Here’s a list of our absolute favorite art supplies for kids. If you’re only wanting to start out with purchasing a few quality items, this is where I’d start!
Many readers have had questions about the art supplies we use for our art projects and crafts. Where do we buy our art supplies? Which art supplies do we use most often? What are some good supplies to buy when just starting out? I’m hoping this list will provide some answers for you!
Where Do We Buy Our Art Supplies?
We get our art supplies from a few different places, mostly local stores and online shops. I’ll be sure to list where I purchase each item as it comes up on the list. And any links to items on the list are affiliate links. For those of you who don’t know what that means, whenever you use that link to purchase an item or other items from the store, the blogger receives a (very) small percentage of the sale. So using affiliate links from your favorite bloggers is a great way to offer them your support!
And here’s one little shopping tip. Our local craft supply store usually has a coupon each week for 40% off one regular priced item. I think that’s pretty common around the United States? So what I do is keep a running list of craft items I’ve been wanting or need to replenish on an app on my phone. Then each week when I happen to go by the craft store, I can run in and grab one of the items on my list with the coupon!
Our Favorite Art Supplies for Kids
Below is a list of our most commonly used art supplies and where we usually purchase them. I’ll also link some of our posts with examples showing how we use the materials.
I do purchase a few different papers depending on the activity we’re doing.
- Construction paper in a variety of colors always comes in handy for crafting, creating, and even for making books. Lately I’ve been finding a good deal on construction paper at our local Costco. I also find this construction paper to be a good price on Amazon.
- Watercolor Paper: When painting with watercolors, you do want a pretty good paper to hold all the liquid, especially with young children since they often use a LOT of paint. And we use watercolors very frequently. This is one of those items I mentioned before that I buy with my coupon at our local craft store. This watercolor paper on Amazon is also a decent price. (You can see how we use watercolors with this tide pool art project for kids.)
- Easel Paper: Even if you don’t have an easel, easel paper always comes in handy. You can tear it to any size which I love. (We used long pieces of paper for this invitation to draw.) The best deals I’ve found on easel paper are from Ikea (if you’re lucky enough to live near one) or use a coupon and buy it at your local craft store. You can also buy easel paper on Amazon.
- Newsprint: We always have newsprint around. It’s a very inexpensive paper that the kids use often for simple projects like coloring, crafting, drawing, and writing. We always buy our newsprint from Discount School Supply.
Next up is glue. I always tend to prefer liquid glue to glue sticks. We mostly use Elmer’s Glue. And I always stock up on it at the back-to-school sales in August! (Did you know you can color liquid glue to create fun art projects like our monarch butterfly art?)
It’s also nice to have some Glue Dots on hand. These have saved me many times when you have to glue something together in the middle of a project, and you don’t want to have to wait for it to dry before finishing the project.
3. Coloring Tools
- Crayons: Crayons are always something you want to have. I really think the kids use these almost daily. I always stock up on regular Crayola crayons during the August back-to-school sales. (We also LOVE our Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons. These are great for little hands and fun to do crayon rubbings. I do consider these a splurge though because of the price.)
- Oil Pastels: We also use oil pastels quite a bit like in our oil pastel and watercolor projects. You can buy these at your local craft store or on Amazon.
- Chalk: Chalk is also a fun material to use! We just used it recently in our heart collage project. It always looks so vibrant on dark construction paper! You can use regular chalk or chalk pastels.
- You’ll definitely want a pair or two of kid scissors. You can find these are Target or online.
- We also love using paper punchers like a single hole punch or a large circle punch. We cut out shapes to use in projects often like with our toddler fall art.
5. Tissue Paper
I’m a huge fan of tissue paper! There’s really so much you can do with it! We crumpled up tissue paper squares to use as embellishments in our homemade valentines. We also used it to make our homemade lanterns. You can buy the tissue paper already cut into squares or in full sheets. We get our tissue paper squares from Discount School Supply and full sheets of tissue paper I buy when I see it on sale at local stores.
- Watercolors: Our most frequently used paints are our watercolors. I have some watercolor cakes on hand when I just want to whip out a quick painting activity. Lucy is also able to get these easily on her own when she wants to paint. And we are also HUGE fans of liquid watercolors! They are such great quality, so convenient, and can be used for so many things. We just recently used them in our colorful animal paintings, and they can even be used to dye things like these wooden blocks.
- Biocolor Paint: We also have a set of the BioColor paints from Discount School Supply. Now what I like most about this paint is it doesn’t have the odor of tempera paint. We’ve used it for simple crafts like our homemade kazoos, collage paper, and stuffed apples, but it can really do so much more!
- Paintbrushes: It’s also good to invest in some paintbrushes. You can really get these anywhere. I try to be sure I have a wide variety of sizes for the kids to explore using.
- Sponges: And sponges are so fun to use for stamping. You can just buy regular old sponges from any store and cut them into shapes for stamping paints like we did in this Christmas craft.
All the little extras like glitter, google eyes, craft sticks. pom poms, feathers, sequins, pipe cleaners, beads, ribbon, and buttons are really fun to use as well, but we definitely don’t use them all the time. I just keep my eyes open for deals on these items at our local dollar store or Target.
Now that you know what art supplies the kids and I use most often, I’d love to hear what you think! What would you add or remove from the list based on your experience?
And coming up soon I’ll be sharing how we organize our art supplies! I know many people have wondered how and where we store them so I’ll share some photos and tips that may hopefully give you some inspiration. I’ll also share what supplies the kids have access to all on their own and how I store those materials!