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Finally, summer is approaching! Our students will be doing everything from swimming and playing video games to attending summer camps and traveling to far off places. In my mind, doing art should also be on that list! The end of the school year is an excellent time for us to empower our students to create outside of school.
My Summer Art Supply List is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a list of art supplies I feel it would be good for students to have at home. Having a list makes shopping easy for parents, especially if they don’t have an art background.
I like to list the basics but also add some specialized products like a bag of Model Magic. It is also important to include budget-friendly or free supplies, as not all families will have the means to purchase things. Things like recyclables and items found in nature are great to add to the list. Finally, make sure most or all of the supplies can be found at local stores.
Many students already have crayons at their houses. Sharing your favorite brands is a good way to get your students using quality materials. There are also a few new versions that could be a great addition to your student’s art supplies. Check them out below!
Markers are another non-intimidating material to include on the list. I use a variety of Crayola markers including thin, thick, metallic, and pastel. A few of my students even have experience with Copic markers. Those are very pricey, but they are definitely worth sharing because you can find them on sale or buy a few at a time to build up your collection. Sharpies are also a staple in my classroom that students often use in their work. I include all three on my list.
Paper is a huge part of the creation process, especially when it comes to drawing and making collages. This Strathmore Mixed Media drawing pad is sure to stand up to all types of media. This Pacon Drawing paper is only about 57 lbs but can work for basic drawing, and it comes in looseleaf form.
Colored pencils are another versatile medium. There is a wide range of colored pencil options that vary in type and price. I like to give them options. Here are a few I plan to share with my students’ families.
Some families may be intimidated by paint, so I like to keep things simple by suggesting watercolors. I typically suggest watercolors in a palette, but depending on your grade level, you may want to share watercolors that are sold in individual tubes. You may also want to suggest a variety of paintbrushes, as most sets just come with one. I share a variety of types of watercolor so parents can choose what works best for their budget.
Oil pastels are great both on their own and mixed with other mediums such as watercolors. Here are a few sets I add to my summer supply list for my students.
Students love to build in three dimensions. Model Magic is a fun alternative to earthenware clay. Model Magic comes in white and assorted colors. You can buy anywhere from a four-ounce bag to a sixteen-ounce tub. Show your students how you can rub markers on white model magic and squish it to change the color! If you teach older students, recommending an air dry clay might also be appropriate.
Painting with tempera or acrylic can get messy, so I suggest paint sticks instead. I purchased Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks this year, and my kids loved them. They have a variety of size options and come in traditional, neon, and metallic colors!
Free art supplies everyone has in their home are recyclables. I always add these to my list because not everyone has the extra cash to buy a variety of art supplies and because I love recycled art. Check out the list for some of the recyclables students and their families can save in order to create over the summer.
There are several cost friendly items that can be found at your local dollar store to use in art projects. For instance, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, Popsicle sticks, aluminum foil, and yarn are all things I purchase at low prices. These items can help take creativity to the next level.
When building with odds and ends and well as recyclables it is important to have ways to connect pieces. Adding glue sticks, masking tape, scotch tape, and duct tape to the list is a must! Tacky glue is another excellent adhesive that can help with these summer projects. Hot glue is great, but depending on your students’ ages you may recommend using hot glue is only with parent supervision.
Once you hand out your Summer Art Supply List, pair it with a Summer Art Challenge to inspire your students to create. Check out the Summer Art Challenge download below. Use it as is, or let it inspire you to make your own.
(Check out the challenge from last year right here for even more ideas!)
No matter if you share a supply list, give your students a summer challenge or both, it is important to get kids creating this summer!
What supplies would you add to this list?
What type of summer projects have you given your students to inspire them?
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.