Extracurricular Activities

The Best Art Supplies For Kids Summed up - Cheap and Mess-Free!


  1. What to give to a kid who loves art? I.e. easy steps to make your kid love art.
  2. Where can I find the best time-saving art supplies for kids?
  3. What should a beginner artist buy?
  4. What are the best art supplies for kids?


Do you remember the joy of popping open your brand new Junior artists case as a kid? Rows of neat crayons, sharpened colouring pencils and fresh marker pens just waiting to be used. It’s really easy to get kids involved in arts and crafts when the supplies are as tempting as a box of sweets. 

Kids love art  materials because they are colourful, interactive and sometimes messy! Craft projects trigger children to roll up their sleeves and make some brilliant crafts and DIY projects that they can put their own twist on. 

In 2019/20 95.8% of children in the UK engaged in arts in England. This includes playing a musical instrument and taking part in craft projects.

We’ve already compiled some great DIY, craft projects and ideas at GoStudent! Now we’re going to answer your questions about the best art supplies for kids, whether you are wondering about cheap kids art supplies, gifts for a kid who loves art or some mess-free arts and crafts supplies for kids, we’ve got you covered!Ostern-basteln-Kinder-Karte

Easy steps to make your kid love art


These are ideas for the kid who already has the basics and a well stocked craft cupboard, but could use some original additions: 

Ink pads and stamps 

These are great to give to kids who love art because you can never have too many! The best art supplies for kids are those that spark creativity after all. There’s endless designs of rubber stamps out there and a whole array of ink pads that children can enjoy using to bring their artwork to life. There’s also something really satisfying for kids (and adults- I speak from experience!) about pushing the stamp down onto the page, making it fun to do over and over again. Kids will love perfecting their stamping technique while boosting focus.

Stickers and sticker books 

Stickers are able to keep kids engaged for a longer stretch with this quiet and thoughtful task. I love the fact that stickers can be incorporated into endless art projects as a finishing touch or they can be the subject of a sticker collage which makes them ideal to give to a kid who loves art, while also helping to develop fine motor skills.

A Drawing projector 

Drawing projectors are one of the best art supplies for kids who really take their drawing seriously. If you know a kid who loves art but can get frustrated and want to start over if they haven’t got the drawing exactly right, then a drawing projector can make things a whole lot easier. In my experience kids who love their art get less frustrated when using the projector and real pride in their finished piece. The projector uses light and a mirror to shine an outline of a drawing onto the page. The outline can then be easily drawn over to make for a satisfying end result plus improving a child's self-actualisation skills.


Where can I find the best time-saving art supplies for kids?


If your child wants to get creative, but you haven’t got time to hose down the house afterwards, these are time savers:

Magic paint with water 

Painting with water on special sheets of paper is one of the best art supplies for kids who love painting. If you can’t face covering every surface in the newspaper- you are not alone! This makes a great mess-free alternative. You’ll need to buy special pictures which are printed in black and white ink onto a page, much like a colouring book. Then when a paintbrush loaded with water touches the page, colours magically appear to bring the picture to life. I find that even older kids really enjoy the satisfaction of this one. Only water and a brush are needed which is what makes paint with water feel magical and fun! Not to mention your child is practising their hand-eye coordination skills.

Play dough 

Making play dough ticks a lot of boxes in the world of kids' crafts. It’s malleable and fun just to squish between our palms, but kids' imaginations can run wild. Creating models and shapes that can be changed without starting over makes play dough an accessible craft without pressure. Depending on how old your child is, I find that play dough can be a great way to integrate some learning from the classroom that children respond well to. Counting play dough balls is much more fun than counting on a worksheet for instance. The dough comes in lots of fun, bright colours that can be easily packed away without needing to do lots of washing afterwards. Just be sure to cover the playing surface in a wipeable tablecloth before beginning.

Water drawing mats 

Giant water drawing mats are original and one of the cheap kids art supplies that we see older kids like to get stuck into as well! Water drawing mats are best used on the floor, (even better if outside in the summertime). The mats come with a refillable water pen. Little artists can draw (or make marks) all over the mat and a bright design is revealed where the water touches the mat. My favourite part is not only that there’s hardly any mess, but that once the water dries, the design fades and the mat is ready to be used again. Holding and moving the pen is also great for little ones fine motor skills, while being able to draw on a big surface stretches their imagination

What should a beginner artist buy?


Maybe your child is just about ready to hold onto a pen, pencil or brush, then your beginner artist.

What are the best art supplies for kids?


The best art supplies for kids are the supplies that inspire them! Just how some children are drawn towards building blocks, and others are drawn towards books. Some children may love fingerpainting while another loves modelling clay. 

Just as children play and craft in different ways, children also learn best in different ways. Let’s take a look at what art supplies might appeal most to your child based on how they learn:

  • If your child is a kinetic learner, this means that they are excellent experimenters and learn best by doing a physical activity relating to their learning. This could be acting out a play, dance or doodling while studying. Kinetic learners usually have a lot of energy to burn! The best art supplies for kinetic learners are ones that require the whole body! We think that a large water drawing mat will engage a kinetic learner in both drawing and refining their gross motor skills as they coordinate themselves around the large floor mat.
  • Audio learner kids are often great storytellers and integrate well into groups as they are good listeners too. In my experience, audio learners respond really well to art activities where music is involved. Try this: Play an instrumental song on a speaker and have your kid paint freely while the song plays. Tell them to paint a picture that represents the music! Your audio learner is fab at picking up on subtleties in music and mood so will likely create a mini abstract masterpiece in just a few minutes.
  • When we think of art, it is a primarily visual experience so visual learners often have a creative streak. If your kid is a visual learner, it’s all about harnessing their creativity in a medium that interests them. I’ve always found that visual learners are good at following directions, not to mention they can easily visualise objects. Whether drawing from still life, from memory or craft kits with instructions they will all engage a visual learner.

If you’re able to take anything away from this article it should be that the best art supplies are not necessarily the most expensive. Also that every child should be participating regularly in arts and crafts to develop key skills. Finally, if you’re stumped with where to begin, start simple: What type of art does your child show interest in? Follow your child down that path and check out our blog for more art and craft inspiration.