The Artful Parent’s top recommendations of kids art supplies for drawing. Plus drawing books, art prompts, games and other drawing ideas for kids!
Does you child love to draw? This is something that’s been so fun to watch develop in my own kids as they move from scribbles to representing what they’re interested in.
In the early years, it’s our job to provide the materials to foster child-directed exploration through drawing––and encourage kids to have lots of fun along the way.
Drawing with Kids
At The Artful Parent, we believe it’s important to take a process art approach to drawing.
“When we embrace process art in the early years, we lay a good foundation for an open-ended and experimental approach to art. We want to foster confidence, competency and joy.
This comes down more to the approach that’s taken and the mindset that it fosters.
Keep in mind there is no ‘right way’ to draw. (i.e. Don’t copy an adult drawing example and promote it as the ‘correct’ way to draw it.)“
As children grow throughout elementary school, kids may become interested in how to draw books:
“Kids want that instruction and specific techniques at a certain age–they have something in their head and want to portray it on paper.
Repetition is key here as kids can then use those skills and techniques to make it their own.
It’s our job as parents and educators to encourage skills to lay building blocks for art and provide skills to increase confidence throughout their art making.
With that said, it is all about fostering a lifelong creativity, not being a professional artist someday.
- How to Encourage Creativity, Skills and Confidence for Kids Drawing
- Drawing for Kids: Encouraging the Reluctant Artist
- How to Talk to Kids About Their Art (Be careful how you talk about your own drawing skills in front of kids. (I get it, this can be hard, but kids pick up on how we talk about our own art.)
Below you’ll find our top recommendations of art supplies for drawing, divided by age for easy reference.
Start with a few versatile drawing supplies during the toddler years, then add to your materials as your child grows.
Drawing Supplies for Kids
Toddler Art Supplies for Drawing
What to expect: Scribbling is the norm for ages 1-3 and should be encouraged.
- Stabilo Woody 3-1s (These are long lasting and can be used on paper, glass–and turn into watercolor paints!)
- tempera paint sticks
- Kitpas art crayon (similar to a thick oil pastel)
- paper roll
Preschool Art Supplies for Drawing
What to expect: Preschoolers may begin creating representational drawings, of themselves, or the world around them.
- colored pencils
- Lyra color giants (neon)
- oil pastels
- chalk pastels
- drawing paper
- watercolor paper
- drawing desk
Big Kids Art Supplies for Drawing
What to expect: Your child may start off drawing without prompting, or may benefit from some of the ideas below. By age 8 or 9, many kids are interested in learning drawing skills to take their drawings to a new stage.
- graphite pencil
- permanent markers
- felt tip markers
- graphite crayon for shading
- sketch book
- drawing clipboard
Additional Reading: For more on what to expect, read “Ages and Stages” in The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity (pages 17-20) and How to Be an Artful Parent
Drawing Books for Kids
- Invitation to Draw
- Drawing Workshop for Kids
- Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book These drawing books go back to my childhood and have stood the test of time!
Drawing Activities for Kids
Alright, so now you’ve got the drawing supplies. And you might even have a drawing book on hand. But maybe you’re still feeling stuck on how to help your child get started.
You may find it easiest to get started playing a drawing game together. Or print out some drawing prompts or other drawing printables.
The key here is to find ways to allow your child to explore and create their own art, remembering there is no right or wrong way to draw.
1. Kids Drawing Games for Individuals / Groups
Kids love games so what better way to loosen up and get drawing than by playing a few drawing games?
One of my favorite ways to engage a group of kids is with a big piece of paper and a scribble art invitation. A great way to bring kids age 3+ together creating colorful art. (And I often use this prompt with my son when we’re out sitting and waiting with a good chunk of time on our hands.)
Founder of The Artful Parent, Jean Van’t Hul, is author of Invitation to Draw (filled with 99 drawing prompts)! Jean is passionate about engaging kids with open ended prompts to inspire their own creative development.
Below are a list of printable drawing ideas to get kids’ creative juices flowing!
- Superhero Self Portraits for Kids
- Draw Your Own Paper Dolls!
- Frida Kahlo Portraits for Kids
- Drawing People from Around the World
Begin to notice what you see in the world around you and want to draw it. There’s no better place to start than observational drawing! Gather items such as fruit or flowers, stuffed animals and even donuts!
More Drawing Ideas for Kids
- Drawing Vegetables: Above & Below in the Garden
- How to Play the Exquisite Corpse Game
- 5 Easy After School Art Invitations for Kids
- How to Draw Abstract Self Portraits
- Nature Drawing for Kids: How to Make Feather Art in a Box
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