Nurture your tiny Picasso or budding Kahlo’s artistic side with easy-to-use art supplies. We’ve gathered up our favorite fun art supplies for toddlers, from the best crayons for chubby hands to mess-free markers, plus a few affordable DIY options perfect for a rainy day. Stock a closet with thick paper, paint, smocks or old t-shirts, and a few fun tools and, before you know it, you’ll have a fridge covered in masterpieces.
Scribble it up with these jumbo beeswax crayons, one of our favorite first art supplies. We love that Honey Sticks are nontoxic and have a sweet scent. Skinny, regular-size crayons snap in half in toddlers' hands, so choose easy-to-hold crayons like these thick and sturdy scribblers or toddler fave crayon rocks.
Available at amazon.com, $19.95.
Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Mix up cornstarch, water,and a splash of food coloring and you’ll have your own homemade sidewalk chalk paint. Though it creates a bright, bold color, it’s easy to wash off of kids and sidewalks alike. It's a fun way to create large scale art outside. Simply pair with paintbrushes with sturdy handles, like these from Melissa and Doug. Find all the DIY instructions to make your own sidewalk chalk paint from the Happiness Is Homemade blog.
Washable Finger Paint Set
Toddlers love to explore textures, and finger paints give them a great way to do just that. We like this paint set from Crayola because it’s washable, nontoxic, and comes equipped with big sheets of paper. When you've used up the paper, you can pair finger paints with cardboard or even foil to give your kiddo a different art experience. For a fun, extra-affordable painting adventure, whip up edible finger paints using this recipe. To keep the mess manageable, make sure to add a smock, or strip your kiddo down to a diaper. Plop them in the bath after they're done creating.
Available at shop.crayola.com, $21.99.
Color Wonder Markers
Since toddlers can't be trusted to keep real markers on paper only, Crayola Color Wonder Markers offer a mess-free way for little ones to scribble. Plus, they make for perfect on-the-go art supplies for long road trips. These markers won’t mark up anything except for the special paper. Our favorite big set comes equipped with 60 sheets of paper and 20 markers.
Available at shop.crayola.com, $20.66
Big Sidewalk Chalk
Twee's sidewalk chalk sets make a perfect birthday gift, and Carrie's Castle Sidewalk Chalk does double-duty as both building blocks and art supplies. Thick, sturdy pieces of sidewalk chalk are right-sized for two-year-old hands. You can draw circles and lines with the chalk while introducing your little one to shapes, and add some outdoor fun by creating a sidewalk obstacle course with lines to walk on and circles to hop over!
Available at tweemade.com, $34.
Another fantastic on-the-go art supply is Wikki Stix. Kids can twist, twirl and bend them to make sculptures all their own. We love this animal-themed pack that's ready to pull out on a rainy day.
Available at wikkistix.com, $9.95.
Paint-with-Water Water Wow Coloring Book
More of an activity than an open-ended art supply, Water Wow offers no mess, no-prep fun for toddlers. You can find a Water Wow book that matches your little one’s interests, whether they go gaga for trucks or adore farm animals. Simply fill the pen with H2O and watch as your kiddo brushes away, revealing hidden pictures. When the page dries, the picture fades away so your child can re-paint it another time. Great for travel or as a quiet activity while you're busy on a Zoom call, these affordable books start at $5.99.
Available at melissaanddoug.com, $5.99.
Homemade Play Dough
Homemade play dough is a great tool to use to get those little fingers working—and it’s fun! As toddlers squish and roll the play dough, they're strengthening their hand muscles and hand-eye coordination to get ready for writing. Plus, you can let dough creations air-dry for unique 3D art. Find our favorite recipe here. Add an extra-special touch with a few drops of scent, like vanilla, or with a sprinkle of sequins or glitter. Pair with cookie cutters and a toddler-size rolling pin for hours of entertainment.
Spill-Proof Paint Cups
Spill-proof paint cups, like these from Melissa & Doug, are a toddler art must-have. Because of the tightly fitting lids that come with these dishwasher-safe cups, you can save paint from one day to the next. Add washable tempera paints and thick paper, and you'll have all you need for your little artist. Be sure to throw newspaper or a mat down beneath their paintings, since toddlers are known to load paper up with extra paint.
Available at amazon.com, $9.99.
The handy-dandy sponge tip on each Do A Dot Art Marker rarely dries out, and it delivers a perfect dose of color with each dab. Toddlers love splotching these against paper again and again, combining bright colors to make unique creations. The ink is washable, too! Choose from rainbow, metallic or sparkle dot markers.
Available at dotart.com, $16.99.
Kwik Stix Paint Sticks
Although most one and two-year-olds aren't quite ready for watercolors, paint sticks are an open-ended art supply that they will love to explore. With no paint cups or brushes to wash, quick-dry Kwik Stix require almost no clean-up. Pair with construction paper or an extra-large cardboard box and see what your artist creates!
Available at amazon.com, $7.99.
Ready 2 Learn's plastic rollers pair with paint or play dough to create wavy lines or rows of dots. They're sized just right for toddlers' hands. Kids can make tracks in their play dough, send roads zooming across paper, and more.
Available at amazon.com, $9.99.
Foam Sensory Paint & Puffy Paint
Pick up a pack of foam sensory paint to add texture exploration to your toddlers' art creations. Lakeshore Learning's paint comes in five colors, and it's washable. Or, you can make your own ooey gooey puffy paint. Simply mix one cup shaving cream, one cup glue, and a few drops of food coloring, and watch your little one explore and experiment! This puffy paint dries in 3D and works well for finger painting. For older toddlers, use Q-tips in place of paintbrushes.
Available at lakeshorelearning.com, $19.99.