Essential Montessori Art Materials for Toddlers

Learning Through Art the Montessori Way

When my twin boys turned 3, we got them washable markers and fun workbooks that they loved to color. We got a Dinosaur workbook and they would use their markers to color all of the different pictures. They loved drawing squiggly lines throughout the book and trying to match colors with dinosaurs. For example, they colored the T-Rex green and they colored the triceratops picture orange because it matched their plastic triceratops toy. Because my kids liked using art supplies so much, I put together some more ideas below.

Art activities provide toddlers with endless opportunities for self-expression and imagination. When selecting art supplies for a Montessori classroom or for a Montessori playroom, choose materials that allow children to explore different techniques while developing motor skills. Consider the safety, versatility, and durability of each item.

Montessori classroom with children using Montessori art materials
Montessori classroom with children using Montessori art materials.

3 Fun Montessori Art Supplies

There are a lot of supplies you can purchase when it comes to art. From crayons to paint to markers, we listed some great options below.

Auvewilo Montessori Pencil Holder with 11 Compartments, Color Sorting Desktop Organizer for Kids, Ar

The Montessori-inspired educational toy, presented in a vibrant and appealing design, offers 11 colored pencil compartments for organized storage.

Montessori Wooden Colored Pencil Holder Organizer, Color Crayon Holder Organizer for Kids, 11 Cups o
  • This Montessori learning tool not only provides 11 brightly-colored holders for easy sorting, matching, and storing of colored pencils, but also doubles as a decoration.
Pom Poms Arts & Crafts Kit for Toddlers - Sensory Toys for Preschool Learning Activities, Montessori

This product offers a delightful blend of simple yet engaging gameplay where kids place colorful pom poms on a background board.

3 Mess-Free Art Supplies For Kids

When you want to incorporate art materials for your children, it’s important to use supplies that are mess-free. Kids will draw on the walls, the floors, the sofas, and the furniture. Therefore, the options below are good options for kids 3+.

Jar Melo Mess Free Crayons for Toddlers, 12 Colors

The Jar Melo Key Crayons are nearly mess-free, sturdy, and easy to hold, making them great for toddlers. They come with a lanyard for easy storage and a QR code to download 108 bonus coloring pages for extra fun.

Craftikit ® Arts and Crafts for Kids - Fun Toddler Craft Box

The CraftiKit is a fun and organized set of art supplies for kids that comes with 20 ready-to-go craft projects to engage children and minimize preparation time for parents. It's designed to foster mental growth through 4 types of projects, and also provides an opportunity for parent-child bonding.

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Activity Set (30+ Pcs)

The Crayola Color Wonder Activity Set is a fun kit that includes stamps, a stamp pad, a blank book, stickers, and markers to help kids create their own stories. It's mess-free as the ink only shows up on the special paper provided, not on skin or furniture.

Montessori Art in a Montessori Classroom

Art activities are a core part of the Montessori classroom environment. Teachers organize art materials on low, open shelves to allow students to use the supplies they want. Each material has a designated space on a shelf or in a bin. Students can choose activities that appeal to them and work at their own pace. Typical options include painting, drawing, sculpting clay, collage materials, origami paper, and beadwork. Aprons help keep children clean as they work. Art created by the children is displayed around the classroom. Hands-on art experiences allow children to develop concentration, coordination, creativity, and self-expression within a Montessori classroom.

Teacher working with children working with art supplies in a Montessori classroom.

Best Montessori Art Materials

There are many types of art materials suitable for toddlers that promote creativity and build skills. Classic options like oil pastels, crayons, paint and playdough allow young artists to explore color, texture and form. Each material offers unique benefits for developing coordination, fine motor control and self-expression. This section will explore 5 essential toddler art media and how they support growth through open-ended creation.

Oil Pastels – Blend Colors Easily

Oil pastels glide smoothly when toddlers blend them. Little hands can mix custom colors not possible with crayons or markers. Oil pastels are safe, non-toxic art for kids. Smearing and rubbing the pastels helps strengthen young hands. This art material promotes creativity and imagination.

Crayola Oil Pastels Classpack, 12 Colors, 336 Count

This Crayola oil pastel set has 336 sticks in 12 vibrant colors. It has organized storage, which makes it perfect for classroom use. It is an essential school supply for crafts and art projects and is safe and non-toxic for ages 4 and up.

SAKURA Cray-Pas Expressionist Oil Pastel Set - 50 Sticks

Sakura's original oil pastels set the standard with their expressionist range for creating painterly effects on paper, offering extremely smooth application and blending. The meet non-toxicity standards for safe use.

MUNGYO Gallery Soft Oil Pastels Set of 48 - Assorted Colors

The Mungyo Gallery set includes 48 assorted color soft oil pastels neatly arranged in a durable box with a plastic tray. It has secure and organized storage. These pastels apply smoothly on paper, blend well, and are highly recommended for all types of artists.

Crayons – Practice Drawing Skills

Chunky crayons are perfect for little hands learning to draw. Different sizes build hand muscles for writing. Crayons let toddlers joyfully color while mastering techniques like pressure control. Simple crayon art helps develop coordination.

Learning Through Art

Tempera Paint – Experiment with Color

Smooth, fast-drying tempera paint is great for toddlers. They can layer colors without smearing. Mixing tempera helps discover new shades. Paint flows easily from brushes for practicing strokes. Quick cleanup avoids frustration. Tempera encourages trying new techniques.

Playdough Tools – Build 3D Creations

Playdough tools open up 3D art for toddlers. Rollers, cutters, and molds let them carve, shape, and sculpt unique designs. Molding playdough improves coordination. Having the right tools makes modeling more engaging and skill-building.

Dot Markers – Decorate without Mess

Dot markers allow mess-free art for toddlers. Pressing deposits colorful dots to make patterns. Using dot markers strengthens hands. The tip improves coordination. Toddlers can decorate freely without marker or paint mess.

Find the best Montessori art supplies for home or for a classroom.
Find the best Montessori art supplies for home or for a classroom.

Display Essentials on Montessori Art Shelves

Dedicate shelves in the art area to organize essentials and encourage independence. Then, children can choose the Montessori art supplies that they play with. Here’s what to include:

  • Bins for separating crayons, markers, and pastels
  • Paint cups and brush holders
  • Playdough bins with sculpting tools
  • Paper stacks in a range of sizes, colors, and textures
  • Smocks or art aprons for keeping clean

Neatly arranged art shelves enable toddlers to access materials independently. Orderly organization creates a sense of responsibility. Rotate materials regularly to maintain curiosity.


A selection of the right art materials provides toddlers with endless opportunities for open-ended creation. Allow children to freely explore different mediums to facilitate artistic development. Montessori art activities promote self-expression, fine motor skills and cognitive growth.

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