We’ve been exploring ideas for educational gifts for the holidays. I’ve already shared ideas for Language Arts, Science, History/Geography and Math themed gifts. Today, I’m going to share some ideas for art inspired gifts.
This is actually a pretty easy category, for the most part. What kid doesn’t love getting new crayons, color pencils or paints? Here are some of our favorite art related gift ideas.
First up – art supplies. You can’t make great art without the best equipment. We really love Prismacolor Colored Pencils (12). These are really good quality colored pencils – perfect for art projects and school assignments. They are a little pricey, but the quality is really fantastic and if well cared for, they last a long time. You can also get them in a 24 Pack, 36 Pack, , 72 Pack, and even a 150 Pack! I like that they come in a tin container – it really helps to keep them in good condition.
If you want really good quality crayons, then you might want Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons. These are virtually indestructible, have very bright colors and blend really well together. I highly recommend the block style for very young children (though older children will like them as well – especially for coloring in large spaces like the sky or grass.) They also come as Stick Crayons, though I find that the stick version isn’t quite as durable as the blocks.
My kids have never been big into painting or sculpting, but if you children are, then you can’t go wrong with Sculpey Clay and Reeves Water Color Set. These are both top quality products that will give your children great results. I’ve also heard fantastic things about Koi Water Colors Field Sketch Set . This set comes with a refillable water brush, so it’s great for taking along with you on nature walks, if your child enjoys painting in the outdoors.
Ooly Scratch & Scribble Art Set Scratch Kits are a ton of fun. Kids can scratch the black surface to reveal colorful images beneath, almost like magic! Kits come with 4 different art cards and a scratching tool.
Klutz makes many fun crafting kits for kids that we have enjoyed over the years. I asked my daughter to recall some of her favorites, and she would recommend Lettering: in Crazy Cool Quirky Style, Fingerprint Fabulous: Create Sweet and Sparkly Thumbprint Art , Stencil Art, and Brilliant Bead Rings . There are so many other kits, though, there is literally something for everyone.
If you are looking for a good quality easel for your little ones, I recommend Joyooss Kids Wooden Easel with Paper Roll. It comes with both a whiteboard and a chalkboard, both magnetic, as well as a paper roll so that your child will have endless options for their creative expression! (Best for ages 2-8)
My youngest has always loved dry erase boards. I think it started because she wanted to be part of “school” but it seems to have stuck over the years. So I got her one of her very own. There’s something exciting for children about being able to draw with markers and then erase and start over again. If your child loves this too, then consider getting them a Crayola Dry Erase Board Set. It comes with a board, markers and an erasing mitt.
She also really loves her Magna Doodle – this is another family favorite. Maybe it’s because my kids love to draw, but we’ve gone through literally dozens of Magna Doodles over the years. These are great for practicing letters and numbers too, and fantastic for keeping children busy on long car rides.
If you want something that will be a more involved art project, you might want to check out the smArt Pixelator. Because it has small pieces, this would be best for kids ages 7+. Essentially it’s bead art – your child will make a pixelated 2-D and 3-D projects using pixel beads.
If your child is more into fiber arts, they might like to have their own loom. The Loopdeloom is a great starter loom kit that comes with everything you need to get started.
As for some great art books to check out, here’s a few favorites:
My children LOVE how-to-draw books. We have dozens of them. One of our favorites are Ralph Masiello’s Drawing Books. He has several different books, everything from Ancient Egypt to Fairies to holiday themed books. His instructions are clear and easy to follow, the books are full of interesting pictures and they can be great springboards to learning all sorts of neat things, from bugs to dinosaurs to ocean life.
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art – I cannot rave about this book enough. First and foremost, it’s gorgeous. It includes full color reproductions of famous art along with imaginative stories to explain how or why the artists created their masterpieces. The stories are organized chronologically, from prehistory through modern day. This would make an excellent supplement to any history curriculum.
Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood from Creative Legends – we are big fans of the Kid Legend series, and my daughter loves this book in particular. It includes true stories about the childhoods of a variety of famous artists.
Paint Lab for Kids – I love all of the art lab books, they are colorful and full of project ideas that will inspire anyone to create art. If you are looking to incorporate painting into your art lessons, this is a great place to start.
The Art Lesson – This is our favorite Tomie dePaola picture book. dePaola shares the story about how his parents and teachers gave him the freedom to create and explore, leading him to achieve his goal of becoming an artist. We even met Tomie at one of our local bookstores and got our copy signed!
I have one more post for this series – Cook family favorites – and then we’ll wrap the Educational Gifts series. I hope that I’ve been able to give you some creative gift ideas for your children!
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