The 20 Basic Kids Craft Supplies You Need To Create Fun

Basic Kids Craft Supplies

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There are so many amazing kids’ crafting supplies out there and it is hard to be prepared for all scenarios.  Even choosing basic supplies that also fit into your budget is difficult.  I started to think about what I thought the essential kids’ craft supplies were and what I seem to use all the time with my toddler. These are the kids’ craft essentials that are always “in-stock” in our crafting box and are always ordered before we run out. 

Warning: Some supplies are not for younger children.  Be sure to read the recommended age group and product labels and decide based on you and your child.

Basic Kids Craft Supplies

Construction paper

Construction paper is great for kids ages 1 year and up.  There are a lot of great crafts you create with construction paper.

 

One thing to keep in mind is the paper weight.  A lighter weight paper like this one is good for cut and paste type of craft projects.  While a heavier weight paper is better for crafts that move or crafts that will be handled a lot by children.  It will be able to withstand more “abuse” than a lighter weight paper.

Here is a great article with directions on how to make a scrapbook/memory book with your child.  For a cute Christmas craft using construction paper, have a look at this article

Must have craft supplies for your child's craft box

Pipe cleaners

Pipe cleaners are a bit tricky when it comes to young kids.  Pipe cleaners have somewhat sharp edges, but there are so many different crafts and ways to use pipe cleaners it would be a shame to not include them in your basic kids’ craft supplies.  Be sure to supervise your little ones when using pipe cleaners.

Bending to shape the pipe cleaners can hurt sensitive hands.  They are not recommended for children under 3.  Here are a few tricks I use when making craft projects with my toddler.

  1. To make a spring, use a pen with the cap on.  Slide the pipe cleaner under the tab of the pen cap and have your child twist the pipe cleaner around the pen.  
  2. To minimize injury, use pliers to flatten the end as much as possible when you and your child are done with the craft.

An alternative kids craft supply to pipe cleaners

A great alternative to pipe cleaners are bendable Wax yarn sticks.  The sticks are yarn dipped in non-toxic wax that can be formed and reformed into different shapes much like pipe cleaners.  However, these sticks are also not recommended for children under 3.  

Until a few days ago, I had never really used these sticks.  I had seen them at a few crafts stores and always wondered how they work and what exactly they were for.  After buying some off Amazon and I am now enjoying designing crafts with them. I am not worried about my daughter hurting herself or her sister since the sticks do not have sharp edges like the pipe cleaners.  And since they are non-toxic, I don’t have to worry about any harmful residue on our hands when we are enjoying arts and crafts time.  

The one downside I have noticed using these verses pipe cleaners is you have to use a lot more to make something about the same size.  This is because the fuzziness of the pipe cleaners takes up more space than the thin wax sticks.

Scissors

Scissors are a must in any craft box.  Almost all kids’ arts and crafts projects use scissors at some point in the process of making it.  I would recommend having both adult scissors and kid scissors in your basic kids craft supplies. Because while it is important for her to learn to cut paper using a tool that will not hurt her, I need to use something sharper and easier for adults to use.

Adult Scissors

While any brand of scissors will work, I have a favorite pair I have had for almost 10 years now.  They are super sharp, have a comfortable grip, and are pink so they can be easily spotted.  I can’t seem to find the pink color to purchase any longer, but they now come in a teal color which I also love and should be easy to spot!

Scissors for kids

If you are wondering what scissors you child should use I had the same question.  

For children under 3, I would not recommend using scissors at all.  Projects, where you tear the paper and paste it or tape it down, are preferred.  If you are looking for a cute project like this take a look at this sticky note turkey.

For 3 year olds, I found some scissors without blades that, to my surprise, work really well.  This little pack of 3 is not very expensive and comes with some pattern scissors for some extra fun.

For 4 year and older, the scissors need to have a blunt tip.  This just means the tip of the scissors is rounded.  I found these scissors that even have a place to label each child’s name.  It may help with fighting over the scissors.

If you are looking for something fun your child can do to practice scissor skills, take a look at this fun inexpensive book full of cut and paste fun.

Tape

Now I know 3 different kinds of tape seems a little excessive, but each has a purpose and we constantly are using all of them for different crafts and projects.

Gift tape

Besides using this tape for gifts, you can also use this tape for crafts.  I prefer the clear tape gift tape so there isn’t a “fog” on our craft. 

