Art supplies are the instruments of proper upbringing and education for your toddler. Keeping a variety of art materials at home gives your children a chance to make art through different ways – painting, modeling, drawing and other creative activities. Art keeps them busy doing more constructive things than watching TV or using gadgets. This helps develop their imagination and creativity, express themselves and be responsible.
If you are searching for stuff to stock their art supply shelf or looking for new ideas, this post by WoWPencils will be handy. Start with these standard things because lots of options can confuse the child.
Supplies for Drawing
Drawing is one of the most popular activities among children. When you see that your child starts making marks on paper (no matter how old he is), this is the time to visit an art store. Don’t invest your money in reams of paper and gallons of paint. Begin with the basics. With a few right things in place, you will warm up your child’s interest in art and encourage him to proceed with the activity.
There are several types of pastel media: oil, hard, soft, pastel pencils, etc. They contain a different binder that binds the powdered pigments.
This material is very hard to control. The best option for young artists is using pastel pencils – a stick of pastel that is encased in wood. These media use a gum or resin binder. Soft pastels, on the other hand, contain chalk and may generate dust when you work. Pastel pencils have a good consistency and can be used and sharpened like regular pencils. They are great at blending and less messy than traditional colored pencils.
Most children prefer markers to pencils because their color is more expressive and vibrant. These are easy to use and blend, and they come in cool assorted colors.
Indeed, markers are a good alternative to colored pencils. They set the children up for success and make them excited about creating art. Colored pencils don’t allow you to exert the correct pressure when you use them on paper. The color can be barely noticeable, and their tips often break.
Markers can be used for coloring on any surface – on pumpkins, leaves, rocks or Easter eggs. The only downside with markers is their lost caps. As a result, they don’t last as long as they could, that is why they are recommended for older children.
There are thick-bodied, skinny, washable, and non-washable media. Buy washable markers for toddlers and opt for twistable markers that don’t lose their caps. Look for small pens that are suitable for little hands. Offer your child neon, metallic and other uncommon shades.
Dry erase markers are also great. Some of them come in sets, which also include a board and felt eraser.
Dot markers are a less messy option to color. They are easy to use and come in awesome colors.
Quality markers are made by such brands as Crayola, Sharpie, Prismacolor, BIC, EXPO and a great number of others.
Crayons are unique media for kids. All children adore them. These art supplies are fun and inexpensive. They come in a number of colors packed in sets and can be shared between several kids. Even when children get older, these tools remain one of the most widely used coloring instruments.
Crayons offer multiple ideas for various craft projects. They can be melted under adult supervision into numerous shapes and combinations. They create the least amount of mess.
It may be difficult for a toddler to grasp a traditionally-sized crayon. Most manufacturers offer smaller sizes for a preschool finger grip. Crayons can have a shape of a block or stick. You can break crayons in half and make them more manageable for little hands.
If you are not on a tight budget, spend extra money on beeswax crayons. They have a smooth consistency, marvelous colors and are not harmful for little users. You know, it is typical for kids to bite or suck crayons. The crayons that contain natural wax are safe for both occasional consumption and the environment.
For children who like drawing, colored pencils are also a must. Buy a set with a vast assortment of hues – this usually inspires children to color. This is a great drawing tool for a preschooler because pencils are non-toxic, they come in a vast assortment of shades, and are rather cheap. They can create richer and deeper shades and add depth to your drawings.
Opt for soft lead pencils because they provide a smoother and darker application. Cheaper pencils have a harder lead, which makes them difficult to use. The pencils with a triangular shape ensure a more convenient grip for little fingers and for left-handers. Choose the tools with an unlacquered and natural wood casing. This is a safe variant for kids who like to put pencils in their mouth and chew.
Tools for Painting
If your toddler likes painting, he will need some special equipment for this activity. This will allow your child to not paint on the walls or furniture. Depending on the art skills of your child, you can choose the right tools from a variety of products.
Tempera is a fast-drying paint that consists of colored pigments and a water-soluble binder (often egg yolk). It has a creamy consistency similar to mustard. It comes in bottles that look like shampoo containers. You simply squeeze the bottle on the plate and stamp with a brush or sponge.
