If there is one gift we always hope our kids get unwrap this holiday, it’s an art toy or craft kit, or something that encourages and help develops their artistic sides. For us, toys that build on children’s natural creativity are as important to feeding their brains as educational toys that teach proficiency in reading, math and science.
If you’re looking for a terrific selection of art toys for kids, one of the first places we always look online is Fat Brain Toys, our amazing sponsor for this third and final post in our Holiday Toy Gift Guide series. Fat Brain Toys has so more than 1,000 cool art toys (whoa!) for everyone from a prolific young crafter, to a more reluctant child who needs a little coaxing to to give an art project some attention.
-Don’t miss a chance to win a $300 holiday toy shopping spree from Fat Brain Toys!
Though Fat Brain Toys has put together more than 7,500 of the best toys for kids, they actually make it easy to find what you need based on age or interest, or hey, they’ve got Toy Experts standing by live to answer questions.
Or…just ask us! We’ve got plenty of gift ideas to share based on the art toys our own kids love, and we’ve pared it down to 14 great ones below for children of all ages.
Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% at Fat Brain Toys on every purchase through 12/15/15, when you enter discount code ND-5626 at checkout. Yes!
Traveler’s Sketch & Draw Easel Case
Is there anything more thrilling to an artist than a brand new set of art materials that’s all his or her own? This gorgeous and jam-packed Traveler’s Sketch & Draw Easel Case will make any young artist swoon. Whether they take it to Grandma’s, a friend’s house, or grab some select media for an afternoon at the museum, they’ll be ready to draw and sketch to their heart’s delight with dozens of pencils, charcoal sticks, and color sticks. We love art gift so much for kids of all ages, we even featured it in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide as one of our top picks for amazing craft gifts for kids.
Enchanted Forest Coloring Book
More advanced coloring books marketing to adults are all the rage, if you haven’t noticed, and one of our favorites is the intricate Enchanted Forest coloring book by Johanna Basford. It makes an excellent gift for a tween or teen who may have forgotten how much they love to color. And pssst: It certainly makes a great adult gift too for those of us who need a little more creative zen in our lives.
Plan Toys Creative Dough Set
Lots of art toys for kids require you to make something specific, so we were really drawn to the the open-ended art exploration time kids will get from Plan Toys’ Creative Dough Set. It will definitely get kids thinking creatively about what they can do with the seven different pieces included in the set; you just add your own store-bought or homemade dough. Use the cutter to make neat decorative edges or create a castle with cool shapes stamped all up and down the sides. Bonus: Plan Toys are all made from sustainable materials so no junky plastic stuff here. Check out the adorable Pastry Dough Set too! Yum, cupcakes.
Action Plates Drawing Set
Not every kid is a freeform artist who can just put pen or paintbrush to paper and go. And that’s totally okay. It’s also why we love cool art gifts like Action Plates a fun spin-off of the Fashion Plates from our youth. Whether kids want to illustrate their own comic books or just create a wacky superhero of their own design, the mix-and-match plates makes it really easy to do. There are even cool background patterns to add to the action.
Creatibles DIY Erasers
Cute little erasers are so in now — but so expensive. So why not make your own? If your kids like to work with clay, we think they’ll love the Creatibles DIY Eraser Kit. Just squish the clay into little shapes and bake for a short time to make one-of-a-kind erasers they’ll want to show off and trade with friends. We think this small kit also makes a nice stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift.
Illustory Make Your Own Book Kit
We found this amazing Illustory Make Your Own Book kit from Lulu a while back and it’s still a top art gift for us. Because what’s a kids’ book without illustrations? Exactly. It comes with everything kids need to get really creative with the included markers on 20 blank book pages. Send in the finished product with the pre-paid envelope and a few weeks later, kids will get their very own, professionally printed, US-made, hardcover book. Not sure if it would stay in their room our ours!
Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% at Fat Brain Toys on every purchase through 12/15/15,
when you enter discount code ND-5626 at checkout.
