ParentWhiz Guide to Basic Art Supplies for Kids
The Budget List
These things will get you and your youngsters started with a nice collection of versatile, basic art supplies. Over time you will think of others and run across amazing cheap and free stuff that you never expected! And then….everything starts to look like an art supply!
- Paper – Some all purpose paper for painting, collage backgrounds, drawing, pastels, whatever. I like this paper from Discount School Supply! It’s inexpensive, a little bigger than copy paper and a little more substantial. Feels like “real artist paper” for the kids.
- Paint – My go to paint for art with the kids of all ages is acrylic in bottles. It has great texture, and can be watered down to act like watercolor paint. Kids can also finger paint with it! A few colors will do and let the mixing begin!
- Brushes – Those little sponges on sticks make great brushes for big texture swipes and dabbing. I also like to give kids a range of “real” brushes. Some big chubbies are great for younger kids, for sure. Older kids- 8 and up maybe – start wanting exotic things like a fan brush, very tiny brushes and so on. Look for inexpensive sets like this one that I found at Art With the Kids, Part 1 Michaels. See the fan brush!?
- Pencils – #2, colored, mechanical, and don’t forget the pencil sharpener.
- Markers – a basic set of 8-12 markers is a fine start. Maybe a couple of Sharpies, too. The Hallmark Store near us used to sell Crayola markers by the each!! Sooooo many colors.
- Crayons – a small set is fine, and, ALWAYS let your kids break them and peel them.
- Chalk – the sidewalk kind is cheaper than pastels for getting started, and has plenty of uses!
- Glitter – Yep. Not totally cheap. Worth the money for the thrill, though! Probably a must.
- Mat board scraps – nice and stiff. Check at frame shops. Usually free.
- Glues – white, stick.
- Scotch tape
- Stapler and staples
- A hole punch
- Super cheap and free stuff – homemade play dough, any kind of paper, free wallpaper sample books from a paint store, cloth scraps, newsprint roll ends from your local newspaper printer, textured things for print making, wood scraps, items from nature, egg cartons for holding paint, a roll of toilet paper for murals, colored rice, magazines – I think you get the idea. Literally anything will work.
Print this page and use it as a shopping list! Have fun!