We decided to finally pull together a list of some of our favorite materials that we use to play with our families & neighbors & classes for whatever projects come our way, so that you can find what works for you too!

Acryclic Paint

This set of 12 pints = <3. We buy a lot of paint at a time, so yeah, it’s a lot. But it will last a long time and will be worth it!
We love the color & vibrancy, and the way it covers. It’s a great consistency, and bang-for-buck a great deal.

If you’re looking straight up dollar-per-ounce, we also love this set from Amazon. It’s a set of 6 quarts, with the same great paint quality. I only choose the other one for a wider range of color.

Watercolor Set

This is my all-time favorite *dry watercolor set. It’s a set I picked up once at IKEA, and this it the one I use most with the babies. I love that I can just leave it set up pretty much any time, so it’s perfect if you want to set up a little art table/area. The kids find it & paint when they want, then they can walk away & I don’t immediately have to go gather the brushes for cleaning.
Why is this one my favorite? Color! I have never found another set that has such gorgeous, rich colors, so I end up loving EVERYTHING the kids paint with it.

Honestly, I don’t really have a brush set that I love– but mostly because I love brushes that haven’t been jammed into the ground or that look like they’ve been electrocuted. OR THAT AREN’T SPONGE BRUSHES. (I hate sponge brushes. They rarely last longer than 5 minutes with elementary school age kids or babes!) When I teach, I work a lot with the kids about how to treat a brush gently, but the truth is they still don’t last that long. I don’t need something fancy, I need something durable and affordable.
So I found this set of all bristle brushes at an affordable price, and I order it every time I need a fresh set for teaching. It’s a good variety of sizes and shapes, and works for most of our projects.

Watercolor paper

Now there’s the leave-it-out-every-day-for-the-babies kind, and the I-want-to-frame-this kind.

Basic: Just want something to leave out for the kids that soaks up a little more water than a sheet of printer paper? Pacon is our go-to for affordable paper for kids.

Next level: When I want to make something a bit sturdier that we can keep around for a while, I use this. I try different kinds, but this is my go-to, and it holds up really well under massive amounts of water, several days of paint application, and whatever else the babes scrawl on top of that.

Drawing Pencils

Got a budding art student? Grab ’em a set of pencils & a sketchbook, and encourage them to draw at least fifteen minutes every day. They can draw whatever they want- from reality, from imagination, pattern, place, even words. Just let them experiment with a set of pencils, moving their hands across the page, and getting used to the weights of the different types of pencils.

This set has 12 pencils, one of each kind: 8B-6B-4B-2B-HB-F-H-2H-Charcoal 2B-Charcoal 4B-Charcoal 6B-Sketch Stick 6B. “B” stands for “black” (it’s soft) “H” means “hard”. “F” is kinda in the middle. Plus it has some sharpeners and a kneaded eraser (which is fun enough to play with just by itself).  Nothing fancy, just the standard set-up, and great for somebody who’s starting to want to take their art a little more seriously.

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