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The Best Paint For Kids

Last updated on November 8, 2019

We looked at the top 9 Paint For Kids and dug through the reviews from 18 of the most popular review sites including Mom Dot, Smart Dog Owners, Little One Mag, Let'sPaintUp, Wow Pencils, My Reviews 4 You and more. The result is a ranking of the best Paint For Kids.

Best Paint For Kids

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Our Picks For The Top Paint For Kids

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Apple Barrel

Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct

Overall Take

Versatile Choice with Many ColorsThe Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct can be used on any surface like wood, paper or tin.

  Best Value


Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct

Overall Take

Multi-Purpose Paints That Wash EasilyThe Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct is easy to clean and use.

  Also Consider

Handy Art

Little Masters Tempera Paint, 6 ct

Overall Take

Paint Set with Opaque ColorsThe Handy Art Little Masters Tempera Paint, 6 ct is great for color blending.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the paint for kids available to purchase.

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.


User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 3 others.

The Best Overall

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct

Our Expert Score
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
2,325 user reviews
Our Take

The Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct is a water-based and nontoxic choice, which is perfect for kids as it is safe and provides easy cleanup. The paints can be used on multiple surfaces, plus they can be replenished individually. However, the pigment ratio is a bit low.

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct

Expert Summarized Score
0 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
113 user reviews
Our Take

The Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct wash off more easily than other brands. They can be used on multiple non-greasy surfaces, and the colors can be mixed together to form new ones. The paints are free from common allergens like egg, peanut and soy.

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham   
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

Our Paint For Kid Buying Guide

Whether your child is a budding artist with a talent for creating life-like scenes or a beginner who enjoys experimenting with different colors, painting is a great activity to help children use their creativity. In addition to learning about colors and techniques, painting has many additional benefits for children.

For children who have difficulty verbalizing emotions or communicating their feelings, painting is a helpful way to express their emotions. Through the use of art, children can paint what they are experiencing. Even if they are not able to communicate those experiences through words, they will be able to express them through art. For children who experience stress and anxiety, painting can be a great way to relieve some of those feelings. Through the act of painting, the children can focus on being in the moment instead of worrying about other challenges they may face

Painting is also a great way for children to learn about their senses. The feel of dipping the paintbrush in the paint and spreading it across the paper, the smell of the paint and the vibrancy of the colors all help children use their senses. This can teach children more about the world around them, such as the principle of cause and effect. For example, they can learn what happens when you mix certain colors together — or what happens when you touch paint before it has dried.

Holding the paintbrush in their hands, navigating it to the paint and then spreading it across the paper helps children improve their mobility skills and their hand-eye coordination. Even painting with their fingers helps them to learn how to better control their movements. When working on a small art project with a fine paintbrush, they can improve their fine motor skills. When working on a large art project, such as one on an easel, they can work on their gross motor skills.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Paints have an interesting history, and they weren’t always as readily available as they are now. Long ago, artists created paints using ashes from fires or red clay. Sometimes, the natural pigments from plants and flowers were used to create paint.

Tempera paints were a popular choice for artists up until the late 1400s.

“Medieval and Renaissance artists created illuminated manuscripts, panel paintings and frescos using tempera paint. Back then it was basically ground pigments from things such as insects, plants or minerals that was mixed with water and egg yolks,” explains artist and educator Amy Markham. “The egg yolk would become the binding agent that held the pigments together. Some of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous pieces were created with tempera paint, including Annunciation and The Last Supper.”

However, whenever children are concerned, it’s important to be aware of egg allergies. Often, children will accidentally put their fingers in their mouths while they are painting, which could possibly lead to an allergic reaction. That’s why most of the tempera paints of today don’t use egg as a binding agent.

“While a few fine art versions of the paint still use egg as a binding agent, most modern tempera paints have chemicals that bind the pigments,” says Markham. “That makes them safe for anyone with an egg allergy.”

The Paint For Kid Tips and Advice

  • When buying paints for kids, the first thing you’ll need to check is the kind of paint you need. Different types of paints are useful for different kinds of art projects. Acrylic paint, for example, can be used for many different projects, both indoors and outdoors. It’s an opaque paint, so if you make a mistake, you can easily correct it by painting over it. This makes it a good choice for kids. Plus, it’s a water-based paint that’s fast-drying, so it’s easy to clean up. The Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct and the Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set, 12 ct are both acrylic paints.
  • The other common paint to use for kids is called tempera paint. “Tempera is a fast-drying opaque paint that can be used on paper, wood, cardboard and projects like papier-mâché,” according to Markham. “It’s important to remember that you cannot layer tempera like an acrylic painting, because even when dry the paint is reactivated when new paint or water is added.”
  • The Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct and the Handy Art Little Masters Tempera Paint, 6 ct are both tempera paints.
  • Regardless of whether you have a mini Picasso or a finger-painting fanatic, you’ll want to make sure you are providing them with a variety of colors to use. This way, children can more freely explore their creativity by learning about how different colors mix together or how they complement one another. The Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct comes with 18 unique colors, while the Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set, 12 ct comes with 12 unique colors. The Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct and the Handy Art Little Masters Tempera Paint, 6 ct both come with six unique colors.
  • When deciding which paint to purchase, consider how your child will be using it. Do they enjoy painting over colors on the paper after they have dried? Do they like a more watery texture or a thicker texture? Do they have a tendency to put the paint on in thick layers or thin layers? According to Markham, tempera paint “can be thinned with water, textured by adding sand or thickened with glues.” Creating new textures in the paint adds a new level of sensory experience for children.
  • “When dry, tempera can have a chalky finish and even have some cracks. To avoid cracking, keep the layers thin and paint on a rigid surface,” Markham explains.
  • When children are concerned, it’s critical to keep safety in mind. Opt for paints that won’t be harmful to kids. The Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 ct and the Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set, 12 ct are both non-toxic. The Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint, 6 ct and the Handy Art Little Masters Tempera Paint, 6 ct are also non-toxic, and they don’t require ventilation. Markham explains, “This medium is perfect for kids crafts because it can be easily cleaned up, doesn’t require ventilation and dries quickly. It can be combined with other mediums when dry, such as oil pastel or colored pencils.”

About The Author

Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a professional copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. With two kids of her own, she's an expert at selecting the best products for babies and kids — that parents will love too. Anam earned a master's degree from the University of Toronto and a bachelor's degree from Queen's University.