The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Best Tempera Paints for Kids

As children advance from fingerpainting and begin to use other tools — such as paint brushes and sponges — they will need better quality paint to work with. Tempera paint is typically used in children’s art projects and is fast-drying, long-lasting and easy to clean up. Additionally, the majority of tempera paint on the market is nontoxic, so parents and teachers won’t have to worry about the safety of children when working with these paints. We’ve chosen tempera paints based on quality, appearance, durability and ease of cleanup.

Best for School Kids

Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint, Set of 12, 16oz , Assorted Colors (54-8216) (Toy)

List Price: $55.89 USD
New From: $38.38 USD In Stock
Used from: $38.38 USD In Stock

With this set, there is plenty of tempera paint to go around. It contains a total of 12 bottles of 16-ounce tempera paints in assorted colors such as white, black, red, yellow, blue and green, along with a few unique colors such as magenta and peach. The different colors make this a great option for teaching color recognition. These paints offer good opacity and coverage, making them ideal for a variety of different art projects. They can also be used on many different kinds of surfaces, including cardboard and papier-mache. Suitable for children over 3 years old.

While it may be smaller, this set offers everything kids need to create great art. It includes six different paint colors including blue, green, orange, red, white and yellow. The paints come in 8-ounce bottles, so there is plenty for use in a small group or for individual children who paint often. These paints are easily washable and nontoxic. They have a smooth consistency and can be applied to a variety of non-greasy surfaces including plaster, cloth and construction paper. This option is best for children over 3 years old.

Kids will have plenty to discover with this 16-color set, which includes fun options such as metallic, neon, glitter, fluorescent and even glow-in-the-dark paint. The paints themselves have a smooth, creamy consistency and dry to a matte finish. They also don’t flake once dried, making them ideal for creating art projects that will last. The paint washes off both clothes and skin easily. These nontoxic paints are a great option for children over 3 years old.

Having variety helps to keep children’s attention. This set comes with a total of 18 bottles of paint, all featuring different color options. It includes classic colors, plus neon and pearl options for an added twist. The 2-ounce bottles are the perfect size for children who want to experiment. The paints are multi-purpose and can be used on virtually any type of surface, and they are easy to clean up with soap and water or in the washing machine. This is a great option for children over 3 years old.

These paints are an excellent choice for more experienced children who are seeking a higher performance material. The paints in this set feature colors such as white, black, brown, magenta, peach, turquoise and blue. There are a total of 12 color options, all in 16-ounce bottles. The paint itself is high-quality, featuring a smooth layout. It doesn’t have a tendency to settle, which means there’s no need to shake or stir the paint prior to use. The bottles have an easy-pour spout that helps to prevent messes and spills. This is an excellent choice for a classroom or small group, or for children who spend a lot of time working on art projects. Recommended for children over 3 years old.

Expert Commentary

“Tempera paints are wonderful when it comes to motor skills as well as planting the seeds of design, art and overall creativity. While these sets are easily cleaned up, careful preparation of the painting area and painting outfits for your children are still crucial in order to avoid damage and extra work.”

Our Expert Consultant

Melissa Spurling

Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.