Creative gifts for kids who love arts and crafts.
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I’ll be honest—art gifts are truly the best gifts. If there’s one thing I hope my kid gets around the holidays it’s one that will inspire his creativity and—more than anything—keep him busy! Art toys are quiet, crafty, and creativity-building life-savers in my house. They are the one toy that my child will grab on his own and get lost in for a long enough chunk of time for me to finish my coffee before it gets cold (which, as any mom will tell you, is pure bliss). Whether your child is a budding artist or you’re lost on what gift to get for a loved one, look no further. Here is a roundup of our favorite art toys for kids of any age.
Finger paints are the gateway medium to get your tiny tot hooked on art. It brings together the tactile and the visual and lets kids get good and messy. These are easy to spread and the squeeze tube is so satisfying for kids to easily smash out huge and gratifying globs of color. Combine this gift with a finger paint tray to keep the mess contained, and you’ve got a slam dunk.
Every artist dreams of someday having an exotic pet. Forget the tiger and Komodo dragon, your little one will love the yeti, unicorn, dragon, and narwhal in this creative kit. Let their imagination dictate how these mythical creatures might look and then let them scrub them, wash them of color, and create all over again.
Let’s be honest: Your kid isn’t interested in food. The funny mat will allow them to be the artist they want to be every other waking hour—even during mealtimes. This is an ideal coloring toy for dining in, traveling, and dining out, and it comes in six fun themes: space, fish, princess, numbers, dinosaur, or vehicles. Color, wash, and repeat for hours of creative fun. This is compatible with most washable markers, and is printed with fun pictures to inspire your little artist.
Just a quick search through Instagram and you’ll see that rock art has become a huge trend, with artists painting rocks and leaving them around towns for passerbys to pick up. Whether they want to make a pet rock to keep forever, or chime in on the hide-and-seek rock trend, this kit has everything they need to get started.
This pint-sized artist studio has everything your child needs to unleash their creativity—and everything you need to keep their ever-growing art supplies in one clean and streamlined place. Filled with caddies, spill-proof cups, and smart space-saving storage, this is a perfect mini-studio and a cute creative center for any playroom.
These kits are just so cool! These interactive kits merge art with excellent--and very funny--instructional how-to apps. They come in six different kits, including monsters, aliens, animals, birds, bugs, and dinos. These kits really spark your kid's creative genius, and the app offers cute, clear and truly age-appropriate step-by-step directions that will get your kids smiling AND creating. The kit come with moldable, air-drying clay; when the figures are finished and dried, this durable clay allows kids to play with the the colorful creatures and collect them like action figures.
These gel crayons are pure magic, with a little sparkle left behind. They leave bold strokes of color that magically change to watercolors with the stroke of a wet brush. Because they are made of gel instead of wax, they make bolder and more vibrant strokes, and they can be used on mirrors and glass—either to get your child inspired with a new medium for their creations, or for a temporary installation on your bathroom mirror until they are easily cleaned up with the swipe of a damp cloth.
This genius little machine really lets kids thinking about 3D art and introduces them to the art of quilling. They can coil and shape simple paper strips into colorful, multi-dimensional creations. The motorized coiling station is super cool and makes it easy peezy for even a 5-year-old to explore. Pre-glued cards and strips make this a mess-free intro, but once they use up the kit they should be well on their way to coming up with new ideas for self-expression.
This toy is a serious recipe for fun and best of all, unlike other slimes, this one is completely reusable. This kit comes with four squishy styles and four unique toppings for squishy masterpieces. This revolutionary slime can be molded into detailed dollops and shapes and then pressed, squished, and smashed—and then easily separated piece-by-piece to maintain their color and to be stored for endless use.
Great for the tactile artist, this is a fun sensory project, but it also gets kids really thinking about how to use different mediums in new ways. Since the layering aspect of clay lends itself to smoothing and shaping, it’s also an excellent intro for more advanced art mediums, like oil and encaustic painting.
Blinger is perfect for when they want to make themselves a work of art. This bling-ing toy allows them to bling anything—from their hair to their clothes. A true artist needs to express themselves and this is a fun, flashy, and fashionable way to let them show their unique side.
Imagine your tree as your child's art gallery! This ingenious little machine lets kids create truly unique works of art that they can hang on the tree or give away as keepsake gifts to Grandma and Grandpa. The machinery sound makes them feel like one of Santa’s elves, crafting away in their workshop and the controlled spinning action of the battery-operated machine keeps the ornaments perfectly steady for kids as they make their colorful creations. The markers that come with this are fast drying and vibrant, but we played around a bit and this works with all types of markers, including glitter markers, for that holiday sparkle.
