Having taught for so many years, it feels like we have used every teacher and art supply under the sun. We’ve found great things, terrible things, unexpected things, and have-to-always-have-on-hand things! It’s actually one of my favorite parts of teaching: finding tools and resources that are useful, high-quality, and educational.
Spending time sorting through the plethora of teacher supplies available is a LOT of work and since there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, we’re THRILLED to share products that are consistent 10/10s.
We have been customers of Discount School Supply for decades and there are dozens of products that we always come back for, year after year. In 2021, loooong after we had been customers, we became an affiliate with Discount School Supply, so all of our links are affiliates (meaning we earn a small commission on orders purchased through out links). All opinions are our own and are not influenced by our partnership.
These art supplies have been repeat purchases for years!
We have used the paint for nearly TWENTY YEARS and it has been the #1 paint that we use. It does not crack, fade, or peel like tempera paint (hallelujah!). We have pieces of art made by kids from 2001 and 2002 that look like they were made yesterday. It comes in sets, gallons, individual bottles, AND fluorescent colors.
Liquid watercolors are everything. We use these straight as paint, to dye water for sensory tables, to dye materials such as rice and pasta, to color play dough, to dye shaving cream for sensory play…on and on and on! They come in big sets, small sets, and individually.
These are like drawing with lipstick and it’s one of the most satisfying materials that you will ever use. They are paint sticks and they dry really quickly and are always a blast. PLUS, this brand is water soluble and you can use a wet paintbrush over drawings to make them look like paintings. They come in a 12 pack, 42 pack, and 144 pack.
THE COOLEST. It’s a not-super-sticky dough filled with teeny styrofoam balls. This dough floats on water (fun for making boats and trying to see how much weight they can hold) and is a really cool substitute for play dough. Unlike play dough that turns brown when all colors are mixed together, a big ball of floam mixed together never turns brown and becomes a very colorful ball.
Colorations® Best Value Plastic Handle Brushes – Set of 24
Plastic handled paintbrushes are our favorites because the handles don’t split or splinter like wooden handled paintbrushes eventually do. These brushes are big and chunky and perfect for little hands. You’ll see these brushes in the background of many of the projects we share!
Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats – Set of 6
We use these almost daily! These giant 25.5″ x 18.5″ mats are fantastic for covering surfaces when playing and creating. They’re easy to wipe off and can be rinsed under the sink. Use indoors and outdoors to make clean up a breeze.
Whether you’re using play dough or clay, these materials are wonderful!
Lowercase Dough Stampers – Set of 26
In a world with many letter stamps to chose from, these lowercase dough stampers are the best of the best. They’re thick and durable PLUS they stand up. These come in uppercase letters and numbers & shapes, too. We love every set and couldn’t recommend these more!
Creative Modeling Mats – Set of 20
These modeling mats are a delight for creative thinking with dough and clay! The mats all have black outlines with different designs and kids use play dough to add to the designs. When done, wipe off with a wet cloth and they’re ready for the next time.
Emotions Stamper Rollers – Set of 6
These are a very cool, unique supply for dough and clay! Each roller has the outline of a person that shows in dough when rolled. On the end of roller is a face expressing a different emotion that kids can stamp onto the person outlines. The rollers come in many other themes, like pond life, ocean life, forest friends, and more.
Building supplies are perfect for connecting math, science, and engineering!
Jumbo Solid Wood Alphabet Letters
These. Are. Gorgeous. We love setting these out in the block center, sensory table, literacy center, and more. These are solid, sturdy, and seriously lovely. We also set these on the table with small manipulatives (ex: mini erasers) for the kids to line the letters with. They also come in numbers.
Wooden Photo Blocks Multicultural People Set of 18
One of the most important ways of instilling in children that we are all different and beautiful is by having materials in your home/classroom actually showing different people. These blocks are lovely, double sided, and have photos of children from around the world. Love!
Photo Block Differently-Abled Play People Set of 6
People are beautiful and come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. It’s integral to include materials like this block set that are inclusive in helping to grow and guide little learners. I promise you, having inclusive materials and conversations will make this world a gentler place.
Spatial Relations Playset
This is one of Miss Michelle’s favorites! The set includes 20 activity cards and enough materials for 4 children to play at the same time. Kids look at a card and build it on a wooden base, paying close attention to what pieces go in front of and behind the others.
Wooden Attribute Puzzles
We own several sets of these puzzles because they are absolutely gorgeous. The pieces are thick and durable and have lasted us years and years. These puzzles are unique and not just another jigsaw-type puzzle. Some puzzles can even be completed in different ways!
One of my favorite subjects to buy materials for!
Magnetic Chips – 100 Pieces
Magnet chips are so, so fun! Magnet chips are small, colorful, translucent circles with a magnetic ring around the perimeter. We love tossing a few bags of magnet chips into a rice sensory table and letting kids collect them with magnet wands. Kids LOVE these.
Magnetic Wands – Set of 6
Magnets feel and look like magic to kids, so it’s extra exciting to them to be able to hold and use magnetic wands. We love that this set some with six colors because we also love using these with year-round thematic sensory bins. A staple magnet supply!
Steve Spangler Science Mini Mixing Tray
Whenever we share and link these mixing trays on social media, we sell them out and then people message us telling us how much they love these trays! They’re small, clear, and perfect for color mixing. We set these out with colored water + eye droppers and the kids play, mix, and create for hours.
Steve Spangler Science Boo Bubbles
Steve Spangler is the ultimate Science educator and when he made safe, interactive Boo Bubbles for adults to explore dry ice with kids, we had to immediately try it. Fill the bubble generator with water and dry ice, dip the end of the tube in soapy solution, and watch bubbles fill before your eyes. It looks like magic.
Looking for more?
Each month we feature some of our favorite, hand-picked items from Discount School Supply on Instagram! Make sure to follow along to see more wonderful materials that you could use with your littles as well.
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