Gift Ideas for the Artistic- Ages 9-13

What to buy????  What to buy????  A great question…

I quizzed my students, paid attention to their favorite supplies to use in class, and visited some local stores to come up with some gift ideas.

If you’re like me you need gift ideas for those middle ages, 9-13, but there’s not many ideas out there.  Both of my kids are in this range and most of my students fall into this category.  So I decided to put together a list for those of you who have an artistic soul to buy for.

I picked a broad age range because there is a lot of overlap but if a gift is more suited to a younger or older crowd I’ll make a note.

So here we go…

Gel Pens– Colorful…  Neon…  Whenever I get these out the kids get super excited.  They are lots of fun and great to add colors to Zentangle designs.  I got some from a local store but these have lots of colors and good reviews.

Calligraphy Pens– My daughter used these is school last year and the teacher let her take one home that was running out of ink.  She wrote on anything she could and put together sayings to decorate her door.  A bunch of my students have really enjoyed working with these too.  Although I love using the ones that you dip in the ink well, I suggest you stay away from staining ink that may spill.

Plaster Strips– These may seem unusual but we recently did a sculpture series where we made plaster casts of our hands and decorated them.  The kids absolutely loved them!  Several went home and asked their parents to get some.

Face Paint–  You may ask, “What????  Isn’t that just for Halloween???”  But let me ask you who doesn’t like to get together with their friends to get a little goofy?  My daughter had a friend over and they reenacted a scene from the movie Monsters Inc.  They went all out, just the 2 of them.  Costumes, hairstyles, and of course face paint…  They had tons of fun and the video was quite amusing!  I like one like this with lots of variety with it.  Even better if you can find some on sale after Halloween.

Scratch Art–  Kids use a sharp tool to scrap off the black and reveal the rainbow designs.  There are different styles of these scratch art sheets.  The ones I’ve linked are a good beginner one.  There are different kits that are more suited for those with more experience or more advanced line skills (drawing detail).

Modeling Clay–  This age group has grown out of Play-Doh (for the most part) but they still may want to wander into the 3D and this is a perfect step up.  This one is good as it gives a variety of colors and lets you test the waters and know if you like the material.

Googly Eyes– An interesting twist…  You need to draw an image for others to guess but the twist is that you have to draw wearing lenses that alter their vision.  I like that its good for a variety of ages to play together.



National Geographic Kids: Guide to Photography–  Got a budding photographer on your hands?

How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons–  Put those smart phones to use!  Move past the selfies into movie making.

Doodle books–  While working on our Building Creativity series, one of my students brought in this book, Creative Doodling & Beyond.  Great activities for doodling, outlines, borders, text…  There are lots of doodling books out there so you can choose one that best fits the interests of each kid.  It could be one like this, Dinosaurs vs Dragons: Doodle Wars.


Or put together a gift basket or care package:

Duct Tape Fun:  The joys of duct tape!  I’ve even seen suits and prom dresses made from duct tape.  And they have so many cool designs how could you not be creative with choices like that!

Duct Tape collage done

Book, duct tape, scissors, and sharpies


For Those who Sketch:  Sketching/Drawing is such a skill.  If you have someone who is interested in using a pencil, nurture that love.  Let it grow.

Gift ideas for the artistic done

Sketch book, drawing book, pencils, drawing tools, and pens


Adventures in Origami:  Who isn’t mesmerized by all those intricate folds.  Origami paper goes quick when you are learning or even when you’ve been doing it awhile.  Though most will “get by” using plain paper and just cutting it into squares, origami paper often is different on one side which makes it easier to follow step-by-step directions.  Its also thinner than some papers which allows it to make crisper folds.  I would include a how-to book appropriate for the age.  For example I started my son (10 yrs) out with a paper airplane book then one with simple fold dinosaurs.  My daughter (13) is ready for a bit more detailed stuff.

origami gift

How-To Book and origami paper


Balloon Sculpture:  I love balloon sculptures.  How fun is it to be at a party with friends and be able to whip up a giraffe or balloon sword!

balloon sculpture

Book, balloon pump, balloons, and sharpies



Sometimes its tough to know what to get those creative types in your life.  I hope you’ve gotten some ideas.

Happy Shopping!!!!


This post contains affiliated links through Amazon.  If you follow the link and make a purchase, it won’t change your price but I will get a bit to help support this thing I love. is also a good place to find art supplies.

Welcome to my adventures in teaching Art outside of the public school system. I’ll share our projects and challenge myself and you to continually improve. So glad you stopped by!

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