12.32 at Amazon
Sick of hearing “Mom! I need more paper!” 10 seconds after you give your kid a sheet? Problem solved — with this desktop roll that lets your kid get endless paper, all by herself.
Desktop paper roll, $16.99 at Amazon
If you haven’t heard of liquid watercolors before, your world is about to be rocked. These are perfect for littler artists who can’t quite manage adding water to a solid watercolor palette. These have the fluidity and blend-ability of watercolors, but with the vibrant, deep colors of tempera paint. It’s a win-win.
Liquid watercolors, $18.99 at Amazon
With all those gorgeous paints, your tiny O’Keefe will need a thick, absorbent watercolor pad, and this is one is the best. 16 sheets of chlorine-free paper means they can go paint-nuts — without any flimsy paper getting soggy.
Eeboo watercolor pad, $10.95 at Amazon
This reusable book is perfect for mini artists on the go, with eight chalkboard pages for doodles and masterpieces alike. Easily wipe the chalk away, and kiddo’s got a clean slate (literally) to start again.
Reusable chalkboard book, $24.98 at Amazon
Does your tot love crayons but have a hard time pushing down hard enough to get the color consistency they want? Behold, the solution: solid tempera paint sticks. These useful tools are more like giant oil pastels with smooth, thick lines and wild colors. Plus, they’re quick-drying, which means no smearing (or getting all over kiddo’s clothes).
Kwik stix solid tempera paint sticks, $8.81 at Amazon
Ideal for toddlers, these beeswax crayons are ergonomic — with a triangular shape that’s easy for tiny hands to hold (and that keeps the crayons from rolling off the restaurant table, too).
Beeswax crayons, $12.61 at Amazon
Air-dry clay is a must-have — because, well, air-dry. No baking! This 24-pack of bold colors dries completely in 24 hours and comes with sculpting tools for the ultimate in sensory-play fun.
Air dry clay, $19.99 at Amazon
This tempera paint goes well above and beyond your average three-pack of primary colors; it includes 16 bottles of non-toxic, brightly colored paints, including glitter shades and metallics.
Tempera paint set, $39.98 for 16 at Amazon
Regular-old colored pencils are a thing of the past; these water-soluble colored pencils are two mediums in one. Their triangular shape means easy gripping for little hands, and kids can brush on water for added paint-like effect.
Triangular water soluble colored pencils, $13.44 at Amazon
If you’re not sure which of these items your kid will love most — or if you’re just just overwhelmed by all this artsy goodness in general — never fear. The good people at Kid Made Modern have created an entire arts and crafts “library” with over 1,250 pieces to spark creativity and imagination, plus a sturdy carrying case to contain it all. One suitcase, so many possibilities.
Arts and crafts library, $59.99 at Amazon
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