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15 Art Supplies We Love Using With Kids

Have you ever wondered how Art teachers pick the supplies and materials they use with kids? It is true, we can be very picky. After using thousands of different types of materials, here are our favorite art supplies and brands for kids.

collage of art supplies and paint projects.

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed are our own. This post may contain affiliate links when clicked, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read our full privacy policy.

You can read all of our favorite supplies or click the links in the table of contents to be taken directly to the material you want to know more about.

Click the supply links to check pricing and get specific information from retailers.

I have seen a lot of painting on tables, marker odors, brush washing, handwashing, pencil breaks, and glue tasting—okay, you get the point…

While some of these supplies may be the more expensive brands for elementary-aged students, they truly are worth it. Not only will they last longer than generic art supplies, but kid artists will take pride in taking care of those special materials.


Seriously our list is super comprehensive. We love all the brands on this list, but here are our top artmaking materials we can’t live without.

  1. Crayola Model Magic
  2. Scholar Prisma Pencils
  3. Sakura Oil Pastels With Watercolor Paint Resis

Favorite Paints

From watercolors to acrylic paint, here are great paints to use with kids.

Best Watercolor Paint Palette: Prang Watercolor Palette

These semi-moist watercolors will last a long time if used properly. It is an endless battle to have my own preschoolers pet lightly and “keep a good hair day with their brush,” but these seem to withstand a lot of paintings before needing to replace the colors.

watercolor paint pallette and paper towel

The colors are more vibrant than some other cheaper alternatives. Since these are semi-moist, it is important to teach students to lightly pet and that a “little paint will go a long way.” 

Best Liquid Watercolor Paints: Saxs Liquid Watercolors

Sometimes, your projects need a little extra pop of color, or you only need one color. These are concentrated liquid watercolors that can be diluted to achieve your desired color. Kids love using the fun colors in this pack since some of these colors are not in the standard watercolor palettes.

white paper with liquid water color being blown with straw.
Straw Painting Idea inspired by Pollock.

Best Scholar Acrylic Paint: Crayola Portfolio

These acrylic paints are fuller-bodied than others at this price point. Kids like the coverage they are able to achieve. You can also get a wide-variety of colors.  

Best Tempera Paint: Crayola Tempera Artista II

I like these Crayola tempera paints for the same reason I like acrylic paints. They cover well and come in a variety of colors.

Tempera paint is great for when you need a little more washable paint. I mainly use tempera with younger students and only 2-Dimensional projects. Tempera can chip off of 3-D projects.

Best Paint Sticks: Kwik

Get all our tips for using paint sticks with children. The colors are vibrant, dry within 90 seconds and last the longest.

Check Out The Price Of The Paint Sticks here.

yellow, red, green, blue paint sticks.

Bonus Paint Supply For Young Kids

One more bonus supply for toddlers and young children. Recently our daughter received these paint dotters as a gift. She absolutely loves them! You can use them on a variety of surfaces, not just paper.

Favorite Drawing Materials

Best Marker Sets: Mr. Sketch Markers

Ahh…if you ask kids, they will want you to get the scented markers. It is a passage of childhood to smell lemon, grape or even chocolate while coloring. If you are only buying one set of these for your child to use at home, by all means, go for it! They will LOVE these!

Mr. Sketch Markers on white paper.

Again, these may be a little more expensive than other markers, but they will last much longer.

If you can find the unscented markers, they last the same and you don’t have to worry about color on your nose. But what fun is that???

Best Colored Pencils

Depending on the age of the child we recommend the following colored pencils:

For preschool and elementary-aged students, Crayola colored pencils will give you the most bang for your buck. They will be able to learn how to create different values by shading and blending colors with these.

Several brands out there make it impossible for kids to learn these skills because the lead is not soft enough.

colored pencils in front of white paper.

SUPER IMPORTANT: PLEASE do not buy erasable colored pencils for art purposes. These do not allow children to achieve certain art techniques and skills easily.

Colored Pencils For Older Artists: Prisma

There are two types of Prisma colored pencils that kids will love. For a younger budding artist, we recommend the Scholar Pack.

For one more step up we highly recommend looking into Premier Prisma colored pencils for older students.

You can tell how smoothly both types of Prisma colored pencils go on their projects. We used a colorless blender and scholar Prismas for vibrant and fun colors in the Pop Art portrait lesson below.

color portrait of woman.

TIP – Do not over-sharpen these, as kids tend to need to learn how to properly apply pressure. They will break the tip off until they get the hang of it!

Best Oil Pastel Sets: Sakura

Like the watercolor paints listed above, Sakura oil pastels seem to last the longest while providing vibrant colors. The oil pastel packs come in a variety of sizes, so you have many options when it comes to buying them.

3 different images of how to use oil pastel on clay flower relief tile.
We even used these to color oil pastels on clay.

TIP: To keep these nice, kids can wipe the other colors off with a paper towel after blending and using them.

Best Unique Oil Pastels: Neon

These are super fun and different from regular oil pastels. Kids love the fun colors in this pack. They look awesome as part of any oil pastel and watercolor resist project. An added bonus, these neon oil pastels will glow in black lights. Kids will be amazed!

We have also had great success with Crayola neon oil pastels as well.

glow in the dark landscape oil pastel projects by kids..
Here is an awesome landscape lesson done with neon oil pastels.

Favorite General Supplies

Best Scissors: Fiskars

Fiskar Scissors are a must, whether you are buying them for older kids or the blunt-tipped or pointed-tip kid scissors.

scissors cutting cardboard egg carton.
These adult scissors can cut ore than just paper.

This brand of scissors is by far the best scissors out there. I always watch my orange-handled scissors like a hawk when someone borrows them off my desk! Once you start using these scissors, you will not want to go back!

Best Type Of Construction Paper: Tru-Ray

There is nothing worse than having kids create beautiful collages or artworks only to find that the glue or sun has faded their projects!

red, blue, yellow construction paper collage with black lines.
Use Tru-Ray construction paper to create a primary-color collage.

This construction paper is a MUST for all your paper art projects that you intend to save because it will not fade nearly as much as other generic brands. I really can’t stand using any other paper for that reason.

Cleanest Supply: Crayola Model Magic

Are you looking for a clean and simple sculpture material that kids will love? Look no further than Model Magic!

child's hand using model magic with packet shown in image.

Best All-Purpose Glue: Elmer’s Glue-All

Okay, you are probably wondering why Elmer’s Glue is on this list. It is because this is a specific type of Elmer’s.

Handing holding Elmer's Glue All with white paper and water container in the background.
You can even draw with glue and paint with watercolor paint.

Washable school glue has its place. However, there are projects that need more adhesive and Glue-All is perfect for that.

Follow us on Pinterest, YouTube, or Flipboard for more free art and craft ideas!

There are so many cool creations and imaginative ideas kids can create using these supplies. We have tested and experimented with thousands of art supplies over the years and know your kids or students will love these on the list.  Now is the time to encourage creativity!

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