These are suitable for small kids because they are non-toxic, washable and inexpensive. They are available in a range of nice colors and adhere to more surfaces (paper, cloth, wood, etc.). Tempera provides a smooth application and can be thinned out with no color loss.
This medium doesn’t have a long shelf-life and may spoil, so check this before use. In order to buy quality tempera, consider such brands as Crayola, School Smart, Dick Blick, Prang, Sax, and others.
Watercolors are available in a dry and wet form. Dry watercolor paints are very portable and come with a tray. They are less messy and a good material to start with. Begin with primary colors because additional shades can be created on your own. Working with basic colors allows children to understand colors on a deeper level and to experiment.
Wet (or liquid) watercolors come in toothpaste-size tubes. They are squeezed out of a bottle. These transfer colors which are heavier and brighter than those produced by dry paints.
Watercolor paints require parental guidance at the start when you first introduce them to your toddler. It is necessary to teach kids how to use them properly. Be on hand to model and explain the correct way of using the palette. Teach them how to wash the brush and mix colors.
Try watercolor paints manufactured by Sax, Stockmar, Reeves, Winsor & Newton, Prima Marketing, etc.
Brushes for Painting
If your child likes painting, he will need brushes. You may use any kitchen tool and find any objects for painting, but buying a paintbrush would be more appropriate. There are multipurpose brushes that can be used with tempera, watercolors and acrylic paint. Usually, they are inexpensive.
Try to find a well-made brush because a quality thing will last longer and won’t shed bristles on the artwork. Otherwise, this may cause frustration in young artists. You may test various brushes (with natural and synthetic hairs, brushes for large strokes or for drawing details) and determine the best variant. The brushes with synthetic (polyester) hairs are better used for acrylics because chemicals in this paint may ruin the natural hairs.
The brushes with short handles are suitable for close-up work, and the long-handled brushes are intended for easel work.
Some brands offer sets of brushes like Melissa & Doug, Crayola, Princeton, Loew-Cornell, Da Vinci, etc.
Art Supplies for Modeling
Children express themselves through art and may have definite preferences, for example, modeling over painting and drawing. Modeling gives a tactile experience and strengthens sense of touch which is one of the best ways to explore art. Preschool activities always have play dough or clay included in the curriculum. This is for a good reason. You will need certain art supplies to encourage your toddler in this wonderful activity at home.
Modeling beeswax is an ideal way to develop the fine motor muscles in young hands. This will prepare kid’s fingers and hands for more detailed work and for writing, which is necessary for school preparation.
Beeswax can be kneaded, cut, and shaped into little sculptures. In addition, this material can be reused. Warm hands make wax softer and malleable. Over time, it becomes stiff and hardens when not in use. When a figure is finished, it holds the pose that the kid has created. Children may create whole scenes, and this can make up to several days of entertainment.
Modeling develops abstract thinking and creativity, stimulates the desire to invent, and awakens artistic imagination. The sweet scent of beeswax melted in warm hands nourishes a child’s sense of smell. The material is 100% natural and non-toxic. It is easy to manipulate, and ensures clean handling.
Some trusted brands are Stockmar, WeeCanToo, Okonorm, and Das.
Play dough (or Play-Doh) is a very useful art material for kids which should be included in our list. This is one more eco-friendly craft material that gives a sensory experience, which children adore. You can build with it, roll it, squash, and make every figure you want. The material is non-staining and reusable. It is inexpensive and comes in convenient containers for storage.
There are a lot of helpful accessories and tools that you can buy to have more fun with play dough. There are numerous recipes on the internet for how to make play dough at home. If you don’t like this hustle and are interested in buying it, consider the following manufacturers: Eco Kids, Kiddy Dough, Play-Doh, Crayola, Plasticine, etc.
The only downside of play dough is its smell. The suggestion is that the manufacturers hope kids will not want to eat it. Also, it tends to crumble and crack.
Play dough is more suitable for younger kids because it is very soft. Older children will have more fun with clay. It is not messy, it doesn’t crumble, and it holds form better. The air-dry clay is a must-have. This means that your child’s creations will dry out in the air. Afterwards, children can paint these creations and display them on the shelf.
