A well-stocked art supplies collection is one of the best ways to make sure that your kids are never bored, and instead have ongoing access to a valuable creative outlet that is also healthy for their mental and psychological development. The best art supplies for kids are ones that can be mixed, matched, and used in all sorts of creative ways that even the manufacturers probably didn’t imagine. Art supplies allows kids to unleash their young creative skills and learn who they are as people.
There are some craft projects that require specific art supplies, like pipe cleaner animals or popsicle stick cabins. Other projects are a bit more open ended, like a blank paper canvas and a big box of crayons. Either way, having these supplies on hand even when you don’t need them is a great way to teach kids that arts and crafts are available any time of day, whenever the inspiration strikes!
Here is a list of our favorite art supplies for kids
Colorful Feather Pack
A big old bag of brightly colored feathers is probably one of the most effective ways to make your craft making collection the best on the block. This massive craft pack comes with 300 feathers that are stunningly bright and vibrant … the perfect thing to add life and character to just about any craft project. These are all-natural feathers that have been dyed using a safe, non-toxic method that was designed to ensure the lasting colors that aren’t going to face over time. From dress-up parties to holiday ornaments, these feathers can be applied to absolutely anything that you want to stand out in a bright way. An absolute must for making dreamcatchers!
Craft Keeper Storage Container
There are a lot of different craft supplies on this list, and one thing that they all have in common is that they will become an absolute mess if you don’t come up with a clever way to keep everything tidy and organized. The Craft Keeper Storage Container by Learning Resources makes it possible to not only organize your art supplies by type, but also pull out individual containers for specific projects. They call it a carousel-style storage box, and from what we can tell it is one of the best play time storage solutions that we have ever seen. One of these belongs in every classroom and with every art kit, period.
Decoupage Starter Kit
The art of decoupage has not always been easily accessible to kids, but that doesn’t have to be the case with this 6 piece Decoupage starter kit that has everything needed for your next project. Also known as Mod Podge (the brand name) decoupage is the art of gluing colored paper, magazines, foil, and other flat materials to a flat surface. This is how you can decorate panels, tables, boxes, and so much more just my adding a touch of this handy decoupage glue. This is a great kit for the more motivated artistic child who wants to branch out and start creating unique art projects of their own, instead of following the step-by-step instructions that some craft kits are based off of.
Glass Beads Kit
Having a good set of beads on hand is one way to ensure that your kid will never have nothing to do. Instead, they can bust out this massive glass beat kit and start making amazing, personalized jewelry in a matter of minutes. The kit comes with brightly colored beads and lettered beans, giving your kids a great way to make art gifts for their family and friends. It also comes with 33 feet of elastic cord … enough for a ton of projects. The segmented carrying box is both sturdy and well-organized … actually turning this into a wonderful bead set even for more advanced crafters.
Glitter Powder (32-Color Set)
We shouldn’t have to tell you how glitter is supposed to be used. In fact, you are likely already thinking about the incredible amount of craft projects that you and your kids will be able to use this 32-color set for, so we will spare you the suggestions. What we can say is that no other glitter set offers this kind of color range, with 32 different metallic colors in all … more than we have seen anywhere else. This glitter is also a super-fine texture and consistency, making it possible to mix into your kid’s favorite play slime or Play-Doh for an extra sparkly experience. Each glitter color comes in its own shake-able container, as opposed to the cheap plastic packets that some glitter sets use.
Googly Wiggle Eyes (1000-piece)
There is no other craft supply that can bring life to your next project quite as easily as a pack of Googly Eyes, one of the most charming additions to your craft supply box that you can make. Simply peel off the backing paper and slap a pair of these on a popsicle stick, pipe cleaner, or drawing and see just how alive it makes everything feel. It is almost impossible to play with googly eyes and not get a big smile across your face, even if you are a fully grown adult. This 1000-piece pack comes with 5 different sizes and all of them are totally self-adhesive, meaning that this set is a lot of great fun right out of the box.
Hot Glue Gun
Some crafts require a little more holding power, and in these cases the Elmer’s school glue isn’t going to do the trick. This compact little hot glue gun is able to safely and quickly liquefy one of the 30 included glue sticks, allowing you or your supervised child to stick almost anything to almost anything. This gun has a way better trigger and propulsion setup than the hot glue guns that our parents had when we were growing up. There is also an anti-hot cover that makes it much harder to get burned by the tip, however, parents should make sure that their kids are well-supervised if they are going to be using this themselves. A 100W model is also available for even more power and versatility.
