Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Essential Supplies for Creativity

I expect we have a variety of readers out there. Some of you have well-stocked craft boxes while others of you are just starting out. I hope this list will help you both. Feel free to share your favorite creativity supplies in our comments. We'll try to update the list periodically so check back from time to time for new ideas.

So for starters, this is what I have gathered for our Learning Center. I've highlighted in red the items I think you have to have and in blue other items that are handy and helpful to have around. For you beginners out there, don't rush out and buy everything on the list. Slowly accumulate what you think your children will enjoy using. For you experienced crafters, see if there is something new that piques your interest. Watch for these items to crop up in my posts, we use almost all of them regularly.

Scissors: a pair for you and a kid-safe pair for each helper
Glue: stick and paste, glue gun (personally I loathe glue guns, but I know many of you love them)

Tape: scotch and double-stick


Paper: white printer paper, construction paper, card stock, large roll of paper
Contact paper or access to a laminating machine
Pencils and Pens

Markers (washable!)


Watercolor paints and paintbrushes


big, small, cheap, alphabet, animals, anything!
Pompom balls in various sizes and colors


Popsicles sticks


Bubbles: for us these are indispensable, but every family is different
Cookie Sheet:use the one from your kitchen or buy a cheap one just for your craft center
Googly Eyes
Rubber bands

Cookie Cutters


Safety Pins

Paper clips
Pipe Cleaners: multi-color

String or twine

Digital Timer

Fabric scraps


Plastic zipper bags

Cups: plastic or Styrofoam

Paper bags

Paper plates

Trash: clean cardboard boxes and plastic packaging from food items, toilet paper rolls, rinsed bottles, etc. Everyone has this stuff, so put it to use.
Food Coloring
Hole Punch


Kristie said...

I have quite a few "recipes" for art and craft supplies that have stood the test of time with my 4 kids. Here is a favorite:
Peanut Butter Playdough: 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 cup honey, 2 cups powdered milk. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding more powdered milk if needed to make a workable dough. When kids have washed their hands, they can play with it and eat it. Store it at room temp. in an airtight container, not a plastic bag or it will dry out.

Kristie said...

Here's another fun recipe:
Finger paint -mix 3 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch in saucepan. Whisk in 2 cups water and stir over med. low heat until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and pour into 4 or 5 sections of a muffin tin.Add 1 drop food coloring to each, and a little squirt of liquid dish soap, and stir. Use freezer paper to paint on, because it has a thick waxy backing that can hold up to finger painting. We used masking tape to tape the freezer paper to a cookie sheet. Have your child wear an old shirt, just to be safe!

Matt, Ella, and Jane said...

Hi, You don't know me in the least but I came across your blog and I think it is a fabulous idea. Good Job! I was wondering if you could help me understand where I can find a large roll of paper. Growing up my mom always called it "butcher" paper and it came in a huge roll. Do you know where to purchase something like that?

Deneal said...

Hey, Ella, welcome to our blog!

I'm pretty sure you can find butcher paper at most teacher supply stores. One of my favorites is Lakeshore. You can try looking on their website ( to see if a store is near you.

Another option might be a party supply store. Many of those carry butcher paper too.

The rolls are bulky and cumbersome, so if you don't have a place to stash it you might want to buy several yards at a time instead of a whole roll. Good luck!

teachingtinytots said...

i save all kinds of things from the boxes are stuff comes in from crackers and such! also paper grocery bags are great for painting!