Double sided tape

There are a few different kinds of double sided tape.  The double sided tape I prefer is actually made for scrapbooking and paper crafting.  It comes in a dispenser that is easy for both me and my toddler to use.  Although it is a little more expensive, I find the time savings on not having to try to cut little pieces of tape well worth it.

A less expensive alternative is Scotch Tape Double Sided, 1/2 in.  It is very sticky and says permanent in the product description.  It is a little harder for toddlers to get a small piece of tape, so if you use this, it will probably require more supervision.

Washi tape

You may not have heard of washi tape before now, but I highly recommend you check it out.  It is a must in our kids’ craft supplies. 

The tape is similar to masking tape because it is very easy to tear.  It also comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes.  My toddler loves to use it to decorate a piece of construction paper, a card, or even a DIY lift the flap book.  There are so many options for washi tape!

Glue

You may be asking why do I need glue in my kids’ craft supplies if I have 3 kids of tape?  Well, the answer is you can do more with glue than just hold two pieces of paper together.  Also, some crafts do much better with glue.

Glue stick

Although glue sticks are not my favorite, they are great for kids.  Our favorites are the jumbo size sticks. These glue sticks made by Elmer’s are toxic-free and acid-free.  Acid-free is important if you want to use it on pictures.  

The Elmer’s glue sticks are also purple when they are wet and dry clear.  It is very helpful to know when the glue has dried and more needs to be added when you are doing a craft with your child.  I like to use glue sticks when doing mosaic crafts and crafts with tissue paper. There is a fun mosaic backpack craft found here.  

School Glue

I don’t know about you, but this glue really takes me back to my childhood.  So many different crafts use this type of glue and I always seemed to get it on my hands.

The glue is really great to use as a coating to cover cutouts and glue them to popsicle sticks or keeping a stronger bond than a glue stick. 

Crayons

Crayons are a staple in any house with children.  They are constantly being used for learning, coloring, and crafting.  The question I asked myself was which crayon was the best to keep in our crafting supply.  There are so many options I decided to break it down to age groups. 

First crayons for 1 year olds

These crayons are made for those cute little baby hands and are made to be held easily.  Some are shaped like eggs, others fit on finger tips and others are block shaped

I like the egg-shaped ones the best because they seem to be the easiest to hold on to.  If you are looking for a block option, these are made with beeswax.  I have not tried them myself, but they have great reviews on Amazon.

Crayons for 2 year old and toddlers

When my daughter was 2, the crayons we like the best were the jumbo sized Crayola crayons.  I feel like these are the closest thing to a regular crayon and will help her more in the future when she is learning to write.

Crayons for preschoolers

Once kids get to be preschoolers (cue the tears), they can easily use the smaller crayons.  I have found some of the less expensive crayons are less expensive for a reason. The color doesn’t show up as well on paper.  My go-to brand is Crayola when it comes to crayons because you get what you pay for.  They are a little more expensive, but they are better quality in my opinion.

Another favorite my daughter are these twistable crayons.  I like to save these for when we are doing any kind of wordbook for learning.  It makes learning and workbook time a little bit more fun.

If you are looking for something you can do with all the crayons that you get for free in the grocery store or restaurant, take a look at this cute crayon ornament.

Pen/Pencil

Nothing fancy here.  Just a normal pen/pencil.  These are great for tracing templates, drawing a picture for your child to color, drawing little details on a craft project, and writing the name and date of your child on a craft.  My toddler tens to “borrow” my pen/pencil, so I like to keep more than one around.  

My favorite pens are the Pentel R.S.V.P. Stick Ballpoint Pen and my favorite pencils are the Paper Mate Sharpwriter.  For any Dollar Store shoppers out there, I have seen both of these at the Dollar Tree on occasion.  However, buying a pack on Amazon is less expensive per pen/pencil.

Not sure where to start with the craft box for your child? Take a look at these essential craft supplies for kids

Popsicle sticks

Popsicle sticks are so much fun to use with crafts and they come in a bunch of different sizes, shapes and colors.

Small popsicle sticks

If you are only going to buy one type, I would buy the small raw wood popsicle sticks.  They are most widely used when creating crafts.  If you want them to be colored, you can always paint them or use markers to color them. 

However, you can also buy small colored popsicle sticks if you want to save some time.

Jumbo popsicle sticks

These jumbo raw wood popsicle sticks are great for younger crafters because they are easier to hold and with no color, you don’t have to worry about a stick ending up in their mouth. 

And again, if you want it to be colored, you can always paint them, or color them with markers. But again, pre-colored  jumbo popsicle sticks can also be purchased.

