I’ll guide you through four weeks of beautiful and fun art projects that you can enjoy with your children. At home or at school, these process art projects will give you an interesting framework of activities that you can weave into your weeks, so your children are engaged, creating and enjoying themselves all through art. See more details of Art Spark here.
Here are my top picks of the best art materials for children. They’re the products I use with my children and materials we really enjoy using.
Top 40 best art materials for children
The most important thing to know about art supplies is that the materials you have are all you need to get started. Although we would all love to have unlimited access to the contents of the art store, having just a few, affordable art supplies is no barrier to getting started.
Start with what you have. On the A-Z of art supplies poster, you’ll find a big list of materials that can be used for art – many of which are natural materials you can gather freely or everyday items you can re-purpose for your art.
There are a few key things I think you should aim for if you’re setting up a basic art kit, and I’ve listed them here. These are the products I buy for my children and which we really enjoy using.
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Best art resources for children
Art Spark Summer Camp :: join me for a creative summer!
Nurture Art :: my guide to developing a wonderful art practice with your children.
Art Spark :: 30+ process art projects that make it easy for you to explore creative techniques with your children. Ebook and guided online art workshop
Exploring Great Artists :: complete art lesson plans
Best art papers for children
You’ll want something to create your art on, and paper is the usual go-to option here. It’s good to have a selection of different sizes and colors, but you don’t need every kind of paper possible. Aim for a few choices – picking from stacks of loose printer paper, big rolls of paper, sketch books, perhaps watercolor paper, and some thick card stock. I store most of our papers in an accordion file, with the papers arranged in the order of the rainbow. It stays permanently open so it’s easy for everyone to pull out the colors they want.
Daler Rowney A3 graduate sketch books: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Daler Rowney A4 sketch books: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Canson Universal Sketch Paper Pad 5.5 x 8.5: find out more on Amazon.com.
Canson 9-Inch by 12-Inch Universal Sketch Book: find out more on Amazon.com.
Best paints for children
Watercolor paints are our favorite, tempera/poster paints are good for general projects, and acrylic paint gives a bolder effect and is good for better coverage.
Derwent Academy watercolour tin: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Mead Académie Watercolor Pan Set: find out more on Amazon.com.
Brian Clegg Ready Mixed Paint: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Ready Mixed Water-Based Paint by Baker Ross: find out more on Amazon.com.
Baker Ross Acrylic Paint: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Plaid Promoabi Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint: find out more on Amazon.com.
Baker Ross Molten Metallic Acrylic Paint: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint: find out more on Amazon.com.
Best markers and pens for children
A selection of pens and pencils is so inviting and is a good mess-free option that can be kept readily available for independent projects. A choice from colored pencils, wax crayons, oil pastels, (permanent) marker pens, sketching pencils, chalk, charcoal, fine-tipped black and white pens, or watercolor pencils is a great place to start.
Stationery Island Chalk Markers D30: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
California Chalk Art Chalk Markers: find out more on Amazon.com.
Best scissors, glues and tapes for children
Child-sized scissors, stronger adult-sized scissors for cutting thicker paper and card, and craft knives are useful (with adult supervision). Glue sticks are great for very young children and relatively mess-free. White craft glue is good for sticking paper together, and for some of the process art techniques featured in my Art Spark ebook.
A glue gun is effective if you need a stronger hold, and it’s a good piece of equipment for children to learn to use safely under your supervision. Glitter glue is a fun way to add extra sparkle to your creations.
Often my children like to use tape for their projects, as it gives a quick fix with no waiting for glue to dry. Sticky tape in a weighted dispenser is easy to use. Paper tape such as decorators’ tape and washi tape is easy to tear, so no scissors are needed. These low-tack tapes are also useful for tape-resist art projects, as the tape can easily be removed from your art work.
Fun scissors: find out more at Amazon.co.uk.
Locktite glue gun refils: find out more at Amazon.co.uk.
Cool Shot glue gun: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Pritstick: find out more at Amazon.co.uk.
Impex Hi-tack fabric glue: find out more at Amazon.co.uk.
Impex high-tack all purpose glue: find out more at Amazon.co.uk.
Additional best art supplies for children
Here you can go to town, gathering all sorts of materials to add color, texture, and interest to your art projects. Take a look at the A-Z of art supplies list for ideas. My girls’ favorites are always stickers and glitter glue.
Think about how you can add interest and new direction to your supplies by considering color, texture, tools, media, and shapes.
Tissue paper – pre cut shapes: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Thin Wire for modeling and sculptures: find out more on Amazon.co.uk.
Ready to use all your art materials for some creative projects?