Coronavirus and Kids at Home: Stock Your Art Materials

What art supplies to have on hand in case schools close.

This isn't the blog post we were expecting to write. Amidst the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 in virtually every state, many parents are thinking (read: incredibly anxious!) about how they will function should schools close. We hear you, we see you. We feel it, too.

BUT we are also experts on play and play spaces. We obsess over toys and kid products. We've got this. So, let us help ease your stress by sharing a few tips.

Today, we will focus on some standard and unique art materials that are general crowd-pleasers for a wide range of ages (including adults, because you know you're going to have to get in there, too).

Paper (and a BIG roll of it, too)

Make sure you have plenty of paper on hand! Your standard construction paper and white drawing paper are great staples. Add on a roll of large paper (white or brown Kraft) and use painter's tape to affix it to (gasp) your table, floor, or a wall. Work with your kids to create a mural or just doodle--it's fun to draw on big paper! Bonus if you cut out the large paper into a shape, like the silhouette of a house or even a circle or triangle. All about the novelty here.

Markers, crayons, colored pencils, dot markers and ... oil pastels?!

Kids use the standard drawing supplies, so make sure your stock is solid (ask your kiddo to help you test markers!) Markers, crayons, and colored pencils are a must. Might we also suggest including dot markers and oil pastels? They are fun and not a standard drawing/doodling/art material that kids typically engage with regularly. Oil pastels move very differently on paper and blend beautifully!

The Doughs: Play-doh, Mad Matter, and Sculpey

Honestly, molding clays and dough are one of the biggest winners at engaging kids in independent play. Check your current play-doh stock for dried-out status. Refill stock and/or use the dried out stuff for small vehicle play (it makes great rocks and rubble for small dump trucks). Consider adding Mad Matter to your stock as it NEVER DRIES OUT (and is gluten-free in case that's important to you). Both play-doh and Mad Matter hold kids' attention longer if you give them tools, which can simply be plastic utensils and cookie cutters from your kitchen if you're willing to share.

Scupley is a great modeling clay that you then bake to harden and create permanent sculptures, figures, etc. that kids can then use in their other play.


Kids love stamps, and they are a great add-on to free art creation. We like the Melissa + Doug stamp sets and suggest actual stamps and ink pads instead of stamp markers as they dry out quickly and then just get tossed. If you're looking for something more traditionally educational, have your kiddo use the letter stamps to practice spelling their name or words.

Open-ended add-ons

Craft sticks and googly eyes are a HUGE hit with kiddos, so stock up. Throw in some pipe cleaners and pom-poms. We'll leave the glitter (OH NO NOT THE GLITTER) up to you.


*Contains glitter!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we'll continue to post more ideas, but hopefully it will help you prep and ease some stress!

Play on and grOH!

xoxo (from a six foot distance),


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