If you have one child or several, if doesn’t matter: they all love doing arts and crafts. The best way to be prepared for rainy days or sick days or just whenever the creative yen strikes is to have some basic art supplies for kids and toddlers on hand. Some you’ll have known already, but some might surprise you!

1.Paper– Have a variety of paper types available for a variety of crafting projects. Newspaper, butcher paper, construction paper, sketch pads, posterboard, rice paper, etc., all can be fun and interesting.

2. Crayons– Start out with the thick toddler ones, but as they get older, their developing fine motor skills will be honed by using the thinner crayons. Also, don’t throw away the stubs, they can be saved and melted down for fun projects later!

3. Paints- For toddlers, finger paints are best, make sure they’re biodegradable and safe for all ages. As they get older, you can introduce water colors and temperas for more variety and helping them learn how to use different media.

4. Rubber Stamps- there are so many great toddler-size options these days for making cool patterns.

5. Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls and Egg Cartons- there are endless crafty possibilities with these tubes. Trust me.

6. Activity Trays

7. Stickers

8. Toddler- and Kid-Sized Paint Brushes (we have these by Melissa & Doug)

9. Sponges- sponges are great for applying paint in a different way. You can make beautiful patterns with them, ranging from clouds to tree foliage to abstract art.

10. Safety Scissors

11. Paper Plates– these can be used to make all sorts of toddler crafts, such as masks, wreaths, and hats.

12. Old Magazines– these are great to reuse for collages and telling stories with photographs.

13. Backyard and Household Finds: pinecones, pebbles, leaves, and flowers outside, buttons, pasta, rice, beans, etc., inside!

14. Felt

15. Cotton Balls

16. Sidewalk Chalk

17. Shoe boxes– not only are they great for storing craft items, they can be used to make houses or dioramas.

18. Pretty Stuff. To add some pizzazz to your kids’ artwork, keep things like glitter, colored glue, puffy paint markers, etc., on hand.

19. Stencils, patterns, and templates. You don’t have to buy them: make your own with cardboard!

Art supplies for kids and toddlers don’t have to break the bank. You can assemble a generous arts and crafts kit for next to nothing with a little diligence.