This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
Kid Arts & Crafts Essentials You’ll Definitely Want to Stock Up On
Fall will be here before we know it and soon we won’t be spending as much time outdoors. Which means it’s time to start stocking up on arts and craft supplies for toddlers and preschoolers!
This list will cover 21 arts and crafts essentials that you should always have on hand.
Must Have Arts & Craft Supplies for Toddlers + Preschoolers
The following list is just a starting point, and includes some of the most commonly used craft supplies for toddlers, preschoolers, and even school age kids.
If you are starting from scratch, I would recommend stocking up on some of the basics, and then branching out from there.
And if you already have a good start on your kids’ craft supply stash, then I hope you’ll find a few fun things here to help enhance it!
Let’s get started.
1. Colorful Construction Paper
Plain white paper is a staple in any craft supply cabinet. But a pack of multi-colored construction paper makes creating artwork much more fun for kids!
You’re gonna want at least one package of colorful construction paper to start out.
2. Craft Feathers
Remember them from grade school? Fuzzy, faux feathers used for making colorful turkeys, among other things.
Not sure what to use them for other than crafting Thanksgiving turkeys? Don’t worry! Kids have wonderful imaginations; they’ll figure something out.
You’ll definitely want to grab a bunch of craft feathers now….
3. Variety of Stickers
Honestly? I have a love-hate relationship with stickers. And I bet I’m not the only one who does!
Normally, I recommend reusable stickers for toddlers because they won’t get stuck to EVERY single thing in the house.
BUT… They’re not all that practical for crafting. So you’ll want to bite the bullet and stock up on a variety of stickers (and, of course, they’ll only be available during supervised crafting times!)
4. Tempera Paint Sticks
These things are pure magic.
You apply them to paper like a crayon, but on paper it looks like paint. And if they paint on the table or *ahem* themselves? I can assure you from experience that it’s super easy to wash off.
5. Washable Paint
You don’t want just any old paint. Trust me on this.
If you have a toddler, you definitely want to make sure you’re buying kid-friendly washable paint.
6. Paint Paper
Regular printer paper is fine as long as your toddler doesn’t load it up with globs of paint. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to grab a pack of special paint paper.
7. Craft Sticks
You can get craft sticks in all sizes — small sticks, regular sized, and jumbo craft sticks.
Some of the cutest toddler crafts call for wooden popsicle sticks, so you’ll definitely want to have a bunch on hand.
Are all the kiddos’ art projects starting to pile up? No worries, I have some solutions for you! These 13 ways to store kids’ artwork are both practical and creative.
Another staple in any toddler’s craft supply stash, a big box of crayons can keep them entertained for hours.
Just make sure you don’t let them out of your sight!
Trust me on this one….
By the way, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will remove crayon art from almost anything. Except wood walls, unfortunately.
9. Dot Markers
Dot markers, just like they give you for Bingo, are the perfect size for little hands!
Make sure you choose washable dot markers, though, because you know they’re going to get it ALL over themselves…and their white clothes.
10. Roll of Kraft Paper
Brown Kraft paper has a multitude of uses:
- custom wrapping paper
- treasure maps
- road maps for toy cars…
You’ll want to have a roll or two handy for your next art project!
11. Pipe Cleaners
These fuzzy, bendy sticks can be a lot of fun! Contort them into various shapes, or put them together to see what you can make.
Wiry spectacles are always a hit, as are bracelets and other bits of homemade jewelry!
For a fuzzy little ball, pom-poms are a much-loved item — at least they’re popular in our house.
Glue them onto art projects or use them when teaching your little one how to sort. The possibilities are endless when it comes to pom-poms.
13. Foam Shapes
Grab yourself a big ol’ package of foam shapes in all sorts of shapes and colors! Then let your toddler loose on them.
Not only will your kids have a blast making unique creations, but they make an excellent teaching aid.
14. Googly Eyes
I’m sure you remember the good ol’ googly eyes from art class as a kid!
Grab a package to keep on hand at home, and you can make all sorts of critters with your toddler, from frogs to birds, and even imaginary creatures.
Some families just don’t want to bring playdough into their homes — and maybe you’re one of those people — but it can be the perfect sensory tool for your toddler.
It’s fun. It’s calming. And it encourages creativity, motor skill development, etc.
You’ll want to set boundaries, for sure. You might even want to strap younger toddlers into the high chairs.
Trust me, I’m well aware of how quickly it gets tracked all over the house! But keep a few containers of playdough on hand for a quick and easy distraction — you’ll be glad to have it.
Finger painting is awesome, for sure, but you’ll want to have a variety of tools on hand. A few paintbrushes in various sizes are definitely essential.
17. Paint Sponges
Shaped sponges are another tool to help your toddler apply paint to their paper. Or whatever they happen to be painting on.
Hopefully that’s not your walls! (But if that happens, you’ll be glad they’re using washable paint.)
18. Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls
I would definitely save up your cardboard toilet paper rolls (as long as they’re clean!) to save money. But if you need more, you can always buy a package through Amazon. (Who knew?!)
19. Paper Plates
If you ever browse Pinterest for craft ideas, you’ll come across all kinds of fun toddler and preschooler projects using paper plates. So you’ll definitely want to have a package on hand.
20. Kid-Safe Scissors
Start out with safety scissors so they can practice their scissor skills. These plastic scissors are sharp enough to cut through paper, but they have rounded tips so your kid can’t hurt himself.
You might even want to grab a pack of scissor skills paper to practice cutting out a variety of shapes.
21. Glue Sticks
Finally, you’ll need some sort of adhesive, and glue sticks are probably the best choice when it comes to small children.
I’m sure there are lots of other options available, but I like the standard glue stick and clear tape when crafting with my kids.
What are your favorite craft supplies for toddlers or preschoolers that parents should stock up on?