10 Things You Need to Have for your Kids’ Art Projects

Let’s make it really quick and easy to get started getting creative with your kids.  You don’t have to have a closet full of intricate supplies, kids just want to play with things and explore.  

You build up fun supplies block by block as you complete more projects.  You really can’t go wrong with what you have – just take a minute to take stock and gather some stuff and get started.  (Check out easy projects & activities that you can do right away.)  Take a look at this post that talks more about organizing these supplies:

You can find links for our suggestions on what to buy to get you started at the end of this post.  Or jump there now.

1. Paper

You may already have white computer paper in the house.  Grab a stack of colorful construction paper and you are set.  If you want to get fancy, pick out scrapbook, tissue or wrapping paper that you think is fun.  Any kind builds a great base for supplies.  Jump to our suggestions here.

2. Glue

Liquid or sticks, the first thing you should buy is based on what will be easiest for your kid to use.  Whatever the format, make sure it is washable.  As you do more projects, you can go crazy and get glitter glue, glow-in-the-dark glue, glue dots, the possibilities are endless.  Jump to our suggestions here.

3. Scissors

You likely already have a pair in the house.  (If you have any lefties in the family like I do – invest in a pair of left-handed scissors and mark them with an easy “L” or “R” in permanent marker.)  Invest in a pair of child-safe scissors once your kid reach 3 or 4 years old (and make sure to supervise them closely as they get used to cutting activities).  Jump to our suggestions here.

4. Paint

Getting a small set of 6 – 8 colors make the most sense as you get started.  If you want to limit what you get at first, buy primary colors (red, blue & yellow) and white.  You can use these to mix up any shade you want.  Whatever you choose, get washable paint.  If you have a very little one, they are going to get some in their mouth, so make sure to ensure what you get is non-toxic.  (You can also take a look here about making your own “edible” paint.)  Jump to our suggestions here.

5. Tape

Basic scotch tape and masking tape will help for a variety of projects.  I also use blue painters tape a lot for toddler activities because it is easily removable.  Jump to our suggestions here.

6. Brushes

The easiest painting sessions come when you have 1 brush for each color you are using (things still get mixed, but, hey at least you tried).  So have about 8 – 10 brushes in different sizes and textures.  There are a lot of variety packs that do the work for you.  Jump to our suggestions here.

7. Crayons or Colored Pencils

You can have both, but pick what will work best for your child.  I have never gotten over the thrill of a box FULL of pristine crayons.  If your child really likes to do intricate coloring, pencils may work better.  If your kiddo is under 4, get something a little heftier and don’t be too precious about it – they are gonna to be battered and broken. Jump to our suggestions here.

8. Markers

You can look at supply packs that include crayons, pencils and markers.  A good set of basic markers will go a long way.  I highly recommend picking something that is washable.  You can also go crazy with tropical colors, emoji stamps, scented (though most of these are NOT washable), it’s endless. Jump to our suggestions here.

9. Paper Plates

Don’t underestimate the kid craft workhorse: the paper plate.  Use them to hold paint, mix paint, cut up for craft projects, turn them into hats – endless options.  I recommend basic, light paper plates so they fold easily to contain mess before you clean up and so you can cut them up quickly.  Or use what you already have in the pantry.  If you have an older child who really likes to paint, you may also want to grab some little paint palettes – they come in multiples so you don’t have to constantly wash them and they help reduce waste (I don’t recommend for little ones since the holes are close together and it is harder to navigate with less-developed fine motor skills). Jump to our suggestions here.

10. One Fun Extra!

Getting arts and crafts supplies is fun – so pick something FUN to add right away!  Pony beads, pompoms and sequins can all be added to tons of projects and you can easily find them in variety packs so you can have different shapes & sizes right off the bat.  Glitter is also a fun add – though I throw out caution that once you add glitter into the mix it will be in and on everything.  You are gonna get it eventually, might as well start now 🙂 Jump to our suggestions here.

  1. Paper
  2. Glue
  3. Scissors
  4. Paint
    • Washable paint set – this is the most straightforward and versatile set that you can use for most projects
    • Liquid water color set – some projects call for watercolors, or you can sometimes use this style of paints instead of food coloring
  5. Tape
    • Wall Safe Tape – all purpose scotch tape works perfectly for projects & for displaying
    • 1″ Masking Tape – easily removable and can help for projects or helping keep supplies in place for younger kids
  6. Brushes
  7. Crayons & Colored Pencils
  8. Markers
  9. Paper Plates
  10. Fun Extras

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. (This does not change the price that you pay at all!) Regardless, all product recommendations are my own opinions.


Now you have what you need and you can tackle any creative project or activity! Let us know what your favorite supplies are (and which ones you can live without) in the comments below.

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