Must-Have Materials

When we allow God to take the lead in education, we can’t always be sure what to plan for. Oftentimes, opportunities for investigation and discovery happen when we least expect it. We can “plan” for this by keeping a collection of potential activities and experiments  at-hand (See Activities to Inspire). That way, we won’t have to look far when a question is asked.

 

Of course, there’s no point in having activity instructions ready if you don’t have the supplies to carry them out. Keeping bins (or drawers or cabinets) stocked with the items listed here will ensure preparedness for just about every activity, experiment, craft, or game on short notice. Most are inexpensive or even free recyclables; all are better investments than expensive curriculum.

 

**Lists are organized by subject, but materials that can be used in multiple subjects are only listed in one place.

 

**Start with the “basics” – those are noted in red with one asterisk (*). You can always add more advanced/specialty items over time, as the kids get older, or the need arises.

 

**Everything can be found at dollar stores and craft stores or online. Better yet, MAKE some of these things – not everything has to be a purchase! There are great learning/equipping opportunities in making your own tools when you can (For example, we made our own abacus).

 

Favorite Multi-Subject Supply Sources:  Rainbow Resource Center, Miller Pads & Paper

 

General Supplies
  • *Dry erase boards (large and small) with dry erase markers and erasers
  • *3″x 5″ index cards
  • *Brads (Brass fasteners)
  • *Laminated Maps (U.S. and World – not too detailed for the younger kids, laminated so you can mark on them)
  • *Poster board (large & small)
  • *Composition books that can be used for journals, notebooking, etc.
  • *Library Card!!
  • Globe
  • Directional Compass
  • Blank Spinner for games (any subject)
  • Sand Timer for games (any subject)

 

Language Box
  • *Primary writing paper and composition books for younger kids
  • *Magnetic letters or letter tiles
  • Word Family Tiles
  • High Frequency Magnetic Words by Learning Magnets
  • Magnetic poetry kit (put it on the fridge – fun for the family)
  • Letter dice
  • Games like Boggle and Scrabble

 

 

Math Box
  • *Number Line
  • *Balance Scale
  • *Rulers (fewer markings for younger kids)
  • *Abacus
  • *Colored Blocks (counting/sorting)
  • *Large graph paper (1 cm. squares – great for making bar graphs and more)
  • *Base Ten Block Set
  • *Dominoes (Double Six minimum)
  • *Playing Card Decks
  • *Dice (standard and polyhedral)
  • *Tangrams or Pattern Blocks and Boards (I like the wooden set from Melissa and Doug)
  • Geoboard
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Fraction Tiles (available for percents and decimals, too)
  • Fraction Circles

 

General Activities and Crafts

Favorite Arts & Crafts Supply Websites: Dick Blick and Miller Pads & Paper

  • *Construction paper
  • *Drawing paper
  • *Tissue paper
  • *Chenille Stems (“Pipe Cleaners” – assorted)
  • *Craft sticks (“Popcicle sticks”)
  • *String
  • *Markers
  • *Color Pencils
  • *Crayons
  • *Watercolor Paints (Cheap ones are useless – a good student brand is Prang)
  • *Tempera Paints (Poster Paint)
  • *Paint Brushes (assorted)
  • *Modeling clay
  • *Tape (assorted types)
  • *Paper plates
  • *Glue Sticks
  • *White Glue
  • *Mod Podge
  • *Hot Glue Gun
  • *Scissors
  • *Large mats to protect tabletops
  • *Assorted containers for water (bucket-style doesn’t tip as easy – spill-proof can also be purchased)
  • *Large mixing bowls (can be used for paper mache′ or plaster cloth)
  • Ribbon (assorted)
  • Yarn
  • Oil Pastels
  • Chalk Pastels
  • Fabric Glue
  • Plaster cloth
  • Plaster mix
  • Patterned scrapbook or origami papers (good for collage)
  • Magazines (family-friendly and OK to cut for collage)
  • Paper towel tubes or other cardboard tubes

 

Science Box

A useful website for science supplies: Home Science Tools

  • *Magnifying glass
  • *Mirror
  • *Handheld Microscope
  • *Bug Box
  • *Droppers
  • *Tweezers
  • *Drinking Straws
  • *Balloons
  • *Rubber Bands
  • *Containers (assorted such as 2 liter bottles, tubs, cups, mason jars)
  • *Magnets (assorted)
  • *Some Field Guides and/or Charts (rocks, bugs, etc.)
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Epsom Salts
  • BBQ skewers
  • Toothpicks
  • Insulated copper wire
  • Alligator clips
  • Heat-able containers (beakers, test tubes – there are many experiments you can do with elementary kids and parent help, so don’t wait too long to get these)
  • Microscope (for older kids)
  • Microscope slides and covers
  • Circuit Set (A more expensive item, but kids have enjoyed them from a young age)

 

Household & General Project Supplies

(Perhaps for older kids or with the proper oversight and safety training)

  • *Hammer
  • *Various screwdrivers (flathead and phillips)
  • *Assorted nails and screws
  • *Staple gun and staples
  • *Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • *Level
  • *Drill and drill bits
  • *Saw
  • *Sander and/or sandpaper
  • *Needle nose pliers
  • *Wire cutter
  • *Utility knife
  • *Tape measure
  • *Wood glue
  • Crescent wrench
  • C-Clamps

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save