Extra small popsicle sticks

  I remember using these to eat ice cream in elementary school, but they are also fun with crafts.  This size is great for putting together letters with sticks and we even used them to make some adorable ocean themed stick puppets.

Extra extra large

These Extra large popsicle sticks were designed for DIY hand fans.  I know my toddler loves paper fans and making one herself would make it that much more fun.  These would also be perfect for larger stick puppets.

Special finds

When looking for the exact names of the popsicle sticks above, I found two more I have never seen before.  I wish you could have seen my face when I found them because it was basically a smile with my mouth wide open in astonishment!  I was so excited that I ordered some to try out and create some fun crafts.  Be on the lookout for those in the future!

Sawtooth Wood Craft Sticks

The closest thing I can compare these to is Lincoln logs.  They are basically small popsicle sticks with small grooves cut out to make it easy to stack together. 

My first thought on these and why I got them is to use in a busy bag or a restaurant bag.   Small, entertaining things to give to the kids to keep them busy!  I like to use pencil pouches made for binders with a window in the front for our busy bags.  With these sticks, all you have to do is put them in the bag and go.

Popsicle sticks with holes

These popsicle sticks with holes are very simple but I am so excited to create crafts using them.

I have been thinking about how to punch a hole in a popsicle stick for days and then there they were, already done and ready for me to add to my cart!  In the description, the manufacturer suggests making a wall frame, a pen holder, or a CD frame. I am not quite sure what a CD frame is, but I am sure we will be making a wall frame for a gift and lots of other fun crafts.

Paper Plates

Paper plate crafts are everywhere!  I see them all over Pinterest.  Since children’s paper plate crafts are so readily available, I would highly recommend having some in your basic kids’ craft supplies.

These will make for a quick craft when you need one. You can buy an inexpensive pack of paper plates at the grocery store or on Amazon.  

If you are looking for an all in one paper plate craft, this one comes with 12 different animals to create and they are all super cute!

Card stock paper

White 8.5 x 11 card stock is a must have for me.  This paper is thicker than normal printer paper making it more durable.  It also is is perfect for printing on.

This cute DIY lift the flap book is a great example of what you can do with this type of paper. You can also get a multi pack of cardstock with lots of colors.  Check out this DIY kids’ birthday thank you note is made with colored card stock.  

Printer paper

If you find a craft for you and your child to create together, you may need to print it. 

To print any of the amazing templates, coloring pages, craft and activity packs and directions you are going to need to printer paper.  I usually buy my printer paper from Staples or Amazon.  I wait for a deal and buy in bulk.

String or yarn

String and yarn are so easy to use and have so many applications in kids’ arts and crafts projects.  But which one to choose?  If I had to choose one to buy, I would look for a neutral color that is thin and easy to work with.

This cotton twine would have to be my favorite for general projects and this multi pack will give me a great variety of colors to choose from.

Stickers

I don’t know about your kids, but my toddler can keep herself occupied with stickers for at least 20 minutes.  Which in toddler time is FOREVER! 

Stickers are such an easy way for your child to create a beautiful work of art, a story book using, or even as a reward for a good job.  Gold star anyone?

We used stickers with a foam board when potty training and it worked out really well.  With all the stickers out there, you can buy a few different packs and some construction paper and let your child’s imagination go.

Paint

Kids’ art and kids’ crafts go hand and hand.  They are usually grouped under one category, so I would be wrong to not include art supplies here as well.  There are so many options for paint, I am only going to include what we have used.  

Washable Paint

The paints we have used are the Crayola washable kids paint.  My toddler enjoyed them a lot especially the glitter paint.  This paint, however, is for kids 3 years old and up. 

Paint Brushes

Our favorite paint brushes are sponge brushes.  These also come in a kit with the paint.  The sponges are great for little fingers to use when painting.  They make it easy to make different kinds of shapes and lines.

Painting Paper

I like to use the paper designed for painting.  The painting paper we have is thick and glossy.  It doesn’t let the paint bleed through and cause a big mess.  This paper comes in a variety of sizes from different brands.  

You can also paint on construction paper, however, I would be cautious with the construction paper because the paint is more likely to bleed through the paper and onto the surface underneath.  If we are painting on construction paper, I like to keep paper towels under the paper.

What about ________ kids craft supplies?

There are so many more craft supplies out there, it would take me a week to write them all out.  However, these are the kids’ craft supplies that we use the most and I find myself buying over and over again.  They are the basic craft supplies I like to keep on hand to be prepared for a lot of different crafts use these supplies. 

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