Our Most Used Kids Craft Supplies: A Look in My Cupboard

CraftsAll Ages30 Comments

Ever since asking hands on : as we grow readers what supplies you have on hand most of the time, I got a lot of requests to share with you what kids craft supplies I recommend for those of you starting out doing activities with your kids.

I have a lot of odds and ends in my craft supplies, from brands sending me random stuff to try, to me getting supplies here and there to try it for an activity or craft.

But there’s only a few craft supplies that I buy for the kids over and over again, that I make sure I have on hand in my craft cupboard.

A list of kids craft supplies that gets used over and over for many activities

What kids craft supplies are the most used and I buy over and over again?

The supplies below are linked to a product on Amazon that I recommend using my affiliate link. By clicking on the link it helps support hands on : as we grow as you purchase from Amazon, however its no additional cost to you. Thank you very much for the support!

One time purchases, or rarely have to restock (these last a long time!):

  • A roll of butcher paper or art paper. Its usually about $30-$40 for a roll of butcher paper, but I just finally used my first roll up after using it for more than 3 years. It lasts a long time.
  • Ribbon, yarn and other strings. I bought 4 bundles of yarn a couple years ago and have barely scratched the surface of them, but they come in handy a lot!
  • A good pair of kid’s scissors. I think for any age kid, I believe George started cutting at 18 months. But definitely for those two and older. Let them cut, supervised, and you’ll be surprised at their ability!
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clear contact paper. I’ve probably bought a roll of contact paper 2 or 3 times in the last 3 or so years. Its great for beginner toddler crafts and art projects, but also great for window art! Always love contact paper!

I make sure to restock these craft supplies all the time:

My list of kids craft supplies that gets used over and over for many activities - including toys we use and stuff around the house

Those are my most recommended supplies to have on hand and keep on hand to do probably 90% of the activities that we do.

I do tend to used a lot of items from around the house too though that don’t belong in my craft cupboard.

Toys around the house come in handy a lot (the kids love it when we incorporate toys into activities). But also supplies from my kitchen cupboards and pantry are reused all the time. I sometimes do grocery shopping with activities in mind!

Quick tip! Don’t go by this list of toys to do activities with your kids. Find the toys your kids are interested in and bring those into your activities! They’ll be excited!

Toys in the toy box we use for activities:

Stuff around the house I make sure to have some on hand for activities:

  • Q-Tips (cotton swabs): I use them as paintbrushes sometimes.
  • Cotton balls: These are a great alternative to pom poms.
  • Scotch tape: I always need more! My kids like to just play with it by itself, but you always need it to hang up their artwork!
  • Permanent markers (Sharpies): I tend to use these a lot myself as I get activities ready.
  • Rice, Oatmeal, Salt, Flour: All come in handy for sensory activities or making our own paint.
  • Baggies or Ziploc Bags: Great for no mess painting or sensory activities.
  • Lots of measuring cups and spoons. These are always handy for sensory tubs.
  • Dish soap: Its just great to have on hand for clean up, but also can make foam or bubbles with it.
  • Of course, we did through our recycling bin to upcycle whatever we can!

Odds and ends kids craft supplies that we don't use ALL the time, but do use occasionally, they're good to have on hand if you have the room.

Then there are the craft supplies that are in my cupboard, but don’t get used all the time for our activities:

They do get used in some activities, so if you’re in a position to diversify and have the room to store these supplies, choose a few of these that suit what you’re looking to do with your kids!

