All You Really Need for Teaching Art to Kids…

Here are my basic supplies for teaching kids’ art…. most of my lessons use just these simple materials.

Pictured above are the items that I use about 90% of the time, so I try to make sure I always have a good supply on hand. (FYI – I normally use the “Sargent” brand of colored pencils, although Crayola is pictured here. The Crayola Watercolor Pencils are my newest favorite, though!)
These items are inexpensive, basic and versatile supplies for teaching Art, and cover about 90% of the materials I use in my K-6 Art curriculum. (The other 10% mostly support 3D Art, so some different materials need to be purchased for those lessons.)

It’s amazing all that you can do with just these simple materials:

  • Heavy weight construction paper in 9×12 and 12×18, mostly black and white, plus the primary and secondary colors for some collage projects
  • Tempera paint in red, yellow, turquoise (closest to “true” blue), black and white… everything else can be mixed. (And yes, the brand matters! I use “Sargent”. Always test a new brand before buying it in quantity. The easiest test I’ve come up with is to mix the red and the turquoise of any given brand to see if you can get a good purple. If that works well, the other colors will probably mix well, too!)
  • #2 Pencils
  • Magic Rub erasers
  • Crayola Markers (Washable ones can be blended like watercolors with a damp brush…. I use both regular and washable.)
  • Scissors
  • Avery Permanent Glue Sticks (small size) or YES! Paste
  • Black Sharpies, “F” and “UF” sizes
  • Prang OVL-8 Watercolors
  • Better quality brushes in sizes 2-4, 6-8, and 10-12 (can still be inexpensive, just better than what comes in the paint set)
  • Pentel Oil Pastels, 16 color set
  • White Prismacolor pencil
It’s good to know that teaching Art doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! You need to “get the most bang for your buck” when it comes to all these consumable supplies, and these items (along with some good lesson plans!) will provide you with months of great Art activities!

6 Responses to All You Really Need for Teaching Art to Kids…

  1. Diary of a Social ART-tivist Mommy October 31, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Thanks for all your process notes…very helpful

    I would love to get e-mail updates of your site. Would you consider using feedburner…I use it on my blog and all my 'followers get an e-mail the minute I post a new post.

    I have a google reader but it's so full, it takes too long.



  2. jyothisethu November 5, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    interesting blog…
    thanks for sharing your idea…

  3. Anonymous November 6, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you for your comments about the art supplies. I am in the process of starting up teaching art and craft sessions to both children and adults and have been scratching my head (and confusing myself) as to which supplies to get and this has helped with some direction. I think I tend to make things more complicated for myself!

    Thanks again,


  4. Carol July 1, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Great list! I'm slowly starting homeschooling my preschool kid (3yo) before he goes to the real school. I wanted to be able to give him a headstart on education. Honestly, I am rethinking about really homeschooling him. Your site is a big help and these list is just about enough materials that we need to start. Thanks so much!

  5. Tina Slater April 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks for your list of art supplies. Mine is very similar with one exception —
    the white Prismacolor pencils? Could you explain how you use them? I’m very interested.

    And thank you soooooo very much for your wonderful blog. It is a great resource. Loved your link to “Artists in 60 Seconds”, as I teach art history for 10 minutes at the beginning of each 90 minute session.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge April 10, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Tina, I use the white Prismacolor pencils for my “Sunset Cityscapes” project and also for value drawing projects like “Popcorn Drawing”. The kids love free drawing with white pencils on dark paper, too!