Are you wondering what to get a child in your family for the holidays? As an art teacher, I see what the kids really like and what they gravitate towards to when they are given free time in art.
These are some popular items for kids that I have personally used and recommend. Most of these can be found at your local Target or Michaels (or other craft/art store). Don't forget to print off a coupon online if you are buying from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Also, if you'd rather shop from your home in your pajamas, I have linked to Amazon.
Please also use with adult supervision until you are sure your child can handle the materials on their own.
If you are an art teacher, you may already know about a lot of these products. I'm always excited to find new fun art materials, so share some good ones in the comments.
Preschool Art Supplies
For the child who doesn't have many art supplies yet, these are some to start their collection...
Safety Scissors.. kids love to cut paper. My three old is so proud of herself when she cuts little pieces of paper.
Watercolor Pencils.. My preschooler loves drawing with watercolor pencils. Actually most of the kids I teach do too! There's something magical about drawing with the pencils, adding water and watching the colors spread. Crayolas work just fine, but I let my daughter use my fancy Inktense colored pencils (because that's what I have at home). They last a long time!
Sketchbook Every kid loves to have their own special book to draw in. These mixed media sketchbooks by Canson work nicely for light applications of water soluble materials. I have used mine for watercolor pencils, paints, stamping.. just make sure not to drench the pages.
Crayons A no-brainer! Crayons are great for all ages.
Stickers I like to use foam letter and number stickers, shape stickers, character stickers, colored tape.. anything that sticks is fun for little kids.
Crayons and markers that write on black paper There are several types of crayons and markers that will write on black paper. These are very fun to use as well.
Play Doh I hate the smell of Play doh, but it is the best to use for preschoolers (in my opinion).
Paints We use the Crayola fingerpaints and a basic watercolor set at home.
School Age Art Gifts
Gel Pens There are some that definitely work better than others! I love the neon gel pens from Sakura. Don't waste your money on the cheaper ones.
Fine Line Pens Kids LOVE these fine line felt tip pens. They write really smoothly and have a lot of different colors.
Drawing Book This book about how to draw Manga is one of the most-used drawing books in my classroom collection.
Wild Notes This pen will color change on the paper. I bought some of the index cards as a gift.
Color Switching Markers These color switching markers are so much fun. Draw with one end, then use the other end to draw on top.
Water Soluble Oil Pastels Creamy and smooth, these can be used as regular oil pastels or you can add water with a paintbrush to blend it.
Decorative and Colored Tape You can cut or tear patterned or solid color tape to make designs and decorations. Target has their own line of bold patterned tape which is very reasonably priced. You can find lots of tape at Michael's as well.
Twistable Crayons The colors show up nicely and twisting the crayon is a novelty. Just don't twist too far or it might break off.
Stampers Rubber stamps of all kinds are fun for kids. A stamp kit might be the most cost effective way to start out rather than just buying individual stamps.
Activity Books Klutz books are great for introducing all sorts of artsy crafty things. For example: beading, origami, friendship bracelets, etc..
Beads and other jewelry making supplies
Sculpture stuff: Wire, chenille stems, modeling clay, buttons, beads, charms, styrofoam, etc.
Origami Papers and books!
Watercolor Sets For a child who is a beginner, get a basic crayola set. For a kid who is really into painting and wants to take it further, I highly recommend the Sakura Koi travel set. The waterbrush is nice to use. These are the watercolor paints I use most often when painting.
Scratch Art Paper Using a wooden stick scratch the surface to reveal the colors underneath.
Shrinky Dink Paper These sheets can be drawn on and then placed in the oven. They shrink into little hard plastic pieces. If you punch a hole in them before you bake you can make them into pendants.