  • Pipe cleaners: we used them as a fine motor activity sometimes.
  • Craft sticks: we made cool Christmas tree ornaments from them!
  • Buttons: I can’t seem to keep my button stash stocked as much as I like with cute buttons. When I do have cute buttons on hand we use them up fast. We tend to use them instead of glitter or sequins.
  • Pom poms: They’re great for simple embellishments for crafts, but most of all they’re a fun fine motor activity for toddlers.
  • Glitter: I try to avoid glitter whenever possible, but its great to have it around to embellish the occasional craft.
  • Glue sticks
  • Golf tees: we use these to hammer into Styrofoam when we have it. However, this is the most common thing that hands on : as we grow readers do not have in their house! This is also something we wouldn’t have either if I didn’t buy them to do activities.
  • Shaving Cream: its great for sensory play and making marbled prints.
  • Googly eyes: they’re great to have on hand for the Halloween season to make monsters!
  • Sequins: I actually dislike sequins almost as much as glitter. But again, they’re great to embellish crafts at time.
  • Beads: I kind of loathe beads because they seem to roll everywhere whenever we get them out. But they’re great for beading and making simple jewelry. We have some letter ones that have added learning opportunities.
  • Magnets: There are many magnetic activities I’ve found to do, but haven’t had much success with them with the magnets that we have. So these mostly sit in our cupboard. They came in handy for our interactive snowman though!
  • Hot glue gun: This is more of a mom craft supply than a kids craft supply, but I’ve seen many crafts around where kids use them too (be sure to get a low temp one for the kids). We just haven’t yet. Soon!
  • Clothespins: We’ve used them a number of times, its just not something I get out a lot. I love them for fine motor activities.
  • Rubber bands: I finally bought a rubberband ball and its coming in handy, but haven’t had the chance to really use it yet. Our favorite way so far is a very simple activity to just wrap rubber bands around!
  • Straws: We’ve used them for painting activities, but also love to blow pom poms around with them!
  • Coffee filters: They’ve come in handy for numerous crafts, especially flowers. However, this is something I found most of you do not have (almost half of you) so we’ll be using it less and less, especially since we wouldn’t have them if I didn’t buy them for crafts either.
  • Sponges: I just bought a pack of regular kitchen sponges that I have some of them cut up for painting projects. They get used over and over again.
  • Stickers: I don’t ever seem to buy stickers for the kids, they get them for birthdays and holidays and whatnot. They come in handy for busy activities to do when they’re waiting for something.
  • Tissue paper: I tend to save tissue paper from birthdays and put it in the craft cupboard. Its a great pair to contact paper for window crafts.

FYI: A shower curtain or old sheet comes in handy for messy play too.

That’s about it. I hope I didn’t miss anything, but if I did I’ll come back to add to our list of favorite kids craft supplies.

What is on your list for supplies that you use the most when doing activities or crafts with the kids?

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  1. amanda says

    This is a great list Jamie. I have many of these items as well for our activities. I could not agree more with your about Crayola products…the paint in particular! I too have had great success in getting it out of anything in my come in contact with. Cheap vinyl table cloths come in handy for messy play too. J’s favorite sensory material is dry pinto or a bag of mixed dry beans. We use them for kitchen play, farm play, animal feed, and construction play. I usually leave them in a plastic tub for quick set up and a great activity when I am preparing lunch or dinner. Keep up the great work!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for this list :) I do have many of these supplies on hand already and am finally able to have my dream “Art Room” For the kids in our new home :) I am so excited to get it done and finished so we can start making art :)

  3. Sue says

    I’m keeping my 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter once a week for a Mother’s Day Out. I appreciate the list so much! I am also a retired elementary school teacher and unfortunately gave all my things away when I retired. Big mistake! So having this list is a big help.

  4. Cher says

    The 1 thing I do not have is golf tees. I have all the other stuff plus. I am always checking yard sales for anything that can be part of an activity. The one thing that I did not see on your list is sticky velcro. this is one of my main supplies so that kids can repeat an activity over and over. These are paper activities that have clear contact on both sides to make them durable. They last through several children.

  5. Cher says

    2 other things I remembered: 1- a package of good baby wipes. They clean not only hands but table tops etc.
    2-the liners of cereal boxes. They make good mats under painting activities. If you do not eat boxed cereal, ask family and friends to save them for you. They can be folded and easily stored.

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