Made By Me 4-Vehicle Kit
This Maple Landmark Made By Me Vehicle Kit is like 3 gifts in one: First, it’s a craft kit kids can put together (with a little help, of course). Then it’s an art project they can paint and decorate however they’d like. Finally, it’s a set of four sustainable wooden toys including a truck, train, tug boat and tractor that they can play with to their heart’s content.
Shrinky Dinks Deluxe
Yay for classic toys that remain timeless and fun for the next generation! This Shrinky Dinks Deluxe set will have kids making jewelry and gifts for everyone they know just like we did as kids. It’s a fantastic art gift for multiple kids, as the kit comes with 10 separate sheets with plenty of designs on them that shrink up like magic into hard little charms to be used in so many ways.
The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set
Another one of our childhood favorites that never gets old, The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set is a huge favorite of our own kids today, from about 6 to…well, let’s say 65. While it’s the same basic toy that was created in the 60’s, a few minor improvements have made it even easier to use, and the built-in storage case means it’s great for road trips and long holiday plane rides too. And if you want a cool art gift for kids under $15, checkout the Original Spirograph Design Set, or the Mini Travel Spirograph Kit which is under $10.
Seedling Design Your Own Glowing Light Art Kit
Your kids can enjoy their artwork every night with Seedling’s Illuminate the Night project that allows them to design their very own night light. The kit comes with six colorful markers, though your own stencils, glitter, and stickers can be also added to complete their night light. What’s really needed is for your kids to plug it in for the first time, and realize the light itself will glow in different colors. (Note: It’s currently backordered but will be restocked this week. It’s popular!)
Outdoor Chalk Mandala Designer Kit
While our kids tend to pray for snow in the winter, we think they could hold off a bit just to use this cool Outdoor Chalk Mandala Designer Kit by Ravensburger. The 22″ diameter mandala lets you create literally hundreds of possible designs. Kids of all age can jump in on this one. And that includes you, mamas.
Klutz Twirled Paper Craft Kit
If your older kids already have enough paint and drawing supplies to keep them busy for months, check out the Klutz Twirled Paper craft kit and let them try their hand at quilling, or the art of paper twirling. With lots of quilling paper and a booklet full of ideas, kids can create beautiful greeting cards, turn them into hanging ornaments for the tree, or just make some fun creatures to display in their bedrooms.
Topozoo Create & Color Dinosaurs
Dinosaur lovers can create their very own species of dinosaurs by mixing and matching the pieces in Topozzoo’s Create & Color Dinosaurs, or they can choose to make a more realistic 3D T-Rex and friends. The sturdy cardboard pieces come with four washable markers, or haul out your own art supplies. We like that the kit is made in the US from recycled materials too.
Magnetic Design Shapes Travel Tin
You may have memories of all those little Magnetic Poetry strips covering your refrigerator door, and now they’ve got one to bring out kids’ artistic side, with Magnetic Design Shapes. Whether it’s for the fridge, a magnetic easel in the kid’s room, or just its own magnetic storage tin when kids are stuck in the back seat of the car, we love the open-ended artistic play this inspires. And the great price.
Thank you to our fantastic Holiday Toy Gift Guide sponsor Fat Brain Toys for making it so easy to find the best art toys for kids. They’ve got close to 1,000 well-curated arts and crafts options alone, including lots made right in the USA.
Cool Mom Picks readers can save 10% at Fat Brain Toys by entering discount code ND-5626 at checkout. Offer expires 12/15/2015.
EXTRA-COOL: WIN IT!
Enter for a chance to win Fat Brain Toys’ $300 Ultimate Holiday Giveaway. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from now through 12/22/15, Fat Brain toys will give away a $300 shopping spree to one lucky winner. That’s means there will be a whole lot of winners! Visit the site to register and for full details and official rules. No purchase necessary. One entry per household per day. 19+ to enter. Void where prohibited.
To keep up with all their new product offerings this holiday season, follow them at Fat Brain Toys on Facebook.