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Best Art Materials for the Elementary Art Classroom

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We all have our favorite art supplies.  What are your MUST-HAVE art supplies for an elementary art classroom?  Here are some of my favorites!  (Amazon Affiliate links have been used in this post at no extra cost to you.)

Kwik Stix.  Oh, how I love these paint sticks!

They go on smoother than oil pastels, they have such bright, vibrant colors and they are so easy to use with low mess!  They come in metallic, regular and neon.

Kwik Stix

On this blog post, I do a video review of the product.

Here is a blog post about a letter painting, with inspiration from Jasper Johns.Letter Paintings

Here is a design project with washi tape and Kwik Stix.

Sharpies!  Sharpies are great for so many projects involving coloring.

You can also color on wood, cardboard, plastic and more with these.  These are definitely a MUST-HAVE for an art classroom.  They are permanent and will not bleed with water, so they are perfect for drawing first and then using watercolor paint over.

My kids used Sharpies to color in their All About Me Folded Squash Books.

Sharpies are also great for doodling, like in these Artist Trading Cards.

Artist Trading Cards with Doodles

A Good Multi-Purpose Paper

I have been looking for years for a good multi-purpose paper that will take tempera paint, watercolor paint and markers, that is still economical.   This Sax Sulphite Drawing Paper, 90 lb, 12 x 18 Inches, Extra-White, Pack of 500 is what I have been using this year and I have been very pleased with so far.  We used liquid watercolors yesterday and the paper held up well and kept the colors brilliant.  The paper wrinkled a little with tempera paint, but we can easily flatten it out with a stack of books.  I’m looking forward to seeing how this will work with other mediums.  We also get a 30% off discount because we have an “account” with them.  I think any school can apply for the discount.  (Picture from Sax.)

Sax Sulphite Drawing Paper, 90 lb, 12 x 18 Inches, Extra-White, Pack of 500

Elmer’s Art Paste– AKA Paper Mache

Kid’s love working with 3-D art materials.  A really cheap and fun art medium is paper mache.  Here are some projects my students have made with paper mache.

Water Color Paints

Watercolor paints are a MUST-HAVE for any art classroom.

Some of my favorite sets for the classroom are

Crayola Artista II

Faber Castell Connector Sets

You can see some of the projects we have done with watercolors here.

Good Tempera Paint

There is a wide range of tempera paints, ranging from excellent to complete liquid garbage.  You have to make sure you buy a good tempera paint!  The tempera paints that I like are Crayola Artista II Washable, Sax Versatemp and Blick Premium Tempera.  It is worth the extra money to buy decent paint, because it will make the kids’ paintings look so much better.

Image result for sax versa tempera paint


This post is part of the Art Ed Blogger’s Network!  Visit the other blogs to see more blog posts about Art Materials!

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About Marcia Beckett

Marcia is an elementary art teacher and loves painting, drawing, sculpture, art journaling and clay. Her blog, Art is Basic, features many exciting art projects for kids.

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