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Best Art & Craft Kits for Kids of 2023

Updated
Unleash your child's creativity with these fun craft sets.

Have you ever bought a craft kit that looks great on the package but ends up only including a couple of cheap supplies or having instructions that are far too complicated for the advertised age range?

We’ve been there, done that, and learned from our mistakes. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of arts and crafts, what features to look for, and how to find an age-appropriate kit for your child.

We’ll also review the best art and craft kits for kids. These are no dollar-store crafting kits. We’ve ranked these kits based on how appealing they are to children of all ages, the cost, their skill-building abilities, and the quality of the included supplies.

Entertain your crafty kids with one of these creative kits, and help them build self-confidence, critical thinking, and fine motor skills at the same time.

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Klutz My Egg Carton Animals Jr. Craft Kit
Best for Preschoolers
Klutz My Egg
  • National Parenting Center award winner
  • Crystal clear instructions
  • With a fast-dry glue
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Reusable Water-Reveal Activity Pads, 2-pk,...
Reusable And Portable
On-the-Go Water Wow
  • Engaging animal & vehicle themes
  • Reusable pages
  • Easy-grip refillable water pen
Product Image of the Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom Playset with 3Lbs of Beach Sand, Includes Molds...
Best Sensory Kit
Kinetic Sand Beach
  • 3lbs of kinetic beach sand
  • 2018 PAL Award winner
  • Wheat-, gluten-, and casein free
Product Image of the Here Fashion Toddler Crafts Paper Plate Art Kit Arts and Crafts for Kids Boys...
Best for Playdates
Here Fashion Paper Plate Art Kit
  • Affordable
  • Includes 10 colorful animals
  • Creative and entertaining
Product Image of the 4M Magnetic Mini Tile Art, Art & Crafts DIY Kit, For Boys & Girls Ages 8+
Best Art for Older Kids
Magnetic Tile Art
  • Useful magnets when completed
  • Contains 10 2x2 tiles
  • Complete art kit
Product Image of the Alex Discover Tots Art Start Kids Art and Craft Activity, 6 Super Easy and Fun...
Best Toddler Starter Kit
Alex Discover Tots
  • Winner of numerous awards
  • Includes easy-grip crayon
  • 6 simple activities
Product Image of the ALEX Toys My Giant Busy Box Craft Kit Kids Art and Craft Activity
Best Preschool Starter Kit
Alex Discover Giant
  • Create 16 different projects
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Parent's Choice Approved Award winner
Product Image of the Elmer’s Glue Deluxe Starter Slime Kit | Slime Supplies | Clear School Glue &...
Best Create-and-Play
Elmer's Slime Kit
  • Washable
  • Safe and nontoxic
  • No-run, no-drip formula
Product Image of the Darice (1103-10) 131-Piece Premium Art Set – Art Supplies for Drawing,...
Best Art Supplies Set
Darice Premium Art
  • 131-piece premium art kit
  • Portable wood case
  • Comes with wide variety of supplies
Product Image of the Creativity for Kids Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit - Arts & Crafts For Kids -...
Best Art for Gifting
Hide & Seek
  • With many design options
  • Waterproof art supplies
  • Open-ended crafting


The Best Art and Craft Kits of 2023

Here are our favorite art and craft kits for kids.

1. Klutz My Egg Carton Animals Craft Kit

Best Craft Kit for Preschoolers

This very affordable kit is always a hit with preschool-aged children. It includes specially made egg cartons that can be painted and decorated to make six farmyard friends. Over 100 pieces, such as paints, a paintbrush, googly eyes, and stickers, are provided to complete your animals.

Clear-dry glue is included, and the kit is safe and ideal for kids 4 years and older.

The ideas book has lots of fun facts about the animals as well as some great designs to create your barnyard buddies. And the best part is, once your kids have finished their creations, they may be inspired to continue creating a host of fun creatures using your own egg cartons and a few basic craft supplies.


2. Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Water Wow

Reusable and Portable

These magical spiral flip books look like simple coloring books at first. The thick cardboard pages have line drawings of vehicles and animals until you use the water-filled pen. This chunky pen is easy for young children to hold and reveals bright colors when used on the pad. Let it dry, and the colors disappear, allowing it to be used again and again.

