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Art supplies for kids

Art Supplies 101: Must-Haves for Your Child’s Creative Journey

It is important to ensure your child has art tools on hand, whether they like to draw, mold, or paint. According to those who work with kids at day care in Silver Spring, MD, all kids have some kind of artistic ability. For kids, the best art tools are those that are safe, fun, easy to use, and encourage creativity. They’re also great for back-to-school materials and gifts for kids.

Not sure where to get started? Here are some of the must-haves for your child’s creative art journey!


Paper of almost any kind will work well in your art room, but there is one kind that little kids can use for a lot of different things. It’s great for art projects like drawing and painting. Find thicker 18-by-24-inch paper that you can use for many things, from drawing at the table to taping up against a fence.

You might want to buy bigger sheets of paper if you have a young child or kids who are still young. Toddlers and preschoolers don’t have the fine motor skills to work on small pieces of paper, so they will need bigger pieces of paper to use their big, broad arms. Large pieces of paper are great for starting over with new projects and ideas, and they can be cut down to make smaller sheets if needed.

Tempura Paint

This paint is thick and smooth, like yellow mustard or house paint. If you look for tempera, you might also find tempera paint pucks or powdered tempera. These are not the same thing.

Most of the time, tempera paint comes in bottles that stand up and look like shampoo bottles. These bottles can be used to make ice cube trays or put on a plate. You can then use rags, cotton balls, pine cones, paintbrushes, and anything else to make designs on the tempera.

Beeswax Crayons

You will never go back to regular crayons after using a real beeswax one. The smooth texture and bright colors will make regular pencils look dull in comparison. Your child can make effects with beeswax crayons that they can’t do with regular pencils. Because the colors are see-through, your child will be able to stack them to make a lot of different middle tones.

Modeling Beeswax

Modeling beeswax is great for kids whose hands are still growing. You can cut, knead, and make little models out of each sheet. Modeling with beeswax is a great way to get your hand’s fine motor skills ready for writing and more complicated handiwork like sewing. The best thing about these beeswax modeling sheets is that you can use them repeatedly! It gets soft when you touch it with warm hands or water, but it gets hard again when you’re not using it.

Making models with natural beeswax makes people want to come up with new ideas and helps them learn more. It’s something that Waldorf teachers think is an important tool for sparking kids’ artistic imaginations and helping them become more creative.

child wearing an apron and painting


Kids will wipe off their shirts with anything, even paint on their hands. You can guess that would ruin a shirt for good! It’s why you see kids at child care in Silver Spring, MD, wearing a smock whenever they do any kind of art activity. You should make your kid wear a “paint shirt” when working on art projects so they don’t ruin her whole outfit with paint stains.

Paint Markers

Paint markers let people get the look of paint while still being able to write with great accuracy. The markers can be used on many surfaces, such as cloth, fabric, metal, and rocks. The bullet tips can be switched out, which makes them last longer. The markers are safe and don’t contain alcohol, but they can’t be washed off. Because of this, older kids should only use them at the art table or outside.

Watercolor and/or Acrylic Paint Set

If you want to learn how to paint, watercolor and acrylic paints are two of the best options. Since they are both water-based, you don’t need paint thinners to paint or clean up.

There are three kinds of watercolor paint: semi-opaque, opaque, and clear. Most people think of watercolors as being clear because of how transparent they look. Find a set of acrylics with a lot of body that come in tubes. While heavy body paint has brush lines, adding water can make it smoother.

child drawing with various art supplies

Paint Brushes

You’ll need brushes once you have paints. There are a lot of different kinds to choose from at an art supply shop. They come in different shapes and sizes, with natural or synthetic bristles. Pick up an acrylic or watercolor beginner’s brush set to keep things easy while you learn how to paint. Sets come with a variety of brushes that can be used for different drawing styles.

Paint Palette

You’ll need a paint palette to mix colors or thin them out with water for drawing. Paints made of plastic can be used on plastic pallets. Pick one that is at least 7″. For drawing, you could also use a pad of disposable palette paper. It gives you more room to mix colors and makes it easy to clean up.

Final Thoughts

There are many good things about giving kids art supplies. Giving your kid the best art tools sends them a lot of good vibes. It tells the young artist that their work is the best there is. A child may be more likely to make art if they think they deserve the best art tools.

When kids use the best art tools at home or at child care in Silver Spring, MD, they often learn to take their time and be more careful with the things they use and their art. For a child to learn respect, this makes room for it. Kids will learn that art is more about the process than the end result, and they will start to enjoy making art.

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