A modern twist on mosaic artwork! Instead of glue and tiles, this uses colorful and shimmering sequins hung on tiny pegs. Simply insert pegs into a panel, then hang the sequin “pixels” from the pegs to create a sparkling, pixelated image of your young artist’s very own creation. The reusable sequins can be easily reused when your artist is ready to make new images or they can be replaced with any sequins you’d buy at a craft store. This kit really does give countless possibilities for creative ideas, limited only by as many works of art as your child’s imagination can conceive!
If only the spirit and joy of the holiday season had the tenacity of a spilled jar of glitter. If you hate the mess of glitter, you’re going to want to check this out. But beyond an ingenious way to calm our inner glitter-a-phobes, this is a wildly creative way to bring sparkle to your child’s artwork. These glue dots can be shaped, molded, squished, and cut into designs, for a super fun way to bring shimmer to their artistry.
Let them take their drawing to new heights—literally! 3D drawing allows them to build their 3D creations from the ground up, making usable objects of their very own design. They can build any and everything they can imagine, from 3D shapes, to dollhouse furniture to action figures and more!
Artie isn’t just a robot—he’s an art bot! A creative way to let your child know that coding is actually a work of art. Artie 3000 is the coding robot for kids where they design the code, and Artie 3000 draws the lines using washable markers. With preprogrammed designs, beginners can start coding right away and soon enough they’ll be on their way to creating their own, unique codes and designs.
Make bakeable, bendable creations. This polymer clay isn’t like the regular Sculpey: it lets kids make projects that bend and twist without breaking, just like rubber! They can make durable, bendable animals, action figures, and even jewelry.
Bring a new element to their artistry. Tracing is an excellent technique for learning about lines and detail, and for helping kids train their hands to create new shapes. This light-up board allows them to trace with clean, crisp lines so they can learn without frustration of “getting it right.” The glow-in-the-dark element makes it a fun travel toy they can use to practice their art in a dark car or airplane.
They can dream about art, and then, when they wake, they can make their vivid dreams a reality. Why buy a patterned pillow case when your child can truly express themselves by making their own creation? This comes in five different designs: dinosaur, home decorator, space explorer, map, and original—which gives them a blank slate to truly create.
For a cool classic that never gets old, there's the Original Spirograph. The perennially popular favorite has gotten an upgrade with 12 wheels in all new shapes. You’ll feel the nostalgia as they unwrap the box, and you may find yourself stealing this one so you can test drive the new shapes. There is even a travel set—for a pre-holiday gift to give you a painless drive to Grandma’s house.
After all of those great holiday gifts, your little one is going to need to get a head start on their thank you cards—and this is just the toy to help them do that. This spin and splatter kit uses centrifugal force to create vibrant and unique works of art, and has protective cover to keep messes at bay while your kiddo gets wild creating.
Your child can design wear and share their creations with this hand-cranked jewelry-making machine. With just a turn of a handle they can spin thread into artful creations in minutes. This kit comes with five different thread colors and an array of stylish clasps to complete their homemade accessories that are as unique as they are.
This is an entire pottery studio in one little package! There really is everything your burgeoning potter needs for a real pottery experience! A battery-powered, foot pedal-operated wheel means it's safe for wet hands, and no on/off switch means the batteries will last longer. The wheel surface is grooved, helping to hold the clay firmly centered and in place—especially important for novice potters.
Imagine your crayons being more fun broken and repurposed than they ever were new! That dream is a reality with the Crayola Crayon melter. Crayons melt into a drawing pen and transform into a new way to create with heated melted wax! Kids can color and doodle with melted crayons on a variety of surfaces, creating both texture and allowing the vibrancy of crayons to make art on a variety of surfaces like wood, glass, pottery, and canvas.
Every young artist should learn about the chemistry of color, and this kit will teach just that. This toy features 50 different color experiments that let you get crazy with color. Create snow on trees, colorful snow-globes, and artful ornaments and clings.
Klutz kits are great because they always take learning to the next level. This is more than a simple stencil kit, it teaches important tips about color mixing, layering, sketching and perspective. Dabbing Da Vincis will barely notice that they are getting a crash course in numerous artistic theories. Instead, they will love this simple, but gratifying way to create kid-friendly designs in a new way.
Your child isn’t going to believe that something as simple as pins and strings can create such cool works of art. You start with string, pins, paper, and a board. You end with adorable art! This kit takes the mystery out of what happens in between. The book teaches three simple techniques—the scribble, the fan, and the zigzag—so kids can either follow the steps for the 15 projects included, or make their very own.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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