I particularly like that the pen fits in its own storage space in the cover and that the whole kit is portable. My kids have enjoyed these magical water pads for years. There are many themes to choose from, and they’re ideal for traveling activities, visits to relatives, quiet times at home, or even doctor’s office waiting rooms.


3. Kinetic Sand Beach Kingdom Playset

Best Sensory Kit

Kinetic sand is a favorite in my house. One of my kids has always been drawn to sensory activities and has played with this sand for many years. Kinetic sand has such a unique feel that I love playing with it alongside my children. It feels wet even though it’s dry, and it never dries out.

It sticks to itself and is easy to mold, but it won’t stick to your kids, so cleanup is easy. It’s made from natural sand, and you get 3 pounds in this kit.

The box can be used as a beach setting for your kids to build their sandcastles in. Completing the set are molds and tools, letting your budding architect create their own castle. Kids ages 3 and over will love the imaginative play this kit brings.

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4. Here Fashion Paper Plate Art Kit

Best for Playdates

Kids love colorful animals, so let them make their own with this fun kit. It includes ten paper plates with 10 pattern cards. Once your child has created their paper plate, they can put on a show for family and friends.

We found this to be the perfect group activity for playdates, as kids enjoy seeing what their friends create and can play with the animals together after completing them.

The instructions are easy to follow, with a variety of designs to choose from. All items are included to make the animals, and no cutting or coloring is required. This makes for easy cleanup and is an ideal kit for children as young as 2 years old.


5. 4M Magnetic Mini Tile Art Kit

Best Art Kit for Older Kids

Make your own decorated mini magnet tiles to place on your fridge or any other metal surface. The kit contains 12 2-inch by 2-inch tiles for your child to decorate using the paints and brush supplied. When they have finished and their work of art is dry, they can attach a magnet (also provided) and decorate your fridge or their school locker.

Kids over 8 years old can have fun creating these ornaments for themselves or as gifts for family and friends.


6. Alex Discover Kids Art and Craft Activity

Best Starter Craft Kit for Toddlers

This kit is for your budding artist who is just starting out. It has lots of brightly colored stickers, tissue paper, crinkly paper, and fringe — 102 pieces altogether.

The easy-grip crayons are perfect for toddlers 18 months and older. Sheets of activity paper (shaped like a giraffe, a tree, and more) complete this fun, all-in-one starter kit. And we love that it doesn’t require glue, making this easier for toddlers to use without assistance and with less mess.


7. Alex Discover Giant Busy Box Craft Kit

Best Preschool Starter Craft Kit

Alex Toys scores another winner with this busy box for kids ages 3 and over. It has 16 projects, including making dough animals, decorating paper bag puppets, farm animal collages, and tissue art animals.

Everything you need is in the box, including easy-to-follow instructions and frames for your little one’s creations.


8. Elmer's Deluxe Slime Starter Kit

Best Create-and-Play Kit

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like playing with slime? Even I enjoy sitting and squishing, stretching, and mashing this icky substance.

Kids love the feel of it too, and often use it to gross out their grandparents, siblings, or friends.

This kit is extra fun because it’s visually stimulating as well as sensory appealing. Suitable for ages 3 and up, the three different colors of glitter glue need to be mixed with a couple of household items, and voila! Gloopy, toxin-free, washable, glittery slime for lots of fun.

Given that some mixing is involved at first, younger kids will need some support to create the slime, but they will enjoy playing with it on their own.


9. Darice Premium Art Set

Best Art Supplies Set

Contained in a stylish wooden box, this art set has everything your kids need to create beautiful pictures and drawings. There are 131 pieces, including paints, paintbrushes, pencils, crayons, and markers.

Just add paper and your child’s imagination, and let them loose. The kit does contain small parts, so it’s not suitable for younger children unless they’re supervised. Due to the small parts and the inclusion of sharpeners and safety scissors, the manufacturer’s recommended age is 6 years and up.


10. Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit

Best Art for Gifting

Painting, personalizing, and hiding rocks has become a worldwide phenomenon. Sometimes called “kindness rocks,” these rocks contain images or messages for people to find and rehide or keep. This kit is suitable for crafters ages 6 to adult.

This is an activity I’ve enjoyed doing with all my kids. It’s so fun to create the rocks and imagine someone else finding them, and it’s always great to find other people’s hidden rocks to add to our collection.

This kit has everything for painting waterproof designs on rocks for kids to leave around your community. Ten rocks are included, and you can continue to use the supplies to create more rocks of your own after those ones are used up.

If your kids choose to hide their rocks, you can set up a Facebook group or join an existing one so your kids know when their rocks have been found. You can also keep your child’s creations or give them as gifts.

Choose from a variety of themed kits, including holiday, Halloween, glow-in-the-dark, pour paint, hydro dip (like tie-dye), and more.

This video shows people of all ages participating in the kindness rocks project.


11. Creativity for Kids Origami Craft Kit

Best for Instruction Followers

Use the included 60 neon-colored papers to create animals, flowers, and more. This mess-free origami activity hones fine motor skills and is suitable for kids ages 7 and up.

Step-by-step instructions are included, and there are stickers to bring your creations to life.

There are also instructional YouTube videos to follow, like this one.


12. Alex DIY Knot-A Shark Kit Playset

Best Wearable Creation

Kids will want to snuggle up in this shark sleeping bag once they have made it. This kit includes everything you need to make this wearable fishy blanket friend and introduces children aged 8 and over to sewing and knotting skills.

Easy-to-follow instructions take you through stitching the shark’s face and then knotting its sides together before finishing with its tail. All the pieces are pre-cut for ease of assembly.


13. Alex Toys Craft Happily Ever Crafter

Best Crochet and Sewing Intro Kit

Skills such as embroidery, crocheting, and sewing are loved by young and old. This could be the start of a hobby for life. This kit is aimed at kids ages 8 and older, and all you need is packed neatly in the storage case.

Details for nine projects are included, so you can make your own stuffed dog, embroidered bandana, bracelets, coin purse, and more.

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Kids

Arts and crafts are fun for kids, allowing them to be creative and express themselves. Little do they realize the developmental benefits they’re gaining. These activities help in many ways.

Hand Coordination

Activities such as gluing, cutting, and molding often need the use of both hands at the same time. This helps kids when they’re learning to tie their shoelaces or play an instrument, for example.

Fine Motor Skills

Small tasks like doing up buttons and zippers can be challenging for kids. Honing their fine motor skills and coordination can help. Crafts that involve holding paintbrushes or pencils correctly, following lines, or coloring in patterns will help develop these skills.

Patience and Self-Control

Some crafts might take time to dry or need more concentration. These can help your child be flexible and learn that not everything happens immediately.

Boosts Self-Esteem

Completing an art or craft project will give your child a sense of achievement and pride. Just make sure you don’t choose something beyond their skill level. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad — it’s their creativity that counts.

Express Feelings

Drawing and painting can help kids express themselves non-verbally. They can let their imagination run wild and design whatever they want. This inspires them to create with an open mind.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

Sometimes when crafting and creating, your child will come across a problem. This will encourage them to think about how to solve it.

On top of these reasons, it gives you some time to bond with your kids while doing something fun in today’s hectic life.

How to Choose an Arts and Crafts Kit

Age is one of the main considerations when buying an arts and crafts kit. You need to ensure that it will not be too difficult or too easy for your child. They want to be challenged, but they also need to achieve.

Some of the things you might consider include the following:

  • Quality: There’s nothing worse than sitting down with your child and finding the kit you’ve chosen has bits missing or isn’t good quality.
  • Safety: Check that any paints, pencils, or plastics are safe for children. This is especially the case with younger children, who might put things in their mouths.
  • Washable: Many markers and paints are now manufactured so they can be washed out of clothes or cleaned off walls. Despite our best efforts, I’m sure we will all experience the little one who wants to redecorate the home or furniture.
  • Engaging: Think about your child’s interests. You want to choose something they will enjoy that will hold their interest.

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Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.