How to Create the Ultimate Painting Kit for Mini Picassos
Learning| By Amy Vagne | March 30, 2020
Spark young imaginations, develop fine motor skills and keep kids happy and busy at home by loading their artistic arsenal with kids’ painting set essentials.
For a kid, what could be more wonderful than a blank canvas and paint in every colour under the sun? This clever guide will help you assemble a painting kit brimming with the best buys and must-have materials for little artists. A perfect boredom-buster to keep kids entertained at home – cover the kitchen table in newspaper and let them unleash their creativity.
Start With the Paint… Obviously!
With so many types of paint available, the biggest question is, where to begin? For starters, we love a watercolour palette – it’s affordable and mostly mess-free, and all you need to get your kids’ painting practice going is a cup of H20. Or, here’s a hack we love: use a water spray bottle to wet the whole set in one go.
Prefer the real stuff? Look for craft paints for kids that are washable and non-toxic. Poster paints (also known as tempera) are an ideal option because they’re thick, bright and quick drying, but still water-soluble. Meanwhile, acrylic paint sets are highly pigmented, water-resistant and permanent once dry.
Fingerpaints are tons of fun and are essential in a toddler paint set. These formulas tend to have a gloopy, gel-like texture for maximum tactile appeal. Speaking of fun, you can’t go past some of the wackier textures and styles: add glow-in-the-dark, glitter or even scented paint to your art supplies.
- Educational Colours Glitter Paint 500mL Gold
- Kadink Acrylic Poster Paint 500mL White
- Kadink Acrylic Poster Paint 500mL Light Blue
- First Creations Bright Watercolour Paint 6 Pack
- Crayola Silly Scents Washable Paint 6 Pack
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Watercolour Paint Set 22 Piece
- Micador Acrylic Paints 18 Pack
- Eberhard Faber School Tempera Paint 25mL Basic 6 Pack
- Crayola Washable Paints for Kids 6 Pack
- Kadink Pearl Paint 500mL Silver
- Kadink Pearl Paint 500mL Pink
- Crayola Washable Fingerpaint
Next, Pick Your Paintbrushes and Tools
When you’re organising a session of painting for kids, beginner paintbrushes are chunky and easy for little fingers to grip. Bulb handles for the win! Once they’re ready to move on, provide a paintbrush set with differing sizes and shapes. That way you’ve got the right tool for the job, no matter what technique they’re trying to master.
Ramp up their creativity with fancy extras like sponges, stamps, rollers and textured wands. These types of utensils are fun to play with and encourage experimentation, as well as helping develop fine motor skills in preschoolers and older kids. Something else to keep in mind: many brands make paint pens or loaded brushes, which we love for their portability. They also make packing up a breeze.
- Kadink Textured Paint Rollers 3 Pack
- J.Burrows Paintbrush Set Assorted 7 Piece
- Studymate HB Graphite Pencils 3 Pack
- Uni POSCA PC-5M Paint Marker Assorted 8 Pack
- Derivan Face Paint Spouncer Set
- Educational Colours Paint Stampers Farm Animals 6 Pack
- Kadink Textured Paint Wands 4 Pack
- Kadink Squeeze Brush Set 5 Pack
- Royal & Langnickel Medium Gold Paintbrush Set 12 Piece
- First Creations Easi-Grip Paintbrushes Assorted 3 Pack
Get the Right Set-Up With a Painting Easel
If space is no issue, a kids’ painting easel is an A+ idea. Go for a foldable model with built-in paint pots and you’ll save yourself a lot of mess and stress. Bonus points: the Jolly Kidz and Kadink easels have blackboard and whiteboard components as well. Clever.
For smaller spaces, a tabletop easel can do the trick. Or get this: Post-its make handy easels with tear-off paper pads as an added extra. Not really fussed about easels? That’s okay. They’re not really essential for painting practice but they are useful when children hit 10 or 12 and they begin to learn more serious painting techniques, like painting vertically.
When it Comes to Paper Choice, it’s Actually All About the Paint
For watercolour painting, you’re working with water (d’uh!) so you’ll need heavy, absorbent paper that won’t disintegrate. Watercolour paper is super sturdy and a suitable surface for most types of paint. Alternatively, many brands make specialised papers, so look for packs labelled ‘acrylic’ or ‘oil’ and match with the paint you’re planning to use.
These specialised papers can be expensive, so keep in mind that all you really need is thick, plain white paper or even cardboard that can hold up while being slathered in paint. Paper rolls are also fab – they allow kids to work big, whether they’re at an easel or stretched out across the floor. As painting is such a popular at-home activity, just make sure you have plenty of paper to hand.
- Kadink Butchers Paper 760mm x 10m
- Reeves Watercolour Pad Cold Pressed Med 200gsm 12 Sheets A5
- Art Spectrum A4 Oil Pad 300gsm 12 Sheets
- Art Spectrum A4 Cotton Watercolour Pad Medium 15 Sheets
- Art Spectrum A4 Acrylic Pad 400gsm 12 Sheets
Hot TipWhen the time comes to recycle your child’s artwork, take a photo of each one and have them printed to create an album, or go a step further with a photo book featuring their works of art.
Sketchbooks, Art Journals and Canvases Are Useful, Too
These are often made from high-quality paper and give you plenty of options – you can go portable with your painting or tear out pages as needed. They also make great gifts when paired with a paint set. Want a work of art for every wall? Pick a canvas in every size you can imagine. They’re a solid surface for kids to work on and look great on the shelf or hanging, no frames required.
What About Other Kids Painting Accessories?
Painting can be a messy exercise, especially with little ones in the mix. An apron or art smock is a lifesaver and keeps clothing stain-free. A splash mat is a genius idea in a kids’ painting set – get a few to cover up your dining and coffee tables. Paint pots are handy, especially the ones with spill-proof lids, which you can use for both water and decanting paint. Swap these out for a palette or tray for older kids. A caddy or box is a must-have to store all your painting bits and bobs, and keep brushes in tip-top condition with a paintbrush holder.
Don’t Forget About Paint Sets and Art Kits
Perfect for gifting, these all-in-one sets get our tick of approval. The clever folks at Crayola make cool kits that are chock-full of all the painting supplies basics a beginner might need. We also love the Educational Colours First Creations painting set – it’s suitable for children as young as 12 months, and comes with a kids’ painting smock and 6-well palette. Crafty kids will love jewellery box or tea set painting activities. For older aspiring artists, Royal & Langnickel offers deluxe cases packed with quality materials and tools.