Here’s a list of the best art supplies for kids from toddlers and preschoolers to teens (and even adults!)
In the Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia education approaches, only the best art supplies for kids are used. High-quality children’s art materials are said to educate the senses and condition the young child’s mind for higher learning.
Fortunately, it’s not the quantity, but the quality of the art materials for kids that matters. And, your child does not need to be a Waldorf or Montessori student to have a high-quality art education. These art supplies are for every home and classroom that wants the best art education for their children from toddlers to teens. You might also enjoy this list of Winter Art Projects for Kids.
Why Young Artists Should Use High-Quality Children’s Art Materials
Quality art materials are beneficial to children in many ways. Giving your child the best art supplies sends them several positive messages. It tells the young artist that their artwork is worth the very best. Feeling worthy of the best art supplies can help motivate a child to create art.
High-quality art materials demand that children learn to be responsible for them. Teach children with your words, and your example how to properly care for art supplies. When we use quality art materials and treat them with care, our children will eventually learn to do the same.
When children use the best art supplies they often learn to work slower and have a bit more care for the supplies they use and the art that they create. This opens the space for a child to develop reverence. As a result, children will begin to enjoy creating art, and, learn that art is more about the process than the final product.
Related: The Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
Why are These Children’s Art Materials The Best Art Supplies for Kids?
The colors used in Waldorf art supplies are selected based on Goethe’s “Theory of Colors.” Each color is based on the natural gradations found in Goethe’s twelve-part color wheel. It is believed that these natural tones stimulate the senses and encourage creativity.
Rudolf Steiner believed that children need these top-notch supplies to fully develop their creativity, color awareness, and appreciation for process art. Some of these supplies come with higher price tags than lesser quality ingredients, but they will last much longer.
Related: Rainbow Rainy Day Art
The Best Art Materials for Children
The good news is you don’t need to purchase the whole art store. Less is more. Less allows your child’s creativity to bloom and your wallet to sigh with relief. Just a few high-quality supplies are all you will ever need.
Here are a few of the best basic art supplies used and recommended by Waldorf schools around the world. They make great gift ideas and wonderful stocking stuffers for children of all ages.
But, please be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom for more of our favorite art supplies, including lists of recommended art and supplies for different age groups.
The Best Crayons for Toddlers, preschoolers, Kindergarteners, and School-Aged Kids
Once you use a real beeswax crayon you will never turn back. The smooth consistency and vibrant colors will make ordinary crayons pale in comparison.
Beeswax crayons allow your child to create effects that are not possible with regular crayons. The transparency of the colors will give your child the ability to create a wide range of intermediary tones when layered.
They are also safe for the environment, and harmless to your child’s health if you constantly find your child sucking and biting on crayons as I do.
It’s not easy being a mom, is it? Knowing that the crayon that my daughter has in her hand is safe for consumption helps me sleep a bit better at night.
Best Colored Pencils for Children
The color assortment contained in THIS selection was developed by Lyra in cooperation with Waldorf educators. It includes an exclusive selection of unlacquered Super Ferby Pencils, which feature a large triangular shape and a comfortable grip that is perfect for beginners and left-handed people.
The pencils have a closed-end (so the core is not exposed) with natural, unlacquered wood for young children who like to chew and put pencils in their mouths like mine.
P.S. If you have a child that likes to chew on everything and drives you as nuts as mine drives me, try a chewing necklace. A strange product–but a true gift for my sanity and my daughter’s well-being.
The Best Art Materials for Kids: Modeling Beeswax
Modeling beeswax is an ideal material for young developing hands. Each sheet can be cut, kneaded, and used to make little sculptures.
Working with modeling beeswax is a great way to develop the fine motor muscles in the hand to prepare for writing and more detailed handwork like sewing.
The best part about these beeswax modeling sheets is that they can be reused again and again! Beeswax softens with warm hands or water and will stiffen again when not in use.
Modeling with natural beeswax stimulates the desire to invent and leads to higher learning. Waldorf educators consider it an indispensable teaching aid for encouraging the development of creativity and awakening the artistic imagination of children.
