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Noodle Staff
Noodle Expert Member

September 04, 2019

Do you know a kid who loves art or aspires to be an artist? Check out this list of five Parents' Choice–recommended toys for kids, suited to ages 2 through 12.

Whether they're using crayons, toilet-paper rolls, glitter, or acrylic paints — or some combination thereof — some kids have a penchant for creating art.

If your child is a budding sculptor, painter, caricaturist, pastel artist, mixed-media creator, or all of the above, you can help nurture those talents with fun, educational toys. Jennifer Droblyen, the owner and executive director of Art/Engage LLC (which develops and manages art appreciation and art-making programs for home-based individuals with disabilities), has noted just a couple of the ways in which artistic tools can aid in kids' learning processes: "Crayons, markers, oil pastels, watercolors — all of these together provide critical thinking in making choices, explaining one's thought process, and fostering aesthetic development."

If you're seeking to help your child develop such skills, these five innovative gifts can provide key early exposure to the visual arts.

1. The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids

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What it is: A book of 500 creative indoor activities for kids, along with practical advice for parents

Parents’ Choice Award®: Recommended — "this well-written organized guide is an encyclopedia of fun"

Recommended for lovers of: Arts and crafts, imaginative play, dress-up, resourceful learning

Ages: Ages 2–12

Price: $21.95 (purchase)

2. Bunchems

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What it is: A kit to make 16 creatures, including 370 colorful soft plastic hook-and-loop ball shapes, 36 accessories like facial features, and a how-to guide book for optimal squishing and connecting

Parents’ Choice Award®: Fun Stuff — "it’s off to the races"

Number of players: 1+

Recommended for lovers of: Arts and crafts, construction, imaginative play

Ages: 3+

Price: $24.99 (purchase)

3. The Big Creativity Can

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What it is: A kit including 100+ pieces, from chenille stems to mesh tubing to feathers, that kids can use in conjunction with household items to construct their own creative masterpieces

Parents’ Choice Award®: Gold — "wow … this toy gives kids a lot of credit"

Number of players: 1+

Recommended for lovers of: Arts and crafts, imaginative play, resourceful construction

Ages: 4+

Price: $19.99 (purchase)

4. Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box

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What it is: A beautiful picture book that captures the life of — and importance of painting for — the beloved author and illustrator Beatrix Potter

Parents’ Choice Award®: Silver — "while recommended for all children, this fine picture book should especially appeal to budding artists"

Recommended for lovers of: Illustration, picture books, biographies

Ages: 4–8

Price: $17.99 (purchase)

5. Illustory Junior

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What it is: A kit that allows young children to write and illustrate their own paperback books

Parents’ Choice Award®: Gold — "a budget-sized version of the popular IlluStory kit"

Recommended for lovers of: Writing, illustrating, creative production

Ages: 4–10

Price: $19.99 (purchase)

To discover other great educational toys for kids with a variety of interests, check out all nine gift guides from Noodle and Parents' Choice®.