Monday, June 6, 2016

The Essential Arts and Crafts Supply Cabinet

One of the most popular areas in an early childhood classroom is the art center.  The art center can be quite a chore to stock to maintain the children's interest.  To keep up with the demands of a high use center I find relying on tried and true arts and crafts supplies to be key.  I also like to rotate in inexpensive and often free/recycled items. The following list includes items that I frequently used in my preschool classroom and in our lab classroom. 
  • Paint--tempera, watercolor, fingerpaint   
  • Various sizes of paintbrushes
  • Sponges--to cut into shapes 
  • Stamps and stamp pads
  • Crayons--different sizes and shapes 
  • Markers--fat and thin 
  • Pencils--different sizes 
  • Colored pencils
  • Erasers 
  • Colored and white chalk
  • Oil pastels
  • Paper of all sizes and textures--construction, newsprint, lined, wallpaper, butcher, fingerpaint 
  • Glue, glue sticks, paste
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hole punchers--three hole, one hole, and decorative 
  • Tape--scotch, washed, and masking (preferably multiple colors)
  • Yarn--various sizes and colors 
  • Contact paper--cut into manageable sizes for impromptu collages 5 x 7 is a good size
  • Tissue paper--scraps work well here
  • Stencils 
  • Play dough, cookie cutters, rolling pins and other tools 
  • Coffee filters 
  • Envelopes
  • Paper plates--great for project bases or paint plates
  • Paper lunch sacks 
  • Cardboard tubes--for art projects and to protect children's rolled papers 
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Craft sticks--various sizes
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Collage materials--sequins, stickers, scraps, feathers, Pom poms, straws, glitter, confetti, buttons, beads, ribbons, etc. (I like to organize collage materials in empty class pack marker or crayon boxes.) 
Teacher Planning Resources:

  • Smocks, aprons, or paint shirts 
  • Display space
  • Containers to store supplies in for children's use--juice cans, baskets, boxes, and plastic/lidded containers
  • Hand washing area
  • Baby wipes
  • Newspaper or plastic tablecloths--to protect tables and floors 
  • Space for projects to dry
  • Clothes pins--for hanging items to dry 
  • Sharpies--to add names to masterpieces with children's permission 
Favorite Teacher Trick:  When filling paint containers, line with a plastic baggie first and then add the paint...lids will still fit and when you run out of paint or want to switch the color...simply throw the baggie mess!