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30 creativity-inspiring gifts for budding artists

For kids who love to create, these are our favorite art and craft gifts.

Credit: Getty Images / Raw Pixel

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Art gifts are truly the best gifts for kids. They are the quiet, crafty, and creativity-building life-savers that inspire kids to turn off their screens and to use their imaginations. From cognitive growth to social emotional development to the improvement of executive functioning skills, there is so much evidence to support the benefits of encouraging artistic exploration in childhood.

Whether you know a child who is a budding artist, you know one that needs a creativity boost, or you’re lost on what to get for a loved one, an art gift will be well received by kids (and their parents). Here are some of our favorite art toys for kids of any age to inspire their inner Michelangelo (or Banksy, depending on the kid).

1. A set of finger paints to get them started

A toddler plays gleefully with finger paints.
Credit: Crayola

These finger paints are specially made—right down to the squeeze of the bottle—for toddlers.

Best for ages: 18 mos and older
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 squeezable tube is so satisfying for kids to easily smash out huge and gratifying globs of color. Not only are these finger paints fun to use, they are formulated to be safe for toddlers. They are safe, non-toxic, and completely washable for easy post-creation cleanup.


Get the Crayola Washable Fingerpaints at Amazon for $22.95

2. DIY surprise balls

A colorful box that shows the Surprise Balls craft set.
Credit: Craftastic / Anne Williams

This is a fun and creative twist on the 5-surprise trend.

Best for ages: 5 and older
The unboxing, 5-surprise ball trend is all the rage on TikTok and with tweens. Now they can make their very own (only with a whole lot less plastic). This crafty kit will teach kids how to make five different unboxing balls, from a unicorn to a smily face, and even comes with the surprise toys to stuff them with. We love this toy not only for the crafty aspect of it, but because—once made—it will encourage kids to give and share with friends.

Get the Craft-tastic 5-Surprise Balls kit set for $12.51

3. A tie-dye design studio

A tie-dye kit in a box
Credit: It's So Me

This tie-dye kit minimizes messes, for your prolific tie-dyers.

Best for ages: 7 and older
All of the fun of tie-dye but without the mess! This kit can keep their tie-dye habit contained, while also giving them loads of ideas for new projects. The kit includes everything they need to push their creativity to the limits. We also love that it includes a very cool device that contains the activity, giving them more control of their process, while also making cleanup a breeze.

Get the Tie-Dye Design Studio at Target for $13.99

4. A set of stamps and crayons that are designed for little hands

A set of toddler stamps and crayons
Credit: Kid Made Modern

These chunky stamps are just right for little hands.

Best for ages: 2 and older
The ergonomic design of both the grippy crayons and the chunky stamps in this set make it a perfect starter set for little artists. The stamps feel great in their little hands and, because of the shape, not only will they help strengthen a child's grip they ensure they leave an even image on paper (which helps mitigate any frustration from little kids). The contoured edges of the crayons help teach kids proper grip techniques.


Get the My First Stamp Collection at Maisonette for $20.99

5. A mess-free dot-making artists' set

A set of colorful dot stamps in a box.
Credit: Doodle Hog

Dot markers are great for kids that are still developing fine motor skills.

Best for ages: 2 and older
If you're looking for a less messy option for your artist-in-training, these dot markers are just the thing. They are spill-proof and easy for kids to either create large-scale pointillism projects, or to use as chunky markers. These are also made to smash: Their reinforced tip ensures that no matter how overzealous your little one may get with their art projects, no marker tips will be destroyed in the process.

Get the Washable 8 Colors Dab and Dot Markers Pack Set at Amazon for $17.99

6. Peculiar pets that were made for painting.

Little kids will love decorating and washing these cute reusable pets.
Credit: Crayola

Little kids will love decorating and washing these cute reusable pets.

Best for ages: 3 and older
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.

Get the Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Peculiar Pets pack at Amazon for $25.99

7. A reusable poster that they can color in themselves

A large coloring page with two girls smiling as they color.
Credit: Doodle Roll

This enormous coloring page is customizable and resusable.

Best for ages: 4 and older
Hang it on the wall, use it as a placemat, or cover a drawing surface with it. This personalized and reusable coloring mat is made for doodling. Have it customized with your child's name and their favorite theme. Washable markers wipe clean for this art toy that will be used time and time again. You can get it in all sorts of sizes, depending on your child—be it wall-hanging or placemat size.

Shop The Doodle Roll at thedoodleroll.com starting at $43

8. A fully realized rock painting kit

Rock painting is all the rage, as well as lots of fun.
Credit: KidPol

Rock painting is all the rage, as well as lots of fun.

Best for ages: 5 and older
Take 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 find and collect. 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.

