The BEST Kids Craft Materials

Friday, February 24, 2017

I have been asked many times to put together a list of the best materials for children arts and crafts. So here goes... This is a list of our all-time favorite craft materials. I started the list with the basic and essential craft materials we use almost daily and just can't live without, and kept going.


The Basics: 
Crayons - The cheap Crayolas are just fine and last forever, get it for $.5 from Walmart. Once they are broken, melt them and create your own crayons, like we did!
Want to add some fun? So many options! Glitter crayons, Neon Crayons, Metallic Crayons, Crayon Rocks, Multi Color Crayons...
Oil Pastels - Sakura and Crayola are great.
Markers - As long as it's washable, I'm happy.
Pens and Pencils - We got different kinds of colored pencils, but it seems like my son only want to use pens, so I bought him a cute set from the dollar tree. The Ikea Colored Pencil set is also super cool, easy grip, and totally worth $3.99.
Scissors - Daniel is still using his training scissors and they are great. We also have a few regular ones, but don't use it as much.
Glue - white glue and glue stick. Roller tape is our new favorite and great for fine motor.
Stapler - This one is not easy to use, but I kind of like it this way.

Printer paper, construction paper and cardstocks. I get the cardstocks from Michael's whenever it's on sale ($2-2.5). We use cardstock most of the time, since it's thicker and more durable. I also add scrapbook paper leftovers to our craft cart whenever I have it.
Also, easel roll from Ikea is really useful!

Can't live without:
Do A Dot - Seriously, we cannot live without it. It is (almost) mess free, and great for little hands. We bought our first set 2 years ago, and still using it! We added 2 more sets since, and we use it almost daily, for so many different arts and crafts! Check out this train book we made, coloring it with our Do A Dot.
Stickers - There's never enough stickers! We get a package everytime we're at the Dollar Tree or Walmart, and never have enough! 
Crayola Washable Paint - Hands down the best paint. It is really washable. I also like the small containers.  
Acrylic Paint - I have this package for my self, but it's great for wood painting. Not really washable, but somehow my son like these better.
Brushes - So many options out there, get whatever is not expensive or on sale. Just avoid the miniature ones from the Dollar Tree. I just bought a big variety pack and I take a few out and mix it up every once and a while.
Sponges - I used to use whatever I had in the kitchen, but bought this package for different textures and it lasts forever.

Materials we really, really like:
Ink - I love to make our own cards, and my son love playing with my stamps. I have to admit I let him use it as much as he want, but also got the rainbow package.
Stamps - Just like ink, he uses all my stamps, and I never bought him a set. That was until I saw the farm animals set. He LOVE farm animals, so I had to get it.
Pompoms - These are useful for art, but also for motor and learning activities like sorting and counting. I used to buy the small packages from the dollar tree, but realized that buying the big package from Amazon actually save me a lot of money!
Googly eyes - You've gotta have googly eyes! It makes everything awesome! I usually buy the ones with adhesive, but I restock often, and not always getting the same brand. I just make sure the package has different sizes. I just bought a big package and I plan to put them on items around the house to make my family smile :)
A good thing to have is eyes stickers, when you want to make it simple. I bought a roll of 1000 from Michaels for $1.99. It's listed on Amazon, so here's a link for you to check the product, but get it wherever it's cheaper:
Craft sticks - Get different sizes, we don't use it too often, but we like making puppets with them to bring stories to life. I just bought the natural craft sticks, and we paint them if we really want to.
Pipe Cleaners - We use it mostly for fine motor activities, mostly for threading beads, but they are good for many different crafts, and it's a great thing to add to your play dough play time.
Washi tape and colored masking tape - Really, the options here are endless, I just bought a pack, and since bought only the ones that were on sale at Michael's or Target. 
This one here is a real deal! 10 for less than $2!
Feathers - Add color and texture to your crafts!
Buttons - Great way to encourage creativity! I usually glue a few in different sizes and we draw around them together (well, mostly me, but my little one is bossy :) ). We made zoos, gardens, cars and roads... the options are endless. 
Tissue Paper - I used to keep leftovers from gift wrapping, but I also have a pack of tissue paper squares. The one I linked is fine, but Dollar Tree has something similar to it for much less.
Clear Con-tact Paper - When I bought it, I thought it would last forever, but realize we use it more often then I thought we would. Great for sun catchers, window art, collages and more.

Materials we like, but we don't use as often:
Foam Sheets - Craft foam is a great supply to have on hand. Since it's water-proof , it can even be used to make bath shapes. Super fun!
Glitter shakers - Yes, it's messy, and I hate cleaning after using these, but it makes my little boy happy! 
Glitter Glue - The less messy option for glitter :) I like Elmer's because the colors are more vibrant, but Crayola's are good, too.
Clay - Super messy, but super fun. I have a package of air dry clay at home for special crafty days.
Felt - I fell in love with this felt from Target, so I had to get it. We didn't use it a lot, but still fun to have. 
Clothespins - Great for craft, but also for other learning activities.

Beads - I know I can find cheaper packages, but I'm kind of obsessed with how they look in this one. My son love beads, but I hate how it rolls everywhere! My friend Colleen thought me a trick: I just let him play on a big towel. So much easier to clean up after crafting! We love the letter beads and check out this awesome activity we made with wooden beads.
String - I get the elastic plastic cords, but make sure not to get the clear one, it seems to be harder to deal with for a toddler. Many other colors to choose from! We often replace string with pipe cleaners. 
Play Dough:
Play dough - No doubt, handmade play dough is the best! I will share my recipe later and update a link here as well. But when I really don't want to make it, it's good to have a package in storage. I like Eco Kids' dough - it's non toxic, natural and safe.
Tools - Lots of options out there! But since I make homemade play dough most of the time, we use our regular cookie cutters. I bought a big variety pack, and I must admit - most of them are being used only for play dough :)

Keep it Clean:
My First Crayola Art Smock is easy to clean and worked fine for us. Get it from Target for less than $4.

That’s about it. I hope I didn’t miss anything, but if I did I’ll come back and update the list. Please add a comment with any of your faves that I missed!


  1. I think we have most of these. I may have to pick up a few. =)

  2. I completely agree with all, but I don't have Do a Dot! Totally going to get that! I also discovered today in the $1 bin at Target little hangs me wooden crafts with paint! We had a painting party this afternoon!