The Best Watercolor Art Supplies for Kids
In the Waldorf tradition, children learn to paint with only the primary colors because all colors can be created using them.
Painting with only the primary colors allows children to experience and understand color on a deeper level. This is another reason why only the best art supplies are used in Waldorf education.
If you would like to learn how to teach your child the wet-on-wet watercolor technique used in Waldorf Schools click on the link.
- Stockmar watercolor paint – three-color set or 6 color set
- Cold press watercolor paper pad
- 1-inch flat watercolor brush
- Watercolor paint board
- Recycled baby food jars or reused baby food jars, and 8 oz canning jars to hold paints and water
Alternatively, you can purchase a complete watercolor paint set for one child. This awesome starter set includes a 3-color watercolor paint set, 1-inch flat wash watercolor brush, paper, paint board, sponge, and glass jars with a holder.
For more information about using watercolors and sharing how to use them with children check out Wet-On-Wet Watercolor Painting for Kids. We also recommend Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools and/or Painting in Waldorf Education, and Educating Through Art.
You don’t need to be a student of Waldorf education to want the very best art education for your child. The high-quality Waldorf art supplies listed above will provide years of use for your child!
A Few More of Our Favorite Most Used Art Supplies for Kids
Okay, okay, I admit it. My family is made up of a slew of art and craft junkies, so we have a lot more art supplies than the best of the best art supplies for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners that we have listed above. And, you can see even more of our favorite art supplies for kids, teens, and adults HERE.
I have updated this post at the request of some of my regular readers to include a few more of our favorite most used art materials in our home and on this website.
The suggestions below are for the art enthusiasts out there that like to have a few more options on hand, but you only need the supplies listed above to have a complete high-quality art set for your budding artist.
Remember, less is more and quality matters more than quantity.
Not everything we use for crafts and STEAM projects can be found in the art supply lists for toddlers, preschoolers, kids, teens, and adults below. There was not enough room to list every material including the kitchen sink–ours could be considered action process art on most days-lol!
I have separated the art supplies below into recommended age groups to make it easy to find the type of art supplies that will work best for children of different ages.
The first list contains more of the best art materials that are perfect for both age groups listed below, while the next two lists provide the best art supplies for specific age groups. You can also see them HERE.
Best Art Supplies for Multiple Age Groups (Children & Adults)
- Mixed Media Art Paper
- Paper Pad for Mixed Media
- Construction Paper
- Heavyweight Cardstock
- Liquid Watercolors
- Watercolor Pan Set
- Non-Toxic Tempera Paint Cakes
- Pentel Oil Pastels
- Prismacolor Colored Pencils
- Non-Toxic Chalk Soft Pastels
- DIY Chalk Paint
- White Glue
Best Art Supplies for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Kindergarteners
- Toddler Art Smock or Apron
- Do-a-Dot Markers
- Broad Line Washable Markers
- Thin Line Washable Markers
- Sidewalk Chalk
- DIY Chalk Paint
- Paint Sticks
- Children’s Art Easel or Tabletop Art Easel
- Wooden Table Top Paper Roll
- Tempera Paint
- Multiple Types of Paint Brushes
Best Art Supplies for Kids, Teens, and Adults
- Art Smock or Apron
- Sketch Pad
- Sketching Pencil Set
- Permanent Markers
- Gel Pens
- Copic Markers
- Dual Tip Brush Markers
- VersaChalk Chalkboard Markers
- Metallic Brush Marker Pens
- Pastel Extra Fine Tip Paint Pens
- Metallic Extra Paint Pens
- Posca Full-Color Extra Fine Tip Paint Pen Set
- Professional Paint Brush Set
- Watercolor Brush Pens Portable Painting Brushes
- Compact Portable Watercolor Paint Travel Set
- DIY Chalk Paint
- Bulk Acrylic Paint Set
- Acrylic Tube Paint Set
- Blank Canvas Set
- Acrylic Painting Table Easel Set
- Oil Paint Set
The Best Children’s Art Supplies
Allowing our children to use the best art supplies will educate the senses, help the child feel worthy, and condition the young child’s mind for higher learning.
Click HERE to learn more about Rhythms of Play!