Kipipol Rock Painting Kit for Kids at Amazon for $19.99

9. A fully functioning art center

A table made just for kids and their art supplies.
Credit: KidKraft

A table designed just for kids and their art supplies.

Best for ages: 3 and older
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, a drying rack, and smart space-saving storage, this is a perfect mini-studio and a cute creative center for any playroom.

Get the KidKraft Wooden Art Table with Drying Rack & Storage Bins at Amazon for $129.99

10. A super cool clay kit

Art meets tech with Hey Clay's interactive App.
Credit: Hey Clay

Art meets tech with Hey Clay's interactive App.

Best for ages: 3 to 11
These kits by Hey, Clay are just so cool and are great for teaching kids new clay craft concepts. 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 kits come with moldable, air-drying puffy 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.

Shop. Hey Clay kits at Fat Brain Toys for $21.95

11. The ultimate drawing book for at-home art lessons

Four Ed Emberley books: The Big Purple Book, Drawing Animals, Drawing Monsters, and Finger Print Drawings.
Credit: Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley's books are—bar none—the best for teaching young drawers easy art concepts.

Best for ages: 3 and up
As far as we're concerned, Ed Emberley books are the absolute best for teaching kids how to draw. The Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator cracked the code for little kids, teaching them how to use simple shapes that they can combine to create masterpieces. These books not only help kids create gratifying drawings, they demystify art for kids who may feel intimidated by pushing their drawings to the next level. Suddenly, with the ingenious way Emberley breaks down each drawing step-by-step, you'll see their confidence and creativity grow.

Shop Ed Emberley drawing books at Amazon

12. A set of crayons that convert to gel

Ooly's sparkle gel crayons can be used on paper or glass.
Credit: Ooly

Ooly's sparkle gel crayons can be used on paper or glass.

Best for ages: 6 and up
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.

Shop Ooly Gel Crayons at Amazon starting at $9.99

13. A cool tool to get them creating in 3D

Kids can use paper to create amazing designs with the Spyro Station
Credit: Quill On

Kids can use paper to create amazing designs with the Spyro Station

Best for ages: 5 and older
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.

Get the Spyrosity Spyro Station at Amazon for $27.99

14. A cool kit that continually inspires creativity

A KiwiCo Doodle Crate with a screen-printed backpack.
Credit: KiwiCo

KiwiCo is one of the best STEAM crates around, and it really incorporates art in all of their activites.

Best for ages: 2 and older
For a kid who is constantly looking for inspiring new projects, we love Kiwi Crates. These STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) kits really take the art part of STEAM to a whole new level. Kiwi Crates push creativity and design, while also inspiring some left-brained learning. Recently KiwiCo launched an art-focused line called Doodle Crates, which are excellent for kids ages 9 and older. For younger kids, however, you'll still find tons of options that fully integrate art into engineering and science crafts.

Shop Kiwi Crates at KiwiCo.com

15. A kit that lets them color with clay

Use clay—instead of more traditional mediums—to color in the pictures.
Credit: Faber-Castell

Use clay—instead of more traditional mediums—to color in the pictures.

Best for ages: 5 and older
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.

Get the Faber-Castell Coloring with Clay kit at Amazon starting at $11.49

16. An ornament-making machine

Kids will love decorating their own ornaments.
Credit: TreeMendous

Kids will love decorating their own ornaments.

Best for ages: 3 and older
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.

Get the TreeMendous Ornament Decorating Kit at Amazon for $27.99

17. A Lego set for the art-loving kid

A cactus kit by Lego Dots that shows a pen holder, a slap bracelet, and a key chain
Credit: Lego

Lego Dots are great for the more design-oriented kid.

Best for ages: 7 and older
This crafty kit is for the kid who likes to embellish with their builds. The whole Lego Dots line is all about kids with an eye for details, and their sets make a perfect gift for kids who want to flex their design skills. This deluxe multi-pack lets kids create a pencil holder, a picture frame, a key chain and a bracelet. We love the mix and match options that allow kids to create a pattern from the directions, or to branch out for a design that’s all their own.

Get the Lego Dots Summer Vibe Set for $24.99

18. Cool jewelry bowls that are TikTok-approved

Three polymer clay leaf bowls in shimmery fall colors
Credit: Leyzan

These bowls are a great intro to the polymer clay trend.

Best for ages: 8 and older
Polymer clay is a fun and creative craft medium that is gaining popularity on TikTok and beyond. A non-toxic, fast-drying clay, it’s a great crafting medium for kids that have grown out of Play-Doh and want to take their clay work up a notch. This DIY polymer clay dish is an awesome entry into this sort of clay crafting and teaches all sorts of cool skills like shaping, marbling, and finishing. In the end, they have a super-useful nicknack tray to keep or to give away.

