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Art supplies are not all created equal. Many labeled with the important words ‘non toxic’ contain some form of chemical content. When it comes to little hands, you want to make sure you know what products are best for coloring, crafting, and painting. Many art supplies emit toxic fumes and leave behind chemical residues. Here are some key highlights to remember from this infographic so you can craft safe next time.

1. Always Wash Your Hands
Make sure to remove any left over residue on your skin after you are done using art supplies. Toxins in supplies can make contact with your skin, through inhalation, or ingestion.

2. Craft Age Appropriate
Do projects that are appropriate for the child’s age. You won’t be pouring resin with a four year old. Woodworking, solvents, and enameling are best left for older kids and adults.

3. Not All Finger Paints Created Equal
It is best to go DIY on this one. At home fingerpaints can be created with just a few ingredients.

  • ½ cup cornstarch.
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • natural color

4. Scented Markers Are Not Safe
These markers contain fumes that are unsafe and contain chemical solvents. Stick with unscented, water-based, washable markers instead.

5. The Perfect Paint
Pre-mixed water based paints are best. This will help you to avoid exposure to ammonia and formaldehyde.

6. Crayons Are Not Candy
The best crayons are colored beeswax. Avoid those that are made with petroleum derived wax along with pigments and chemical hardeners that are dangerous.

7. Powder is Not Oxygen
Dusty chalk’s and other powdered form supplies can pose inhalation dangers to children.

8. DIY Clay is Best
PVC based clay that is bakeable for modeling can contain chemicals that are absorbed while being handled. More natural clay options serve as better alternatives. Make your own with these non-toxic ingredients.

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp.vegetable oil
  • natural food coloring

9. Use the Right Adhesive
When it comes to children, avoid adhesives such as rubber cement, spray adhesives, and super glues that contain polluting solvents that can be absorbed into the skin. While glues and tape are better options for little hands.

10. Non-Toxic is Not Always the Case
Many products believed to be non-toxic are not always. Just because they are branded with the seal from Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) and/or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), doesn’t mean they are the best option.

Crystal Ayres, MBA
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