Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What supplies do you keep on hand?

Posted by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM
  • 6 Replies
  • 399 Total Views
Just curious what you consider the best supplies/resources to keep on hand to encourage hands on exploring and learning?
My children are 7,5 and 2. My oldest is getting a little older and I sometimes wonder if I am keeping enough stuff around to challenge his mind/curiosity. (Does that make sense?)
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-6):
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:35 AM
Recyclables and making tape. My kids love to use then to create all sorts of things. Lol! Musical instruments are also a big hit with mine (Just yesterday one was reciting the lyrics to that good awful song sexy and I know it as if it were a nursery rhyme with intermittent recorder solos during which the other would break dance. It was quite a sight.)

Book books books and more books.

Things that require imagination- legos, Lincoln logs, marble works, clay, paper and coloring utensils....etc.

I try to have a good mix of things I already know they love and things they've never used before/don't get to use often. That way they can challenge themselves should they so choose, or stick with the familiar.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I would also add making up science and art boxes.  My kids love bringing them and going to town.  I keep old electronics for my sons to take apart.  I also have a 10 foot strip of dry erase paper on my wall for kids to draw on.  They love it.  I also have many manipulatives available.  My kids are into Chemistry this year.  I bought them a periodic table tiles that fit together like a puzzle.  My kids love it.  I also would like to add what you have depends on your kids.  We use a lot stencils.  Books are by far our favorite.

by Group Owner on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Overall, I found 'outside' to be the best source of creativity and exploration... 

But, because I'm a little compulsive, we also always have a ton of paper, virtually every kind of tool or toy that you can make marks on paper (or canvas or wood or fabric...) with, and lots of 'make a mess' spaces throughout the house.

And a ton of books, 'cause we're a little compulsive in that direction, too.

by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 9:18 PM
1 mom liked this

Our favorite hands-on resources are the kitchen and the local parks. You can do SO much in a kitchen! And the area we live in has lots of great parks with spraygrounds, creeks, sand pits, digging equipment, rock walls, trees to climb, hills, woods, wildlife, etc. In the summer I keep a clothes basket with sand and water toys in the trunk of my car (along with scooters, kites, and other outdoor toys and a change of clothes) so that we're always prepared for the parks. We also keep a "nature hike bag" by the back door, which is a big backpack that we keep packed with sketchbooks, sketching supplies, colored pencils, identification books, a portable microscope, some plastic baggies, and anything else we think we might want on a nature hike. 

My kids have always gone through a LOT of cardboard, toilet paper rolls, and paper of different kinds (plain white, colored, card stock, patterned scrapbook papers, tissue paper, tracing paper, watercolor paper, etc.). Art and craft supplies in general are important at our house: multiple pairs of scissors, different kinds of glue, different kinds of tape, different kinds of paints, clay or playdough, clay tools, etc. We also keep a plastic bin with ephemera of all sorts that gets a lot of use - scraps of unusual papers, string, confetti, clean food wrappers, magazine pages, fake jewels...just about anything that is too cool to throw away. 

Musical instruments have always been big here too. We have guitars, a ukulele, a keyboard, two dulcimers, a trombone, several recorders, many hand drums, lots of small percussion, and a drum set. We made some of them, bought some second hand, were given some, and only payed big bucks for a couple of them. lol

Oh, and cameras! They've been a HUGE part of my kids' lives. Film cameras, digital cameras, video recorders, kids love just about any camera. They both have video editing software on their computers and have made lots of movies and taken thousands of pictures.They have a photo printer, several versions of photo editing software, and youtube accounts so they can share with their creations with friends and family.

We have several books of at home science experiments, so once when I found myself with some of that elusive "extra" time (ha!) I went through them and made a list of common ingredients (baking soda, cornstarch, white flour, glycerine, etc.) and put it all together in a big box along with a couple of books so that my kids had everything they needed to do experiements. One of my best ideas ever, if I do say so myself. :-)  

We also made box that included small microscopes, loupes, and magnifying glasses and lots of things to look at (much of which we found on our nature walks in the parks and our back yard). 

We have a place in our barn where we keep leftover pieces and parts that the kids can use - wood, pvc pipe, wire, small appliances they can take apart, etc. Sometimes we buy things at Goodwill or garage sales just so they can take them apart. They also have their own gardening and digging tools. 

I'm also a big fan of open ended and "classic" toys and games. Think in terms of things that don't require batteries - Legos, magnets, felt boards, dress up clothes, blocks, balls of all sorts and sizes, gears, playsilks or lengths of cloth, jumpropes, cars,  sidewalk chalk, sand and water toys...

by Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:40 PM

I try to stay on top of my sons interests. He's 6 so they are ever changing. Right now he loves making videos so he has access to the tablet, he also loves drawing so he has tons of sketch paper pads, markers, crayons etc. I'm building a pretty decent library of books, mostly non-fiction as information tends to be my sons favourite thing. 

by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:58 PM
My dd is just 16 months. So here are my favs of course we spend most time outside. She LOVES skateboarding! I like homemade goop, gak,gunk,slime,dough, you name it. Spry bottles, droppers, diff things for painting like sponges a loofa, this plungy-thingy, toy car tires, anything that makes a cool texture, print etc. I like letter everything. Cards, blocks, magnets she knows the 'a' sound and the 'h' sound so far. Also books books and more books its her fav indoor thing to do is read the same books over and over and OVER. But she seems I learn a ton from them so it's worth it and she does pretty well usually when I so no more. Other than that the normal paper, markers pipe cleaners etc. :-)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)