Get the DIY Clay Jewelry Dish kit at Amazon for $19.99

19. An amazing easel

A child stands by two easels, one with a white board and one with a chalk board.
Credit: Fixget

This art easel is a full art center that folds away when done.

Best for ages: 2 and older
Any budding artist needs their own easel. We love that this one is dual-sided with a white board and chalk board and it has paper rollers at the top that roll down quickly, to supply for a steady stream of paintings and crayon drawings. It comes with abundant trays for paints and storage for art supplies and, when done, can easily fold away.

Get the Fixget Kids Wooden Double-Sided Whiteboard & Blackboard Standing Easel at Amazon for $82.99

20. A starter kit for future animators

Osmo Creator set including three markers and a writing pad with an animated octopus.
Credit: Osmo

This is a great toy for the budding animator.

Best for ages: 5 to 10
All of the Osmo learning kits blend digital games with a physical component for a very cool, interactive experience. This animator kit is especially fun because not only does it teach kids fundamental drawing skills it brings their drawings to life, using iconic Pixar characters. If your child has an interest in animation, this fun toy will fully engage them and will inspire them to create.

Get the Osmo Creative Starter Kit for $57.94

21. A light-up tracing board to push their drawing skills

Crayola's light-up tracing pad enables kids to make art anywhere.
Credit: Crayola

Crayola's light-up tracing pad enables kids to make art anywhere.

Best for ages: 7 and older
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 the 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.

Get the Crayola Light-up Tracing Coloring Board and Tracing Paper set at Amazon for $35.48

22. A creative kit that stands the test of time

Go old school with a classic Spirograph.
Credit: Spirograph

Get old school crafty with a classic Spirograph.

Best for ages: 8 and older
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.

Get the original Spirograph at Amazon for $24.98

23. A mixy squishy kind of clay

A box of clay and figurines all made into holiday shapes, like a gingerbread man, a Christmas tree, and a Santa hat.
Credit: Made By Me

Mixy Squishy makes fun clay projects that air dry to a pillowy texture.

Best for ages: 3 and older
If they love Play-Doh but are ready to up their modeling dough game, they'll love this colorful modeling compound that dries to a soft and squishy, pillowy texture. Mixy Squish is a clay-like compound that easily air dries; even though it has a soft texture, the final product is durable enough to make for keepsake creations. The deluxe pack comes with 12 colors plus fun mix-ins like glitter and rainbow foam balls so that kids can take their clay creations to the next level.

Get the Mixy Squish Mega Pack at Amazon for $17.99

24. A 3D pen for art that jumps off the page

Kids drawings come to life with the Nulaxy 3D Pen
Credit: Nulaxy

Drawings come to life with the Nulaxy 3D Pen

Best for ages: 8 and older
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!

Get the 3Doodler 3D pen starter set at Amazon for $48.06

25. A color-in pillow case for kids who dream of art class

Kids will love designing their own pillowcases.
Credit: eatsleepdoodle

Finally, a pillowcase that it's fine to draw on.

Best for ages: 4 and older
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.

Get the Eatsleepdoodle Doodle Pillowcase at Amazon for $19.95

26. An art kit that puts a new spin on things

A protective cover keeps paint from splattering.
Credit: Creative Kids

A protective cover keeps paint from splattering.

Best for ages: 6 and older
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.

Get the Creative Kids Spin & Paint Art Kit at Amazon for $29.99

27. A Necklace and Friendship Bracelet Maker

Easily make friendship bracelets with the KumiKreator
Credit: Cool Maker

Easily make friendship bracelets with the KumiKreator.

Best for ages: 8 and older
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.

Get the Cool Maker KumiKreator Necklace and Friendship Bracelet Maker at Amazon for $19.99

28. Their very own pottery wheel

A battery-operated pottery wheel brings the ceramics studio home.
Credit: Faber-Castell

A battery-operated pottery wheel brings the ceramics studio home.

Best for ages: 8 and older
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.

Get the Faber-Castell Pottery Studio at Amazon for $59.99

29. A cool crayon melter

Use melted crayons to make artistic keepsakes with the Crayola Crayon Melter.
Credit: Crayola

Use melted crayons to make artistic keepsakes with the Crayola Crayon Melter.

Best for ages: 8 and older
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.

Get the Crayola Crayon Melter at Amazon for $13.75

30. A string art kit

Kids can learn and create simple string art techniques
Credit: Klutz

Older kids can learn and create simple string art pieces.

Best for ages: 10 and older
String art is a very cool technique that combines art and geometry to make incredible 3-dimensional works of art. While it looks complex on the surface, it really just takes pins, art, and a solid introduction to get started. Your child isn’t going to believe that something as simple as pins and strings can create such cool works of art, and this highly-rated kit demystifies the whole process. The accompanying 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.

Get the Klutz String Art Kit at Amazon for $14.99

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