Unlock your child’s creativity from the comfort of home with our engaging and personalized private online art lessons for kids!  Designed for kids 5-16 to gain skills and confidence.

The Best Tools & Art Supplies for Kids

by The Artful Parent Editorial Team
May 1, 2024

The Artful Parent’s list of the best tools and art supplies for kids to encourage art making in the home or school environment.

Updated May 2024

As parents, we tend to place a lot of emphasis on the kids’ art materials, but kids’ art tools tend to get overlooked, even though they are equally important.

This post contains affiliate links.

To inspire creativity, keep little hands and minds busy, and to get a moment of peace as a parent, it pays to have the best art tools for kids stocked up and close by.

They are lifesavers for rainy days or days when the kids are bored in the house and wanting to flex those creative muscles.

So, here is our list of the tools we use to make our kids’ art experience as successful as possible.

Art Supplies for Kids

Basic Kids’ Art Tools

Here are the basic art tools that get the most use at our homes.

We like Fiskars brand because they have blunt tip scissors for younger children and pointed tip scissors for kids who are a little more experienced!

Kids LOVE punching holes! We think these packs of craft hole punches are easier for kids to use than a typical hole punch. And they come in lots of fun shapes!

We use our sturdy little Swingline stapler all the time.

A sturdy and heavy tape dispenser can make getting (Scotch-type) tape much easier for little kids!

One of our all-time favorite art supplies. We use both regular masking tape and colored masking tape. And printed washi tape is a fancy addition to any project.

Besides glue bottles, we regularly use glue sticksglue pens, and a glue gun. Try a low heat glue gun for young children.

Kids Art Tools for Painting

If your kids love to paint, these items are handy to have!

Sponge painting is a fun opportunity for kids to explore paint, learn colors, and tune up their fine motor skills. Different sponge sizes and shapes allow children to explore a different way of painting.

We use these all the time for both art projects and science experiments.

These no-mess paint cups are great basic ones. If your kiddo likes more color choices (especially at the easel where space is at a premium), then use the double-dip paint cups. You can also just use small mason jars or recycled jam jars.

Spray bottles are fun for painting with watered-down liquid watercolors on paper, fabric, or even snow. Or for spraying water on the chalkboard or outside.

These are like the paint rollers you use for painting your walls, but smaller and meant for trim and corners and such. We use ours in the studio for kids’ art because rolling paint is lots of fun. We also like using a brayer for painting and printmaking.

Squeeze bottles are great for puffy paint and other fun squeeze painting ideas. You might find these at your local dollar store or can find a bigger version on Amazon.

We have a plastic paint palette that we use for acrylic paints, tempera paints, and paint mixing. But you can also use paper plates so you can toss them afterwards, making clean up a breeze.

Kids Art Tools for Clay and Playdough

Take sculpting to the next level with these tools.

If your kids like to work with air dry clay, a nice set of clay tools is handy to have.

Here’s our favorite playdough tool set, plus some additional rollers and wooden stampers. If your kids love to play pretend with playdough, try a kids’ baking set and some silicone baking cups.

We like this pottery wheel by Creativity for Kids, and you can read an entire post and review of it

Tools to Protect Furniture & Clothing

Tools to help make cleaning up a little bit easier, and to help you embrace messy art!

We really like these art trays and use them all the time. These are well worth getting and really help keep the art messes contained. You could also just use an old, rimmed cookie sheet, if you have one.

Art mats, otherwise known as placemats (in fact, you can also use cheap placemats!). These are good for protecting the table when you’re drawing, doing a less-messy collage, playing with playdough, using clay, etc.

A drop cloth is great for protecting the floor. To protect the table, we either use an old tablecloth that can go in the wash or a cheap waterproof tablecloth from the dollar store.

Make your own from a large T-shirt. Keep in mind some paint can soak through fabric and you may wish to use an art smock. If so, we like this smock because it is made with wipeable material and is sleeveless making it easier for kids to paint in.

Art Furniture

If you have a dedicated art space, these are some nice additions for it.

Any table will work, including the kitchen table. For little kids, a table they can work at standing up is extra nice. This adjustable 4-foot folding table is a great height and wipes down easily and works great for art classes.

This adjustable kids’ table is a nice one to have at home or this one for multiple children.

IKEA’s FLISAT table with TROFAST bins is a wonderful sensory play table for kids. With the cover on, it’s also a perfectly fine drawing desk for younger kids.

We love our art easel! It is very sturdy, and it comes with paint cups and a roll of paper.

Tools to Store and Organize Art Supplies

These materials help you keep things organized, so you can actually find what you need!

Any kind of storage bins or boxes work well for storing artwork or paints. We have one for tempera paint, one for liquid watercolors, one for printmaking supplies, etc.

We don’t know what we’d do without our art cart and caddy! These are especially helpful if you live in a smaller space and don’t have a separate space for art making. And the caddy helps keep all of the markers organized!

This paper holder is what we use, and it makes working with big rolls of paper much easier. IKEA’s paper holder also works well.

A Few Other Items for Your Art Closet

Our last couple of must-haves!

Watercolor paper is good to have because it is thick and made for wet media. The kids can explore different watercolor techniques and experiment with watercolor paint.

In addition to watercolor paper, it never hurts to have a few sketchbooks laying around the house too.

A great art project to work on with the kids is a collage, so you want to have all the best collage supplies at your fingertips. We like colored tissue paper, feathers, pom poms, yarn, fabric scraps, googly eyes, and stickers.

Any important kids’ art tools that we missed? What would you add to this list?

More Kids’ Art Supplies

Pin It for Later

art tools pinterest
The Best Tools & Art Supplies for Kids The Best Tools & Art Supplies for Kids The Best Tools & Art Supplies for Kids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Just Print & Draw!
Shop our Favorite Supplies!
34 pages of colorful, creative fun!
Encourage scientific exploration with all kinds of creative fun!
Shop Printables
Shop our Favorite Supplies!