Best Art Supplies for Kids

An educator for more than 35 years, our dear Teacher Nancy heads the “art department” (also known as a wild and wonderful room full of creative, mind-expanding tools, supplies and surfaces) for our preschool bunch.


Nancy has experimented with a lot of different products over the years. After I peeled the kids away from her (sorry little ones, my turn), she kindly agreed to share her favorites with us.

Discount School Supply is her favorite source for Pipettes, Watercolor Brushes, and Colorations Paints (best paint ever, according to Nancy and I’d have to agree).

Preschool Painters

There are a few permanent fixtures in her art area like an easel where at least three children can paint on one side while a “community piece” can be embellished on the other side, an “office” area with tape, hole punchers, scissors, stamps, and paper, and a water/sensory table filled with ever-changing textures and colors but atop the few tables, Nancy rotates various materials and art supplies, always keeping things interesting for curious young minds.

Creative Painting Techniques for Preschoolers
Why stick to only paintbrushes for working with paint? Nancy is always putting out fun tools that make interesting shapes. Try spring-y whisk tops, sponges, q-tips, or objects you find in nature.
Preschoolers Painting a Birdhouse
Painting other surfaces besides paper is really exciting for preschoolers.Here they are using Colorations liquid watercolors to paint a wooden bird house.

Colorations Liquid Watercolor Paint 8 oz.
is excellent (including the sparkly ones but be aware the glitter can be difficult to clean up) and a little bit goes a long way. Teacher Nancy uses baby food jars to hold a little paint for all the kids to share — the weight of the little glass jar keeps it from tipping over even with multiple brushes dipping at the same time. She also loves the very affordable
Colorations Watercolor Paint Brush Classroom Pack – 144 Pieces

Preschool Girl Painting
These vivid Colorations paints go on nice and smooth

Unlike so many kid-friendly paints, the
Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint 16 oz.
doesn’t crack once it has dried so children’s art can be preserved without crumbling away. Their artwork can even be cut and folded to reuse for other projects or wrapping paper without paint flaking off. The
Colorations Metallic Activity Paint 16 oz.
adds beautiful sparkle (gold and copper are the best) but if you’re looking for silver, use the 
Colorations Make It More Paint Additives 16 oz.
(specifically the Make It Shimmer product in Silver). This can be used alone or added to any color to make it twinkle. I’m not sure what’s in this stuff (though I do know it’s non-toxic) but it almost leaves a plastic-feeling surface.

One of Nancy’s favorite “secret” art ingredients is Shaving Cream. She mixes equal parts white glue and shaving cream (and sometimes adds a dash of paint) to create a wonderfully versatile, fluffy material for the kids to work with. The kids love sticking beads and glitter into the puffy stuff and it actually holds up well enough so they’re even able to create sculptures.

Mixed Media Preschool Painting
Here is Sara working with Teacher Nancy’s “Puffy Paint.” She always provides lots of things for kids to stick into the fluffy stuff, the more sparkle the better!

Here are a few final recommendations from the dear Teacher Nancy to help you get FREE SHIPPING on stock orders over $79 at Discount School Supply.
Special thanks to Nancy for taking the time to give me her list of favorites. It is our last year at this preschool and I’m not quite sure what we will do without her!
Please note: I am an affiliate with Discount School Supply but the opinions here are my own.

Super Safe Plastic Droppers - Set of 12

Colorations Groovy Effects Paint Tools - Set of 12

Colorations Wacky Painting Tools - Set of 8

Crayola Oil Pastels - Set of 28

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