Physical Space

The Ultimate Art Holiday Gift Guide

Whenever the holidays roll around, I always have parents ask me, “What are some good gifts for my artistic child?” I’m always caught unprepared and mumble something about oil pastels and watercolor paint. After we hang up or they walk away, I’m inevitably kicking myself for not mentioning Scratch Art, Shrinky Dinks or sketchbooks. I decided that this year, I’d be prepared with a list of great art supplies and art gifts for students.

To make things easy for parents, I’ve broken my list into different categories. There are four separate age levels listed (K-2, 3-5, Middle School, High School) to make sure that gifts are developmentally appropriate. Each list includes a mix of basic and novel art supplies, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.While many of these items are available at department stores or art supply stores, I’ve also provided links to my favorites online.

So without further ado, here are my top art gifts for K-12 students. Feel free to save these lists or “Pin” these lists for future reference. Each year you can pull them out to share with parents – Easy!

Top 10 Art Gifts for K-2 Students

1. Twist-up Crayons

2. Metallic Crayons

3. Washable Markers

4. Tempera Cake Paint

5. Colored Construction Paper

6. Fingerprint Art Set

7. Pattern Blocks

8. Pipe Cleaners

9. Model Magic

10. Do You Doodle? By Nickalas Catlow


Top 10 Art Gifts for 3-5 Students

1. Oil Pastels

2. Colored Pencils

3. Metallic Markers

4. Watercolor Paints

5. Scratch Art

6. Twisteez Wire

7. Loop Weaving Kit

8. Shrinky Dinks

9. Modeling Clay

10. Magnificent Marvelous Me! By Art with Heart


 Top 10 Art Gifts for Middle School Students

1. Set of Drawing Pencils

2. Skinny Markers

3. Metallic Colored Pencils

4. Watercolor Paints

5. Bracelet Making Kit

6. Metal Sheets and Tooling Supplies

7. Sculpey Clay

8. Tie-Dye Kit

9. Manga Drawing Book

10. Sketchbook


Top 10 Art Gifts for High School Students

1. Set of Drawing Pencils

2. Quality Colored Pencils

3. Derwent Inktense Pencils

4.  Set of acrylic paint

5. Set of paintbrushes

6. Buddha Board

7. Calligraphy Set

8. DIY T-Shirt Transformation Book

9. Sneaker Customization Kit

10. Sketchbook


Perhaps with this list floating around, there will be a few less video games and a few more gifts that spark creativity this year!

Tell us: What’s missing? Are there any great items you would add to these lists?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Amanda Heyn

Amanda Heyn is AOEU’s Director of K–12 PD & Media and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She enjoys creating relevant and engaging professional development just for art teachers.

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