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Best Arts and Crafts Toys for Kids in the Classroom and At Home

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It’s no secret that I love arts and crafts for kids! There are so many great arts and crafts toys for kids you can incorporate into your lesson plans with your budding artist this year. Arts and crafts projects are filled with learning opportunities for preschool students. 

Check out some of my favorite craft kits for kids and get arts and crafts printables for your preschool classroom below. Plus, discover how you can use arts and crafts toys for kids in your centers, with lesson plans, and to keep learning at home.

Keep reading to see the perfect arts and crafts gifts for preschool students to use at home and in the classroom and how to incorporate these into your lessons and centers.

arts and crafts toys for kids

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How To Use Arts and Crafts Toys for Kids in Centers

If your preschool or kindergarten classroom is organized in centers, you’ve got the perfect set up for adding arts and crafts toys to your daily activities! My top suggestion for your preschool art center would be to make this center easy to clean. You’ll want to provide smocks, use washable tables, and keep cleaning supplies handy for this center. 

Next up, think about storage. You’ll definitely want places for art projects to dry and spaces to display arts and crafts for kids too. Don’t forget to plan for ways to store materials like paper, clay, paint, and pencils too.

Add some of your favorite arts and crafts toys for kids to your preschool centers and you’re ready to go! I like to choose arts and crafts toys that help preschoolers build skills we’re working on or crafts that tie in with our current lessons.

Keep reading to see the perfect arts and crafts gifts for preschool students to use at home and in the classroom.

The Perfect Arts and Crafts Gifts for Preschool Students

One fun and easy way to add arts and crafts toys to your lesson plans this year is by giving them as gifts. Arts and crafts toys make it easy for kids to engage in creative play and learn all kinds of important early skills.

Plus, arts and crafts are a great gift that just keeps on giving!

Monkey Strings

I love Monkey Strings for practicing pre-writing skills, getting creative, and building fine motor skills with preschool students too. These colorful strings are covered in wax which makes them an arts and crafts toy for kids that’s easy to manipulate. 

Preschoolers and kindergarteners can use these strings to create shapes, numbers, letters, and more! Let their imaginations go wild! These craft supplies are so versatile, you’ll be able to add them to literacy and numeracy activities in the classroom and at home. 

One of our best arts activities with Monkey String last year involved using it to outline the 50 states on a map as we learned about each state. It was a great visual as we studied the geography of the United States. Plus it helped them develop strong hand-eye coordination.

Melissa & Doug Art Easel

Adding a Melissa & Doug art easel to your preschool classroom or play space is a great way to spark creativity and encourage reluctant preschoolers to engage in arts and crafts. The Melissa & Doug Art Easel is one of my favorites because it’s wooden which helps it stand up to lots of “creative” play from kids.

Plus, the Melissa & Doug easel offers a dry-erase side for kids to color & erase, a chalkboard side, and a paper roller with sketch sheets for drawing and painting crafts. There are lots of other great art activity kits available from Melissa & Doug too.

Check out some of our other favorites like Melissa & Doug Create Your Own Wooden Craft Supply Kits or Melissa & Doug Clay Play Activity Kits. Who knows, playing with these educational arts gifts might be just what your kids need to ignite a new passion!

Kiwi Crate Subscription Craft Projects

Kiwi Co has created some entertaining subscription boxes that combine art, science, and math learning activities to create an arts and crafts toy for kids that’s unique. Have your kids ever wanted to build their own robot? What about creating a jumping lantern or dissecting a frog?

You can have a Kiwi Crate Subscription delivered to your classroom or homeschool setting. It’s a fun hands-on learning activity kit that combines arts and crafts with science in a STEM activity kit or experiment your preschoolers will love! 

Some of our favorite kits include Kiwi Co.’s Koala Crates. The craft supplies curated in these activity kits are a perfect gift for preschoolers! They’re filled with opportunities for kids to get creative, practice hand-eye coordination, and develop fine motor skills too. 

Colorations No Spill Paint Cups

Another essential for arts and crafts centers are these No Spill Paint Cups from Colorations. I love that these cups are easy for preschoolers and kindergarteners to use for all their painting projects.

Plus, the lids make sure the paint doesn’t get all over the floor. The best part is that you can get big classroom-sized packs of clear cups to fill with Crayola washable finger paints for your preschoolers.

It’s easy to position these no-spill paint cups around your classroom for all kinds of arts and crafts learning fun.

Colorations has all kinds of fun activity kits for young artists! Some of the other Colorations art sets we love include Colorations Stamp Bucket filled with washable marker stampers that are perfect for helping young children build hand-eye coordination while having fun this year! 

Another fun activity kit for young artists from Colorations is the Classroom Mini Brush Set. I really like the idea of pairing these chunky paint brushes with the no spill paint cups.

Plus, their size and shape makes them ideal for preschoolers who are still developing fine motor skills. 

Sticky Button Arts and Craft Sets

These Sticky Button Art Projects are a great way to keep little hands busy! Plus, your preschoolers will be building critical fine motor skills as they grasp and manipulate the colorful buttons in this craft kit for kids. They’ll have fun creating their own sticky button scenes featuring peacocks, mermaids, apple trees, and more.

If these sticky buttons are too small for your kids, check out the Button Art Sets from Quercetti with large colorful peg buttons. Manipulating these buttons and pressing them into the provided scenes is great fine motor skills practice for preschoolers! 

