Parents and caregivers, I have heard you! Your little ones are ready to begin their artistic journeys, you want to be brave and offer them authentic, quality art experiences, but you don’t know what supplies to buy. I figured I better make an official list since this question has popped up multiple times in the past few weeks. Feel free to start with the first few and work up to the 20 as your budget allows. I just personally cannot function happily with less than 20 art supplies in my world, hence the generous amount of items on this list. 🙂
1. Washable tempera paints in red, blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, black, and white. Buy good sized bottles (16oz +) that are economical and will last you awhile. Remember, you can mix colors, so 8 colors are plenty to cover basic mixing needs.
2. Watercolor Cake Set. (pictured) Repeat after me: “I WILL NOT BUY THE HORRIBLE WAXY CHEAP WATERCOLORS FOR MY PRECIOUS BABIES.” Most art stores have inexpensive cake watercolor sets that are far better to work with and last a lot longer than waxy ones. Note: These paints are not always washable, but you can just put Little One in an old t-shirt and paint in a zone that is easily washable. It’s worth it!
3. Variety Pack of Assorted-Sized Paintbrushes
4. Washable Glue Sticks
5. Washable White Glue
6. Crayola Crayons, I am partial to the 64-count boxes!
7. Washable Crayola Markers, “Bold” and “Classic” color boxes
8. White Copy Paper (great for simple every-day drawing needs)
9. Colored Construction Paper
10. A Big Variety Box of Plastic Cookie Cutter Shapes: These usually come in holiday and seasonal shapes, basic geometric shapes, animals, nature objects, letters/numbers, and can offer SO MANY USES! Other than the obvious use of cutting cookie dough into shapes, you can also use them to make special shaped bread and cheese snacks, use them in play dough activities, press the shapes in a plate of paint and print the shapes on paper, use them in sensory tables with sand or water, trace the shapes with markers or crayons on paper… and more!
11. Washable ink pads and ink stamps. Animals and shapes are my favorites!
12. Bottles of gold and silver glitter paint. Everything is better with sparkle, just trust me. This is a “safer” way to introduce glitter. It’s trapped in the clear paint, so it won’t get dusty loose glitter everywhere. Although, I honestly don’t see anything wrong with having glitter everywhere, but I know I may be in the minority on that issue. 🙂
13. Q-tips (great for applying white glue, and for a different paint brushing option)
14. Cotton balls (good for sensory projects)
15. Yarn, in various colors
16. Washable “Dot-Paint” Blotter Bottles
17. Colored Tissue Paper (start saving all that leftover tissue from gift bags!)
18. Clear Contact Paper
19. Safety Scissors, child-sized.
20. Stickers, assorted kinds