Find out what to look out for when you are buying kids’ art supplies, and see our tips to keep the little ones safe.


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  • Always read the label.
  • Follow the instructions on the label and only use the product for its correct purpose. For example, don’t use finger paints as face paints.
  • Keep an eye on young children. They could get sick if they eat crayons or other art supplies. Products that are ‘non-toxic’ or ‘natural’ can also cause harm if eaten.
  • Store crayons and art supplies out of reach of children.

Buying kids’ art supplies

  • When you are buying kids’ art supplies, stick to shops and retailers you know and trust. This includes online retailers.
  • Read the label. If the label isn't in English, doesn't list the product’s ingredients, batch code and New Zealand importer and manufacturer contact details, it doesn’t meet New Zealand’s rules and safety standards.
  • If you are buying or bringing products in from overseas, you will need clearance, including providing lab testing results, to import crayons, finger paints and other children’s art supplies (graphic materials) into New Zealand. This also includes online shopping if the order is shipped directly from overseas.

Find out more about importing children’s graphic materials

Rules and safety standards

There are strict safety standards that importers and manufacturers must follow before they can sell children's crayons, finger paints, water colours. This is to ensure they are safe for use and will protect children from harmful chemicals (such as lead, mercury and chromium).

These rules and safety standards apply to all graphic materials, including those for adults, and are set out in the Graphic Materials Group Standard 2018.

Read the Graphic Materials Group Standard 2018 (PDF, 500KB)