I really like making stuff, so it seems natural to me to encourage our kids to craft. This is a list of my top 10 art supplies for young kids. These would make great gifts for 1 and 2 year olds.
- Pencil crayons | I prefer to use pencil crayons instead of crayons for kids who put everything in their mouth. They are also better than felts when traveling since there aren’t lids to lose or ink to leak everywhere. I especially like the Crayola Mini Twistables because they are short, and don’t need to be sharpened. A couple Crayola Mini Twistables in a sandwich Ziploc bag with a mini spiral notebook are great to have in my purse or diaper bag.
- Washable markers | Crayola Pipsqueaks are a nice small size for little hands. Not great for traveling but good for learning fine motor skills. Sometimes toddlers enjoy taking the markers out of a container and putting them back again.
- Playdough | I like making playdough, but sometimes buy it. I like offering a variety of things to play with the playdough, including spoons, cookie cutters, ice cube trays, plastic dishes or clean yogurt containers. We like this set of plastic playdough tools. We have had fun making tracks in playdough with plastic animals and making birthday cupcakes complete with birthday candles.
- Sidewalk chalk | I open the box of chalk and dump it into a big plastic bucket from the dollar store.
- Paper | I love small pieces of paper like index cards (3×5) for toddlers since they are thicker than regular paper and small enough for highchair trays and also thick enough for painting or gluing on. Mini spiral notebooks are also great for toddlers because they like turning the pages and they fit easily on their highchair tray. Big sheets of blank paper are also fun, like 8.5×11 white computer paper or rolls of paper, which you can lay on the floor and trace their bodies (if you can get them to lie still).
- Magnetic drawing board | like this Fisher-Price Travel Doodler Pro. This is something I wouldn’t buy at a dollar store, since I want the toddler to be able to erase the board on their own and the cheap magnetic drawing boards are often too difficult for them.
- Stamps | the Melissa & Doug stamp pads are more washable than I’ve found other supposedly washable stamp pads. This is something I wouldn’t buy at a dollar store, since I really want the ink pads to be washable.
- Stickers | I like circle-shaped stickers, like these round label stickers, because they seem to be easier for little hands to remove. When I buy more complicated shaped stickers, I usually remove the backing from the sticker sheet so they can remove the stickers easier on their own.
- Paint | I’ve liked using the Crayola paint and watercolor cakes. Also, a smock, spill-proof paint cups and lots of wet wipes are useful. I let them paint on paper plates, index cards and cardboard egg cartons. Young kids also enjoy painting with water, too, so during warmer weather, I give them a paint brush and a bucket of water.
- Easel | Melissa & Doug kids easel or the Ikea Mala wood easel. I like using big sheets of paper on the easel.
What are your favourite art supplies for toddlers?