I am often asked which art supplies we favour as a family and so I’ve popped together our top 5 art supplies all in one place. These are materials that we’ve had since my babies were able to pick up a crayon and make their first marks and many we’re still using 14 years later. They have certainly stood the test of time.
Quality over quantity
Investing in a few good quality art supplies which work well is the key thing here. There is nothing worse than a crayon that doesn’t give any colour or a pencil which is so hard it snaps. They are more expensive but perhaps adding them to the ‘Christmas/birthday list’ is a good way of building up a fab art-box? It’s also invaluable to teach kids to look after their materials so that they continue to serve their creativity (and planet).
My top 5
1. Seawhite Eco Portrait Starter Sketchbooks 150gsm
These sketch books have just the right amount of pages in them: it’s nice to fill one up and then move on to the next without being to precious about the odd accident. Sketch books for us, are places to draw and jot down ideas. I like them to be uncomplicated and functional. The paper is really nice and thick so you can use both sides and easily take out pages if you want paper for painting on or using in a different way. The A3 versions for good for this. They also are easily individualised and my kids like to write their names and decorate the covers in their own way.
Most of the next section are all materials which I was introduced to whilst working at a Steiner Kindergarten. Quite simply they are great supplies that do what they say on the tin. As you will notice most of these links go back to one shop – Myriad. Having bought from these guys forever I recommend them highly, although you might be able to find these items stocked else where for different prices.
2. Block Crayons £20.99 for a tin of 16
They are easy to hold for little hands and can be used in all manner of ways. We have spent hours building towers and playing dominoes with them as well as drawing, you can use them on their sides for rubbings or filling in large areas and they blend really well. The colours are intense and satisfying to use. They also come in neat little tins so it’s obvious if any are missing, and easy for little fingers to open and close.
3. Stick Crayons £20.99 for a tin of 16
These ones are in a more crayon like shape for when hands are bigger and learning to have a pencil grip. As a result they are good for when your little one wants to start drawing with a bit more detail.
4. Lyra Colour Giants £14.99 for 12 Pencils
My next recommendation are these pencils from Lyra as they have delivered for years and years. Great colour without too much pressure, nice wide pencils with chunky to grip. I like the fact that they are coloured on the outside so that it’s easy to identify which one you want to use and where it is. You will need to buy the large sharpener which goes with them.
5. Stockmar Opaque Paint tin £18.99
I must admit that we don’t have these ones but I will be buying them next time. My kids have annihilated my Windsor and Newton Watercolours 4 times over and we now have a set from the local art store. They’re fine, they do the job, we have to ‘wake them up’ with quite a lot of water if we haven’t used them in a while and there’s a lot of frantic scrubbing with the brush which makes my tummy turn (poor brush). I think these would be a great investment.
And a few more!
Brushes: There is nothing more frustrating than a hard scratchy brush who’s bristles fall out all-of-the-time. In my opinion these are best reserved for glue application and nothing else. Proper brushes are an investment which need looking after but will last for years and years and are so much more satisfying to use.
The other things we like are PVA glue which I buy from the Pound Shop and good scissors; I love these from Dunelm.
Creating time for us is fun family time. Having our favourite art supplies to hand means that we can be busy creating whenever the mood comes. I hope that you find this list valuable and all that’s left is for me to wish you many hours of happy creating!
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