Kid’s Painting Aprons
It doesn’t matter if you are a 4 year old kid or 50 year old professional painter, if you don’t make a mess, you’re not doing it right. You can encourage your kids to be as bold and creative as they would like with 2-pack of brightly colored kid’s art smocks. These are sewn from high quality waterproof materials that will, if nothing else, protect those clothes that you just purchased. The long sleeves are a touch that most art aprons don’t have, and the simple bow-tie closure makes it easy for kids to put this on by themselves. Each apron has three deep pockets up front capable of holding everything from brushes to paints to markers.
Related: Our Favorite Art Easels For Kids
Liquid School Glue (2 Gallons)
Boy you said it, that’s a lot of glue. Whether you are a teacher of young children or just the parent of a really crafty kid, you have probably already recognized the need for larger amount of glue. After all, those smaller squirt bottles can go really fast, especially if you are making glitter paintings or other glue-based art. These big 1-gallon bottles allow you to re-fill your smaller bottles with a smooth, pour-able consistency. Like all Elmer’s glue products, this stuff is totally non-toxic and 100% washable … the perfect glue for the classroom or playroom setting. Looking for a fun new craft to use of all this glue? Try making your own at home glue slime!
Natural Wood Craft Sticks
It used to be that if you wanted to build a popsicle stick cabin, you would have to eat a heck of a lot of popsicles, and no matter how much we try to justify it, we simply do not need the calories! Popsicle stick projects no longer have to rely on actual popsicles. This box of natural wood craft sticks gives you 1,000 clean, natural, lightweight craft sticks that can be used for all the most popular stick projects, like cabins, shapes, fences, or any other party craft or classroom project that you might be thinking about. At less than ten bucks this is an incredible deal for craft supplies.
Pipe Cleaners Value Pack
Chances are you have made something out of pipe cleaners at one point or another. After all, they have been one of the best-loved craft supply elements for over half a century. Maybe you made a reindeer, or a pipe cleaner person, or perhaps a whole pipe cleaner village! Pipe cleaners are so well-loved because of how easy they are to manipulate. This allows them to form into countless shapes and structures … truly anything that can be dreamed up by you or your kiddos. This big value pack is the perfect way to stock up, offering a total of 1,000 pipe cleaners split evenly between 10 different colors, all inside of a handy re-sealable bag
Rainbow Rubber Bands (& More!)
There are over 11,900 rubber bands in this kit, which is an absolutely staggering number when you really think about it. There are plenty of things that you can use these rubber bands for, but currently they are most popular with rubber band weaving looms. With these, kids can make all sorts of jewelry and figurines, simply by weaving these little bands into one another. As an awesome bonus, this kit also comes with a ton of beads, clips, charms, and stickers that can be used to make your kid’s creations even more amazing. This product would not be very much fun without a storage case to keep everything organized, and fortunately it comes with one that works fantastically.
Rainbow Super Value Construction Paper
Construction Paper is right up there with crayons, scissors, and glue sticks as one of the most essential craft supplies in existence, and truly, no classroom or art set would be complete without it. There is nothing that can’t be done with good old-fashioned construction paper, whether you are using it as a backdrop for your kids next marker masterpiece or cutting it into flower-shaped pieces to glue onto the end of a popsicle stick. Frankly, we don’t need to tell you how to use construction paper … you are probably already thinking about all the possibilities. This full ream includes 500 sheets split between 10 colors; enough to last a long time!
Rhinestone Sticker Jewels
If you try and make a list of the types of toys and activities that are truly universal among kits, it is their desire to make things more sparkly than they were before, and there is simply no better way to do that than with a massive pack of stick-on rhinestones. These are the best way to add some bling to your kids’ life, with many assorted shapes, colors, and sizes with 405 jewels in total. That’s enough to make your kids’ whole world glimmer with color in a way that also encourages their creative development and opens up all sorts of craft opportunities. These stickers are split between five sheets, so this pack is a great party favor for a girl’s birthday party.
Tub of Foam Shapes
There are lots of things you can do with foam shapes like these, but we have a feeling that you and your kid(s) are going to come up with a lot more interesting things than the examples we could give you. For less than fifteen bucks you are getting a big tub of foam pieces that can be glued to just about anything, or combined to make unique shapes and forms. There are approximately 3,000 pieces of foam … the perfect way to stock your craft collection with something affordable, versatile, and colorful. The reusable storage tub is a nice touch that we wish other craft makers would start to imitate.
