Creativity Without Worries—Nontoxic Art Supplies

Aug, 02, 2017

By Fredrica Syren:

My kids have always loved to produce art. They love everything — painting, drawing, sewing, building and sculpting with playdough or clay. It’s just great to see how creative they get and have so much fun. Especially during our summer break, we spend more time creating art.

Unfortunately, in our country there are very few regulations protecting children when it comes to the use of chemicals, so harmful chemicals are allowed in many products that we use every day, including art supplies. Children are very vulnerable to toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium, xylene, ammonium and formaldehyde not only because they tend to put more things into their mouths but also because chemicals can be absorbed right through the skin, which is the way the toxins enter their bloodstream and internal organs. Children’s immune systems are more immature than that of adults, so exposure to chemicals have a greater impact on them.

Luckily there are chemical- and toxin-free art supplies for children on the market today. Here are my favorites for creative times without the worries:

Eco-kid—Art pads, play dough, crayons made with nontoxic, natural ingredients; made in the U.S. and packed in environmentally friendly packaging

Glob Colors—Selling face paint, Easter egg dyes and craft paints made from fruits and veggies

Earth Grown Crayons—Crayons made from eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable soy, which are packaged in recycled and reusable packaging

Stockmar— Sells water colors, pencils and crayons that are certified nontoxic by the Art and Crafts Materials Institute

 We Can Too—Sells quality dough, paint sets, dyes, chalk and crayons made from fruits and vegetable powders. All products are plant based, natural and made without chemicals, preservatives or color additives.

You can also make a lot of your own art supplies. Here are some recipes:



Salt Dough

Side walk paint

Textured Sand Paint


Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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