If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
Delight the young artists in your life by giving them a set of creative tools. A bounty of markers, crayons, or clay can satisfy kids on rainy afternoons or long car rides—or during endless time at home in a global pandemic. Personal art and craft supplies not only help children express themselves, develop motor skills, and strengthen their creativity, but also teach them how to take care of their possessions. Plus, they encourage them to spend less time on digital devices. Below, find our best picks for kid-friendly and nontoxic crafting and art making sets.
ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS Crayola Colossal Creativity TubThis thoughtfully assembled tub from Crayola gives kids a big variety of good-quality, complementary craft supplies to use. It comes with crayons, twistable colored pencils, markers, kid-friendly paints, paint brushes, modeling clay, Model Magic, construction paper, and sidewalk chalk sticks—and each medium comes organized in its own package. Young ones can stay busy for hours, both indoors and outdoors, as they make 2D and 3D works. Everything is suitable for artists ages five and up, and there’s more than enough to share among siblings or during playdates.
Crayola Colossal Creativity Tub
WE ALSO LIKEKid Made Modern Arts and Crafts LibraryDesigned for kids ages eight and up, this portable center for creativity provides scads of supplies for hours of crafting. These include close to 300 pipe cleaners, more than 100 googly eyes (adhesive and non-adhesive), lots of plastic jewels, and dozens of beads and felt pieces. Kids can exercise their imaginations and make all kinds of constructions or follow the included guidebook, which provides step-by-step instructions for projects. The high-quality materials will result in artful keepsakes that proud parents will want to show off.
Kid Made Modern Arts and Crafts Library
ANOTHER GOOD CHOICECrayola Inspiration Art CaseKids will feel like grown-up artists with this kit, which comes with lots of coloring tools stored neatly in a stylish and sturdy briefcase. It features 64 crayons (more than our top pick), 20 short colored pencils, 40 washable markers, and 15 sheets of paper. The colors are rich, and the tools don’t wear down quickly. Suitable for kids ages five and up, this is an especially smart choice if you’re seeking an easily portable set to bring along while traveling.
Crayola Inspiration Art Case
TOP OF THE LINEFaber-Castell Pottery Studio Does your kid love clay? Consider purchasing this pottery studio in a box. It comes with a mini wheel powered by batteries and a foot pedal; while slower than regular-size wheels (and quite noisy), it’s capable of supporting all kinds of tiny pots. The set is designed for users eight and up, and there’s a slight learning curve to using this little wheel, but it offers a good introduction to the pottery process. Also included are three pounds of synthetic clay, 12 pans of paint, two paint brushes, sculpting tools, illustrated instructions, an apron, even a table cover to protect your furniture from this relatively messy craft.
Faber-Castell Pottery Studio
ALSO CONSIDERCraft-tastic Artist’s BoxIntended for children ages 6 to 12, this set comes with prompts that draw young artists into the creative process. It’s stocked with fibrous and other textured material such as tissue paper, embroidery thread, chenille stems, feathers, and pompoms. Also included are seven “challenge cards” that guide kids to create a mobile, a sculpture, a self-portrait, and other projects by posing opened-ended questions like “How will you make it reflect you?” and “How will you attach things?” It’s a great choice if you’re seeking something that inspires kids and really pushes their imagination.
Craft-tastic Artist’s Box