Choosing the Perfect Kids’ Paint Brushes for Budding Young Artists

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Painting is a wonderful creative outlet for children that allows them to express their imagination, practice fine motor skills, and simply have fun making a mess! When starting out, having the right paintbrushes can make all the difference in your child’s painting experience. The brush itself affects how paint is applied to the page. With so many options to choose from, how do you select the best kids’ paintbrushes?

In this guide, we will walk through the key factors to consider when choosing brushes for the little Van Gogh or Picasso in your life. We’ll share the top five recommended paintbrush sets for kids, along with tips on selecting bristle type, size, comfort, and number of brushes needed. You’ll also learn proper brush care to maintain your investment. Let’s get started!

Top 5 Kid-Friendly Paintbrush Recommendations

While individual preferences vary, here are five highly-rated brush sets that check the boxes for quality, variety, comfort, and kid-appeal:

1. Creativity Street Skinny Short Handle Nylon Brush Set

This affordable 12-piece set offers a wide selection of brush sizes perfect for little hands. The short, skinny handles allow children to grip easily. With both fine tip and thicker brushes, kids can explore different mark-making techniques. The nylon bristles are durable, though not as soft as natural bristles.

Pros: variety of sizes, short easy-grip handles, durable nylon bristles

Cons: nylon bristles less soft than natural hair

2. Melissa & Doug Triangular Crayons Jumbo Paint Brushes

Melissa and Doug products are always hits with kids thanks to bright colors and smart designs. These jumbo-sized triangular brushes prevent rolling when placed on the table. The thick, easy-grip handles accommodate small hands. The soft, high-quality bristles create smooth brushstrokes.

Pros: triangle shape prevents rolling, ergonomic handles, soft bristles

Cons: limited size options

3. Paintbrushes by Galison Multipack

This multipack includes five brushes with a mix of bristle types, ideal for experimenting. The thinner handles work for older kids. At an affordable price point, you get variety without breaking the bank. Some shedding may occur, but overall a good value.

Pros: variety of bristles, wood handles, budget-friendly

Cons: bristles prone to shedding

4. Faber-Castell Cat Hair Paint Brushes for Kids

These adorable cat-themed brushes will delight animal-loving kids! The super-soft, high-quality bristles mimic luxurious cat fur. Shaped handles fit little hands comfortably. Multiple sizes allow practicing different strokes and techniques.

Pros: soft bristles, ergonomic handles, variety of sizes

Cons: cat hair material may cause allergies

5. Honeysticks Kabuki Bristle Brushes for Face Painting

While designed for face painting, these brushes work nicely for crafts too thanks to their soft, smooth bristles. The short, easy-grip handles accommodate kids’ hands. Just one size option, but useful for broader strokes and blending.

Pros: soft bristles, short easy-grip handles

Cons: limited uses beyond face painting

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a variety pack that allows experimenting with different brushes. Now let’s explore what makes a paintbrush “kid-friendly” and how to choose the right one.

Key Factors When Selecting Children’s Paintbrushes

Beyond the kits above, keep these traits in mind when choosing kids’ brushes:

Bristle Type

The bristle material affects the look and feel of the brushstroke. Natural bristles like hog hair are prized for their softness, while synthetic bristles are more affordable and durable. Common options include:

  • Bristle – Made from hog or ox hair, these are the softest but also most expensive. Best for oil or acrylic.
  • Nylon – Durable, easy to clean, and vegan. Not as soft but good for beginners.
  • Taklon – Smooth synthetic bristles that mimic natural hair. Affordable option.
  • Sable – Luxurious natural hair with superb paint-holding ability, but pricey. Ideal for watercolor.

For kids, natural or synthetic bristles with softness similar to sable are best. Avoid stiff bristles that scratch the paper.

Brush Size

  • Very small – Good for details, edges, and crafts.
  • Small – Allow more versatility for strokes, blending, and precision.
  • Medium – All-purpose for most painting needs.
  • Large – Quickly cover bigger areas. Can be unwieldy for kids.
  • Jumbo – For thick paint and huge canvases. Too big for children.

Choose a range of sizes – very small up to medium – to allow experimenting with techniques.

Handles Designed for Little Hands

Look for handles with these kid-friendly traits:

  • Short length – Easier for small hands to grip.
  • Thick diameter – Prevents fingers from slipping.
  • Triangular or hexagon shape – Stops rolling when placed on table.
  • Ergonomic – Contoured to fit comfortably in hand.
  • Easy-grip material – Rubberized or textured handle for stability.

Soft, smooth bristles also prevent irritation to children’s delicate skin when painting.

Number of Brushes for Kids

About five brushes total is a great starter set. Any more can be overwhelming. Include a range of:

  • 2-3 softer bristle brushes in small to medium sizes
  • 1-2 synthetic brushes for versatility
  • 1 detail brush with very fine tip

This allows experimenting with different techniques. Add more brushes over time as skills progress. Individual vs. sets offer pros and cons:

  • Sets – More economical, variety of styles to try
  • Individual – Can select exact brushes wanted

Caring for Kids’ Brushes

With proper care, kids’ brushes can last for years. Teach them this routine:

  • Clean thoroughly – After each use, wash gently with mild soap and water. For dried paint, soak bristles in brush cleaner or hot soapy water.
  • Avoid bending bristles – While washing and storing. This damages the brush.
  • Store properly – Lay flat or with bristles upright, but never standing on bristles.
  • Condition bristles – Occasionally massage brush cleaner into bristles to soften them.

Make cleaning up together a fun ending to the painting session.

Other Helpful Painting Tools for Children

Beyond brushes, here are other handy supplies when painting with kids:

  • Palettes – For squeezing and mixing paints.
  • Cups/jars – To hold water for rinsing brushes.
  • Smocks – To protect clothes from splatters.
  • Drop cloths – To cover work surface. Plastic tablecloths work well.
  • Paper – For practice before pulling out the canvas.
  • Paint shirts – Canvas tote bags or old t-shirts for stamping painted handprints.

With the proper tools, creating mini masterpieces can be mess-free and so much fun!

Frequently Asked Questions About Kids’ Paintbrushes

What age should my child start using real paintbrushes?

Around ages 3-4 they can start using child-friendly brushes with supervision. Provide brushes suited to their motor skills.

Should my child use regular adult or children’s paintbrushes?

Definitely select brushes made for kids, with appropriate size handles and bristles. Adult brushes are too big.

How do I clean dried acrylic or tempera paint out of a brush?

Soak the brush in brush cleaning solution or hot, soapy water to soften the dried paint. Gently massage the bristles – don’t bend them! – to work out the paint.

What types of paint are best to use with kids’ brushes?

Washable acrylic and tempera paints are good starter paints for kids. Watercolors are also nice for brush practice.

How can I teach my child to take care of their paint brushes?

Lead by example. Show them how to gently clean brushes in soap and water after painting, then store flat or upright to dry. Make it part of the routine!

Let the Creating Begin!

Now that you know how to select the perfect paintbrushes for kids, it’s time to let the creating begin! With the right brushes, paints, paper and smocks, you can nurture the inner artist in your child. Painting builds fine motor skills, color awareness, and self-esteem as they see their visions come to life. Remember, the goal is having fun through self-expression, not perfection. So relax, get messy, and enjoy watching your budding Picasso create mini masterpieces with their new brushes!

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