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Glues and adhesives Glue stick

White “library” paste

White wood glue, such as Elmer’sTM School Glues

Adhesive tape

Rubber cement

Model glues

Spray adhesives

Contact cement

“Super glue”


Drawing materials Water-based markers, preferably unscented


Colored pencils

Permanent markers

Dry-erase markers

Paint Water-based children’s paints in solid or liquid form, such as tempera, poster paints, and paint pans

Acrylic paints are also water-based but should be avoided (they can contain ammonia and formaldehyde)

Oil-based paints

Paint thinners

Spray paints

Artists’ paints

Acrylic paints

Powdered paints

Modeling clays Making your own is best (recipe available here).  Otherwise, choose from these alternatives to polymer clays:

  • Flour-based clays, such as Play-Doh
  • Earth-based clays, such as Crayola Air-Dry Clay
  • Oil-based clays, such as Plasticine
Polymer clays (such as FimoTM), which are made of vinyl/PVC
Ceramics and pottery Glazes with an AP (Approved Product) logo from the Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI)

Contact manufacturers to make sure glazes do not contain lead

Glazes for professional artists

Glazes that are not lead-free

Craft pieces Metal-free pieces such as popsicle sticks, cotton balls, fabric pieces, yarn, beads, and buttons Pieces made of metal, such as costume jewelry and charms, which may contain lead
Aprons and smocks Aprons and smocks made of PVC-free materials such as cotton, nylon, and polyester Aprons and smocks made of vinyl/PVC or coated with vinyl/PVC

 Healthy Tips:

  • To learn more about toxic chemicals in art and craft supplies, read our Art and Hobby Supplies fact sheet.
  • Avoid children’s products that do not have Non-Toxic seals from the Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI). Products with the seal are not necessarily non-toxic but are a better choice than products without the seal.
  • Avoid products for professional artists and products for adults labeled with the ‘CL’ or ‘HL: Cautions Required’ marks from the Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI).
  • Check at home for any products that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission []
  • Take a look at Top 10 Tips: Choosing Art Materials

A Sample Healthy Craft Kit for Kids:

  • Children’s crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue stick and/or white glue
  • Water-based markers
  • Water-based children’s paints
  • Colored paper
  • Fabric pieces
  • Yarn
  • Stamps and water-based ink pads
  • Scissors (age-appropriate)
  • Adhesive tape

Learn More: