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 9x12 and 12x18, 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!

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