36 Best Non-Toxic Art Supplies for Kids (Paint, Chalk, Markers & More)

Resources for safe, non-toxic art supplies including non-toxic chalk, paint and markers, so your kids can get messy and creative without worry over exposure to toxic chemicals.

Resources for safe, non-toxic art supplies so your kids can get messy and creative without worry over exposure to toxic chemicals.

What’s more fun than finger paint? Or getting messy with markers, glue and clay? When you set your kids up at the art table, you want them to dive in, get creative and have fun! The last thing you want to have to worry about is safety.

Unfortunately, because of the lax regulations governing the use of chemicals in our country, untested, dangerous chemicals are allowed in many products that we use every day, including art materials.

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Why Non-Toxic Art Supplies Matter

Children are especially vulnerable to hidden chemicals in arts and crafts supplies. First of all,  because every thing goes in their mouths – the crayons, the paint-covered hands – you know what I mean! When kids use art supplies, chemicals are being absorbed right through the skin and can off-gas into the air they breathe. Because of their small size and immature immune systems, these exposures have a greater impact on kids than adults.

Some of the harmful chemicals that may be lurking in art supplies include:

  • lead, cadmium and other heavy metals
  • touline, xylene, ammonia and other VOCs (volitile organic chemicals) that off-gas dangerous fumes
  • formaldehyde
  • PVC and phthalates

RELATED: 4 Good Reasons to Buy Natural, Non-Toxic Products for Your Home & Life

Non-Toxic Art Supplies

Luckily, there are plenty of non-toxic art supplies available to keep our little artists in business! To help you out, I’ve rounded up the best non-toxic art supplies for toddlers and young children that I have found. Keep these safer alternatives in mind next time you purchase art supplies for your kids:

I may receive commissions from purchases made through affiliate links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure

Wee Can Too finger paint and other non-toxic art supplies for kids

Non-Toxic Kids Paint

Beware of oil based paints containing chemical solvents like methyl alcohol and toluene that emit dangerous VOCs. Also avoid paints colored with pigments made from highly toxic metals such as cadmium, arsenic, and lead. These paints may also contain formaldehyde. Children should always use water-based paints instead of oil based paints.

Safer alternatives:

  • Eco-Kids – Non-toxic finger paints made with fruit, plant and vegetable extracts from annatto seed, beets, carrots, purple sweet potato, red cabbage and spinach, and other natural ingredients.
  • Honeysticks – Natural watercolor paints made from natural and food-grade ingredients. Set of 8 colors comes in a metal tin with a natural wood paintbrush.
  • Natural Earth Paint – Non-toxic face paints made with certified organic ingredients including beeswax and shea butter. Kit includes 6 colors and 3 bamboo makeup applicators. 

Non-Toxic Colored Pencils

Traditional colored pencils use chemical based pigments and may be coated with toxic varnish. Pencils made from sustainable wood and non-toxic pigments are better for people and the planet.

Safer alternatives:

  • Prang – Certified non-toxic colored pencils (AP certified by the ACMI)
  • Stubby Pencil Studio – Eco dry highlighter pencils made with sustainable wood and non-toxic pigments.
  • Onyx + Green – Recycled newspaper colored pencils in 12 vibrant colors (non-toxic and lead free)
  • Sprout – Plantable colored pencils made from sustainably harvested FSC Certified wood. Features a biodegradable stub end that contains seeds you can plant when you’re done using the pencil. (non-toxic, lead-free, and biodegradable)
Honeysticks crayons and other non-toxic art supplies

Non-Toxic Crayons

Conventional crayons are made with petroleum based paraffin wax and artificial, chemical-based colors. Look for crayons made with beeswax or soy wax, and non-toxic pigments instead.

Safer alternatives:

  • Eco-Kids – Extra large beeswax crayons that are perfect for toddlers. Made from all-natural beeswax and mineral pigments.
  • Honeysticks – Chubby beeswax crayons made with non-toxic pigments that are easy for kids to hold on to.
  • Goober Crayons – Creative crayon blocks made from natural and non-toxic beanwax. Can be used as building blocks, puzzles and making art!
  • Stockmar – Beeswax crayons made with food-grade pigments that pass tests for detection of pesticide residues, PCB’s and heavy metals.
  • Filana – Paraffin free, organic beeswax crayons.
  • Crayon Rocks – Non-toxic soy wax crayons designed to strengthen grip muscles.
  • Earth Grown Crayons – Etsy shop selling fun-shaped crayons made with natural soy wax and non-toxic mineral pigments.


Non-Toxic Play Dough & Modeling Clay

Polymer clay, used for modeling, is typically made with PVC material and softened with toxic phthalates. Most play dough, although labeled non-toxic, is colored with artificial colors. Vegetable based clays colored with food ingredients are a better choice.

Safer alternatives:

  • Eco Kids – Non-toxic play dough or eco-dough is made with natural ingredients and scented with essential oils. 
  • Land of Dough – Handmade play dough crafted with natural ingredients, compostable glitter and calming essential oils. 
  • Pastilina – Vegetable based modeling clay that will not dry out. 
  • Barn Owl Kids – Handmade play dough made with non-toxic ingredients in a variety of colors and scents. 
  • Homemade play dough
TweeMade non toxic sidewalk chalk

Non-Toxic Sidewalk Chalk

Most sidewalk chalk is make with artificial colors and some off-brands could be contaminated with heavy metals. Naturally colored chalk is the safest option.

  • Eco-Kids – Hop Scotch sidewalk chalk comes in an easy to hold egg shape, making it a great non-toxic chalk for toddlers.
  • TweeMade – Handmade sidewalk chalk in fun designs that fits perfectly in little hands. 
  • Prang – Non-toxic chalk made from 95% calcium carbonite, in 12 assorted colors. Certified AP nontoxic.

Coccoina paste non toxic glue

Non-Toxic Glue

Avoid rubber cement and model glues that emit toxic VOCs. Stick to water-based glue instead.

Safer alternatives:

  • Coccoina Paste – Solvent-free glue made from natural, water-soluble ingredients, making it a great non-toxic glue for kids. Comes in an eco-friendly metal tin.
  • Onyx + Green – Plant-based glue sticks that are perfect for school supplies, home crafts and more. 
  • Homemade glue
Jolly water based markers and other non-toxic art supplies

Non-Toxic Markers

Many markers contain highly toxic chemical solvents like xylene, or are alcohol-based. Stick to water-based markers for kids. Note: Water-based markers are safer and easier to clean up too!

Safer alternatives:

  • RoseArt – Non-toxic water-based, non-scented markers 
  • Faber-Castell – Jumbo, broadline markers made with food-grade dyes.
  • Liqui-Mark – Set of 8 washable, non-toxic markers
  • Arteza – Low-odor, dry erase markers that are AP certified non-toxic.

Non-Toxic Art Smocks

Skip smocks made with toxic PVC vinyl material.

Safer alternatives:

Eco-Friendly Drawing Pads

Choose eco-friendly art pads to go along with your non-toxic art supplies.

  • Eco-Kids – Eco art pad made with FSC Certified paper. 
  • Moon Child – Eco-friendly art pad made from 100% post consumer recycled paper
  • Strathmore – Drawing pad made from 100% post consumer recycled paper.
eco kids non toxic art supply kit

Non-Toxic Kids Craft Boxes

Set up your kids for hours of artsy fun with one of these non-toxic craft sets. Purchase a one-time craft box, or get a subscription to keep your young artists busy for a long time.

More Favorites from Mindful Momma

Your turn: What are your favorite non-toxic art supplies for kids?

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature


  1. Thanks! I am looking into getting little E her first set of crayons! And am in the process of looking of course for non-toxic and safe ones!!!

  2. I once called Crayola to find out what is in their “nontoxic” crayons. After five minutes of talking around the subject, all I knew for sure is that their crayons are free of peanuts. We immediately switched to Stockmar.

    Thanks for this excellent list!

    Elizabeth Monaghan

  3. Love this post. I wish it was as easy to buy all this stuff at Target like the traditional art supplies, but having it all listed here makes it one step easier. Thanks!

  4. Jessica Moran says:

    Great post! It’s so awesome to see that people are searching for better options. You can also check out Artterro eco art kits at http://www.artterro.com, if you’re looking for a convenient collection of materials. I work there, so I’m biased, but it’s a great, mom-owned company with very creative products.

  5. Stephanie – have fun with the crayons! Before you know it your house will be full of art supplies!

  6. Elizabeth – peanut-free crayons – LOL! Hope the Stockmar crayons are working well for you!

  7. I'm kind of surprised Target hasn't gone down the non-toxic art supply path. They have a lot of recycled notebooks and paper but I haven't seen any "better" crayons and markers yet.

  8. Hi Jessica – Thanks for letting me know about Artterro. The kits look really fun – and how great that they are eco-friendly as well!

  9. I am so glad to have come across this. My son is a toddler who loves to scribble and paint. I have been looking for non-toxic alternatives to the markers and paints that are out there. Thanks so much for this info.;)

  10. Glad you found this post useful Maria. Hope you little guy has lots of fun doing artwork!

  11. We love Stockmar and Clementine. I’m pinning this and am looking forward to checking out your other suggestions – thanks!

  12. Thanks for putting this list together: there were a few I don’t know yet but I’m going to try! For those ready to move beyond crayons, I would like to recommend Lyra pencils: intense colours, super-soft, great for on-paper blending, several sizes for growing hands. (Not that we will ever let go of the Stockmar crayons…)

  13. Hi CelloMom – thanks for the tip about Lyra pencils. I had not heard of them.

  14. Hello Micaela! I like your post for this Non-Toxic Art and I know someday I can make it on my own. I enjoy reading your blog thank you for sharing it!


  15. Donna Fountaine says:

    Micaela, the link to the Eco Kids glue does not work. I could not find the glue on their site, so I contacted them about it. They are discontinuing it.

  16. Our house is always stocked with art supplies that someone magically makes it into their mouth. I love some of these alternatives. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Why is it that toddlers always put everything into their mouths?!! Good thing safer alternatives exist!

  17. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thank you!

  18. Joanne Huxford says:

    Where can I buy GLOB water colors
    And trimax products?

  19. What about paint brushes?? Since the hairs fall out, are there any specific ones you recommend? Great list!

    1. I don’t have any specific recommendations but if I hear of anything, I’ll add it to this post!

  20. Jim Frank says:

    I want to make painted bird houses with my grandsons. Can you recommend a safe paint to use?
    Jim Frank

  21. Lovely! Saving this link! Any refs for plant based stamp pads?

    1. I haven’t come across a plant-based stamp pad but I’ll be sure it add it to the post if I ever do find one!

  22. I’m curious what you found about crayola markers. I found a site that tested for Benzyne, Toluene, Ethylbenzyne, and Xylene and they were found safe from these products. Are there other ingredients we should be wary of? (Just starting to learn about this stuff)

    1. Hi Cayleen – I haven’t seen any specific information about Crayola markers but glad to know that you found some testing info.

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