Essential Art Supplies for Toddlers & Preschoolers

We be packin’ over here, y’all! Art supplies, of course 🙂

Kids are born with crazy imaginations. At least, I would assume they are but who really knows what goes on in their heads those first 1 or 2 years, right?

Essential Art Supplies for Toddlers & Preschoolers | thegrowingcreatives.com

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My fiance and I always joke if J is smiling in his sleep he must be dreaming about chasing milkies. Then if he starts to cry or whimper we say now the milkies are chasing him, LOL. That’s probably not as funny to people who aren’t us, but it’s out there now so let’s just get back to my original point.

Kids have a great ability to be creative without much guidance. If all you can ever get your child in way of art supplies is a pen and piece of paper, they will come up with some sweet ballpoint pen masterpieces. But if you are able and desiring to expand their art stockpile, look no further than this list for all the essential art supplies you need!

1. Washi Tape

Lulu loves decorating with washi tape!! To be honest, I do as well. There are a ton of designs that can be used in so many ways. I really like encouraging my daughter to slow down and focus on putting the tape on in a straight line. Not because I expect her to be perfect at it, but the ability to focus is a valuable skill to work on!

2. Stamps

If you told me what a big deal stamps were before I had kids, I never would’ve believed you. But man oh man, kids love stamps! Also try cutting a potato in half, then shaping it and using that as a stamp.

3. Paints

Watercolor, finger paints, tempera. Lots of choices. If I had to pick one I would say tempera paints are the most versatile and easiest to use. Although finger painting is perfect for younger tots who are still getting used to a brush.

4. Paintbrushes

Naturally we need something to spread our aforementioned paints. These are my favorite paintbrushes as they have a bunch of styles for different projects. However, I encourage you to think outside the box on this one. Normal paintbrushes are great of course, but there are so many other ways to paint! Crinkle up some foil, use cotton balls, leaves, an old sock (preferably washed), there are lots of fun options to test out!

5. Safety Scissors

Specifically ones that cut the cool designs. I think kids are just made to enjoy being destructive and this is an appropriate outlet for that urge! Cutting up strips of paper then pasting them onto another piece of paper is the simplest yet most entertaining thing ever for toddlers and preschoolers.

6. String and Beads

Strings and beads are fantastic for fine motor skills, and it keeps their focus for a good amount of time. These are great for toddlers who might still be putting stuff in their mouth. And these ones have a huge selection for older kiddos. Besides regular string, you can use ribbon, pipe cleaners, twine. And look for stuff around your house to use as beads! Cutting up a plastic straw is great, so are noodles.

7. Construction Paper

You gotta have some to draw on and glue stuff to, right? Colorful construction paper is perfect for this and will undoubtedly aid you in many of your crafts. Don’t stop at construction paper though! Foam sheets, paper plates, and thicker cardstock are all great, too.

8. Do-A-Dot Markers

These are especially perfect for toddlers who seem to want to just slam stuff into the paper. Having these markers on hand has saved my normal markers many times over. Plus they open up a whole new way for kids to create artwork!

9. Glitter Glue

If my daughter was making this list, glitter glue would have been number one. She absolutely loooooooves her some glitter glue. I have to keep a closer eye on her with this since she likes to put huge globs all over her paper, but it really is such a fun way to add some pizzazz to artwork.

I’ve also found that it’s generally a little harder to squeeze the glue out because they have smaller tips, so it’s a good way to get them used to using appropriate amounts of glue.

10. Fun Add-Ons

There’s a ton of stuff you can get within this category but they’re all equally fun and serve the same purpose which is why I’m just grouping them together. We have this craft bundle that includes a bunch of options. Pom poms, googly eyes, gems, feathers- cool stuff to decorate their artwork with. Stickers are always a fan favorite!

11. Something to Work On

Not exactly an art supply, but essential if you want to keep your home clean!! I have a blue plastic table cloth with daisies on it from a thrift store haha. You could also just use an old sheet or shower curtain.

One thing I have used in the past which was gloriously convenient, is this thin plastic sheet roll. You just cut off what you need and throw it out afterwards! One less thing to worry about at clean up time.

There’s always more that can be bought, found, or repurposed for a craft. These are just some of the main ones we like to keep on hand that have given us hours of enjoyment and creations!

I am not ashamed to admit that I purposely avoided putting glitter on this list. We do have it but save it for “special occasions” (read: almost nothing is special enough for that mess LOL). What are some essential art supplies your kids love?


Essential Art Supplies for Toddlers & Preschoolers | thegrowingcreatives.com
Essential Art Supplies for Toddlers & Preschoolers | thegrowingcreatives.com

P.S. Now that you have all your essential art supplies, head on over to this post for a fun and easy dream catcher craft your kids will love!

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51 thoughts on “Essential Art Supplies for Toddlers & Preschoolers

    1. Same here haha! And thank you!! I got it from angiemakes.com, she has a bunch of other really great watercolor downloads 🙂

    1. I think all kids enjoy it to some extent, I’m sure it will be fun seeing what his interests are as he grows!

  1. My daughter is now 7 years old and she really loves making crafts on her free time. I am sure she will really love having these stuffs to be add on her crafts items.

  2. I totally pinned this! I did so much art with my oldst but haven’t started with my youngest who just turned 2. I need to!

  3. I have a three-year-old, so this is perfect! We haven’t ventured into the world of scissors yet. Maybe it’s time.

    1. Some safety scissors have metal on them but ours are all plastic, so I don’t have to worry about her accidentally cutting herself. The ones listed are the same ones we have and we love them, if you’re interested! They cut the different designs out too which she loves

  4. I wanna say thank you for giving me this list for art supplies. Safe scissors is really important especially for kids.

    1. I’m glad you found it useful! I’m so glad we got the safety scissors, my daughter loves using them and we never have to worry about her cutting herself or something other than paper

  5. My kids love art so much. And we had this lot of supplies in our house. Their favorite is washi tape because it has a lot of uses.

    1. Oh yes they are the perfect ages for these items. I wrote this with my 3 year old in mind and we’ve been using most of these things for at least a year now

  6. I love the ideas you have here! I am going to have to try the string and beads! My son is still putting things in his mouth and I am always looking for things to keep him busy so I can do some work or chores around the house! Thanks for sharing!

    1. The larger farm animal bead set or something similar would be perfect for kiddos that put everything in their mouth! String and beads are really great practice for fine motor skills as well and would definitely keep him occupied for a bit!

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  8. This is so helpful! My daughter loves craft things but I am not very crafty. I know she would love all of these things. Looks like a trip to the crafty store is in my future!

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