Hand puppet Craft Kits

Have you ever made a monkey out of an old tube sock and a couple buttons? That’s what these hand puppet crafts remind me of.

I love that these craft toys for kids come with lots of color options and designs to choose from so kids can really get creative. They’re perfect for boys and girls alike and great for kids in preschool! Plus, they would be a great addition to your circle time lessons as well!

Arts and Crafts Printables for the Preschool Classroom

Another fun and simple way to add arts and crafts for kids to your preschool classroom is by using arts and crafts printables. I have several fun cut-and-paste crafts you can do with your preschool and kindergarten students at home and in the classroom this year. Discover some of my favorites below.

Alphabet Crafts for Kids

Alphabet Crafts of lowercase letters are an easy way to get kids engaged and ready to learn their ABCs!

alphabet crafts for kids

These lowercase letter crafts would also be a great addition to an ABC bulletin board or alphabet wall.

Shape crafts for kids

Integrate math this school year with my fun shape crafts for kids. Your preschoolers will focus on skills such as counting, shapes, and sorting all while having fun crafting!

halloween shape crafts for kids

These look adorable on a holiday bulletin board and are super fun for kids of all ages!

Apple Life Cycle Craft

This Apple Craft is the perfect craft and activity kit to do during a fun apple theme this fall as you learn about an apple’s life cycle.

apple life cycle craft

This apple activity kit would also be a great way to study the parts of an apple.

Bucket Filler Craft Activity

This Bucket Filler Craft would be a great follow-up activity kit to do after reading the book How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath or Have You Filled A Bucket Today by Carol McCloud.

bucket filler activity and craft for kids

It’s also a great preschool arts and crafts activity kit for Valentine’s Day this February.

Dinosaur Craft Supplies

Are your young artists big dinosaur fans too? If so, you won’t want to miss my Dinosaur Activity Kit. These cool craft kits printables will give young artists a chance to build fine motor skills as they get creative with play dough mats for imaginative play.

dinosaur activities and dinosaur playdoh mats

15 of the best arts and crafts dinosaurs for no-prep lesson plans are included for learners of all ages!

Don’t miss my cut and paste dinosaur craft supplies for building hand-eye coordination while practicing important early learning skills like cutting and pasting. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to add to your dinosaur preschool theme or thematic unit study.

The Importance of Arts and Crafts for Kids

Incorporating arts and crafts for kids into your classroom is essential for early learners as they prepare for Kindergarten. There are all kinds of amazing benefits for preschoolers who participate in arts and crafts! Check out some of the ways arts and crafts toys for kids help encourage cognitive development:

Arts and Crafts Toys for Kids Build Fine Motor Skills

As kids manipulate art materials, they are building finger strength and learning how to use the small muscles in their hands. This type of bilateral coordination gets better when children use both hands together. 

As preschool students paint, color, draw, cut, and paste, they develop essential fine motor skills. In the future, your preschoolers will use these skills for important tasks like tying their shoes and writing their own names. 

Encourage Literacy with Arts and Crafts for Kids

Arts and crafts for kids help to encourage early literacy development too. When preschoolers create art, they get to talk about their work. As children share their work with others, they build amazing communication skills including increased vocabulary, speech practice, and listening skills.

Many arts and crafts toys for kids incorporate step-by-step instructions for children to follow. As your preschoolers read directions or follow instructions, they’re getting great practice following multi-step directions. Now, that’s a skill we can all appreciate, especially as they get ready for Kindergarten!

Craft Kits for Kids Build Creativity

The world can certainly use more creative thinkers! We can encourage our kids to think creatively with craft kits and arts and crafts toys for kids. Incorporating arts and crafts into our lessons and daily activities helps creative kids to think, explore, and imagine new ways to create.

Build Confidence with Arts and Crafts for Kids

Arts and crafts have a wonderful way of building confidence in our children too. Crafty kids get a sense of achievement and pride in their abilities and their work when they complete a craft kit or art activity. 

Creating with arts and crafts toys for kids is also a good way for preschoolers to begin building self-regulation skills. They’ll need these skills to manage waiting for paint to dry and adjust when an idea doesn’t work out like they thought it would.

Adding Arts and Crafts Ideas to Your Lessons

Adding art supplies and projects to your lessons might be a bit intimidating at first, but it’s totally worth it. If you’re worried about the mess or uncertain when you’ll prep, you might want to consider beginning with arts and crafts printables, craft kits for kids, or investing in arts and crafts toys for your preschool centers. 

Communicate with Art

If arts and crafts ideas are missing from your preschool lessons, you can try these tips for incorporating more art into your lesson plans and activities. First, encourage your kids to discuss art. Share your favorite art pieces with your little aspiring artist and see what they think. 

Art can be truly powerful when it allows students to communicate learning. Many two, three, and four year olds cannot yet write well enough to share their thoughts and feelings that way, but everyone can express themselves through art.

Thematic Units Add Art to Lessons

Thematic units are another great way to tie in arts and crafts for kids. Add art from the time period you’re studying or include examples of cubism in your next shape lesson. Explore Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers as you learn about plants this year. The possibilities are endless!

What are your favorite arts and crafts to do with preschool students? Share your favorite arts and crafts toys for kids and the very best art projects in the comment section. I can’t wait to read them and add your favorites to my upcoming lesson plans too!

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