I don’t think it’s necessary for kids to take expensive art lessons, follow a super strict curriculum, or have unlimited supplies to a get a great art education. 

An adventuresome attitude and a few inexpensive supplies can go a long way in helping kids to see the artistic possibilities all around them.

The “good enough….”

After lots of years of “momming” and teaching I have favorites of about every supply out there.  My favorites for kids are not always the best and most expensive but the “good enough.”

I love letting kids use adult supplies.  It feels special and important.  But I also love giving them supplies that are not so precious so they can use them freely and without too much worry.  

You know your kiddo and what they can handle, supply accordingly.

The basic artist toolbox…

At my house these are the supplies that are always up for grabs.  They are not terribly expensive and can be used freely.  Ninety percent of the art lessons on my site can be accomplished with just these basics! 

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Permanent Markers

These permanent markers allow you to write on all kinds of fun things, come in awesome colors.  Like a crazy person I have let all my kids use permanent marker with abandon since they were teeny tiny.  We use these daily!

Washable Markers

These markers are a step above the classic 10 color set of markers.  Awesome colors and the perfect size tips make these a favorite for drawing, coloring, and lettering.


Classic, necessary, basic; enough said.


These watercolors are student grade which make them inexpensive but the vibrancy and quality of these lasts and lasts.  Win. 

Oil Pastels

These may be my favorite medium for all ages.  Minimal mess, vibrant color and fifty colors for the price of two cups of coffee.  Woot woot.

Tempera Cakes 

Forget squirting paint on plates and wasting half of it.  These tempera cakes are opaque, vibrant, and there is zero waste.

Build your artist toolbox even bigger….

The above supplies will allow your kiddos a million projects.  But if you have a kid that loves making stuff buying a special art supply here and there will definitely keep their interest piqued. 

These art supplies not all necessary.  They’re some of my favorites, just for fun!  Buy one, wait a month, and buy another.  Allow time for experimentation and trial and error!

Chalk Pastels

Okay, these are so my favorite they may be a basic, not an extra.  Crazy bright,  they blend like magic, lots of colors, and will make your kid feel like a “real artist.”

Colored Pencils

These are the good ones.  They are soft, colorful, and a will make you wanna’ throw your drugstore brand colored pencils in the trash.

Tissue Paper

This isn’t your gift bag tissue….it’s art tissue.  The color is bright, it bleeds color in an  amazing way.  It’s perfect for adding color and texture and process art of all kinds!

Plaster Wrap

Jump into three dimensional art with this plaster wrap.  It’s the younger, cooler, less messy cousin of old fashioned paper mache.  Build big, the easy way!

Liquid Watercolor

So pretty, more vibrant than any cake watercolor every, and concentrated enough to last awhile.  These liquid watercolors are good stuff!

Combine these basic supplies with lessons here at The Kitchen Table Classroom and plenty of exploration and you’ve got yourself an art curriculum!

Get arty with zero supplies…..

Go on a virtual gallery tour or use these amazing interactive museum websites to get creative.

While you’re online head over to the J. Paul Getty Museum to check out their teacher resources; all free and with great art history connections!

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When you receive your confirmation email you will also get a password to my subscriber only Resource Library with dozens of free printables to help make teaching art easy!

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