Art Supplies For Kids


MUST HAVES   - We love art supplies around here so I thought I would share some of our favorites for anyone who might be interested.  We're a little obsessed.

Liquid watercolors
- might my favorite art supply for kids.  Colorations makes an AMAZING set that's kind of expensive or you can buy them by the bottle.  The set will last you for a really long time.  We’ve had ours for a couple of years and we use it quite a bit.  The texas snowflakes and papers that come with the set are a lot of fun.  I’ve bought some of those separately as well.
Collage materials- recyclables, paper scraps, cut up magazines, pipe cleaners, sequins, foam, felt, feathers, buttons, beads, previous artwork, pom poms, yarn, ribbons, pretty much anything that can be glued down gets used in a collage in our house.  Collages are probably the thing that we do that most.  

Tempera Paint- is our go to paint other than watercolors.  We buy the primary colors in gallon containers but we've had several sets of smaller bottles that I refill from the gallon containers. 

White Washable Glue- we literally buy it by the gallon.  Glue sticks are indispensible as well.  It doesn’t seem to matter much which brand we use.
Crayola washable markers- After a lot of marker testing (We’ve literally tried a dozen brands because we go through A LOT of markers.)  I’ve decided that Crayola’s cannot be matched.  They are more washable and they don’t dry out as fast or break as other brands. 
Crayons-  The problem with crayons is that they are difficult for really little kids to get good pigment out of.  We’ve discovered that chunky crayons without paper on them are better.  I haven’t found a set that I’m 100% happy with but we are currently using these
Salt dough- along with a few tools for cutting, stamping etc. gets used very frequently in our house.  I listed the recipe we use here.
Stamps – we have several sets of big stamps, sponges etc. and they get used a lot.  We’ve also made our own from Styrofoam, clay, potatos and other produce.
Glitter glue- Red Fish is a bit obsessed and this allows her to get her glitter fix without me actually allowing glitter in my house.  I’m not a fan of glitter.  It gets everywhere.
Paint Brushes- From extra large and cheap (for painting the sidewalk with water) to nice watercolor brushes, we use a lot of paint brushes.  Keep in mind that if you give your kids only cheapo garbage brushes they will never really learn to paint.  Even a master can’t make a dollar store brush create a masterpiece.  It’s just a fact of life.
NOT AS NECESSARY- But I still like them.
Oil Pastels- have better pigment than crayons and provide a nice change of pace for the girls. They would be lower on my list of must haves though as they are not washable.
Colored Pencils- we like them but they don't get used as frequently as the markers, pens and crayons for some reason.  We carry a set in our church bag and they get used when there is no alternative.  I'm not sure why.
We use a lot of different paper around here.  I try to keep nice drawing paper around but for the most part this is what we use-
Watercolor Paper- is a necessity in our house.  It is the best quality paper I stock for the girls.  Anything that involves a lot of paint (that might shred other papers) or I want them to do their best work on gets put on watercolor paper.  I think having good quality papers and supplies inspire people to do better artwork.  I know it does that for me.  We use several different kinds but I buy this the most because it is cheap and pretty good quality.
Construction Paper- colorful, cheap and a childhood necessity.  We use sheets by the hundreds.
White sulfite paper- great for drawing.  A step down from the watercolor paper I buy.
Newsprint- isn’t a great paper.  It’s cheap but we often use it underneath a project for added protection or for collage projects when we want to work large or when the girls have drawn so many pictures in a day that I refuse to keep using nice paper.
Roll of Construction paper or “contractor’s paper”- Real , brown construction paper is significantly cheaper than butcher paper and we use it for our big projects.  Available at hardware stores for around $10.
Watercolor cakesThese Colorations watercolors have better pigment than most of the watercolor cakes we have tried.  I still prefer “real” watercolors but these are great when I don’t have the time to deal with a lot of mess.
Tempera Cakes- These have been great over the winter and cold weather when Red Fish is just dying to paint.
Sidewalk Chalk- Doesn’t matter if it is from the dollar store or where it is from.  It gets used up around here like crazy.
Contact Paper- makes fabulous glueless collages
Shaving Cream- Excellent for painting the shower with
Foam stickers and foam shapes- not the most adaptive supply but we sure use a lot of them.