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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.