The activity supplies I can’t live without
Anyone else do a happy dance when you already have all the ingredients for a recipe?
That’s sort of how I feel about toddler activity supplies. It’s like a little peace of mind / security blanket knowing I have everything on hand to make it to nap time each day. It just makes things so easy.
Not sure about you, but I don’t have a bazillion dollars to spend on activity supplies nor do I have an entire room to dedicate to supplies.
What I have is a small corner of my laundry room.
Let’s get a run down on these simple activity supplies
I don’t own a ton, just the right amount of supplies.
Here’s a detailed list of everything that I keep on hand so I can make that perfect activity “recipes”. Helps me stay sane, helps the kids stay busy, helps me drink hot coffee in the morning. #momgoals
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- 7 drawer storage system – I needed a change from my old system in the laundry room and this one is a much better size for my space. It’s similar to this one from IKEA but the depth, width, and number of drawers are the different.
- Arts & Crafts Supply Center – The blue drawers on top is a Lakeshore product that they sent me a few years ago. It’s been such a hit, we’ve refilled, changed out supplies, and have it front and center in our supply world because it has been such an art game changer.
The drawers in this system are NOT deep (it doesn’t go far back). I can’t stress this enough. They’re only 15 inches (ish). Here’s why I love that: I literally can’t cram it full.
A few years ago, this might have bothered me but now that I know that I’m incapable of keeping a deep drawer tidy. This is better for me.
Here’s a run-down of the supplies I keep in these drawers
(Next, I’ll talk about where other supplies are at)
- Washable Tempera Paint: this kind is my favorite
- Watercolor Paint: traditional kid kind or a little fancier kind
- Markers – side note, I actually bought a bulk box of markers and it’s life
- Favorite thin paint brushes
- Favorite thick paint brushes
- Colored construction paper
- White construction paper
- Brown kraft paper
- White butcher paper
- GIANT Sharpie markers
Miscellaneous Activity Supplies
- Painter’s Tape
- Dot stickers
- Plastic tongs
- Post-it Notes
- Con-Tact paper
- Dot markers
- Dry erase markers
- Magnetic wands
- Random stickers (my MIL sends us holiday and seasonal stickers)
RELATED: Wondering what to do with all these supplies? Check out my quick and easy activities list.
Sensory Bin Bases
I keep my sensory bin bases in airtight plastic containers or Ziploc bags. I’ve had each of these bags for pushing two years. You’ll want to check out my sensory bin basic post for ways to store these items and this post on introducing sensory bins to toddlers (and how to keep things tidy).
- 5 lbs rice (I do rainbow rice, always)
- Bag of dried oats
- Bag of Pom Pom balls
- Dried beans (assorted 3 lbs)
- Kinetic Sand
- Pipe cleaners
Some of these items aren’t pictured because they’re in use. We always have rainbow rice and kinetic sand out to play with.
RELATED: Check out all my posts on sensory bins!
Sensory Bin Tools
- Miniature toddler sized colander – my favorites!!
- Small bowls
- Mini construction trucks
- Measuring cups – I love having a toddler only set
- Shower curtain liner – random, yes, but think toddler tarp
- Ice cube trays – there are literally a million uses for them other than ice
- Pipettes – so random, but super fan. This set has a ton so split with MANY friends
- Liquid droppers
Again, just like with the sensory based, lots of these tools are in use all the time at our house (like the bowls, funnels, and little trucks).
Here’s a link to what I actually put my sensory bins in:
- Bath letters and number – we rarely use these in the tub; they are an activity supply staple
- Magnetic letters
Where ELSE do I store activity supplies?
The bulk of my supplies live in this system. However, life is full of exceptions:
Paint containers are huge so I store them on a shelf in my laundry room.
I have a small closet under my stairs where I store my kids’ homeschool supplies.
You can see how those items are stored in this post here.
Just so you can see it, here’s how my activity supplies set up has looked in the past:
It’s been a good evolution to this much better system for us. Much less “cramming things in drawers” and narrowing down to just what we need.