Twistables Crayola Crayons
We have to admit that in all our years of reviewing and compiling the best toys on the internet, Crayons are the one thing thought could never be improved on. Well, we were wrong! Twistables are the newest innovation in the world of crayon, offering long plastic cartridges that are filled with the same colorful crayons that the world has come to know and love. By twisting the cartridge, kids can extend the crayon further and keep on going, unlike traditional crayons that need to be sharpened, or have their wrapper trimmed. This is an absolute must-have for any artistic child who already loves crayons, but if we’re being honest we think that a set of these should be in every household regardless of how old your kids are.
If you give a child a pack of markers, there is almost a statistical guarantee that they will find a way to get the ink on their face, their clothes, and in all likeliness, your walls and furniture too. A good set of washable-ink markers is an essential part of any craft collection, and their water-based inks will wash off of most surfaces with nothing more than a bit of warm water. Yet they still manage to create bright and vivid designs … something that the folks at Crayola seem to have figured out a long time ago. There are 12 markers in total, representing the essential colors of any kids’ next art masterpiece.
30-Count Glue Stick Pack
There is no use denying it: when you think of craft glue, you think of Elmer’s. As a brand they have provided classrooms and play rooms across the country with reliable, non-toxic glue projects for all sorts of activities. When you are designing craft projects for young kids, safety is truly the name of the game and Elmer’s has had that on lock for decades now. These miniature-sized glue sticks are perfect for small projects, and the fact that there are 30 of them means that you can have your whole classroom or birthday party covered with their very own glue stick, or, get the 30 pack and simply stock up while saving considerably by buying in bulk.
Acrylic Paint Set
One of the reasons that acrylic paint is so popular with young artists is because it is easy to use, easy to blend, and can create some awesome artwork without a whole lot of effort. Simply squirt some out onto the paint board, dip the brush in, and start creating! Made by Apple Barrel, this acrylic paint set comes with 18 different colors, including some wonderfully named specialty colors like melted chocolate, jack-o-lantern, and new shamrock. They glide on very smoothly and stay bright, unlike some cheaper water-based paints that can lose some of their luster over time. Made in the USA and completely non-toxic, in case you were still having doubts.
Art Case Coloring Set
Investing in a quality art set for your child is a great way to encourage their creative and intellectual development without having to force them into a specific project, activity, or direction. The Crayola Art Case Coloring Set is a pure inspiration in a box, and it will no doubt bring out the best creative forces within your little ones. Inside you’ll find crayons, markers, colored pencils, and paper, with everything clicked in to its own holding area so it’s not just a big mess like most art supply boxes. In fact, the box / carrying case is perhaps the best part about this art kit because of how organized it keeps things, as well as the fact that it can travel just about anywhere and provide countless hours of creative fun.
Classic Kid’s Scissors
With their bright colors, small handles, and blunted tips, the Fiskars Classic Kids Scissors have been a craft box staple for many years. After all, kids are going to need some way to safely slice up all that construction paper, trim their pipe cleaners, or any other activity that requires something that can cut. The ergonomic and balanced shape make them usable by left-handed and right-handed kids alike, a feature that many people underestimate the value of. The actual color you receive may vary, so sometimes it is best to buy 3 or 4 pairs at once and stock up. For the price, it certainly isn’t hard to do.
Colored Masking Tape – 6 Pack
Us adults might know it better as painter’s tape, but in actuality there are thousands of fun and creative uses for a residue-free tape like this. Brightly colored masking tape can be used on paper, objects, and walls without leaving any permanent marking. It can even be pulled off and re-positioned while maintaining its “stickiness”, something that no other tape can brag about. There are 6 different rolls of tape here, each one 13 yards of a different bright color. The manufacturers, Feeke, offer a 100% money-back guarantee, but somehow we doubt that you will ever have to use it.
Colored Pom Pom Balls
There is something really delightful about these soft, fuzzy, brightly colored pomp oms. Even if you are just holding the bag in your hands you can tell that kids are going to have a lot of fun with these, no matter how they decide to put them to use. There are thousands of ways to bring these bright fuzzies into your arts and crafts projects. Kids can glue them on their drawings, string them up on a necklace, or sew them into their new clown costume for an all new level of fun and color. The pom poms are made from non-toxic polypropylene and come in a staggering array of 20 different colors. There are 400 of them in total, meaning that these are sure to last a while.