The clay doesn’t stick to food, hair, and carpets like play dough. It is available in different colors, but you’d better buy white clay. Usually, children mix all the colors together by kneading, and it becomes dull, and the toddlers get uninterested in it. If the clay is white, the kids can color their creations with markers, if necessary.
The oil-based clay contains oil, and it doesn’t dry out in the air. You can make a sculpture and smash it up, and make a new one. It is recommended working with this clay on a wooden surface, since wood will absorb the oil.
There is also polymer clay. It is firm and smooth. Polymer clay products don’t crumble. They don’t dry in the air and need to be baked.
The most popular clay manufacturers are Eco-Kids, Alex, Horizon, Fimo, Crayola, and others.
Additional Important Products
Toddlers don’t need a great number of art supplies. If you want to introduce more items to your kid, choose mess-free options. Don’t start with glitter or other things that may cause a nervous breakdown. Simply alternate these materials more often.
Here are some more supplies that are optional but desirable to obtain.
Parents should provide their kids with a variety of paper types in their art space. Rotating through a diversity of this art material makes the kid’s art area look fresh, exciting and inviting.
Recycled paper is ideal for toddlers because they just learn to scribble and use stacks of paper every single day. Include colored paper, construction paper, cardboard, lined paper, post-its, and many others. Watercolor paper is a good sturdy surface for watercolors and other paint.
Another way to keep the drawing activity interesting is to buy paper that is cut into different shapes and sizes. Cut traditional A4-sized paper into A6 and A5. Cut it into a circle or other shapes. This helps inspire creativity and new ideas for kids.
Big paper like easel paper rolls allow children to make big pictures. Toddlers don’t have well-organized motor skills, and sweeping arm movements on large canvases are more satisfying for them. You can attach this paper to an easel, wall, floor, table or tape it against a fence for drawing a mural.
Canvas is suitable for acrylics, but colored pencils and chalk also work well.
Rolls of craft paper are also a good substrate. This paper is cheap and can be cut from the roll. It can be attached to the drawing board for stability.
Canson, Strathmore, U.S. Art Supply, Fabriano, and Artist’s Choice make good paper for art activities.
Young artists are delighted to have their own workspace where they can draw. Most children feel more comfortable when they work at an easel, and their hands have a full range of motion. You can use a roll paper or sheets of construction paper.
Some easels are two-sided so that two kids can draw simultaneously. One side is a chalkboard, the other one is a dry erase board. The easel includes special trays on both sides to keep your art supplies at hand. One side of the board can be magnetic and is used for playing with number and letter magnets. This board can also hold a roll of paper.
Easels feature a variety of sizes and adjustment mechanisms. There are heavy-duty and light easels, frame easels, tabletops, etc. The aluminum easels have some advantages over wooden ones – they are lightweight and portable. The best easels that produce better results are manufactured by Melissa & Dough, U.S. Art Supply, Art Alternatives, Mont Marte, and others.
Pencils need regular sharpening, so you have to get a sharpener to process your drawing instruments. Manual sharpeners are the best choice for beginners. They can be plastic or wooden, and they are very cheap. Metal handheld sharpeners are stronger and long-lasting, and can manage with sharpening both graphite and colored pencils.
Electric sharpeners are good for quick sharpening and are easier to use. Unfortunately, some of them can be used only with graphite pencils because colored pencils have a waxy binder which tends to get within the blades and ruin the sharpener. The top manufacturers of sharpeners are Jarlink, Prismacolor, TripWorthy, X-ACTO, Staedtler, Faber-Castell and others.
Finding crafts and art supplies for kids can be tricky – some of them may be too advanced, while others are not able to hold their attention. The list of materials and craft kits offered by WoWPencils requires less cleanup and is easy to set up. It is highly rated by users, and moms’ opinions are taken into account.
No one doubts that toddlers may get dirty and messy. Give them a chance to freely manipulate and explore these materials. There is nothing that a shower/cloth/sponge cannot fix. Keep these supplies readily available for kids because creativity can strike at any moment.
Share your own ideas what you consider the best art supplies.