Top Ten Art Supplies For Kids is a post from Rob @ Art for Kids Hub!
If you made a list of the top ten art supplies for kids, what art supply would you list as the most used by any kid? If you said crayons, you’re probably right. Crayons are the easiest to pack, and compared to all the other art mediums they create the least amount of mess (though some parents could argue that point).
Well, what about life after crayons? As your kids get older what should they use when crayons just don’t get the job done anymore?
Well if you are looking for a crayon replacement, these are the best answer. They act a lot like crayons, but they’re better. They draw on paper darker and smoother than regular crayons. The “lead” is as thick as a crayon, but they have a wood shell similar to pencils.
And just when you thought these things were awesome, add water to a drawing and watch it turn into a painting. Let’s see those old crayons do that! The only downside, if you live in the states you’ll probably only be able to find them online.
Buy on Amazon: Stabilo Woody
Oil pastels are a natural step after crayons. Oil pastels are messier, but act like a “real” art supply (if there is such). Oil pastels go on extremely thick and the colors are much richer than crayons. Kids can also begin learning how to blend and mix colors.
Buy on Amazon: Pentel Oil Pastels
Soft pastels are much different than oil pastels. Where oil pastels act like crayons, soft pastels act more like chalk. With that said, soft pastel colors are more vibrant than chalk.
Buy on Amazon: Prismacolor Soft Pastels
Crayola Washable Markers
These are the “beginner” markers, a great place to start since they’re washable. One of the biggest downsides to kid markers, is the inherently lost cap. This is the reason I tend to steer clear from markers until they’re a bit older. They don’t last as long as they should!
Buy on Amazon: Crayola Washable Markers
This is a great marker after your kids have graduated from Washables.
I love Prismacolor Markers. It’s because I used them a lot in college! Prismacolor markers are full of ink, the colors are rich and go on heavy. They also blend well, and are easy to use. They’re not completely permanent, but they’re also not completely washable.
Side tip: When using markers it’s always a good idea to buy marker paper, like vellum. This paper will hold up better than regular paper.
Buy on Amazon: Prismacolor Markers
Prismacolor Color Pencils
If your kids love drawing, these are a must! The reason why I’d recommend these colored pencils over any other, they’re soft. A soft lead pencil means the color will go on dark and smooth. Cheaper pencils typically have a harder lead, making them difficult and not as fun to use.
Side tip: Because the lead is soft don’t let them roll off the table. After falling, the pencil may not look broken but the lead on the inside will be.
Buy on Amazon: Prismacolor Color Pencils
Electric Pencil Sharpener
Having a good pencil sharpener is extremely important, especially with soft pencil leads. It also seems that electric sharpeners do a better job then handhelds, plus they’re easier for kids to use.
Side tip: If you find yourself opening the window due to the smell of burning wood…teach your kids to use medium pressure, and to check the pencil tip often.
Buy on Amazon: School Smart Pencil Sharpener
Watercolor Trays (dry)
Dried watercolor trays are a great beginner’s supply, too. They’re portable and the mess is easily containable. These are not exactly my favorite supply though, but it’s a good place to start.
Side tip: All you need are dedicated paint shirts (which cover everything important) that the kids can wear, a small drop cloth for the table, and a small one for the floor. That’s it! Let the kids go nuts, and be worry free.
Buy on Amazon: Crayola Watercolors
Watercolor Tubes (wet)
I like wet watercolors much more than dry, for the same reason I like Oil Pastels more than crayons. Wet water colors transfer to paper brighter and heavier than dry paints.
Side tip: Dry paints usually cause muddy paintings because the kids are constantly dipping their brush in the same water. Try this, premix each color in its own cup. Then place a brush in each cup. Of course this shouldn’t stop kids from mixing paint on their page, but it’ll help keep the original paint cleaner.
Buy on Amazon: Reeves Watercolor
Oil Based (or Modeling) Clay
Did you notice I didn’t include PlayDough? PlayDough is okay, although it really smells! Does anybody like the smell of PlayDough? And why have they never thought about changing it?
Oil Based Clay, as the name describes, has oil in it and won’t dry out. Which also brings up a good point, that you should be careful on what surface your kids use this on. I would recommend not using it on any wood surface, since it will absorb the oils. Oil based clay is great for practicing. It allows you to make something and then smash it all up and make something else.
Buy on Amazon: Oil Based Clay
Clay (Self Drying)
Self drying clay will have a non oil base. This clay is fun because your kid’s creations can dry by air! Afterwards they can paint and display them forever, or until they fall off a dresser and exploded into a million pieces.
Buy on Amazon: Mexican Self-Hardening Clay
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Top Ten Art Supplies For Kids was originally published on May 8, 2013. It was most recently updated on August 12, 2016.